Freedom of Information in the Time of COVID-19

03.30.20 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

In principle, the COVID-19 outbreak could provide a compelling new justification for expediting the processing of certain Freedom of Information Act requests related to the pandemic. But it is more likely to slow down the handling of most requests as agency employees work remotely and other concerns are understandably prioritized.

The impact of COVID-19 was surveyed by the Congressional Research Service in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Processing Changes Due to COVID-19: In Brief, March 27, 2020.

Other noteworthy new and updated reports from CRS include:

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, updated March 27, 2020

The Employment-Based Immigration Backlog, March 26, 2020

Demographic and Social Characteristics of Persons in Poverty: 2018, March 26, 2020

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and COVID-19, March 26, 2020

Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements, updated March 26, 2020

Congressional Use of Advisory Commissions Following Crises, CRS In Focus, March 25, 2020