VIII. COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS YEAR(S).
A. Comparison of numbers of requests received _____________
B.Comparison of numbers of requests processed _____________
C. Comparison of median numbers of days requests were pending as of end of fiscal year _____________
D. Other statistics significant to component ____________
E. Other narrative statements describing component efforts to improve timeliness of FOIA performance and to make records available to the public (e.g., backlog-reduction efforts; specification of average number of hours per processed request; training activities; public availability of new categories of records)
The U.S. Trustee FOIA Internet Website helped improve public availability of U.S. Trustee records. Numerous frequently requested records were made available via the website including: private trustee names and addresses, bankruptcy manuals, bankruptcy regulations, bankruptcy prosecutions, press releases, weekly reports to the attorney general, and bankruptcy statistics. Many potential requesters called U.S. Trustee offices and were referred to the FOIA website where they retrieved information instantly instead of submitting a FOIA request.
The Civil Rights Division's FOI/PA Branch posted extensive amounts of documents on its Website - particularly records regarding Division activity in the area of Disability Rights. The Division's number of incoming requests has been steadily increasing in the last five years, primarily due to the high degree of public interest in this area of subject matter. This posting resulted in a marked and immediate reduction of incoming requests. The Branch has hired contractors to assist in processing large volume requests. The Branch has conducted training sessions with program sections to improve responsiveness.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is currently in the process of implementing redaction program.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has developed an electronic on-screen tracking , review, and redaction process of FOIA/PA requests and responsive records (i.e., FIPS). The FIPS will provide a means to improving timelines of FOIA/PA performance. (FIPS is presently located in Headquarters and will be deployed to other FOIA/PA offices during fiscal year 1999.) Further, INS has worked to reduce the backlog by working over-time, remoting cases for processing to field offices which have no backlogs, and obtaining contract workers to assist with copying, filing, mailings, and data entry.
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