2009

 ANNUAL FOIA REPORT

U.S. COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS

I.         Basic Information

1.         Emma Gonzalez-Joy-Solicitor
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
624 Ninth Street, NW
Suite 621
Washington, DC 20425
Phone: (202) 376-7796
Fax: (202) 376-1163
E-mail:
emonroig@usccr.gov

2.         The FY 2009 FOIA Report for the U.S.C.C.R. will be available at the Commission’s home page at: www.usccr.gov.

3.         Paper Copies of Report:

Paper copies can be requested from the person/address listed above.

II.       MAKING A FOIA REQUEST

1.         The Solicitor is the only FOIA Officer who receives FOIA requests sent to the Commission.

2.         Request for records may not be granted if the documents have been transferred to the ownership of the National Archives and Records Administration; if the requested records contain pre-decisional information; that if released would cause harm to USCCR decision-making processes; for portions of records that contain personal and/or proprietary information; for records containing information complied for law enforcement purposes; or if the requester asked for information specifically prohibited from disclosure by other statutes.

III.      Acronyms, Definitions, AND EXEMPTIONS

1.         There are no agency-specific terms or acronyms used in this report.

2.         Definitions of terms used in this Report:

a.         Administrative Appeal – a request to a federal agency asking that it review at a higher administrative level a FOIA determination made by the agency at the initial request level.

b.         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.

c.         Backlog – the number of requests or administrative appeals that are pending at an agency at the end of the fiscal year that are beyond the statutory time period for a response.

d.         Component – for agencies that process requests on a decentralized basis, a “component” is an entity, also sometimes referred to as an Office, Division, Bureau, Center, or Directorate, within the agency that processes FOIA requests. The FOIA now requires that agencies include in their Annual FOIA Report data for both the agency overall and for each principal component of the agency.

e.         Consultation – the procedure whereby the agency responding to a FOIA request first forwards a record to another agency for its review because that other agency has an interest in the document. Once the agency in receipt of the consultation finishes its review of the record, it responds back to the agency that forwarded it. That agency, in turn, will then respond to the FOIA requester.  

f.         Exemption 3 Statute – a federal statute that exempts information from disclosure and which the agency relies on to withhold information under subsection (b)(3) of the FOIA.

g.         FOIA Request – a FOIA request is generally a request to a federal agency for access to records concerning another person (i.e., a “third-party” request), or concerning an organization, or a particular topic of interest. FOIA requests also include requests made by requesters seeking records concerning themselves (i.e., “first-party” requests) when those requesters are not subject to the Privacy Act, such as non-U.S. citizens. Moreover, because all first-party requesters should be afforded the benefit of both the access provisions of the FOIA as well as those of the Privacy Act, FOIA requests also include any first-party requests where an agency determines that it must search beyond its Privacy Act “systems of records” or where a Privacy Act exemption applies, and the agency looks to FOIA to afford the greatest possible access. All requests which require the agency to utilize the FOIA in responding to the requester are included in this Report.

            Additionally, a FOIA request includes records referred to the agency for processing and direct response to the requester. It does not, however, include records for which the agency has received a consultation from another agency. (Consultations are reported separately in Section XII of this Report.)

h.         Full Grant – an agency decision to disclose all records in full in response to a FOIA request.

i.         Full Denial – an agency decision not to release any records in response to a FOIA request because the records are exempt in their entireties under one or more of the FOIA exemptions, or because of a procedural reason, such as when no records could be located.

j.         Median Number – the middle, not average, number. For example, of 3, 7, and 14, the median number is 7.

k.         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 granted expedited processing are placed in yet another track. Requests in each track are processed on a first in/first out basis.

i.         Expedited Processing – an agency will process a FOIA request on an expedited basis when a requester satisfies the requirements for expedited processing as set forth in the statute and in agency regulations.

ii.        Simple Request – a FOIA request that an agency using multi-track processing places in its fastest (non-expedited) track based on the low volume and/or simplicity of the records requested.

