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FDIC Annual Freedom of Information Act Report
Fiscal Year 2007 (For the period 10/01/06 through 09/30/07)


I. Basic Information Regarding this Report

A. The FDIC contact person for questions about this report is Fredrick Lee Fisch, Supervisory Counsel, FDIC Legal Division, 550 17th St. N.W., Room MB-2110, Washington, DC 20429; Telephone (202) 898-6901; FAX (202) 898-6910.

B. This report is available on the FDIC Web Site at http://www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/reports.html.

C. A paper copy of this report may be obtained by downloading it from the FDIC Web Site or by requesting a copy from the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 N. Fairfax Drive, # E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226; Telephone (703) 562-2200, or (877) 275-FDIC (3342).

II. How to Make a FOIA Request to the FDIC

A. Where to submit a FOIA request to the FDIC.
All FOIA requests are processed by the FDIC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)/Privacy Act Group in Washington, DC. Requests must be in writing and directed to the FOIA/Privacy Act Group, FDIC Legal Division, 550 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20429.  Requests may also be submitted electronically through the FDIC's Electronic FOIA Office on the web site at
http://www2.fdic.gov/efoiarequest/index.asp. The FDIC publication entitled, ďFOIA Guide Ė Gaining Access to FDIC InformationĒ explains in detail how to submit a FOIA request to the FDIC. The FOIA Guide is available on the FDIC web site at http://www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/Guide.html.

B. Response times.
The FDIC seeks diligently to comply with the statutory time period for responding to FOIA requests. Response times range from 1 day to several months in rare cases. The vast majority of requests are fulfilled within 20 business days, and many of those are fulfilled within 5 business days.

C. Exempt information.
Some FOIA requests are denied in whole or in part because the information requested is exempted from disclosure by the FOIA (5 U.S.C. ß552 (b)). The exemptions most often applicable to information requested from the FDIC include (b)(4), (b)(5), (b)(6) and (b)(8). The FDIC receives a great deal of privileged and private financial information concerning individuals, businesses, and banking entities by virtue of its roles as a federal financial institution regulatory agency, as well as the appointed receiver of virtually all failed U.S. depository institutions. Therefore, exemptions (b)(4) and (b)(6) are invoked to withhold confidential or privileged material. The 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 promote frank communications between financial institutions and the FDIC examination staff and to maintain stability in the financial system. Accordingly, the FDIC invokes FOIA exemption (b)(8) for these purposes. Other exemptions, such as (b)(2), (b)(7)(A), or (b)(7)(C) are used occasionally. In some cases, records cannot be located.

III. Definitions of Terms and Acronyms Used in this Report

A. There are no FDIC-specific acronyms or other terms used in this report.

B. Basic report terms expressed in common terminology include:
1. FOIA/PA request  Ė 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 Ė A request to FDIC for access to records under the Freedom of Information Act.
3. Appeal  Ė A request to FDIC 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 Ė A request or appeal for which FDIC has taken a final action on the request or the appeal in all respects.
5. Multi-track processing Ė 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 Ė The FDIC 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  Ė A FOIA request that FDIC (using multi-track processing) places in its fastest (non-expedited) track based on the volume and/or simplicity of the records requested.
8. Complex request  Ė A FOIA request that FDIC (using multi-track processing) places in a slower track based on the volume and/or complexity of records requested.
9. Grant Ė A decision to disclose all records in full response to a FOIA request.
10. Partial grant Ė A 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 exemptions; or a decision to disclose some records in their entirety, but to withhold others in whole or in part.
11. Denial Ė A 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 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 Ė The time period in the Freedom of Information Act for the FDIC to respond to a FOIA request (ordinarily 20 working days from proper receipt of a "perfected" FOIA request).
13. Perfected request Ė A FOIA request for records which adequately describes the records sought, which has been received by the FDIC's FOIA/Privacy Act Group in Washington, DC, and for which there is no remaining question about the payment of applicable fees.
14. Exemption 3 statute Ė 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 Ė The middle, not average, number. For example, for the numbers 3, 7, and 14, the median number is 7.
16. Average number Ė The number obtained by dividing the sum of a group of numbers by the quantity of numbers in the group. For example, for the numbers 3, 7, and 14, the average number is 8.

IV. Exemption 3 Statutes

A. Exemption 3 statutes relied on during the current fiscal year:
Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)
1. The FDIC used Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure on one occasion to deny access to grand jury material.
2. Courts routinely uphold such use. See; Rugiero v. U.S. Department of Justice, 257 F.3d 534 (6th Cir. 2001).
 

