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U.S. Department of Labor 2010 Chief FOIA Officer Report

DOL Seal

U.S. Department of Labor
2010 Chief FOIA Officer Report
(March 15, 2010)


Part I:    Steps Taken to Apply the Presumption of Openness

  1. Description

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken several steps at the departmental level to ensure that President Obama's instructions regarding the "Presumption of Openness" are carried out to the fullest. Immediately upon receipt of the January 21, 2009 memoranda, the Department disseminated the information to all Agency Heads. In addition, the Office of the Solicitor (SOL) promptly forwarded the instructions to all personnel with FOIA responsibilities.

Over the past year, the Department has engaged in several activities that were specifically designed to foster the President's agenda involving accountability and openness in government. The following is a listing of FOIA activities that demonstrate support of this initiative:

  • 2009 Annual FOIA Training Conference

On June 2-3, 2009, the Office of the Solicitor hosted a 2009 Annual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Training Conference in Washington, D.C. Guest speakers included the Deputy Secretary of Labor; the director, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Information and Policy; and the Chief of Staff, DOJ - Office of Information and Policy.

The two day event was designed to train Department of Labor access professionals on a variety of topics that included the following:

◊    FOIA Process
◊    FOIA Exemptions
◊    OPEN Government Act of2007
◊    FOIA 3rd Party Subpoena Litigation Issues
◊    FOIA Appeals Best Practices
◊    Secretary's Information Management System for FOIA (SIMS-FOIA)
    President Obama's Vision of the "New Era in Government"

With just under three hundred participants, the "Accountability, Transparency and Openness in Government" themed Conference was an excellent opportunity for Department of Labor FOIA/Privacy professionals from across the nation to meet the Deputy Secretary and become inspired by the department's commitment toward carrying out all of the guidelines set forth within President Obama's "Freedom of Information Act Memoranda."

  • Quarterly Departmental FOIA Meetings

During FY 2009, the Department of Labor held quarterly FOIA meetings for lead Departmental FOIA representatives. The purpose of the meetings was to offer guidance regarding a variety of ongoing FOIA issues, as well as to cultivate a culture change that would allow FOIA staff to operate within the mindsets that would enable them to apply a presumption of openness when performing FOIA responsibilities.

  • 2009 FOIA Webinar

On July 21, 2009, the Department's Counsels for administrative Law, FOIA, FACA and Privacy instructed a webinar for all DOL attorneys who are assigned FOIA duties. The webinar was designed to review FOIA administrative process, as well as to expound upon President Obama's January 21, 2009 memoranda. Thereby fostering the Department's commitment to administer FOIA with a clear presumption that openness prevails.

  • Department of Justice (DOJ) Briefing Attendance

During FY 2009, DOL FOIA representatives attended the following DOJ training sessions:

-    Guidance on the Preparation of FOIA Annual Reports
-    Attorney General Holder's New FOIA Guidelines
-    FOIA Public Liaison Training
-    Chief FOIA Officer Report Briefing

In addition to departmental efforts, individual components within DOL have conducted separate activities that have displayed a commitment to openness. The following is a list of some of their actions:

  • The increase of FOIA training to personnel;

  • The provision of written instructions to from component FOIA Coordinators to their disclosure officers, to ensure that all decisions involving FOIA adhere to the guidelines of the President and Attorney general;

  • The review of FOIA operations to determine compliance with Open Government requirements;

  • Increasing the use of information technology to respond to FOIA requests; and

  • Expanding access by making information available on-line in various formats (HTML & PDF)

Note:    Due to the decentralized nature of DOL's FOIA Program, discretionary disclosures have not been centrally tracked. However, discussions are underway to establish an effective system for monitoring this vital information.

DOL component Responses:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA FOIA support activity reflects the President's guidance about transparency in government. FOIA requests are reviewed carefully to ensure that FOIA exemptions are not applied unless they are needed to meet the critical exceptions of the FOIA. Reports, data and information concerning organizations inspected, OSHA archived data and information about ongoing projects are reviewed with the presumption of openness and that there is information that may be released to the public. Steps taken include:

  • Distributed the President's memorandum and the open Government directive to all OSHA FOIA representatives with guidance to ensure that FOIA requests are reviewed with a presumption of openness.