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

l.         Partial Grant/Partial Denial – in response to a FOIA request, an agency decision to disclose portions of the records and to withhold other portions that are exempt under the FOIA, or to otherwise deny a portion of the request for a procedural reason.

m.       Pending Request or Pending Administrative Appeal – a request or administrative appeal for which an agency has not taken final action in all respects.

n.         Perfected Request – a request for records which reasonably describes such records and is made in accordance with published rules stating the time, place, fees (if any) and procedures to be followed.

o.         Processed Request or Processed Administrative Appeal – a request or administrative appeal for which an agency has taken final action in all respects.

p.         Range in Number of Days – the lowest and highest number of days to process requests or administrative appeals.

q.         Time Limits – the time period in the statute for an agency to respond to a FOIA request (ordinarily twenty working days from receipt of a perfected FOIA request).

3.         Nine FOIA exemptions:

a.         Exemption 1: classified national defense and foreign relations information

b.         Exemption 2: internal agency rules and practices

c.         Exemption 3: information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law

d.         Exemption 4: trade secrets and other confidential business information

e.         Exemption 5: inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges

f.         Exemption 6: information involving matters of personal privacy

g.         Exemption 7: records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, to the extent that the production of those records (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual

h.         Exemption 8: information relating to the supervision of financial institutions

i.         Exemption 9: geological information on wells

 

IV.      Exemption 3 Statutes

A.        Exemption 3 Statutes Relied upon by the USCCR during the current fiscal year:

 

 

 

During Fiscal Year 2009 the USCCR did not use any exemption 3 statute. No court upheld the use of an exemption 3 statute.

 

 

 

 

Statute

Type of Information Withheld

Case Citation

Number of Times Relied upon per Component

Total Number of Times Relied upon by Agency

          0

               0

             0

               0

            0

 

 

 

 

 


V.  FOIA Requests

 

A. Received, Processed and Pending FOIA Requests

 

                               

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

                               

Number of Requests Pending as of Start of Fiscal Year

Number of Requests Received in Fiscal Year

Number of Requests Processed in Fiscal Year

Number of Requests Pending as of End of Fiscal Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         AGENCY OVERALL

               0

            42

             42

                 0

 


B. (1)  Disposition of FOIA Requests – All Processed Requests

 

 

Number of Full Grants

Number of Partial Grants/ Partial Denials

Number of Full Denials Based on Exemptions

Number of Full Denials Based on Reasons Other than Exemptions

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

No Records

All Records Referred to Another Component or Agency

Request Withdrawn

              Fee-Related Reason

 

Records not Reasonably Described

Improper FOIA Request for Other Reason

        Not Agency Record

Duplicate Request

                

Other

*Explain in chart below

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

14

      1

       0

  25

      0

     0

    0

       1

     0

    1

    0

       0

    42

 


B. (2)  Disposition of FOIA Requests – “Other” Reasons for “Full Denials Based on Reasons Other than Exemptions” from Section V, B (1) Chart

                         AGENCY

OVERALL

Description of “Other” Reasons for Denials from Chart B (1) & Number of Times Those Reasons Were Relied upon

TOTAL

 

                             0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

B. (3)  Disposition of FOIA Requests – Number of Times Exemptions Applied

             

                                          

Ex.1

Ex.2

Ex. 3

Ex. 4

Ex. 5

Ex. 6

Ex. 7(A)

Ex. 7(B)

Ex. 7(C)

Ex. 7(D)

Ex. 7(E)

Ex. 7(F)

Ex.8

Ex.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

0

0

0

0

 1

 0

    0

    0

    0

    0

   0

     0

0

0

 


 

VI.      ADMINISTRATIVE Appeals of Initial DETERMINATIONS of FOIA Requests

A.        Received, Processed and Pending Administrative Appeals

 

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

             

Number of Appeals Pending as of Start of Fiscal Year

Number of Appeals Received in Fiscal Year

Number of Appeals Processed in Fiscal Year

Number of Appeals Pending as of End of Fiscal Year

               0

             0

           0

            0

 

 

B.        Disposition of Administrative Appeals – All Processed Appeals

 

Number Affirmed on Appeal

Number Partially Affirmed & Partially Reversed/Remanded on Appeal

Number Completely Reversed/Remanded on Appeal

Number of Appeals Closed for Other Reasons

TOTAL

               0

                 0

                 0

            0

            0

 


