DOJ FOIA 2005 ANNUAL REPORT - COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS YEARS

VIII. COMPARISONS WITH PREVIOUS YEAR(S).

A. Comparison of numbers of requests received:

52,010 in FY05 vs. 57,346 in FY04, a 9.31% decrease

B. Comparison of number of requests processed:

51,435 in FY05 vs. 56,865 in FY04, a 9.55% decrease

C. Comparison of median numbers of days requests were pending as of end of fiscal year:

Varied by component. See chart on page 16.

D. Other statistics significant to components:

536 requests for expedited processing received; 177 requests for expedited processing granted.

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):

Civil Rights Division

Operating costs increased primarily due to three "buy-out" retirements and the pay-out of Annual Leave for 3 retiring employees. The FOI/PA Branch reduced its overall level of requests pending by 37%.

Executive Office for United States Trustees

 

Public availability of new categories of records on the United States Trustee's Web site:

 

The Executive Office for United States Trustees is continuing its efforts to make available on its Web site different categories of records.

There were 56 new "United States Trustee Program Internet Postings" for FY 2005, including:
• Bankruptcy Information Sheets in nine languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, French, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, and Hmong.
• Credit Counseling Agency Applications for Approval and Instructions
• Debtor Education Providers Applications for Approval and Instructions
• Means-testing Information

Office of Professional Responsibility

In Section IX Costs/FOIA Staffing, OPR reported experiencing a 25.3% overall increase in FOIA costs, from $132,348.00 in FY 2004 to $165,816.00 in FY 2005. This increase was due primarily to litigation-related activities associated with one major complex FOIA suit. OPR experienced more than a three-fold increase in litigation-related activities in FY 2005 as compared to FY 2004.

Office on Violence Against Women

As may be noted, for some FOIA requests, OVW's responses came much later than the original request. Because of the change in OVW's office status in 2004, letters often went to different parts of DOJ before being finally referred to OVW for response. OVW did its best to respond in a timely manner once the request was received. All requests that came to OVW months after the initial request was filed were followed up with a phone call to the requester.

USPC

The following efforts were made to improve timeliness:

(1) Use of additional staff to process requests;

(2) Disclosure provided through the parole statute and not the FOIA, with the requester's agreement, reducing number of FOIA requests.

 

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