  • Review of OSHA FOIA appeals and tracking where the DOL Solicitor's Office has granted appeals and overturned, with reference to the Open Government directive, some FOIA exemption claims and allowed information to be sent to the requestor. OSHA will establish examples and recommendations to OSHA FOIA representatives about how certain FOIA requests may be granted without applying an exemption and denying the FOIA request.

  • Produce reports that compare previous FOIA responses and current responses applying principles of Open Government.

  • Majority of staff who manage OSHA FOIA support for their office attended national training provided by the Solicitor's Office in 2009.

OSHA employees have been provided guidance on discretionary disclosures. examples of discretionary disclosures that OSHA offices are making include the following:

  1. Draft documents (for example, when no harm would be made to the agencies'' decision- making process);

  2. Recommendations made by OSHA inspectors or investigators (for example, when no harm would occur to the agencies'' decision-making process);

  3. Notes taken by OSHA inspectors (when they do not contain confidential business information and/or material that is pre-decisional or recommendational); and

  4. Numerical rating of the safety and health programs at a facility that was inspected by an OSHA inspector

Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

In accordance with the policy set forth in Attorney General Holder's memorandum dated March 19, 2009, OFCCP FOIA professionals are instructed to withhold records only when 1) the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of the statutory exemptions, or 2) disclosure is prohibited by law. In an effort to foster transparency regarding agency operations and outcomes, OFCCP makes discretionary disclosures of raw performance-related data from its case management system that could otherwise be withheld pursuant to FOIA exemptions.

OFCCP's FOIA Coordinator attended training offered by the Department of justice on the Attorney General's new FOIA guidelines. All regional FOIA professionals were afforded the opportunity to attend SOL's FOIA training conference on June 2-3, 2009. Both President Obama's and Attorney General holder's guidance memorandums were distributed to all agency personnel with FOIA duties.

Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS)

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) follows the Department of labor policy to disclose information to the maximum extent practicable. See 29 C.F.R. §70.3. In addition, OLMS now evaluates each FOIA request in the context of President Obama's January 21 FOIA Memorandum. Where FOIA exemptions might apply, OLMS examines the material for discretionary disclosure, barring the foreseeable harm standard outlined in the aforementioned memorandum. OLMS did not track its discretionary disclosures for Fiscal Year 2008. Since the issuance of the new FOIA guidelines, OLMS has provided discretionary disclosure of documents within the public domain despite the existence of a pending investigation (Exemption 7(A)) in one case. In another case, OLMS has also provided some Exemption 5 material to a legal aid organization, and anticipates releasing more of this type of material in response to an amended request.

Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP)

OWCP engaged in staff training and consultation with SOL on FOIA requests involving privacy issues. At present, the agency does not have statistics regarding discretionary disclosures. However, all FOIA staff has been briefed regarding the importance of President Obama's January 2009 FOIA memoranda.

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

All FOIA Coordinators and their supervisors (both from the National Office (NO) and all five Regions) attended the two day SOL FOIA training held on June 2-3, 2009. Regional FOIA staff has been strongly encouraged to contact the WH FOIA Coordinator if they have any questions regarding FOIA policy. Consistency of responses is a very high priority.

The Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement Policy reviews all NO FOIA responses prior to them being mailed to the requestor. This is done both for technical accuracy and consistency.

In ongoing FOIA litigation regarding a request for records concerning the drafting of three Wage and Hour Division opinion letters, the records that were being withheld were re-reviewed after issuance of the Holder FOIA Memorandum. As a result of this review, approximately 1,000 pages of additional material were disclosed.

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

MSHA distributed President Obama's memo and Attorney General Holder's FOIA guidelines to all Disclosure Officers and FOIA Coordinators. Training was provided within MSHA HQ and teleconference to the field offices. Our employees have also attended training given by the DOL as well as outside vendors. In addition to training, we have provided written instructions to our FOIA coordinators to ensure all decisions involving FOIA adhere to the guidelines of the President and Attorney General. The Assistant Secretary has communicated to all staff his support of the President's presumption and his intent that all FOIA requests be answered consistent with the "presumption of openness."

Since the issuance of the new FOIA Guidelines, MSHA no longer uses exemption low 2. Records that were withheld under this exemption are now being released. some examples are: 1) cc and bcc sections on correspondence and 2) administrative handbooks.

