FY 2007 Annual FOIA Report

USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights FY 2007 Annual FOIA Report

Sections I. Basic Information, II. How to Make a FOIA Request, and III. Definitions of Terms, will be completed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration.

IV. Exemption 3 Statutes
A. List of Exemption 3 statutes relied on by agency during current 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.

V. Initial FOIA/PA Access Requests
A. Number of Initial Requests: (include all access requests, whether first party or third party) (NOTE: The total of Lines 1 and 2, minus Line 3, should equal Line 4.)

1. Number of requests pending at end of FY 06 = 11
2. Number of requests received during FY 07 = 47
3. Number of requests processed during FY 07 = 52
4. Number of requests pending at end of FY 07 = 6

B. Disposition of Initial Requests: (NOTE: The total of Lines 1, 2, 3, and 4 should equal the number of requests processed shown in Line 3 of Part A.)

1. Number of total grants = 2
2. Number of partial grants = 11
3. Number of denials = 14
a. Number of times each FOIA exemption used: (count each exemption once per request)
1. Number of total grants = 9 2. Number of partial grants = 16 3. Number of denials = 19 a. Number of times each FOIA exemption used: (count each exemption once per request) (1) Exemption 1 = 0
(3) Exemption 3 = 0
(4) Exemption 4 = 0
(5) Exemption 5 = 12
(6) Exemption 6 = 14
(7) Exemption 7(A) = 15
(8) Exemption 7(B) = 0
(9) Exemption 7(C) = 12
(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 = 2
b. Referred elsewhere (See Note) = 4
c. Request withdrawn = 0
d. Fee-related reason = 0
e. Records not reasonably described = 0
f. Not a proper FOIA request for some reason = 2
g. Not an agency record = 0
h. Duplicate request = 0
i. Other (specify) = 0

(Note: Do not count requests referred within your agency in this category, it pertains only to requests that are referred outside of your agency)

VI. APPEALS OF INITIAL DENIALS OF FOIA/PA REQUESTS (includes all access requests, whether first-party or third-party).
A. Number of Appeals:

1. Number of appeals received during FY 07 = 9
2. Number of appeals processed during FY 07 = 7

B. Disposition of Appeals:

1. Number completely upheld = 4
2. Number partially reversed = 2
3. Number completely reversed = 0

a. Number of times each FOIA exemption used: (count each exemption once per appeal)
(1) Exemption 1 = 0
(2) Exemption 2 = 0
(3) Exemption 3 = 0
(4) Exemption 4 = 0
(5) Exemption 5 = 1
(6) Exemption 6 = 4
(7) Exemption 7(A) = 1
(8) Exemption 7(B) = 0
(9) Exemption 7(C) = 3
(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):1
a. No records = 1
b. Referred elsewhere = 0
c. Request withdrawn = 0
d. Fee-related reason = 0
e. Records not reasonably described = 0
f. Not a proper FOIA request for some 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:

(Example for calculation of median: Given 7 requests completed during the fiscal year, aged 10, 25, 35, 65, 75, 80, and 400 days from date of perfection to date of completion, the total number of requests completed during the fiscal year would be 7 and the median age of the completed requests would be 65 days.)

1. Simple requests (if multiple tracks used)
a. Number of requests processed = 0
b. Median number of days to process = 0

2. Complex requests (specify for any and all tracks used)
a. Number of requests processed = 52
b. Median number of days to process = 21

3. Requests accorded expedited processing
a. Number of requests processed = 0
b. Median number of days to process = 0

(NOTE: The number of requests listed in the different tracks must equal the number of requests processed from section A, Line 3.)

B. Status of Pending Requests: (Agencies using multiple tracks may provide numbers for each track as well as totals.)

1. Number of requests pending at end of FY 07 = 6
2. Median number of days requests were pending at end of FY 07 = 63

VIII. COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS YEAR(S) (Optional)
E. Describe Agency Efforts To:

1. Improve Timeliness - The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights plans to obtain a more efficient tracking system to improve the timeliness of reports.
2. Provide Training - Training was provided for one additional employee in an effort to increase knowledge of the FOIA.

A. Description of supplementation/modification of agency improvement plan (if applicable).

N/A. To be provided by the USDA FOIA Officer.

B. Report on agency implementation of its plan including its performance in meeting milestones, with respect to each improvement area.

1. Purchase of New Equipment. The goal was for the Office of Adjudication and Compliance to acquire a color copier to assist with the redaction process. Target completion: 12-31-06, Completed: 06 2007. The equipment was leased thru the Office of Operations in June 2007.

C. Identification and discussion of any deficiency in meeting plan milestones (if applicable). None.
D. Additional narrative statement regarding other executive order-related activities (optional). None.
E. Concise descriptions of FOIA exemptions. To be provided by the USDA FOIA Officer.
F. Additional statistics:

Time range of requests pending, by date of request (or, where applicable, by date of referral from another agency) for 2000-2007. May 23, 2007 - November 1, 2007. Time range of consultations pending with other agencies, by date of initial interagency communication for 2000-2007. No consultations.

G. Attachment: Agency improvement plan (in current form). See http://www.usda.gov/da/foia/2006_report.pdf.