V. Initial FOIA/PA Access Requests

A. Numbers of initial requests.
1. Number of requests pending as of end of preceding fiscal year: 29

2. Number of requests received during current fiscal year: 639
3. Number of requests processed during current fiscal year: 633
4. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year: 35

B. Disposition of initial requests.
1. Number of total grants: 469
2. Number of partial grants: 47
3. Number of denials: 4

(a)  Exemptions used:
 
Exemption 1: 0
Exemption 2: 1
Exemption 3: 1
Exemption 4: 23
Exemption 5: 7
Exemption 6: 31
Exemption 7(A): 1
Exemption 7(B): 0
Exemption 7(C): 3
Exemption 7(D): 0
Exemption 7(E): 0
Exemption 7(F): 0
Exemption 8: 11
Exemption 9: 0

4. Other reasons for nondisclosure: 113
 
(a) no records: 53
(b) referrals: 1
(c) request withdrawn: 20
(d) fee-related reason: 13
(e) records not reasonably described: 12
(f) not a proper FOIA request for some other reason: 0
(g) not an agency record: 12
(h) duplicate request: 2
(i) other (specify): 0

VI. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests

A. Numbers of appeals.

1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year: 4
2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 4

B. Disposition of appeals.

1. Number completely upheld: 3
2. Number partially upheld: 0
3. Number completely reversed: 0

(a) Exemptions used:

Exemption 1: 0
Exemption 2: 0
Exemption 3: 0
Exemption 4: 1
Exemption 5: 0
Exemption 6: 3
Exemption 7(A): 0
Exemption 7(B): 0
Exemption 7(C): 0
Exemption 7(D): 0
Exemption 7(E): 0
Exemption 7(F): 0
Exemption 8: 0
Exemption 9: 0

4. Other reasons for nondisclosure: 1
(a) no records: 1
(b) referrals: 0
(c) request (appeal) 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

A. Median processing time for requests processed during the year.

1. Simple Requests.

(a) Number of requests processed: 466
(b) Median number of days to process: 5

2. Complex requests.
(a) Number of requests processed: 163
(b) Median number of days to process: 19

3. Requests accorded expedited processing.
(a) Number of requests processed: 4
(b) Median number of days to process: 7
The FDIC received 4 requests for expedited processing and granted all of them. Two of the requests were fulfilled in one day; one request was fulfilled in 14 days; and the final ďexpeditedĒ request, more voluminous and covering older records, was fulfilled in 27 days.

B. Status of pending requests.

1. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year: 35
2. Median number of days that such requests were pending as of that date: 6

VIII. Comparisons with Previous Year

A. Requests received.
Prior Reporting Period: 652
Current Reporting Period: 639

B. Requests processed.
Prior Reporting Period: 652
Current Reporting Period: 633

C. Median number of days requests were pending as of the end of the year.
Prior Reporting Period: 10 days
Current Reporting Period: 6 days

D. Other statistics.
Four requests for expedited processing were formally requested and all were granted.

E. Narrative statement.
During this fiscal year, the FDIC continued to concentrate on the full implementation of the December 14, 2005 Executive Order # 13,392 (Improving Agency Disclosure of Information). Past internal program reviews and a review of the FDICís Annual FOIA Reports indicate that the FDIC fulfills its obligations under the FOIA with a commitment to accuracy, timeliness, and service. The issuance of the Executive Order, however, gave the FDIC a new opportunity to review FOIA operations, the presentation of information to the public, customer service practices, response times, internal training, and other aspects of our FOIA program. The results of our review are available at http://www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/FOIAPlan-Review2006.pdf . The FDICís implementation of the Executive Order is further discussed below in Section XII of this report.

As part of its normal review process and in conjunction with the mandates of the Executive Order, the FDICís FOIA Office focused its efforts this past fiscal year chiefly on: 1) improving customer service and communications; and 2) ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the records in the FOIA files. The FDICís FOIA results and performance during this fiscal year confirm that customer satisfaction is high. FOIA complaints, appeals, FDICís response times, and backlogs are at all-time lows. The FDIC again reduced the number of FOIA appeals filed from a previous all time low of 6 down to only 4. Response times for fast-track FOIA requests were again reduced from a prior median time of only 9 business days to an even lower 5 business days. Complex requests with voluminous records in remote locations were fulfilled in a median time of 19 days, down from the already low 21 days in the prior reporting year. Of the 35 requests pending at the end of the reporting year, the median pending time of the requests was only 6 days, a reduction of an additional 4 days from the prior reporting period. Although pleased with these results, the FDIC is not complacent and remains committed to maintain this quality of service on a continuing and consistent basis.

