FDIC Annual Report on
the Freedom of Information Act
Fiscal Year 2002 (October 1, 2001 - September 30,
I. Basic Information Regarding
A. Name, title,
address, and telephone number of person(s) to be contacted
with questions about the report:
Fredrick Lee Fisch
Supervisory Senior Attorney (FOIA/Privacy Act Officer)
FDIC Legal Division
550 17th St. N.W., Room H-11004
Washington, D.C. 20429
Requests may be made via facsimile to (202) 736-0547,
through the Electronic FOIA Office on the FDIC web site, via
direct e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or in
writing to the address in Section 1(A) above.
addresses and telephone numbers of all individual agency
components and offices that receive FOIA
All requests are routed through and processed by the FDIC
Legal Division's FOIA/Privacy Act Group, located at the
address listed in Section 1(C) of this report.
description of the agency's response-time
Response times are from 1 day up to greater than six months
in rare cases.
description of why some requests are not
Requests are denied or partially denied primarily under
FOIA exemptions (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6) and (b)(8). Because
the FDIC is a federal financial institution regulatory
agency as well as the appointed receiver of virtually all
failed depository institutions in the U.S., FDIC receives
much privileged or private financial information concerning
individuals, banking and business entities. Therefore,
exemptions (b)(4) and (b)(6) are used frequently to
withhold exempt material. FDIC is also the primary
regulator of most state-chartered financial institutions
and therefore prepares or receives bank examination reports
and related material. Such records are exempted from FOIA
disclosure in order to protect the integrity of the
regulatory process and to maintain stability in financial
institutions, so the FDIC invokes FOIA exemption (b)(8) for
these purposes. Other exemptions are used less frequently,
and records sometimes cannot be located.
III. Definitions of Terms
and Acronyms Used in the Report (to be included in each
Agency-specific acronyms or other terms.
B. 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
2. Initial Request -- a request to a
federal agency for access to records under the Freedom of
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 (non-expedited) 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
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.
IV. Exemption 3
A. List of
Exemption 3 statutes relied on by agency during current
Exemption 3 was not used during this fiscal year by the
V. Initial FOIA/PA Access
A. Numbers of
initial requests (The total of the numbers in Lines 1 and
2, minus the number in Line 3, should equal the number in
1. Number of requests pending as of end of preceding
fiscal year: 42 [includes one request completed during FY
2001, but the file was not closed until FY 2002; therefore,
41 requests rather than 42 requests were listed as pending
in the FY 2001 FOIA Annual Report.]
2. Number of requests received during current fiscal year:
3. Number of requests processed during current fiscal
4. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal
B. Disposition of
1. Number of total grants: 482
2. Number of partial grants: 91
3. Number of denials: 42
(a) the number of times each FOIA exemption used
(counting each exemption once per request).
(a) no records: 50
(b) referrals: 0
(c) request withdrawn: 79
(d) fee-related reason: 24
(e) records not reasonably described: 19
(f) not a proper FOIA request for some other reason: 2
(g) not an agency record: 5
(h) duplicate request: 7
(i) other (specify): 0
VI. Appeals of Initial
Denials of FOIA/PA Requests
A. Numbers of
1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year: 26
2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 24
B. Disposition of
1. Number completely upheld: 8
2. Number partially upheld: 5
3. Number completely reversed: 3
(a) number of times each FOIA exemption was used
(counting each exemption once per appeal)
(a) no records: 8
(b) referrals: 0
(c) request withdrawn: 0
(d) fee related reason: 0
(e) records not reasonably described: 0
(f) not a proper FOIA request for some other 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
processing time for requests processed during the
1. Simple Requests.
(a) total number of requests processed: 365
(b) median number of days to process: 15 business days
2. Complex requests (specify for any and all tracks used).
(a) total number of requests processed: 422
(b) median number of days to process: 24 business days
The Department of Justice's Supplemental Guidance on
Annual FOIA Reports assumes that agencies will report
“working days” rather than “calendar
days,” but allows for the reporting of calendar
days if clearly indicated. The FDIC’s FOIA database
maintains data in calendar days rather than in working
days. Therefore, this report uses calendar days rather
than working days. Because there are fewer working days
than calendar days, the FDIC’s median number of
working days to process requests would be substantially
less if reported in working days.
The FOIA/Privacy Act Group also had a physical move
during this fiscal year. Despite these obstacles, the
FDIC’s FOIA/Privacy Act Group processed 801 cases
to conclusion with a median processing time of 20
calendar days. This an excellent result, which
demonstrates the significant resources and emphasis that
the FDIC places on serving the public through the FOIA.
