Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Processing Changes Due to COVID-19: In Brief [March 27, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Document: "As federal agencies adjust their operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, activities related to the processing and release of government information are also changing. [...] Government information requests through FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] may be impacted by COVID-19 in two ways. First, certain types of information related to the outbreak may be eligible for expedited consideration; FOIA requests are to be expedited as soon as practicable in cases in which the person requesting the records demonstrates a compelling need. Second, processes for locating information may change due to employees working remotely or on administrative leave. This In Brief report provides an overview of the typical FOIA request process and usual conditions for requesting expedited processing of a request. The report then provides analysis of the impact of agency procedures in response to the pandemic on government information availability, and concludes with a survey of announced agency processing alterations."
CRS Report for Congress, R46292
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/