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HOME / FOIA / FOIA 2004 ANNUAL REPORT

2004 Annual Report

 

FOIA FY 2004 Annual Report

Freedom of Information Act

Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2004

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

I. Basic Information Regarding Report

    A. Name, title, address, and telephone number of person(s) to be contacted with questions about the report.

                        Robert Biersack, Freedom of Information Act Officer

                        Federal Election Commission

                        999 E Street NW

                        Washington, DC 20463

                        202-694-1220

    B. Electronic address for report on the World Wide Web.

                        http://www.fec.gov

    C. How to obtain a copy of the report in paper form.

                        Contact: Robert Biersack, Freedom of Information Act Officer

                        Federal Election Commission

                        999 E Street NW

                        Washington, DC 20463

                        202-694-1220

II. How to Make a FOIA Request

            A. Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all individual agency components and offices that receive FOIA requests.

                        Robert Biersack, Freedom of Information Act Officer

                        Federal Election Commission

                        999 E Street NW

                        Washington, DC 20463

                        202-694-1220

    B. Brief description of the agency's response-time ranges.

            Requests received in FY2003 processed within 30 days.

            Backlog from FY2002 required 90 – 120 days.

    C. Brief description of why some requests are not granted.

            No responsive documents

III. Definitions of Terms and Acronyms Used in the Report (to be included in each report)

    A. Agency-specific acronyms or other terms.

    B. Basic terms, expressed in common terminology.

        1. FOIA/PA request -- Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act request. A FOIA request is generally a request for access to records concerning a third party, an organization, or a particular topic of interest. A Privacy Act request is a request for records concerning oneself; such requests are also treated as FOIA requests. (All requests for access to records, regardless of which law is cited by the requester, are included in this report.)

        2. Initial Request -- a request to a federal agency for access to records under the Freedom of Information Act.

        3. Appeal -- a request to a federal agency asking that it review at a higher administrative level a full denial or partial denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Act, or any other FOIA determination such as a matter pertaining to fees.

        4. Processed Request or Appeal -- a request or appeal for which an agency has taken a final action on the request or the appeal in all respects.

        5. Multi-track processing -- a system in which simple requests requiring relatively minimal review are placed in one processing track and more voluminous and complex requests are placed in one or more other tracks.

        Requests in each track are processed on a first-in/first out basis. A requester who has an urgent need for records may request expedited processing (see below).

        6. Expedited processing -- an agency will process a FOIA request on an expedited basis when a requester has shown an exceptional need or urgency for the records which warrants prioritization of his or her request over other requests that were made earlier.

        7. Simple request -- a FOIA request that an agency using multi-track processing places in its fastest (nonexpedited) track based on the volume and/or simplicity of records requested.

        8. Complex request -- a FOIA request that an agency using multi-track processing places in a slower track based on the volume and/or complexity of records requested.

        9. Grant -- an agency decision to disclose all records in full in response to a FOIA request.

        10. Partial grant -- an agency decision to disclose a record in part in response to a FOIA request, deleting information determined to be exempt under one or more of the FOIA's exemptions; or a decision to disclose some  records in their entireties, but to withhold others in whole or in part.

        11. Denial -- an agency decision not to release any part of a record or  records in response to a FOIA request because all the information in the requested records is determined by the agency to be exempt under one or more of the FOIA's exemptions, or for some procedural reason (such as because no record is located in response to a FOIA request).

        12. Time limits -- the time period in the Freedom of Information Act for an agency to respond to a FOIA request (ordinarily 20 working days from  proper receipt of a "perfected" FOIA request).

        13. "Perfected" request -- a FOIA request for records which adequately describes the records sought, which has been received by the FOIA office of the agency or agency component in possession of the records, and for which there is no remaining question about the payment of applicable fees.

        14. Exemption 3 statute -- a separate federal statute prohibiting the disclosure of a certain type of information and authorizing its withholding under FOIA subsection (b)(3).

        15. Median number -- the middle, not average, number. For example, of 3, 7, and 14, the median number is 7.

        16. Average number -- the number obtained by dividing the sum of a group of numbers by the quantity of numbers in the group. For example, of 3, 7, and 14, the average number is 8.

