DESCRIPTION OF DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
EFFORTS TO ENCOURAGE AGENCY
COMPLIANCE WITH THE ACT

During 2001, the Department of Justice, primarily through its Office of Information and Privacy (OIP), engaged in numerous activities in discharging the Department's responsibility to encourage agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A summary description of these activities, which is required by 5 U.S.C. 552(e)(5) (2000), as amended by Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048, is set forth below.

(a) Counseling and Consultations

One of the primary means by which the Justice Department encouraged agency compliance with the FOIA during 2001 was through OIP's counseling activities, which were conducted largely over the telephone by experienced OIP attorneys known to FOIA personnel throughout the executive branch as "FOIA Counselors." Through this FOIA Counselor service, OIP provided information, advice, and policy guidance to FOIA personnel at all federal departments and agencies, as well as to other persons with questions regarding the proper interpretation or implementation of the Act. OIP has established a special telephone line to facilitate its FOIA Counselor service -- (202) 514-3642 (514-FOIA) -- which it publicizes widely. (OIP also receives telefaxed FOIA Counselor inquiries, at (202) 514-1009, and it maintains a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) telephone line -- (202) 616-5498 -- which gives it the capability of receiving TDD calls from speech- or hearing-impaired persons.) While most of this counseling was conducted by telephone, other options were made available as well. The counseling services provided by OIP during 2001 consisted of the following:

(1) OIP continued to provide basic FOIA Counselor guidance on a broad range of FOIA-related subjects. Most of the FOIA Counselor calls received by OIP involve issues raised in connection with proposed agency responses to initial FOIA requests or administrative appeals, but many are more general anticipatory inquiries regarding agency responsibilities and administrative practices under the Act. (The Department of Justice specifies that all agencies intending to deny FOIA requests raising novel issues should consult with OIP to the extent practicable -- see 28 C.F.R. 0.23a(b) (2001) -- and it has been found that such consultations are very valuable in encouraging agency compliance with the Act.) More than 2500 requests for assistance were received by OIP and handled in this way during 2001, a continued large volume of such inquiries in comparison to those received in earlier years.

(2) Frequently, a FOIA Counselor inquiry is of such complexity or arises at such a level that it warrants the direct involvement of OIP's supervisory personnel, often one or both of its co-directors or its deputy director. Approximately 350 inquiries of this nature were handled in 2001.

(3) Sometimes a determination is made that a FOIA Counselor inquiry requires more extensive discussion and analysis by OIP attorneys, including supervisory attorneys, on the basis of the information that is presented by the agency. Such a consultation involves a meeting or teleconference between agency representatives and OIP attorneys at which all factual, legal, and policy issues related to the matter presented are thoroughly discussed and resolved. There were fifty-six such formal consultations in 2001, including twenty-one with the general counsel or deputy general counsel of the agency involved. In addition, OIP provided extensive consultation assistance to the Office of the Independent Counsel (In re: Madison Guarantee Savings and Loan), to the Special Master for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, and to the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia during the year.

(4) An additional counseling service provided by OIP involves FOIA matters in litigation, where advice and guidance are provided at the request of, and in close coordination with, the Justice Department's litigating divisions. This service involves OIP reviewing issues and proposed litigation positions in a case from both legal and policy standpoints, and then recommending positions that promote uniform agency compliance with the Act. In some such instances, OIP is asked to consult on litigation strategy and in the drafting of briefs or petitions to be filed in district court or a court of appeals. OIP is consulted in all instances in which the Department of Justice must decide whether to pursue a FOIA issue on appeal. OIP also is regularly consulted in all FOIA cases, and FOIA-related issues, that are handled by the Office of the Solicitor General before the United States Supreme Court. Most often, these litigation consultations are provided by one or both of OIP's co-directors. There were approximately 125 such litigation consultations in 2001, including thirty-four that involved recommendations as to the advisability of initial or further appellate court review and three that involved the question of whether to seek or oppose certiorari in the Supreme Court. In one such matter, OIP provided extensive substantive assistance to the Office of the Solicitor General in support of the Department's certiorari petition.

