The State Department's Office of Inspector General has issued a report on the State Department's FOIA Operations. The report sharply criticizes the Department's handling of its FOIA duties. One of the surprising findings is that with a rising backlog, the FOIA Office allowed some of its employees to be detailed to Brazil to assist that country in the processing of its FOIA requests.
It's not often that an internal report is this honest in pointing out the problems of a FOIA Operation. Hopefully, State FOIA leadership will read it and incorporate the recommendations made in the report.
I do disagree with one of the contentions in the report -- it states that litigation with the State Department has tripled in the past few years and the report contends that this is because of the attorney fee changes in the FOIA Amendments of 2006. I've sued the State Department a few times since 2006 and in none of these instances did this change in the law factor into my clients' decisions to sue. The decision, in all of the cases, was frustration with the agency's handling of the underlying FOIA requests. Thus, I think the opinion that the attorney fee change is not accurate and is not backed up with any evidence provided by those suing the agency.