3. Requests accorded expedited processing.
(a) number of requests accorded expedited processing: 14
(b) median number of days to process: 72 business days
Most of the requests accorded expedited processing were
complex matters requiring great attention to detail, the
tasking of multiple Offices and Divisions of the FDIC,
the retrieval of records from remote locations, and
extensive redaction and review time. All of the requests
designated for expedited processing were in the
educational, scientific and news media fee category.
Because of the FDIC's customary diligence in dealing
with educators, the research community and members of the
news media, many of these requesters were issued partial
responses within a few days of the request's receipt.
B. Status of
1. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal
2. Median number of days that such requests were pending
as of that date: 46 business days.
The increase in pending requests at the end of this fiscal
year is due to the 11% increase in FOIA requests received
by the FDIC during this reporting period.
with Previous Year
A. Comparison of
number of requests received.
Prior Reporting Period: 766
Current Reporting Period: 856
B. Comparison of
number of requests processed.
Prior Reporting Period: 788
Current Reporting Period: 801
C. Comparison of
median number of days open requests had been pending as of
the end of the fiscal year.
Prior Reporting Period: 23 business days
Current Reporting Period: 46 business days
statistics significant to agency:
Requests greater than six months old have had a steady
decline at the FDIC since January 1996, when the FDIC
experienced a high of 294 such requests (many of these came
from the Resolution Trust Corporation, which sunset on
12/31/95 and whose operations were assumed by the FDIC).
The FDIC only received 26 FOIA appeals during this fiscal
year. This continues the trend of steady decline in the
number of FOIA appeals filed in recent years. This
demonstrates increased requester satisfaction with the
quality of FDIC's FOIA responses.
The FDIC undertakes detailed quarterly analyses of
outstanding and closed FOIA requests. The results of these
analyses are disseminated among top management of the FDIC
in order for them to track the progress of pending FOIA
requests within the various FDIC Divisions and Offices.
These analyses are also used as a means of evaluating and
continuously improving the efficiency of the FDIC’s
The number of requests received on the FDIC's web
site has increased steadily, and the FDIC has posted a
great deal of information directly on the web site, such as
records concerning regulatory proposals, member financial
institution data, FDIC enforcement actions, public
comments, and final orders issued from FDIC's Board of
Directors. The on-line agency FOIA Guide also helps
requesters to better target their requests and includes
links to the FDIC's FOIA regulation, the Justice
Department's Guide to the FOIA, and popular FOIA
During this fiscal year, the FDIC's Supervisory
Senior Attorney in charge of the agency's FOIA program
and other members of the staff conducted one formal
training session on the FOIA and the Privacy Act for agency
employees who work on these issues. The session was
conducted on May 16, 2002 in front of a group of about 65
people. The focus was on FOIA issues concerning the
FDIC's Legal Division and the Division of Supervision,
which consists of bank examiners, attorneys, analysts and
other personnel. The Supervisory Senior Attorney and senior
staff also issued multiple written memoranda and oral
guidance to many Offices and Divisions of the FDIC,
coordinated and tracked the FOIA appeals for the General
Counsel, and updated the Electronic FOIA web page.
1. Number of full-time FOIA personnel: 9
2. Number of personnel with part-time or occasional FOIA
duties (in total work-years): 10
3. Total number of personnel (in work-years):
B. Total costs
(including staff and all resources).
1. FOIA processing (including appeals): $1,632,038.00
2. Litigation-related activities: $12,000.00
3. Total costs: $1,644,038.00
C. Statement of
additional resources needed for FOIA compliance
This includes charges for search, review, document
duplication, and any other direct costs permitted under
A. Total amount
of fees collected by agency for processing
1 This does not include staff at the
FDIC's Reading Room/Public Information Center.
2 This does not include fees collected from
the Reading Room/Public Information Center, since those
fees are not generated pursuant to requests for records
under section (a)(3) of the FOIA. The Public Information
Center collected fees of $54,162 during the same
Regulations (Including Fee Schedule):
The FDIC's FOIA regulations are available to the
public in electronic version at: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/2000-3800.html#2000part309.
Due to an internal realignment at the FDIC, these
regulations were modified via technical
amendments/nomenclature change, as published at 67 Fed.Reg.
71071 (2002)(to be codified at 12 C.F.R. § 309.5 et
seq.). Paper copies of this report contain the full text of
FDIC's FOIA regulations as Attachment 1 and the Federal
Register Notice of the nomenclature changes as Attachment
Insurance Corporation Records Fees
of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Records Fees
Date of Issuance: April 1, 2001
In accordance with 12 C.F.R. § 309.5(f), the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation hereby sets forth
the fees to be charged for the production of agency
records. These fees will be effective for requests
submitted no less than thirty days from the above date of
issuance. Persons requesting records from the FDIC shall
be charged for the direct costs of search, review and
duplication as set forth at 12 C.F.R. § 309.5(f),
unless such costs are less than $10.00.