The agency has reduced its withholding of information under exemption 5. This exemption is only applied when there is a clear presumption of harm if the information was disclosed. Specific examples would include opinions, legal and analysis memos. MSHA used to withhold this information in its entirety. These documents are now reviewed to disclose portions and at times entire documents.

Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

The President's letter and guidance were distributed throughout the agency.

Statistics/Examples – Provided guidance to no longer use the low 2 Exemption.

Employment Training Administration (ETA)

When partial or total denials are considered under Exemptions 2, 5, and 7, the ETA FOIA office and FOIA coordinators (in concert with ETA senior program leadership, and the Employment and Training Legal Services (ETLS) division of the Office of the Solicitor) review the requested records and engage in a multi-tier resolution process to consider discretionary disclosure before any denial under 2, 5, or 7 is approved. During the final phase of this process, ETLS clearance is sought to determine whether the denial meets current DOJ guidelines, as well as to settle any unresolved consensus on disclosure.

As a result of this multi-tier process, the number of full grants and partial denials has consistently increased. Another benefit of the increase in discretionary releases is that the amount of processing time has decreased.

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM)

On January 22, 2009 – just one day after the President's FOIA memorandum was issued – the Director of the Center for Program Planning and Results forwarded the memorandum to all OASAM Center Directors and Regional Administrators – with an additional message indicating that the President "indicates that we should administer the FOIA with the 'clear presumption' that 'openness prevails.'"

With an aim of ensuring OASAM-wide compliance of the President's January 21 FOIA memorandum, CPPR staff continue to proactively review and monitor OASAM FOIA responses.

Discretionary disclosures are not currently being tracked by this agency, thus, OASAM is unable to provide such statistics or comparisons.

Office of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ)

The United States Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges conducts formal hearings under the Administrative Procedure Act pursuant to wide variety of labor-related topics. Since the ALJ proceedings conducted by the office of Administrative Law Judges are public, case files are available for public inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. Consistent with the January 21, 2009 memorandum, OALJ starts with the presumption that all filings with an ALJ are releasable pursuant to a FOIA request.

During Fiscal Year 2009, OALJ received 125 FOIA requests. OALJ had zero full denials, two EX4 partial denials, and nine EX6 partial denials. The EX4 partial denials were non-discretionary. The EX6 partial denials were minimal (e.g., redaction of Social Security Numbers and home addresses of pro se litigants).

Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS)

The Veteran's Employment and Training Services has been following the president's guidelines on transparency and accountability. National Office and regional FOIA staff members have been sent to training in order to upgrade skills and learn more about the Open Government Directive. Greater latitude in presuming a requester's entitlement to information is applied to decisions involving requests where no harm to individual or agency is presumed.

Statistics/Examples:

On the average one out of every ten FOIA requests received by VETS is for individual, first party claimant investigative files. our agency's second most requested disclosure is for Congressional/Senatorial correspondence activity.

At this time, VETS does not have specific data regarding its number of discretionary disclosures. However, full disclosure is common for most FOIA requests that are for first person records for investigative files requiring minimal exemptions to protect witnesses, or inter/intra-agency investigative technique-communication.

Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

Office of the Inspector General FOIA personnel has reviewed President Obama's memoranda regarding presumption and has implemented policy accordingly. For example, OIG is identifying harm from release before withholding information under Exemption 5.

Examples:

Analyzing emails containing inter/intra-agency communications
Who are the parties?
What is the issue/decision?
When did it take place?
How release could cause harm?

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

BLS reviewed its FOIA operations and several aspects of its FOIA program to determine compliance with the FOIA's requirements. The review included other agency improvement plans and websites.

The following areas were assessed to determine whether a clear presumption is being applied to all decisions involving FOIA:

  • The accessibility of public information posted on the BLS website;

  • BLS' administration of the FOIA, including abiding by statutory time limits;

  • Increasing FOIA training to personnel; and

  • The use of information technology to respond to FOIA requests.

We've concluded that the BLS FOIA Program reflects clear presumption applied to FOIA requests through BLS' administration of the FOIA, which includes but is not limited to, increased awareness and knowledge of FOIA requirements among its personnel; accessibility of public information through BLS media online; and through the use of information technology.

