10

United States federal (e.g. FOIA) and state law allow people to request public records. The requests themselves are public record. Does any public or private entity maintain a database of those requests?

1
  • 2
    In E&W we have whatdotheyknow.com which is not quite what you're referring to, although close. And then many public authorities have public past-disclosures databases/portals that are somewhat closer to what you describe. Feb 27 at 4:33

3 Answers 3

8

You won't find a single repository of all FOIA requests, but you will find many large repositories of requests:

  • Muckrock permits users to submit FOIA requests basically anywhere, and then it publishes both the request and the resulting records to the Internet.
  • FOIA Online tracks requests for many federal agencies.
  • Department of Justice FOIA logs are published online.
  • SEC FOIA logs are also published online.
9

Here is an example for Washington state under RCW Ch. 42.56. First, you cannot request "all public records requests", because (RCW 42.56.080)

(1) A public records request must be for identifiable records. A request for all or substantially all records prepared, owned, used, or retained by an agency is not a valid request for identifiable records under this chapter, provided that a request for all records regarding a particular topic or containing a particular keyword or name shall not be considered a request for all of an agency's records.

Second, there is no central agency that maintains all records – you would have to make a request of the State Patrol for all State Patrol records, the Department of Transportation for all Transportation requests, Department of Labor and Industries for their records, Ecology; Gambling; Liquor etc.

There are numerous private persons willing to take your money to make records requests, but they all seem to be "name-driven", that is, they get records about a specific person (pursuant to RCW 42.56.080). There is no Department of Central Records to whom you can make such a records request.

2

The Department of Justice's Office of Information Policy has information about FOIA requests they've received, including some of the released documents: https://www.justice.gov/oip/available-documents-oip

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .