DHS Creates FOIA App30 Jul 2015
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched eFOIA a new, free mobile application that allows users to submit and track Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. This is part of an ongoing effort to improve the FOIA process and response time within the DHS.
DHS has Largest FOIA Volume
FOIA requests are a vital avenue for retrieving information from the federal government. The DHS receives and processes the highest volume of FOIA requests within the U.S. government, the bulk of which come from those requiring immigration-related documentation and case histories. This has created a backlog of FOIA requests within the DHS. The eFOIA app is part of ongoing DHS efforts to clear the FOIA backlog and improve the system for making and responding to these requests. More detail on the usefulness of FOIA is provided in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, FOIA Request Can Help Resolve Some Immigration Cases (23.Sep.2011).
The eFOIA app launched by the DHS is the first mobile FOIA app to be released by the federal government. As explained in the DHS announcement, the app allows users to submit and track FOIA requests. The app covers all components of the DHS, including the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Immigration matters are often time-sensitive; better access to necessary documents can aid in strategy and decision-making, and can prove key in improving one’s chance of a successful case outcome. Therefore, it is encouraging that the DHS continues in its efforts to improve the response time for FOIA requests and make the process more user friendly.
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