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Progress made in making records public, but government agencies struggle with increased demand
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Obama administration isn't keeping pace with the increasing number of people asking for copies of government documents, emails, photographs and more under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
That's according to an Associated Press analysis of the latest federal data.
Federal agencies did better last year trying to fulfill requests, but still fell further behind with backlogs, due mostly to surges in immigration records requests.
The government responded to more requests than ever in 2011. Offices relied less frequently on legal provisions that allow them to keep records secret, especially emails and documents describing how federal officials make important decisions.
And agencies took less time, on average, to turn over records: about one month for requests it considered "simple" and about three months for more complicated requests.