Freedom of Information Act:

Accuracy of the State Department's Automated Case Tracking System

GGD-87-95BR: Published: Jul 24, 1987. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of State's operations relating to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, specifically the accuracy of the data in State's computerized Information Request Management System.

GAO sampled 193 cases that were in the system between January 1986 and November 1986 and found that: (1) 41 percent of the cases contained at least one error in one or more of the information categories; (2) between 12.8 and 19.6 percent of the data entries were in error; and (3) because of errors in the completion date category, there were 1982 and 1983 requests in the system that State had not responded to at the time of the sample. GAO noted that these errors cause the system to be unreliable for audit purposes and limit its usefulness in managing FOIA operations.

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