FOIA FY1998 Annual Report
Freedom of Information Act
Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1998
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
- Basic Information Regarding Report:
- Name, title address, and telephone number of person(s) to be contacted with questions about the report:
Ronald M. Harris, Freedom of Information Act Officer
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20463
- Electronic address for report on the World Wide Web:
- How to obtain a copy of the report in paper form:
Contact the FEC Press Office at above address
- How to make a FOIA request:
A FOIA request must be in writing, clearly marked "FOIA Request," and addressed to the Freedom of Information Officer. Requests may be sent by mail, facsimile (202-501-3283), or electronic means (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Definitions of terms and acronyms used in the report:
- Agency-specific acronyms or other terms.
Federal Election Commission (FEC or Commission)
- 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.
- 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 denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Act, or any other adverse FOIA determination such as a matter pertaining to fees.
- 4. Processed request or appeal A request or appeal upon which an agency has taken a final action 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(ed) 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, after deleting certain information determined to be exempt under one or more of the FOIAs exemptions; or a decision to disclose some records in their entirety, 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 information in the requested records is determined by the agency to be exempt under one or more of the FOIAs 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 receipts 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.
disclosure of a certain type of information. This information is
exempt from FOIA disclosure by virtue of 5 USC §552 (b)(3).
- 14. Exemption 3 statute A separate federal statute which prohibits the
- Exemption 3 Statutes:
- List of Exemption 3 statutes relied on agency during past fiscal year:
- 1. Brief description of type(s) of information withheld under each statute:
- 2. Statement of whether a court has upheld the use of each statute. If so, cite example:
- Initial FOIA/PA Access Requests:
- Number of initial requests:
- 1. Number of requests pending as of end of FY1997: 10
- 2. Number of requests received during FY1998: 486 (424 for computer access)
- 3. Number of requests processed during FY1998: 479
- 4. Number of FY1998 requests pending as of end fiscal year: 17
- Disposition of initial requests:
- 1. Total FOIA requests granted: 462
- 2. Number of partial grants: 0
- 3. Number of denials: 24
- Reasons for nondisclosure:
- 1. No responsive records: 10
- 2. Not a proper FOIA request: 14
- Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA requests:
- 1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year: 0
- 2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 0
VII: Compliance with Time Limits/Status of Pending Requests:
- Median processing time for requests processed during the year: 19 business days
- Complex requests (specify for any and all tracks used):
- 1. Number of requests processed: 86
- 2. Median number of days to process: 17
- Status of pending requests:
- 1. Number of FY1998 requests pending as of end of fiscal year: 17
- 2. Median number of days that such requests were pending as of that date: 22
- Number of full-time FOIA personnel -- 0
- Number of personnel with part-time or occasional FOIA duties -- (3 FTE at .25) = .75 FTE
- Total number of personnel (in work-years) .75
- Costs (including staff and all resources): FOIA processing $67,400
- Litigation-related activities (estimated) 0
- Total amount of fees collected by agency for processing requests -- $51,020
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