(b) FOIA Update/FOIA Post

During 2001, the Justice Department completed a transition from its longstanding FOIA Update newsletter to a more high-tech and cost-efficient counterpart named FOIA Post. The Justice Department's FOIA Update newsletter was published from 1979 to 2000, in a paper format that became increasingly antiquated with the passage of time. To remedy this, the Justice Department instituted FOIA Post in early 2001 as a novel and more effective means of disseminating Freedom of Information Act-related information to federal agencies and other interested parties through use of the Department's FOIA Web site.

As of 2001, FOIA Post serves as a primary means of FOIA policy dissemination and an efficient vehicle for communicating FOIA-related information to agency FOIA personnel and others who are interested in the Act's administration. It includes the same types of FOIA guidance and information features that were disseminated in paper form through FOIA Update, as well as additional FOIA-related features, and it does so in a more efficient electronic form that also makes effective use of electronic links to referenced documents and other sources of information in a Web-based format. See FOIA Post, "Introducing FOIA Post" (posted 3/14/01).

This natural evolution to Web-based governmentwide information dissemination for the FOIA not only takes advantage of the cost-efficiencies of electronic communication, it also is in keeping with the Act's growing emphasis on the disclosure of agency information to the public electronically, through use of the World Wide Web, under the provisions of the Electronic FOIA amendments. Just as individual agency FOIA Web sites have become a vital means by which the FOIA is administered at all federal agencies, all agencies now can look to the Justice Department's FOIA Web site for the most recent postings of information regarding matters of governmentwide FOIA administration. The Justice Department has recommended that this part of its FOIA Web site (www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiapost/mainpage.htm) be electronically "bookmarked" by all agency FOIA personnel and others interested in the Act for this purpose, and the response has been very positive to readily accessing FOIA Post in this efficient fashion.

During 2001, OIP disseminated a variety of different items for the guidance of federal agencies through FOIA Post. In addition to several substantive policy guidance memoranda (discussed below), OIP used its new FOIA Post mechanism to distribute on a quarterly basis newly prepared descriptions of all FOIA decisions received by OIP. See, e.g., FOIA Post, "New FOIA Decisions, January-March 2001" (posted 4/5/01). Further, with the establishment of FOIA Post, OIP decided to prepare and publish compilations of all such FOIA decisions issued during past years as well, beginning with the immediately prior year and extending back in six-month intervals. See, e.g., FOIA Post, "Compiled FOIA Decisions (Received July-December 2000)" (posted 6/14/01). As of the end of the year, OIP had issued six such compilations, covering the years 1998-2000.

Another major guidance item disseminated through FOIA Post during 2001 was OIP's summary compilation of the information that is contained in the annual FOIA reports that are prepared by all federal departments and agencies in accordance with the amended annual reporting requirements of the Act. Although the Electronic FOIA amendments do not require that it do so, OIP compiled an aggregate summary of all agencies' annual FOIA report data for the 1999 fiscal year, and it announced its intention to prepare such summaries in all following years as soon as all agencies' annual data become available. See FOIA Post, "Summary of Annual FOIA Reports for Fiscal Year 1999" (posted 10/15/01). OIP also used this opportunity, through FOIA Post, to pointedly encourage all agencies to "heed the Act's requirements for [the submission of] annual FOIA reports in a timely fashion," so that such compilations will not be unduly delayed by the tardiness of the last agency to submit its annual FOIA report each year. See id.

Lastly, through FOIA Post, OIP provided governmentwide notifications of FOIA training opportunities during the year; it published a guest article by a longtime FOIA professional entitled "Looking Back on an Access Professional Career"; it announced the results of the election for new officers and members of the board of directors of the American Society of Access Professionals; and it chronicled the course of appellate court and Supreme Court action in a precedent-setting case involving the issue of waiver of FOIA exemptions in litigation. In the latter discussion, OIP included a compilation of all Supreme Court actions taken in FOIA cases during the Act's nearly thirty-five-year history, together with more than a dozen links to discussions of such cases in the newly archived electronic files of the Department's previous FOIA Update publication.