The FDIC continues to gain efficiencies by increasing the quantity and quality of information on the web site at www.fdic.gov . Consistent with the mandate of the FOIA, the FDIC has posted a great deal of information to the web site, such as records concerning regulatory proposals, filings by depository institutions, financial and statistical data, FDIC enforcement actions, public comments, and final orders issued from FDIC's Board of Directors. This pro-active placement of information obviates the need for a FOIA request in many cases and allows for the FOIA office staff to concentrate on the timely and comprehensive fulfillment of the remaining request files.
 

IX. Costs/FOIA Staffing

A. Staffing levels.
1. Number of full-time FOIA personnel: 6
2. Number of part-time FOIA personnel: (in total work-years): 4
3. Total number of personnel (in work-years): 10 1

B. Total costs (including staff and all resources).
1. FOIA processing: $1,980,000
2. Litigation-related activities: $1,715
3. Total costs: $1,981,715

X. Fees

A. Total amount of fees collected by agency for processing requests: $20,425 2

B. Percentage of total costs: 1.0%

XI. FOIA Regulations and Fee Schedule

FDIC FOIA regulations may be found at: http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/2000-3800.html#2000part309. Paper copies of this report contain the full text of the regulations. The FDIC Records Fee Schedule is set forth below and it is also available at http://www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/fees.html#schedule

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Records Fee Schedule
April 4, 2005

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. The following fees shall be in effect until further notice.

Hourly labor rates:

Executive level staff -- $105.00
Professional level staff -- $68.00
Clerical level staff -- $29.00

Duplication:

$0.20 per page

Computer charges:

Personal computer rate -- $1.84 per hour of use (in addition to hourly labor rates)
CD -- $1.00 (plus data/labor costs)
Mainframe computer data costs: (plus hourly labor rates, if applicable)
CPU processing -- $0.18 per second
Disk I/O -- $0.35 per 1000 transactions
Tape I/O -- $0.20 per 1000 transactions
Printing -- $0.88 per 1000 lines

Special products

Certain reports, manuals and other products are offered at set prices by agency components which produce them.  Prices may be obtained upon request.

XII. Report on Executive Order Implementation 3

  1. Description of modification of FOIA Improvement Plan under the Executive Order.
    The FDIC has issued one modification of its FOIA Plan, Review and Report filed pursuant to Executive Order 13,392 (Improving Agency Disclosure of Information). This modification was made on October 27, 2006 and was added to explain the procedures the FDIC employs to fulfill FOIA requests if they remain open after the passage of twenty business days.
     
  2. Report on the FDICís implementation and performance under the Executive Order.
    Upon passage of the Executive Order, the FDIC immediately went to work on the fulfillment of its mandates. The FDIC Chairman timely designated the General Counsel to be the Chief FOIA Officer. The Chief FOIA Officer timely designated the FDIC Ombudsman to be the FDICís FOIA Public Liaison. Counsel in the FDICís FOIA Office, under the direction of the Chief FOIA Officer, provided the Ombudsmanís Office with substantive FOIA training, as well as an overview of the FOIA Public Liaisonís duties and responsibilities under the Executive Order.

    Under the further guidance of Chief FOIA Officer, in 2006, the FDICís FOIA Office undertook a complete review, revision and modernization of each electronic page of the FDICís FOIA web site. This included a review of the ďFOIA GuideóGaining Access to Information,Ē which informs the public on how to request records under the FOIA and how to achieve the best results.

    The review also included a revision and up-grade of the FDICís inter-active telephonic status request system. This inter-active telephonic component of the FDICís FOIA Service Center enables requesters to check on the status of their pending FOIA requests and speak directly to a FOIA Office staff member during regular business hours. The system operates 24 hours a day electronically to answer many questions for those who may not have Internet access. Along with the FOIA Office staff, this updated conversant/inter-active telephone status request system and the web site form the nucleus of the FDICís FOIA Service Center.

    The FDIC timely placed its FOIA Service Center into full operation and filed its Plan, Review and Report with the Attorney General and OMB Director. From June 2006, when all of these components were formally integrated into the FOIA Service Center, through December 31, 2007, the FDICís FOIA Service Center has operated without any complaints from FOIA requesters, inquirers, or other users.

    The FDIC has also maintained full Internet FOIA request capability for greater than ten years. This illustrates the foresight the FDIC employed in 1997 to enable this capability for the public, and the benefits from it have benefited both. Communications have dramatically improved with increased use of the FOIA web site, and request processing times have steadily declined during this same time period. The number of FOIA requests submitted through the FDICís FOIA web site has now risen to over 60% of all requests. These actions by FDIC management foreshadowed both the Executive Order and the OPEN Government Act of 2007 that was signed into law on December 31, 2007.

