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Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Freedom of Information Office

Annual Report on FOIA for Fiscal Year 2010

  • Data

The following information is submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552(e)) (FOIA), as amended.

I. Basic Information Regarding Report

  1. The Board's contact person for questions about this report is Ms. Jeanne M. McLaughlin, Manager, Freedom of Information Office, Mail Stop 132, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551; Tel: 202-452-3684; TDD only: 202-452-3544; FAX: 202-872-7565.
  2. A copy of this 2010 FOIA Annual Report is available on the Board's website.
  3. A paper copy of this report may be obtained by downloading it from the Board's website or requesting it from the Board's Freedom of Information Office (Tel: 202-452-3684).

II. How to Make a FOIA Request

  1. The Federal Reserve does not have individual agency components or offices that receive FOIA requests; all requests may be made to Ms. Jennifer J. Johnson, Secretary of the Board, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20551; Tel: 202-452-3259; FAX: 202-872-7565; or electronically.
  2. The exemptions most often applicable to information requested from the Board include (b)(4), (b)(5), and (b)(6). The Board receives a great deal of privileged and private financial information concerning individuals, business, and banking entities. Therefore, exemptions (b)(4) and (b)(6) are used to withhold confidential or privileged material. The Board uses exemption (b)(5) to withhold staff analyses and recommendations and inter-agency or intra-agency communications.

III. Acronyms, Definitions, and Exemptions

  1. Agency-specific acronyms or other terms.
    1. Board -- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    2. FOIA -- Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552)
  2. Basic terms used in this Report:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.)
    8. Full Grant -- an agency decision to disclose all records in full in response to a FOIA request.
    9. 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.
    10. Median Number -- the middle, not average, number. For example, of 3, 7, and 14, the median number is 7.
    11. 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.
      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Pending Request or Pending Administrative Appeal -- a request or administrative appeal for which an agency has not taken final action in all respects.
    14. 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.
    15. Processed Request or Processed Administrative Appeal -- a request or administrative appeal for which an agency has taken final action in all respects.
    16. Range in Number of Days -- the lowest and highest number of days to process requests or administrative appeals.
    17. 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:
    1. Exemption 1: classified national defense and foreign relations information
    2. Exemption 2: internal agency rules and practices
    3. Exemption 3: information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law
    4. Exemption 4: trade secrets and other confidential business information
    5. Exemption 5: inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges
    6. Exemption 6: information involving matters of personal privacy
    7. 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
    8. Exemption 8: information relating to the supervision of financial institutions
    9. Exemption 9: geological information on wells

IV. Exemption 3 Statutes

 

Statute Type of Information Withheld Case Citation Total Number of Times Relied upon By Agency
31 U.S.C. § 5319 Bank Secrecy Act Currency Transaction Reports & Suspicious Activity Reports Berger v. IRS, 487 F. Supp. 2d 482, 496-97 (D. N.J. 2007, aff'd on other grounds, 288 F. App's 829 (3d Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 2789 (U.S. 2009); Sciba v. Bd. Of Governors of the Fed. Reserve Sys., No 04-1011, 2005 WL 3201206, at *6 (D.D.C. Nov. 4, 2005). 3

V. FOIA Requests

 

  1. Received, Processed and Pending FOIA Requests
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
172 757 857 72
  1. (1) Disposition of initial 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 Total
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
445 82 48 83 46 135 0 10 1 0 2 5 857
  1. (2) Disposition of FOIA Requests

 

Description of "Other" Reasons For Denials from Chart B (1) & Number of Times Those Reasons Were Relied Upon TOTAL
No Forwarding Address 5
  1. (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
0 6 3 66 48 33 5 0 3 0 2 0 38 0

VI. Administrative Appeals of Initial Determinations of FOIA Requests

  1. Received, Processed, and Pending Administrative Appeals

 

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
1 10 9 2
  1. 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
8 0 0 1 9
  1. (1) Reasons for Denial on Appeal--Number of Times Exemptions Applied

 

Ex.
1
Ex.
2
Ex.
3
Ex.
4
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 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
  1. (2) Reason 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
3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
  1. (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
N/A N/A
  1. (4) Response Time for Administrative Appeals

 

Median Number of Days Average Number of Days Lowest Number of Days Highest Number of Days
16 16 11 24
  1. (5) Ten Oldest Pending Administrative Appeals

 

  10th Oldest Appeal 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd Oldest Appeal
Date of Receipt of Ten Oldest Appeals                 9/30/2010 9/13/2010
Number of Days Pending   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13

VII. FOIA Requests: Response Tome for Processed and Pending Requests

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

 

SIMPLE COMPLEX EXPEDITED
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
2 5 1 120 55 105 1 487 24 12 1 24
  1. Processed requests--Response Time for Perfected Requests in Which Information Was Granted

 

SIMPLE COMPLEX EXPEDITED
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
2 5 1 61 29 61 1 410 1 1 1 1
  1. Processed Requests--Response Time in Day Increments

 

                              Simple Request
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
264 11 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 278

 

                              Complex Request
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
170 71 58 33 27 28 23 29 7 20 60 38 13 577

 

                              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
1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
  1. Pending Requests--All Pending Perfected Requests

 

SIMPLE COMPLEX EXPEDITED PROCESSING
Number Pending Median Number of Days Average Number Pending Median Number of Days Average Number of Days Number Pending Median Number of Days Average Number of Days
3 22 33 69 140 159 0 0 0
  1. Pending Requests--Ten oldest Pending Perfected Requests

 

  10th Oldest Request and Number of Days Pending 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd Oldest Request and Number of Days Pending
Date 4/20/2010 3/31/2010 3/19/2009 3/17/2009 3/3/2009 2/27/2009 02/23/2009 2/23/2009 1/22/2009 1/21/2009
Number of Days 368 382 390 392 402 404 408 408 429 430

VIII. Requests for Expedited Processing and Requests for Fee Waiver

  1. 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
2 5 8 7 6
  1. Requests for Fee Waiver

 

Number Granted Number Denied Median Number of Days to Adjudicate Average Number of Days to Adjudicate
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" *Processing Costs Litigation-Related Costs Total Costs
5 15 20 $2,800,000.00 $310,000.00 $3,110,000.00

X. Fees Collected for Processing Requests

 

Total Amount of Fees Collected Percentage of Total Costs
$4,287.00 Less than one percent

XI. FOIA Regulations

FRB: FOIA Regulations Regarding Availability of Information

XII. Backlogs, Consultations, and Comparisons

  1. 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
55 0
  1. Consultations on FOIA Requests--Received, Processed, and Pending Consultations

 

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 Fiscal Year
0 2 2 0
  1. Consultations on FOIA Requests--Ten Oldest Consultations Received from Other Agencies and Pending at Your Agency

 

  10th Oldest Consultation and Number of Days Pending 9th 8th 7th 6th 5th 4th 3rd 2nd Oldest Consultation and Number of Days Pending
Date N/A 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 0
  1. Comparison of Numbers of Requests from Previous and Current Annual Reports--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
1015 757 848 857

 

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of Fiscal Year from Previous Annual Report Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report
129 55
  1. 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
22 10 21 9

 

Number of Backlogged Appeals as of End of Fiscal Year from Previous Annual Report Number of Backlogged Appeals as of End of Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report
0 0
Last update: August 2, 2013