“Given the Department’s current FOIA workload and the complexity of these documents, it can process about 500 pages a month,” argued the State Department in a filing Wednesday, estimating that a review of three aides’ emails would take “75 years in total.”
In March, the RNC sued the State Department for failing to respond to a request made in December for the staffers’ emails. Since then, the agency has tried to dismiss the request for imposing an unreasonable burden. From CNN:
State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau declined Monday to comment on the RNC lawsuit specifically, but said that requests have tripled since 2008 and staff has been spread thin.
“The volume of FOIA requests received by the Department has tripled since 2008. In fiscal year 2015 alone we received approximately 22,000 FOIA requests,” Trudeau said. “The requests are also frequently more complex and seek larger volumes of documents, requiring significantly more time, resources, and interagency coordination. While we have increased staffing for our FOIA office, our available resources are still nonetheless constrained.”
“The Department is committed to transparency, and the issues addressed in this report have the full attention of Secretary Kerry and the Department’s senior staff,” said the agency at the time. “We remain committed not only to transparency but to making our efforts in that regard as efficient as possible.”