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September 10, 2012

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Jennifer

I think it could even be caused by an increase in the complexity of requests received. As more agencies are doing everything on "E-mail" there are a lot more records responsive to requests (I believe) than in the past and agencies are tending to "hoard" information "until no longer needed" which again means you have more responsive records. It takes longer to search and even more time to do a review of all those records. One thing that is never accounted for is the "volume of records" in a FOIA request. A request that is 10 pages vs. a request that is 10,000 pages is merely counted as "1" request. Not that I am advocating we be required to start tracking the number of pages processed, but in my experience from several agencies and discussion with colleagues, the need to review those "volumes of records" is likely what is contributing to the backlog and reduced processing times (to include longer times for consultations).

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