(c) Policy Guidance Memoranda

During 2001, the Department of Justice issued policy memoranda and advisory discussions of FOIA issues for the guidance of all federal agencies, using its new FOIA Post online publication as its primary means of policy dissemination. The major policy memorandum issued during the year was the new statement of Administration policy on the Freedom of Information Act that was issued to the heads of all federal departments and agencies by Attorney General John Ashcroft on October 12, 2001. This FOIA policy memorandum emphasized the Administration's commitment to full compliance with the FOIA as an important means of maintaining an open and accountable system of government, while at the same time recognizing the importance of protecting the sensitive institutional, commercial, and personal interests that can be implicated in government records -- such as the need to safeguard national security, to maintain law enforcement effectiveness, to respect business confidentiality, to protect internal agency deliberations, and to preserve personal privacy. It urged all agencies to "carefully consider the protection of all such values and interests when making disclosure determinations under the FOIA." Attorney General's Memorandum for Heads of all Federal Departments and Agencies regarding the Freedom of Information Act (Oct. 12, 2001), reprinted in FOIA Post (posted 10/15/01).

In replacing the predecessor Attorney General FOIA policy memorandum, and following the tradition of such successive Attorney General FOIA memoranda over a period of nearly twenty-five years, the Ashcroft FOIA Memorandum articulated a new "sound legal basis" standard governing the Department of Justice's decisions on whether to defend agency actions under the FOIA when they are challenged in court. See FOIA Post, "New Attorney General FOIA Memorandum Issued" (posted 10/15/01). It also specifically advised all agencies that they "should consult with the Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy when significant FOIA issues arise." Id.

This new Attorney General statement of FOIA policy was widely disseminated throughout the executive branch in multiple ways. In addition to its direct distribution to the heads of all federal departments and agencies, OIP promptly forwarded it to the principal administrative and legal FOIA contacts at all agencies, under cover of a memorandum requesting that it be further disseminated as widely and expeditiously as possible through administrative FOIA channels within each agency as well. It also was immediately made available to all agency FOIA personnel, as well as to all other interested persons and members of the public, through FOIA Post. See FOIA Post, "New Attorney General FOIA Memorandum Issued" (posted 10/15/01). Additionally, within a week of the Ashcroft FOIA Memorandum's issuance, OIP conducted a FOIA Officers Conference in the Commerce Department's Main Auditorium for more than 300 representatives of nearly all federal agencies, at which OIP discussed the new FOIA policy memorandum and provided additional background materials to all participants.

A second major policy area addressed in 2001 was the need to protect critical federal systems, facilities, stockpiles, and other assets from security breaches and harm -- and in some instances from their potential use as weapons of mass destruction in and of themselves -- in light of the horrific events of September 11, 2001 and the threat of further terrorist activity in their aftermath. OIP reminded agencies that protection for records regarding such matters, if requested under the FOIA, is available under Exemption 2 of the Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(2), and that any agency assessment of, or statement regarding, the vulnerability of such a critical asset should be protected pursuant to Exemption 2. See FOIA Post, "New Attorney General FOIA Memorandum Issued" (posted 10/15/01) (citing FOIA Update, Vol. X, No. 3, at 3-4 ("OIP Guidance: Protecting Vulnerability Assessments Through Application of Exemption Two")). Further, OIP emphasized that a wide range of information can be withheld under Exemption 2's "circumvention" aspect, sometimes referred to as "high 2," as is discussed in the "'High 2': Risk of Circumvention" Subsection of the "Exemption 2" Section of the "Justice Department Guide to the Freedom of Information Act." This subject, too, was discussed at the FOIA Officers Conference that was held by OIP, at which OIP advised all agencies to carefully avail themselves of the full measure of Exemption 2's protection for their critical infrastructure information as they continue to gather more of it, and assess its heightened sensitivity, in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

A third topic discussed at the FOIA Officers Conference conducted in October 2001 was agency implementation of the electronic availability and annual reporting requirements of the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA), in accordance with a 2001 General Accounting Office (GAO) report entitled "Progress in Implementing the 1996 Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments" (Mar. 16, 2001). OIP prepared and widely distributed an extensive policy guidance memorandum on that subject almost immediately upon the report's issuance, in which it discussed the findings of the GAO report in relation to the requirements of E-FOIA and urged each federal agency to ensure that it "both attains and maintains proper compliance with all of E-FOIA's electronic availability requirements." FOIA Post, "GAO E-FOIA Implementation Report Issued" (posted 3/23/01); see also FOIA Post, "Agencies Continue E-FOIA Implementation" (posted 3/14/01). The impact of this guidance was enhanced by the fact that OIP was able to make special arrangements through GAO to include an original, printed copy of GAO's report in its transmittal package. At the same time, OIP also made an electronic version of this guidance memorandum even more widely available through its FOIA Web site, where it is accessible in a form that permits direct electronic linkage to the GAO report and to the underlying guidance authorities that are cited within it.

