CMS FOIA Online Request Entry System

Reducing time and saving money by creating an online entry system for several FOIA requesters.

Executive Summary

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services receives the highest number of FOIA requests per year that any other Operating-Division in the Department of Health and Human Service. The steady increase in the number of FOIA requests received is illustrated below:

  • FY10 – 17,979
  • FY15 – 28,044

The current process for receiving and responding to these requests does not support the spirit of The Open Government Act of 2007 & 2009. The current paper process involves seven steps to process a FOIA request submitted via the US Mail.
The implementation of the CMS FOIA Online Request System will enable CMS to:

  • Save time and staff resources currently spent to process stacks of paper requests.
  • Strategically and seamlessly connect to Agency approved SWIFT system.
  • Streamline the front end operations in an effort to create a Lean process for this critical and highly visible body of work.

There is tremendous support for the implementation of a CMS FOIA Online Request System as evidenced by the positive feedback we received via interviews with several FOIA requestors and internal CMS staff.

Upon implementation, the time and cost for the entire process for responding to FOIA requests will be greatly reduced.

A project supported by the: HHS Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program, HHS Ignite Accelerator

Team Members

Janis Nero, (Project Lead),  CMS
Christina Clary, CMS
Hugh Gilmore, CMS
Carlos Simon, CMS


March 2016: Project selected into the HHS Ignite Accelerator
April 2016: Time in the Accelerator began
June 2016: Developed project prototype
July 2016: Time in the Accelerator ended

Project Sponsor

Carlos Simon, Director, Issuances, Records, and Information Systems Group, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)