FDIC Annual Report on
the Freedom of Information Act
Fiscal Year 2005 (October 1, 2004 - September 30,
I. Basic Information Regarding
FDIC contact person for questions about this report is Fredrick Lee Fisch,
Supervisory Counsel (FOIA/Privacy Act Officer), FDIC Legal Division, 550
17th St. N.W., Room H-3039, Washington, D.C. 20429; Telephone (202)
736-0526; FAX (202) 736-0547.
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, Room E-1001, Arlington, VA 22226; Telephone (703) 562-2200.
II. How to Make a
FOIA Request to the FDIC
A. All FOIA requests are
processed by the FDIC FOIA/Privacy Act Group in Washington, D.C. Requests
must be in writing and directed to Fredrick Lee Fisch, FOIA Officer, FDIC
Legal Division, 550 17th St. N.W., Room H-3039, Washington, D.C. 20429.
Requests may also be submitted electronically through the FDIC Electronic
FOIA Office on the web site at
http://www2.fdic.gov/efoiarequest/index.asp . The
FDIC publication entitled, “FOIA Guide – Gaining Access to FDIC
Information” explains in detail how to submit a FOIA request to the FDIC.
The FOIA Guide is available on the FDIC web site at
FDIC devotes significant effort 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.
FOIA requests are denied in whole or in part because the information
requested is exempted from disclosure by the FOIA (5 U.S.C. §552 (b)) or
another statute. 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) and (b)(7)(A) are used occasionally. In some cases, records
cannot be located.
III. Definitions of Terms and Acronyms Used
in the Report
There are no FDIC-specific acronyms or other terms used in this report.
Basic report terms expressed in common terminology include:
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 FDIC for access to
records under the Freedom of Information Act.
– 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 – A request or appeal for
which FDIC has taken a final action on the request or the appeal in all
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
– 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 – 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
– 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 – A decision to disclose all records in full in
response to a FOIA request.
10. Partial grant
– 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 – 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
– 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
-– A FOIA request for
records which adequately describes the records sought, which has been
received by the FDIC FOIA/Privacy Act Group in Washington, D.C., and for
which there is no remaining question about the payment of applicable
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, for the numbers 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, for the numbers 3, 7, and 14, the average number is
IV. Exemption 3
A. Exemption 3 was not used during this fiscal
year by the FDIC.
V. Initial FOIA/PA Access
A. Numbers of initial requests.
1. Number of requests pending as of end of preceding fiscal year: 57
2. Number of requests received during current fiscal year: 871
3. Number of requests processed during current fiscal year: 898
4. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year: 30
B. Disposition of
1. Number of total grants: 507
2. Number of partial grants: 88
3. Number of denials: 34
(a) no records: 160
(b) referrals: 2
(c) request withdrawn: 47
(d) fee-related reason: 23
(e) records not reasonably described: 32
(f) not a proper FOIA request for some other reason: 0
(g) not an agency record: 2
(h) duplicate request: 3
(i) other (specify): 0
VI. Appeals of Initial
Denials of FOIA/PA Requests
A. Numbers of
1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year: 19
2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 18
B. Disposition of
1. Number completely upheld: 7
2. Number partially upheld: 3
3. Number completely reversed: 1
(a) no records: 4
(b) referrals: 0
(c) request (appeal) withdrawn: 3
(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: 594
(b) Median number of days to process: 16
2. Complex requests.
(a) Number of requests processed: 301
(b) Median number of days to process: 32
3. Requests accorded expedited processing.
(a) Number of requests processed: 3
(b) Median number of days to process: 7
B. Status of
1. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal
2. Median number of days that such requests were pending as of that date:
with Previous Year
A. Requests received.
Prior Reporting Period: 727
Current Reporting Period: 871
Prior Reporting Period: 733
Current Reporting Period: 898
Median number of days requests were pending as of
the end of the year.
Prior Reporting Period: 17
Current Reporting Period: 16
requests for expedited processing were formally requested and granted.
E. This year the FDIC processed nearly
17% more FOIA requests while maintaining nearly the same median processing
time. This progress is due to better communication with requesters,
training, and use of technology. The effectiveness of the FOIA program is
largely a matter of continuous evaluation. For example, the FOIA Officer
undertakes periodic detailed analyses of outstanding and closed FOIA
requests. The results of these analyses are communicated through the
supervisory chain and discussed among FOIA staff at regular meetings. This
continuous review of response times, appeal rates, aging of requests, and
subject matter trends, as well as the updating of the FOIA web pages,
provides the FDIC with useful tools in evaluating the efficiency of FOIA
Efficiencies have also been achieved through greater use of the FOIA web
site. The FDIC has posted a great deal of information directly on the web
site, such as records concerning regulatory proposals, member financial
institution data, FDIC enforcement actions, public comments, and final
orders issued from FDIC's Board of Directors. The on-line agency FOIA
Guide also helps requesters to better target their requests and includes
links to the FDIC's FOIA regulation, the Justice Department's Guide to the
FOIA, and popular FOIA records.
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): 101
B. Total costs
(including staff and all resources).
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 staff @ $99.00 - Professional
staff @ $62.00 - Clerical staff @ $27.00
Duplication: $0.20 per page
Personal computer rate @ $1.84 per hour of
use (in addition to hourly labor rates); Floppy disks @ $.50 each (plus
data/labor costs); CD @ $1.00 (plus data/labor costs); Magnetic tape
reel/cartridge @ $10.00 each (plus data/labor costs); Large tape
reel/cartridge @ $100.00 each (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.
products: Certain reports, manuals and other products
are offered at set prices by agency components which produce them. Prices
may be obtained upon request.
1 This does not include staff at the FDIC's Reading
Room/Public Information Center.
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 $8,112.50 during the same