The BLS has not had the opportunity to utilize discretionary disclosures, and therefore, does not have any examples or statistics, at this time.

Adjudicatory Boards (Adj Bds)

The Adjudicatory Boards FOIA Coordinator attended the 2009 FOIA Training conference in June 2009.

Women's Bureau (WB)

The Women's Bureau (WB) will continue to work to ensure transparency, participation, and collaboration by: providing or disclosing all available information with the exception of information that may be withheld pursuant to exemptions contained in the statute; continue to make information publicly available on the WB Website including guidance for submitting FOIA requests; providing a link to the WB FOIA Service Center for the purpose of checking the status of FOIA appeals; and finally continuing to coordinate and collaborate with Departmental FOIA Leadership, FOIA Coordinators within DOL, across levels of government, and between Government and private institutions.

The Women's Bureau has reviewed its files and determined that no discretionary disclosures have been made since the issuance of the new FOIA guidelines.

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

ODEP receives few FOIA requests each year and always responds within the established timeframes. The ODEP FOIA Coordinator also attended the DOL 2009 FOIA Training Conference.

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (ASP)

Because OASP handles a relatively small number of FOIA requests, we adhere to the guidance SOL provided to all DOL agencies regarding the presumption of openness and transparency.

At this time, there are no discretionary statistics to report.

Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (OCIA)

OCIA rarely receives FOIA requests. However, FOIA staff has appropriately been briefed regarding the Obama Memoranda.

OCIA has not had an opportunity to issue discretionary disclosures.

Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)

ILAB has taken great steps to expand access by making information available on-line in various formats (HTML & PDF). The information can be retrieved, downloaded, and searched by commonly used web applications.

Statistics/Examples:

Executive Order 13126

For the EO initial determination list last year, we published the bibliographies on the EO webpage: http:///www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm

We also published additional information on www.regulations.gov related to the Final Determination for the EO 13126 list (we also have a link to that website on the EO webpage above). This material is comprised of all public comments we received as well as records of any meetings we had with outside parties.

Evaluations

We have started to put some evaluations on the web and will continue throughout the year to add more. Previously, evaluation reports had to be obtained through FOIA. They are available at: http:///www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/oversight.htm. We hope to add 8 more evaluations on the web by the end of March and 13 more by the end of the fiscal year.

Audits

We are in the process of adding this to the website but they are currently not on the web. We are working with SOL to develop proper procedures to protect confidential and proprietary information using FOIA as our guide. We hope to have 6 audits on the web by the end of next quarter (June) and 6 more by the end of the fiscal year.

TVPRA

The following reports are products of a research contract with ICF macro/Macro International. They were cited for the TVPRA Initial List and, since they were not previously published, would have required a FOIA request had ILAB/OCFT not decided to post them on the website:

OCFT is in the process of preparing four similar studies for release on the web.

OCFT Technical Cooperation Project Summaries

OCFT has posted over 150 technical cooperation project summaries to the ILAB map page. They are grouped by region/country and there is also a separate webpage for our global projects. Each country page and the global page display the active projects first followed by closed projects. Each project is listed by the formal title of the project and has both HTML and PDF versions.

We have also posted a complete list of our technical cooperation projects on the website. Below are the links:

ILAB did not make any discretionary disclosures. At this time, the agency does not have any examples or statistics to provide for this report.

Office of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Senior staff was briefed on the President's directive in 2009 and informed of the presumption of openness. All incoming requests are reviewed and responsive materials are provided, even in cases where exemptions could be used.

We disclose information that may be exempt under the "low 2" aspect of exemption 2, such as additional administrative details on travel vouchers, authorizations, etc. Most FOIA requests we receive do not lend themselves to other types of discretionary disclosures; sometimes we have to withhold under exemptions 6, 7(c), and 7(e), exemptions which do not give much latitude to exercise discretion.

Office of Public Affairs (OPA)

The OPA staff member assigned to FOIA was trained regarding President Obama's FOIA memoranda during the DOL 2009 FOIA Training Conference.

Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) [1]

The Office of Small Business Programs is a small outreach agency without regulatory responsibility. The agency prepared a web page for FOIA requests and confers with the Office of the Solicitor for guidance regarding processing requests. OSBP FOIA staff attended the 2009 FOIA Training Conference.

