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FOIA

A Report on Administration of the Freedom of Information Act by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (2000)

Pursuant to section 3(e)(1) of 552, Title 5, United States Code, the following report for fiscal year 2000 is submitted:

  1. Basic Information Regarding Report
     
    1. Linda A. Whitsett, Freedom of Information Act Officer, 202-606-5398, is the person to be contacted with questions about this report.
       
    2. The agency address on the World Wide Web is http//www.oshrc.gov; this report can be found at the "FOIA" section of this site.
       
    3. To obtain a paper copy of the report requesters can write the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) FOIA Officer; 1120 20th St., N.W., 9th Floor; Washington, D.C. 20036.
       
  2. How to Make a FOIA Request
     
    1. Persons wishing to make FOIA requests should write Linda A. Whitsett, FOIA Officer; 1120 20th St., N.W., 9th Floor; Washington, D.C. 20036. The office telephone number is 202-606-5398. Letters should be clearly identified as a request for information under the FOIA on the envelope or cover letter enclosing the request.  The letter should reasonably describe the records sought, including, if at all possible, the OSHRC docket number, when requesting decisions, case files or documents from case files. FOIA requests should also state that the requester is willing to pay search and copying costs associated with the request, unless the requester is seeking a fee waiver.
       
    2. The agency responds to FOIA requests within 10 to 20 working days.
       
    3. Some requests are not granted because the writer wrote the wrong agency or sought information that was not in a system of records at this agency.
       
  3.  
    1. The only agency-specific acronym that may be used in this report is the agency name, OSHRC, for Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
       
    2. 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.
         
  4. Exemption 3 Statutes
     
    1. There were 0 instances in fiscal year 2000 of the agency's reliance on Exemption 3 statues.
       
  5. Initial FOIA/PA Access Requests
     
    1. Number of initial requests.
       
      1. The number of requests pending at the end of the previous fiscal year was 0.
         
      2. In fiscal year 2000, the agency received 79 FOIA requests.
         
      3. In fiscal year 2000, the agency processed 79 FOIA requests.
         
      4. There were 0 FOIA requests pending at the end of fiscal year 2000.
         
    2. Disposition of initial requests.
       
      1. The number of total grants in fiscal year 2000 was 37.
         
      2. The number of partial grants in fiscal year 2000 was 0.
         
      3. There were 0 denials in fiscal year 2000.
         
        1. The number of times each FOIA exemption below was used this fiscal year was:

          (1) Exemption 1: 0
          (2) Exemption 2: 0
          (3) Exemption 3: 0
          (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: 42
         
        1. no records: 18
           
        2. referrals: 24
           
        3. request withdrawn: 0
           
        4. fee-related reason: 0
           
        5. records not reasonably described: 0
           
        6. not a proper FOIA request for some other reason: 0
           
        7. not an agency record: 0
           
        8. duplicate record: 0
           
        9. other: 0
           
  6. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests
     
    1. Number of appeals.
       
      1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year: 1
         
      2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 1
         
    2. Disposition of appeals.
       
      1. Number completely upheld: 1
         
      2. Number partially reversed: 0
         
      3. Number completely reversed: 0
         
        1. Number of times each FOIA exemption used (counting each exemption once per appeal)

          (1) Exemption 1: 0
          (2) Exemption 2: 0
          (3) Exemption 3: 0
          (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:
         
        1. No records: 0
           
        2. referrals: 0
           
        3. request withdrawn: 0
           
        4. fee-related reason: 0
           
        5. records not reasonably described: 0
           
        6. not a proper FOIA request for some other reason: 0
           
        7. not an agency record: 0
           
        8. duplicate record: 0
           
        9. other: 0
           
  7. Compliance with Time Limits/Status of Pending Requests
     
    1. Median processing time for requests processed during the year.
       
      1. The multi-track processing system was not used this reporting period.  The following information covers all requests.
         
        1. number of requests processed: 79
           
        2. median number of days to process: 18
           
      2. We did not receive any requests for expedited precessing.
         
    2. Status of pending requests.
       
      1. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year: 0
         
      2. Median number of days that such requests were pending as of that date: 0
         
  8. Comparisons with Previous Year(s) (Optional)

    As this section is optional, no information is provided for this section.
     
  9. Costs/FOIA Staffing
     
    1. Staffing levels.
       
      1. Number of full-time FOIA personnel: 0
         
      2. Number of personnel with part-time or occasional FOIA duties: 2/3
         
      3. Total number of personnel (in total work years): 2/3 work years
         
    2. Total costs.
       
      1. FOIA processing: $38,443
         
      2. Litigation related activities: $0
         
      3. Total costs: $38,443
         
      4. Comparison with previous year: increased costs by 3.9%, in light of annual Federal pay raise and slight increase in FOIA requests.
         
    3. Statement of additional resources needed for FOIA compliance (optional): not applicable
       
  10. Fees
     
    1. Total amount of fees collected by agency for processing requests: $1,356.75
       
    2. Percentage of total costs: 3.5%
       
  11. FOIA Regulations (Including Fee Schedule)

    The agency's current regulations, which include its fee schedule, can be found at 29 C.F.R. 2201and at the agency Website, http://www.oshrc.gov, under the "FOIA" section.  Copies of these regulations are also attached.

 Last Updated: March 27, 2003

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