In accordance with GAO's recommendations in this E-FOIA implementation report, OIP also issued supplemental guidance for all agencies on the processes of agency preparation and submission of the annual FOIA reports that all agencies are required to file on a fiscal-year basis under the provisions of the Electronic FOIA amendments, 5 U.S.C. 552(e)(1)-(5). OIP prepared a highly detailed guidance memorandum that addressed all points of concern that were identified by GAO in its examination of agencies' annual FOIA reports, as well as additional such points of focus that were identified through OIP's own review. See FOIA Post, "Supplemental Guidance on Annual FOIA Reports" (posted 8/13/01).

Another subject of policy guidance issued during 2001 was the proper interpretation of the "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandum" threshold requirement of Exemption 5 of the Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5). This issue was the subject of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Department of the Interior v. Klamath Water Users Protective Ass'n, 532 U.S. 1 (2001), issued on March 5, 2001, and it is of particular concern to federal agencies that need to rely on "outside consultants" -- or other similar, possibly interested, parties -- in the effective performance of their agency missions. OIP issued a comprehensive analysis of the Supreme Court's decision, and of its underlying rationale, advising that the Court's new threshold standard for Exemption 5 in Klamath "necessarily went no further than excluding 'an interested party [that is] seeking a Government benefit at the expense of other applicants.'" FOIA Post, "Supreme Court Rules in Exemption 5 Case" (posted 4/4/01). This guidance also addressed the important and closely connected policy issue of the protection of certain settlement-related records on the basis of the "settlement privilege" under Exemption 5. See id. (citing FOIA Update, Vol. VI, No. 4, at 3-4).

Additionally, during the year, OIP provided formal guidance to agencies also on such subjects as the potential waiver of FOIA exemptions during the course of litigation in cases in which underlying FOIA exemptions or overlapping FOIA defenses are involved, under the recent precedent of Maydak v. United States Department of Justice, 218 F.3d 760 (D.C. Cir. 2000), reh'g en banc denied, No. 98-5492 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 30, 2000), cert. denied, 533 U.S. 950 (2001); on the mechanics of the record-redaction process that is used in nonelectronic form by many agencies in their administration of the Act; on the appropriate handling of requests from a FOIA requester who files requests and lawsuits in the absence of the proper payment of fees owed in accordance with agency FOIA regulations; and on the proper administration of agency FOIA programs during the period of unprecedented delays in mail delivery that were caused by the anthrax mail emergency throughout the last quarter of 2001. On the latter subject, OIP advised agencies on the proper determination of the date of "receipt" of a FOIA request under such extraordinary circumstances, as well as of the statutory requirements of administrative exhaustion, but it at the same time also advised that "agency FOIA personnel should remember that FOIA requesters are largely in the dark about the exact lengths of time that their FOIA correspondence has been delayed," that they should "take pains where necessary to advise requesters of the 'cut-off' date that will be used to determine the scopes of records responsive to their [delayed] requests," and that "FOIA requesters will more readily understand and accept the consequences of the extraordinary administrative delays that have resulted from this unprecedented mail emergency if they realize that they apply evenhandedly to all concerned." FOIA Post, "Anthrax Mail Emergency Delays FOIA Correspondence" (posted 11/30/01).

(d) Additional FOIA Reference Materials

In 2001, OIP made arrangements with the Government Printing Office (GPO) for a new publication schedule for its major reference volume, entitled the Freedom of Information Act Guide & Privacy Act Overview, which contains the "Justice Department Guide to the Freedom of Information Act." It arranged for this publication to complete its transition to a new biennial publication cycle, according to which GPO will next publish it in May 2002 (no longer at the end of a fiscal year), at which time it is expected that GPO will be able to facilitate the printing and governmentwide distribution of this reference volume on a more efficient timetable than in the past. During 2001, OIP began preparations for completion of the Guide & Overview's May 2002 edition.