IV. Exemption 3 Statutes

    A. List of Exemption 3 statutes relied on by agency during current fiscal year.

Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA)

        1. Brief description of type(s) of information withheld under each statute.  Material regarding ongoing investigation of possible FECA violations – 2 USC 437g(a)(12)(A).

        2. Statement of whether a court has upheld the use of each statute. If so, then cite example.          N/A

V. Initial FOIA/PA Access Requests

    A. Numbers of initial requests.

        1. Number of requests pending as of end of preceding fiscal year:  19

        2. Number of requests received during current fiscal year: 48

        3. Number of requests processed during current fiscal year:  53

        4. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year:  14

    B. Disposition of initial requests.

        1. Number of total grants:  32

        2. Number of partial grants:  0

        3. Number of denials:  4

            a. number of times each FOIA exemption used

             (counting each exemption once per request)

                (1) Exemption 1:     0

                (2) Exemption 2      0

                (3) Exemption 3:     4

                (4) Exemption 4:     0

                (5) Exemption 5:     0

                (6) Exemption 6:     0

                (7) Exemption 7(A):    0

                (8) Exemption 7(B):     0

                (9) Exemption 7(C):    0

                (10) Exemption 7(D):  0

                (11) Exemption 7(E):   0

                (12) Exemption 7(F):    0

                (13) Exemption 8:     0

                (14) Exemption 9:     0

        4. Other reasons for nondisclosure (total):  17

            a. no records:  12

            b. referrals:  2

            c. request withdrawn: 0

            d. fee-related reason:  0

            e. records not reasonably described:   1

            f. not a proper FOIA request for some other reason:  0

            g. not an agency record:  2

            h. duplicate request:  0

            i. other (specify):  0

VI. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests

       A. Numbers of appeals.

        1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year:  1

        2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 1

B. Disposition of appeals.

    1. Number completely upheld:   1

    2. Number partially reversed:     0

    3. Number completely reversed:  0

        a. number of times each FOIA exemption used

(counting each exemption once per appeal):

                (1) Exemption 1:     0

                (2) Exemption 2      0

                (3) Exemption 3:     1

                (4) Exemption 4:     0

                (5) Exemption 5:     0

                (6) Exemption 6:     0

                (7) Exemption 7(A):    0

                (8) Exemption 7(B):     0

                (9) Exemption 7(C):    0

                (10) Exemption 7(D):  0

                (11) Exemption 7(E):   0

                (12) Exemption 7(F):    0

                (13) Exemption 8:     0

                (14) Exemption 9:     0

        4. Other reasons for nondisclosure (total):  0

            a. no records:  0

            b. referrals:  0

            c. request withdrawn: 0

            d. fee-related reason:  0

            e. records not reasonably described:   0

            f. not a proper FOIA request for some other reason:  0

            g. not an agency record:  0

            h. duplicate request:  0

            i. other (specify):  0

VII. Compliance with Time Limits/Status of Pending Requests

     A. Median processing time for requests processed during the year:

        1. Simple requests (if multiple tracks used).

            a. number of requests processed:  N/A

            b. median number of days to process:  N/A

        2. Complex requests (specify for any and all tracks used).

            a. number of requests processed:  53

            b. median number of days to process:  15

 

        3. Requests accorded expedited processing.

            a. number of requests processed:  0

            b. median number of days to process:  0

    B. Status of pending requests.

        1. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year:  14

        2. Median number of days that such requests were pending as of that date: 35

VIII. Comparisons with Previous Year(s) (Optional)

    A. Comparison of numbers of requests received:

    B. Comparison of numbers of requests processed: 

    C. Comparison of median numbers of days requests were pending as of end of fiscal year: 

     D.  Other statistics significant to agency:

             0 requests for expedited processing, 0 granted

IX. Costs/FOIA Staffing

        A. Staffing levels.

        1. Number of full-time FOIA personnel:  0

         2. Number of personnel with part-time or occasional FOIA duties (in total

        work-years):   .75  

        3. Total number of personnel (in work-years):  .75

         B. Total costs (including staff and all resources).

        1. FOIA processing (including appeals) $64,000

        2. Litigation-related activities (estimated) 0

        3. Total costs:  $64,000

X. Fees

        A. Total amount of fees collected by agency for processing requests:  0

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