Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Public Administration and Policy

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 215 pages) : PDF file, illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sharon S Dawes

Committee Members

Theresa A Pardo, Terrence A Maxwell


FOIA, Freedom of Information, Open government, Organizational performance, Policy implementation, Public access, Freedom of information, Government information, Organizational behavior

Subject Categories

Public Administration | Public Policy


The study aims to identify organizational factors that influence the performance of implementation of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and to investigate the strength and direction of their effects. Although FOIA is a critical statute to promote right to know and democratic accountability, its implementation by federal agencies has been frequently criticized for delay of information disclosure and a large backlog of unresolved requests. This exploratory study can be considered one of first academic efforts to analyze the relationship between organizational factors and the performance of FOIA implementation using empirical methods. The study analyzed quantitative secondary data from official statistics of federal agencies of fiscal year 2006 and 2010, the 2006 and 2010 Federal Human Capital Surveys, and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews of FOIA officers. In regression models used, independent variables were funding, organizational culture, litigation cost, and the complexity of FOIA requests. Dependent variables were median processing time for FOIA requests and the size of backlog.