Office of the Solicitor (SOL)

The Office of the Solicitor has taken several steps to ensure that presumption is being applied to all decisions involving FOIA. Agency FOIA staff has successfully briefed departmental personnel of all levels regarding the importance of the Open Government Act of 2007, President Obama's FOIA Memoranda and the Office of Management and Budget's Open Government Directive.

In June 2009, the agency hosted the 2009 FOIA Annual Training Conference in which transparency and accountability was the theme. The conference was attended by approximately 300 FOIA Coordinators and Disclosure Officers from around the country.

Additionally, during July 2009, SOL conducted a FOIA webinar in which departmental attorneys who are assigned FOIA duties were trained regarding the president's January 2009 FOIA memoranda and Attorney General Holder's FOIA guidance.

During FY 2009, the agency spent a significant amount of time briefing departmental personnel of all levels regarding the importance of the new changes within FOIA.

Job Corps (JOB CORP)

Job Corps has taken steps to ensure the presumption of openness is being applied in response to all FOIA requests. The agency is continuously reviewing its web site to ensure that all information is updated in accordance with the FOIA guidelines. The agency is currently reviewing its system of records in order to determine which routine requests should be posted to the Web site

The National Office of Job Corps receives requests pertaining to student records, program data, and contractual information. Requests for contractual information are forwarded to OASAM for review and release determination.

Since the new issuance, Job Corps has experienced an increase in the number of requests for program data. For example, prior to the new guidelines the program exempted the Center Report Card (OMBS10). The Center Report Card is one of two systems that assess center performance. Based on the new issuance we are able to disclose the document to the public, and the document is posted to our public website.

In FY 2008 Job Corps received a total of 8 requests. In FY 2009, we received a total of 49 requests.

  1. Disclosure Comparisons

Report whether your agency shows an increase in the number of requests where records have been released in full or where records have been released in part when compared with those numbers in the previous year's Annual FOIA report.

   

2008

2009

REQUESTS PROCESSED

20,970

16,810

FULL GRANTS

4,706

4,684

PARTIAL GRANTS

7,750

6,664

During FY 2009, the Department of Labor processed 16,810 requests under FOIA. Of the 16,810 requests, 11,348 consisted of a combination of full and partial grants. This means that 67.5% of the total number of processed requests resulted in a release of information. These statistics demonstrate a direct correlation between the Department's adaptation of the presumption of openness and an increase in information being granted. At the same time, it should be noted that a significant majority of FOIA requests received by DOL's enforcement program (OSHA, WHD, MSHA, etc.) requests are for enforcement files that contain personal information and confidential witness statements protected by exemptions 7(C) and 7(D) and therefore result in partial grants. Therefore, DOL does not expect to see future significant increases in the number of requests that are granted in full or in part from these agencies.

The Department remains committed to the effort of ensuring that FOIA is being administered with the spirit of openness and that the attitude of presumption prevails.

DOL Component Responses:

OSHA

The OSHA Annual FOIA Report for 2008 showed more FOIA requests (12, 646) than received in 2009 (10,330). The percentage of requests received versus requests released for those numbers was about the same. OSHA continues its process of reviewing the agency's FOIA activity to develop comparative statistics that will show how a FOIA request may have previously received exemptions to deny a request, but upon applying the Open Government Directive, similar requests would be approved.

A report on that data will be shared with OSHA management and FOIA representatives to ensure that a culture of openness is in place and being applied to OSHA FOIA requests. An active review of appeals is ongoing and data is pending.

FY 2008

FY 2009

Full Grants = 687

Full Grants = 651

Partial Grants = 5,912

Partial Grants = 4,878

OFCCP

   

Granted in Full

Granted in Part

FY 2008

16%

24%

FY 2009

18%

23%

FY 2010 (1st Quarter)

17%

30%

OLMS

OLMS does not yet show an increase in the number of requests where records have been released in full or where records have been released in part when compared with those numbers in the previous year's Annual FOIA report.

In Fiscal Year 2008, OLMS processed 27 full grants and 11 partial grants.

In Fiscal Year 2009, OLMS processed 10 full grants and 23 partial grants.

OWCP

The number of requests where records have been released in full or in part have decreased by one for both categories from the previous year's annual FOIA report. This is due to an increase in the number of requests for personal identifiable information (PII) that is subject to Exemption six.