 

C. (1)  Reasons for Denial on Appeal – Number of Times Exemptions Applied

Ex.1

Ex.2

Ex. 3

Ex. 4

Ex. 5

Ex. 6

Ex. 7(A)

Ex. 7(B)

Ex. 7(C)

Ex. 7(D)

Ex. 7(E)

Ex. 7(F)

Ex.8

Ex.9

0

0

0

0

   0

   0

    0

      0

    0

    0

     0

    0

 0

0

 

C. (2)  Reasons for Denial on Appeal – Reasons Other than Exemptions

 

No Records

Records Referred at Initial Request Level

 

Request Withdrawn

 

Fee-Related Reason

 

Records not Reasonably Described

 

Improper Request for Other Reasons

 

Not Agency Record

 

Duplicate Request or Appeal

 

Request in Litigation

           Appeal Based Solely on Denial of Request for Expedited Processing

 

Other

*Explain in chart below

 

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 


 

C. (3)  Reasons for Denial on Appeal – “Other” Reasons from Section VI, C (2) Chart

Description of “Other” Reasons for Denial on Appeal from Chart C (2) & Number of Times Those Reasons Were Relied upon

TOTAL

   0

               0

 

C. (4)  Response Time for Administrative Appeals

 

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

                  0

                0

              0

               0

 

            C. (5)  Ten Oldest Pending Administrative Appeals

 

Date of Receipt of Ten Oldest Appeals

N/A

N/A

   N/A

    N/A

   N/A

   N/A

   N/A

  N/A

   N/A

  N/A

Number of Days Pending

0

      0

       0

      0

    0

       0

     0

    0

    0

      0

 

10th Oldest Appeal

9th

8th

7th

6th

5th

4th

3rd

2nd

Oldest Appeal

 

 

 


VII.     FOIA REQUESTS: RESPONSE TIME FOR PROCESSED and Pending Requests

A. Processed Requests-Response Time for All Processed Perfected Requests

 

 

Simple

Complex

Expedited processing

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

    0

     4

     0

  26

   0

     0

     0

     0

      0

    0

      0

    0

Footnote


B. Processed Requests – Response Time for Perfected Requests in Which Information Was Granted

 

 

 

Simple

Complex

Expedited PROCESSING

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Lowest Number of Days

Highest Number of Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

      7

     6

     0

   26

      0

     0

     0

     0

   0

     0

     0

     0

Footnote


H.       Processed Requests – Response Time in Day Increments

 

 

Simple Requests

 

1-20 Days

21-40 Days

41-60 Days

61-80 Days

81-100 Days

101-120 Days

121-140 Days

141-160 Days

161-180 Days

181-200 Days

201-300 Days

301-400 Days

401+ Days

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

 40

   2

    0

     0

     0

       0

      0

     0

     0

     0

      0

     0

  0

  42

 

 

 

 

Complex Requests

 

1-20 Days

21-40 Days

41-60 Days

61-80 Days

81-100 Days

101-120 Days

121-140 Days

141-160 Days

161-180 Days

181-200 Days

201-300 Days

301-400 Days

401+ Days

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

 0

    0

     0

     0

     0

      0

     0

      0

     0

    0

     0

     0

    0

     0

 


 

 

 

C. Requests Granted Expedited Processing

 

 

 

1-20 Days

21-40 Days

41-60 Days

61-80 Days

81-100 Days

101-120 Days

121-140 Days

141-160 Days

161-180 Days

181-200 Days

201-300 Days

301-400 Days

401+ Days

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

 0

  0

    0

    0

     0

       0

     0

     0

     0

    0

     0

    0

    0

   0

 


D. Pending Requests – All Pending Perfected Requests

 

 

 

 

Simple

Complex

Expedited PROCESSING

Number Pending

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Number Pending

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

Number Pending

Median Number of Days

Average Number of Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

  0

  0

  0

  0

  0

  0

   0

  0

  0

 


 

E. Pending Requests- Ten Oldest Pending Perfected Requests

 

Agency Overall

10th Oldest Request and Number of Days Pending

9th

8th

7th

6th

5th

4th

3rd

2nd

Oldest Request and Number of Days Pending

Date

 

    N/A

   N/A

   N/A

   N/A

     N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

 

Number of

Days

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

 

 


VIII.REQUESTS FOR EXPEDITED PROCESSING AND REQUESTS FOR FEE WAIVER

A. Requests for Expedited Processing

.