    Among the improvement areas cited by the FDIC in its Plan, Review and Report were the affirmative and pro-active disclosure of information through web sites and other means. Along with the FDICís other activities in affirmatively making information available to the public, the FOIA Service Center has raised the level and clarity of available information. For instance, as part of the Executive Order review, we revised our ďPopular FOIAĒ web page to include links to web-available materials that had traditionally been requested under the FOIA. This has enabled some requesters to go directly to the ďPopular FOIAĒ web page and obtain the records they seek. Providing this redundant web link to these materials has also made them easier to find for web surfers who know to seek information directly from a federal agencyís FOIA web site.

    In the ordinary course of FDIC business, we have also made many records available to the public through the Public Information Center/Reading Room in Arlington, Virginia.
    During calendar year 2007, the FDIC also added to its web site 60 new studies, reports, statistical compilations, interactive tools, and other items of interest to the public. This includes a Spanish language version of the popular, Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE). In addition to these major web site additions, the FDIC has also web-published numerous enforcement orders, guidance letters to bankers or the public, Community Reinvestment Act reports, filings by depository institutions or affiliated parties, statistical and Call Report information, consumer guidance on a variety of topics in business and banking, and information from state and other bank regulatory agencies.

    The other improvement area cited in the Plan, Review and Report was the need for additional employee training in the proper fulfillment of FOIA requests. The FDICís FOIA Office has held several internal training meetings during this reporting period to discuss current cases and trends, as well as solutions for fulfillment of individual files. This included two training seminars in October 2006 and November 2007 for all Washington, DC area FDIC employees who devote time to FOIA matters. At each seminar, the FOIA Office staff presented several training sessions to over 25 employees.

    Additionally, the FOIA Officeís Supervisory Counsel prepared a lecture and multi-media presentation on the FOIA, Privacy Act and disclosure under FDIC regulations. It was presented to a group of about 25 FDIC attorneys in December 2007 and is now being incorporated by the FDICís Corporate University into an established curriculum.

    Several FDIC employees not in the FOIA Office but who work on FOIA matters attended one or more Department of Justice FOIA or Privacy Act training courses. The FDIC also participated in all Executive Order/FOIA training sessions conducted by the Department of Justice. This included participation by the Deputy General Counsel, Supervisory Counsel, the FDICís FOIA web site coordinator, and the FDICís Deputy Ombudsman.
  1. Plan milestones.
    The FDIC has reviewed the Plan, Review and Report issued pursuant to the Executive Order and has found no deficiencies in meeting plan milestones. All plan milestones have been met.
     
  2. Narrative statement.
    A detailed analysis of the FDICís Executive Order activities is contained in the Plan, Review and Report issued pursuant to the Executive Order. The report is available at www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/FOIAPlan-Review2006.pdf .
     
  3. Description of FOIA exemptions.
    The FOIA exemptions most often used by the FDIC are set forth in Section V.B.(a) of this report. A brief description of the FOIA exemptions can be found in the FDICís FOIA Guide available at www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/exempt .
     
  4. Additional Statistics.
  1. Ten oldest pending FOIA requests as of January 1, 2008, by date received.
     
    Calendar Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
    Open requests 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12-6-07
    12-6-07
    12-5-07
    12-5-07
    11-30-07
    11-30-07
    11-29-07
    11-29-07
    11-27-07
    11-26-07
  1. FOIA consultations with other agencies.

a. Number of Consultations Received, Processed, and Pending

Consultations Rec'd From Other Agencies During FY07 Consultations Rec'd From Other Agencies That Were Processed by Your Agency During FY07
(includes those received prior to FY07)
Consultations Rec'd From Other Agencies That Were Pending at Your Agency as of October 1, 2007 (includes those received prior to FY07)
1 0 0

b. Ten Oldest Pending Consultations Received From Other Agencies

Calendar Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Consultations Received 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0

    G. FDIC Improvement Plan.

The FDICís Plan, Review and Report in implementing the FOIA Executive Order is prominently displayed in the FDICís Freedom of Information Act Service Center and is available at www.fdic.gov/about/freedom/FOIAPlan-Review2006.pdf.  A copy of the Plan, Review and Report will be attached to paper copies of this report and is also available from the FDICís Public Information Center (contact information is on page 1).


1 This does not include staff at the FDIC's Reading Room/Public Information Center, which provides readily-available records to the public under subsections (a)(1) and (a)(2) of the FOIA.  

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 $2,953.40 during the same period. 

3 In accordance with DOJ guidance, Section XII (except subsection F.) reports information current through December 31, 2007 rather than the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2007.



Last Updated 01/23/2013 efoia@fdic.gov