2008

2009

671 - Full Grants

458 - Full Grants

33 - Partial Grants

20 - Partial Grants

WHD

For FY 2008 47% of all completed FOIAs were Granted in Part and 3.5% of all completed FOIA's were Grand in Full.

For FY 2009 55% of all completed FOIAs were Granted in Part while 7% were granted in Full. This is an 8% increase over 2008 in the number of partial grants and a 3.5% increase in the number of full grants.

For the first quarter of 2010 63% of all completed FOIAs were Granted in Part while 10% were Granted in Full.

2008

2009

60 - Full Grants

74 - Full Grants

804 - Partial Grants

660 - Partial Grants

MSHA

There has been an increase in the number of records released in part when compared with the previous year. We also have encouraged FOIA staff to no longer use exemption "low" 2 to withhold information. The agency only uses exemption 5 when there is a clear presumption of harm if the information was disclosed. there has been a decrease in the number of times these exemptions were applied.

2008

2009

741 - Full Grants

690 - Full Grants

568 - Partial Grants

600 - Partial Grants

EBSA

EBSA had 1,941 full grants in 2009 compared to 1,802 in FY 2008. The rate is that slightly over 90% of EBSA's FOIA requests are granted in full. The number of partial grants increased from 54 in 2008 to 70 in 2009.

ETA

As a result of ETA's commitment toward applying the presumption of openness, the number of full grants and partial denials has more than doubled from 2007 to 2009 annual reports, reflecting a distinct trend towards disclosure, in both full and partial releases.

In 2007, ETA processed 255 full grants and 58 partial releases; for 2008, full grants increased to 292 and partial releases nearly 112; during FY2009, ETA processed 531 full grants and 137 partial releases, more than double 2007 stats for both full and partial releases.

OASAM

OASAM determined no increase in the number of requests where records were released in full or in partial when compared to previous years.

2008

2009

47 - Full Grants

39 - Full Grants

75 - Partial Grants

62 - Partial Grants

ALJ

During fiscal year 2008, OALJ had 126 full grants and 10 partial grants compared to 94 full grants and 9 partial grants during fiscal year 2009.

VETS

Most requests to our Agency are requests for case records handled at the regional level. Regional records requested under FOIA are claimant requests for USERRA investigative files. As such, records are generally released in full, protecting only that information which is covered under the FOIA exemptions where harm may be caused to individuals or the agency, PII, or inter/intra-agency investigative information. Reports have similar statistical data as compared to the previous year's report.

2008

2009

39 - Full Grants

33 - Full Grants

58 - Partial Grants

76 - Partial Grants

OIG

OIG has one Disclosure Officer who is working with the IT program to refine its FOIA tracking system for functionality and reporting queries.

During FY 2009, OIG did show an increase in the number of records released in full or in part when compared to the previous annual report.

2008

2009

14 - Full Grants

6 - Full Grants

18 - Partial Grants

23 - Partial Grants

BLS

No increased in the number of requests where records have been released in full or in part when compared with previous annual reports.

2008

2009

8 - Full Grants

5 - Full Grants

9 - Partial Grants

6 - Partial Grants

Adj Bds

During FY 2009, there was not an increase in the number of records being released in full or in part.

2008

2009

17 - Full Grants

12 - Full Grants

2 - Partial Grants

0 - Partial Grants

WB

The Women's Bureau has not shown an increase in the number of requests where records have been released in full or where records have been released in part when compared to the numbers in the previous year's Annual FOIA report.

2008

2009

5 - Full Grants

1 - Full Grants

4 - Partial Grants

0 - Partial Grants

ODEP

ODEP numbers remain relatively the same.

2008

2009

0 - Full Grants

0 - Full Grants

0 - Partial Grants

0 - Partial Grants

ASP

ASP numbers are too small to show a trend.

2008

2009

0 - Full Grants

0 - Full Grants

2 - Partial Grants

1 - Partial Grants

OCIA

OCIA rarely receives FOIA requests. Therefore, there is nothing to report.

2008

2009

7 - Full Grants

0 - Full Grants

0 - Partial Grants

0 - Partial Grants

ILAB

ILAB does not receive a large number of FOIA requests; however, it has shown an increase in the number of requests released in full based on the presumption of openness in government.