During 2001, all issues of FOIA Update for the years 1979-2000 were made available on the Department of Justice's FOIA Web site, where they were fully accessible electronically -- and were "keyword searchable" -- for ready reference purposes. Additionally, guidance items from FOIA Update (and now also from FOIA Post) were used in all Justice Department FOIA-training programs and were made available through such programs offered by the Graduate School of the United States Department of Agriculture (including those formerly conducted by the Office of Personnel Management) and by the American Society of Access Professionals nationwide.

Also made available on the Department's FOIA Web site during 2001 was the "Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act Reference Guide," which was developed in accordance with the Electronic FOIA amendments and is a model for the counterpart reference guides that are prepared by other federal agencies. This reference tool for potential FOIA requesters describes the procedural aspects of making a FOIA request, specifies the different types of records that are maintained by the Department of Justice's many components, and describes the types of records and information that are available to the public from the Department without the necessity of making a FOIA request. It consists of fourteen pages, plus detailed attachments, and it contains much information appropriate for use by all other federal agencies in their FOIA reference guides. This electronically available publication was supplemented during 2001 with additional information regarding the Justice Department's "major information systems," in accordance with a provision of the Electronic FOIA amendments, 5 U.S.C. 552(g)(1). It also was used by the Nations of Romania and Bulgaria in the implementation of their new access statutes during the year.

In accordance with another provision of the Electronic FOIA amendments, 5 U.S.C. 552(e)(3), the Justice Department in 2001 maintained "a single electronic access point" for the consolidated availability of the annual FOIA reports of all federal agencies. In furtherance of this, OIP receives copies of each agency's annual FOIA report each year and makes these reports promptly available at its central electronic site. These annual FOIA reports, beginning with those for fiscal year 1998, can be readily accessed by the public on the Department's FOIA Web site at www.usdoj.gov/oip/04_6.html. That FOIA site also contains the major component parts of the Guide & Overview (where they can be accessed at www.usdoj.gov/oip/04_7.html) to afford electronic access to them as well.

Additionally, in 2001 OIP expanded its process of reviewing all agencies' annual reports as they are sent to it for this electronic availability purpose, and then contacting individual agencies to discuss and resolve any identified question or discrepancy with them, in accordance with the 2001 report of the General Accounting Office entitled "Progress in Implementing the 1996 Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments" (Mar. 16, 2001). This GAO report found the Department of Justice itself to be in full compliance with the electronic availability requirements of the amended statute, see id. at 20-22, and it included a complementary statement about the quality of the implementation guidance that agencies have received from the Department as well, see id. at 31. Also, as noted above, OIP in 2001 initiated its practice of preparing compilations of agency annual FOIA report data on a governmentwide basis each year.

(e) Training

During 2001, OIP furnished speakers and workshop instructors for a variety of seminars, conferences, individual agency training sessions, and similar programs designed to promote the proper administration of the FOIA within the executive branch and/or a greater understanding of the Act's administration by those outside of the executive branch. Twenty professional staff members of OIP gave a total of 179 training presentations during the year, including several training sessions designed to meet the specific FOIA-training needs of individual agencies. Such individualized training sessions were conducted for the United States Postal Service, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Defense Contract Audit Agency, the Minerals Management Service, and the U.S. Army Materiel Command; for the Departments of State, Transportation, and Commerce; and for several individual components of the Justice Department, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. OIP training presentations also were made at the Federal Dispute Resolution Conference, at a forum sponsored by the Business Information Subcommittee of the American Bar Association, and at the Graduate School of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Additionally, the co-directors of OIP gave a total of 114 presentations at various FOIA-training programs, including those held by the American Society of Access Professionals, the Freedom Forum, the National Press Club, the Army Judge Advocate General's School, and the Society of Professional Journalists. They made keynote presentations at the NLRB's National FOIA Conference, NASA's Annual FOIA Conference, the National U.S. Attorneys Civil Chiefs Conference, the Federal Aviation Administration's Annual FOIA Conference, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Regional Counsel Conference. Additionally, one of the co-directors made several presentations under the auspices of the American Embassy in Mexico City, Mexico to promote transparency-in-government initiatives in that nation, and one of the co-directors represented the United States in a transcontinental teleconference with Romanian Parliamentary officials, including the Romanian Secretary of State, in aid of the adoption of open government legislation in Romania.