 

                  Number Granted

                  Number Denied

Median Number of Days to Adjudicate

Average Number of Days to Adjudicate

Number Adjudicated Within Ten Calendar Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

          0

          0

          0

           0

         0

 

 

I.         Requests for Fee Waiver Footnote

 

 

                    Number Granted

                  Number Denied

Median Number of Days to Adjudicate

Average Number of Days to Adjudicate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

         0

          0

            0

          0

 

 

 

 

IX.      FOIA PERSONNEL AND COSTS

 

PERSONNEL

Costs

 

Number of “Full-Time FOIA Employees”

 

 

Number of “Equivalent Full-Time FOIA Employees”

 

Total Number of “Full-Time FOIA Staff”

(The sum of Columns 1 & 2)

 

Processing Costs

 

(At initial request and appeal levels)

 

Litigation-Related Costs

 

Total Costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

          0

           0

       0

  $30,000.

         0

$30,000.

 

 


 

 

X.        FEES COLLECTED FOR PROCESSING REQUESTS

 

 

 

 

Total Amount of Fees Collected

Percentage of Total Costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

                      0

                     0

 

XI.      FOIA REGULATIONS

USCCR FOIA regulations are published at 45 C.F.R. Part 704, and are available electronically at: http://www.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfr-table-search.html.

XII.     BACKLOGS, CONSULTATIONS, AND COMPARISONS

A.        Backlogs of FOIA Requests and Administrative Appeals

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of Fiscal Year

Number of Backlogged Appeals as of End of Fiscal Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

                    0

                    0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.        Consultations on FOIA Requests – Received, Processed, and Pending Consultations

 

 

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Column 4

                               

Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies that Were Pending at Your Agency as of Start of the Fiscal Year

Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies During the Fiscal Year

Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies that Were Processed by Your Agency During the Fiscal Year

Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies that Were Pending at Your Agency as of End of the Fiscal Year

 

                                      

                                          

                                    

                                      

 

                                       

                                       

                                   

                                 

                         AGENCY OVERALL

                  0

               0

                   0

                      0

 

 

 


C.        Consultations on FOIA Requests – Ten Oldest Consultations Received from Other Agencies and Pending at Your Agency

 

 

Agency Overall

10th Oldest Consultation and Number of Days Pending

9th

8th

7th

6th

5th

4th

3rd

2nd

Oldest Consultation and Number of Days Pending

Date

 

Number of Days

  N/A

 

    0

    N/A

 

    0

   N/A

 

    0

  N/A

 

   0

   N/A

 

    0

   N/A

 

  0

  N/A

 

   0

  N/A

 

    O

    N/A

 

      0

 

 

 

 

 


 

D. Comparison of Numbers of Requests from Previous and Current Annual Report-Requests Received, Processed and Backlogged

 

 

 

 

NUMBER OF REQUESTS RECEIVED

NUMBER OF REQUESTS PROCESSED

Number Received During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

Number Received During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY OVERALL

                 0

                  42

                0

               42

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of the Fiscal Year from Previous Annual Report

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of the Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY

OVERALL

                  0

                    0

 

 

 

 

E.        Comparison of Numbers of Administrative Appeals from Previous and Current Annual Report-Appeals Received, Processed, and Backlogged

 

 

 

 

 

NUMBER OF APPEALS RECEIVED

NUMBER OF APPEALS PROCESSED

Number Received During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

Number Received During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY

OVERALL

           0

             0

           0

           0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Backlogged Appeals as of End of the Fiscal Year from Previous Annual Report

Number of Backlogged Appeals as of End of the Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGENCY

OVERALL

                 0

                  0

 

 

F.        Discussion of Other FOIA Activities (Optional)

 

 

Most of our requests come from prisoners who want to know about civil rights of individuals in correctional institutions. We provide information about the publications available from our library so that they can become better informed about civil rights in general.