III. DEFINITIONS OF BASIC TERMS AND ACRONYMS USED IN THE REPORT
A. Agency-specific acronyms or other terms
Office of AG Office of the Attorney General Office of DAG Office of the Deputy Attorney General Office of Assoc. AG Office of the Associate Attorney General Antitrust Antitrust Division BOP Bureau of Prisons Civil Civil Division Civil Rights Civil Rights Division CRS Community Relations Service Criminal Criminal Division DEA Drug Enforcement Administration ENRD Environment and Natural Resources Division EOIR Executive Office for Immigration Review EOUSA Executive Office for United States Attorneys EOUST Executive Office for United States Trustees FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation FCSC Foreign Claims Settlement Commission INS Immigration and Naturalization Service JMD Justice Management Division NDIC National Drug Intelligence Center COPS Office of Community Oriented Policing Services ODR Office of Dispute Resolution OIP Office of Information and Privacy OIPR Office of Intelligence Policy and Review Intergovernmental Affairs Office of Intergovernmental Affairs OJP Office of Justice Programs OLC Office of Legal Counsel OLA Office of Legislative Affairs Pardon Attorney Office of Pardon Attorney OPD Office of Policy Development OPR Office of Professional Responsibility Public Affairs Office of Public Affairs OIG Office of the Inspector General OSG Office of the Solicitor General PRAO Professional Responsibility Advisory Office Tax Tax Division USMS U.S. Marshals Service USNCB U.S. National Central Bureau USPC U.S. Parole Commission
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 this report.)
2. Initial Request -- a request to a federal agency for access to records under the Freedom of Information Act.
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 (nonexpedited) 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 requested.
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.
17. Day -- working day.
Go to: Table of Contents // DOJ FOIA Page // Justice Department Home Page