In conjunction with the Justice Department's National Advocacy Center, OIP conducted a wide range of FOIA-training programs in 2001, ranging from half-day introductory sessions for non-FOIA personnel to advanced programs for highly experienced FOIA personnel. OIP's basic two-day training course, entitled "The Freedom of Information Act for Attorneys and Access Professionals," was conducted several times during 2001 in Columbia, South Carolina, which is now the base location of the National Advocacy Center. During 2001, OIP worked with the National Advocacy Center to expand both the size and the availability of its FOIA-training programs, including through the presentation of OIP's basic FOIA-training course twice during the year in Washington, D.C.

OIP also conducted two sessions in 2001 of its "Freedom of Information Act Administrative Forum," a training program devoted almost entirely to administrative matters arising under the Act -- such matters as record-retrieval practices, multitrack queue usage, backlog management, affirmative disclosure, and automated record processing. Designed to serve also as a regular forum for the governmentwide exchange of ideas and information on matters of FOIA administration, this training program brings veteran FOIA processors from throughout the government together and encourages them to share their experience in administering the Act on a daily basis. Also conducted twice in 2001 was OIP's "Advanced Freedom of Information Act Seminar," each session of which featured a presentation by the FOIA Coordinator for the National Security Archive on the administration of the FOIA from the perspective of a FOIA requester and also contained a newly designed program on the electronic availability and annual FOIA reporting requirements of the Electronic FOIA amendments as addressed by the GAO report discussed above. As also is discussed above, OIP's major training program during the year was its FOIA Officers Conference for more than 300 agency personnel that it conducted upon the issuance of the Attorney General's FOIA Memorandum of October 12, 2001.

(f) Briefings and Inter-Agency Meetings

OIP conducted a number of general or specific FOIA briefings during 2001 for persons interested in the operation of the Act, such as representatives of foreign governments concerned with the implementation or potential adoption of their own government information access laws. OIP provided briefings and FOIA materials to representatives of Great Britain, Hungary, Slovenia, the Dominican Republic, China, Mongolia, Bulgaria, and the Ukraine. It also provided such office briefings to a dozen Members of the Mexican Congress, to the Acting Director of the Administrative Management Bureau of Japan, and to Romania's Secretary of State.

Additionally, in 2001 OIP continued to provide assistance to the District of Columbia Government in connection with the D.C. Council's consideration of both legislative and administrative reform of the operation of its statutory counterpart to the Freedom of Information Act; it provided briefing assistance in support of the Cyber Warning Information Network to the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office; it hosted an inter-agency meeting for the National Security Council on the protection of homeland security-related records in the post-September 11 environment; it hosted an inter-agency meeting on the coordination of FOIA-related matters in connection with the newly established Joint Terrorism Task Force and the subsequently established Foreign Terrorism Tracking Task Force; it held an inter-agency meeting to reconcile differences in multiple-agency treatment of common issues for purposes of annual FOIA reporting requirements; and it provided substantive editorial assistance to the American Bar Association (ABA) in editing the ABA's "FOIA Black Letter Law" publication as part of the ABA Administrative Law Section's "Administrative Procedure Act Project."

(g) Congressional and Public Inquiries

In 2001, OIP responded to thirty-two congressional inquiries pertaining to FOIA-related matters and, in its "FOIA Ombudsman" capacity, see FOIA Update, Vol. XIV, No. 3, at 8, it responded to several complaints received directly from members of the public who were concerned that an agency had failed to comply with the requirements of the Act. In all such instances involving a concern of agency noncompliance, the matter was discussed with the agency and, wherever appropriate, a recommendation was made regarding the steps needed to be taken by the agency in order to bring it into proper compliance.

Additionally, OIP responded to 218 written inquiries from members of the public seeking information regarding the basic operation of the Act or related matters during the year, as well as to innumerable such inquiries received by telephone. The number of written inquiries received during 2001 was less than that of recent years, due not only to the increased availability of information to the public through the Justice Department's FOIA Web site, but also to the fact that mail delivery to OIP was curtailed and then greatly delayed during most of the fourth quarter of the year. See FOIA Post, "Anthrax Mail Emergency Delays FOIA Correspondence" (posted 11/30/01) (noting the curtailment of mail service at the Department of Justice, as well as elsewhere, as of October 19, 2001). All such delayed inquiries were responded to as quickly as possible upon resumption of regular mail service in early 2002.


Go to: Table of Contents// DOJ FOIA Page// Justice Department Home Page