2008

2009

5 - Full Grants

12 - Full Grants

1 - Partial Grants

2 - Partial Grants

CFO

OCFO has received more FOIA requests so far this year compared to historical norms. Full or partial disclosures have followed historical norms. When OCFO has records, it has made either a full or partial disclosure 100 percent of the time.

2008

2009

7 - Full Grants

2 - Full Grants

0 - Partial Grants

7 - Partial Grants

OPA

OPA has not shown any increase in the number of FOIA requests where records were released.

2008

2009

0 - Full Grants

4 - Full Grants

0 - Partial Grants

0 - Partial Grants

OSBP

The Office of Small Business Programs did not have an increase in the number of requests where records have been released in full or were released in part when compared with those numbers in the previous year's Annual FOIA report.

2008

2009

7 - Full Grants

0 - Full Grants

0 - Partial Grants

0 - Partial Grants

SOL

During FY 2009, the Office of the Solicitor processed 18 FOIA requests. Out of 18 requests, 13 were a combination of full grants and partial grants. One request was a full denial and four were referred to another component for processing. These statistics demonstrate that 72% of the total number of requests processed, consisted of information being released to the requestor.

During FY 2008, the agency processed six requests. Of the six, four were a combination of full grants and partial grants, and two were full denials. These statistics show that 66% of the total number of requests processed, consisted of information being released to the requestor.

The FY '09 statistics serve as an indicator that SOL has received positive results from administering FOIA with a clear presumption that openness prevails.

2008

2009

1 - Full Grants

5 - Full Grants

3 - Partial Grants

8 - Partial Grants

JOB CORP

Due to the President's new policy encouraging openness in releasing documents to the public, Job Corps has experienced an increase in the number of FOIA requests from the previous year for documents that we have exempted in part or whole. In 2009 Job Corps FOIA requests increased by 100%.

2008

2009

3 - Full Grants

18 - Full Grants

1 - Partial Grants

3 - Partial Grants

Part II:    Steps Taken to Ensure that Your Agency has an effective System for Responding to Requests

The Department of Labor has a decentralized FOIA program to meet the needs of our FOIA customers. DOL's most frequent type of FOIA request is a request from an attorney or an individual engaged in or contemplating, private litigation related to a matter investigated by one of DOL's enforcement agencies. For example, an attorney pursuing a wrongful death action against a manufacturer of a piece of industrial equipment that was involved in a workplace accident investigated by OSHA will request OSHA's investigation file. As a result, each agency has been given flexibility to design a program that meets its needs. Most agencies have delegated their disclosure responsibilities to officials at the Office Director or Division Chief level in Washington, as well as to their regional offices. Others have delegated their field FOIA responsibilities to district or area offices. Conversely, some small agencies handle all of their FOIA requests centrally in Washington, DC. The differing agency practices are explained partly by the number of requests that agencies receive and partly by the nature of the programs they administer.

The Office of the Solicitor serves as the focal point for FOIA activities within the Department. SOL houses the Department's Chief FOIA Officer. In addition, the SOL Management and Administrative Legal Services Division (MALS) houses the Counsel for FOIA, FACA and Privacy and the Counsel for FOIA Appeals. these counsel areas are responsible for providing department-wide guidance regarding FOIA compliance, making administrative appeal determinations, defending FOIA litigation, as well as FOIA performance measurement and reporting requirements, including the FOIA Annual Report.

In light of all of the recent changes that have occurred within the FOIA arena, the Department established a fully functional centralized FOIA control and tracking system. Effective October 1, 2008, the Department of Labor implemented a requirement that the Secretary's Information Management system for FOIA (SIMS-FOIA) be used by all DOL Disclosure Offices. [2]

In addition to tracking and control of requests, the SIMS-FOIA database captures the necessary data required for monitoring agency backlog, as well as the completion of the Department of Labor FOIA Annual Report. Departmental information technology contract staff is available to assist Disclosure Offices with troubleshooting, as well as various other issues involving the system.

DOL Component Responses:

OSHA

OSHA is in the process of evaluating, analyzing and improving its FOIA support to meet the needs of the public and address the Open Government directive. The following steps are being taken to ensure that FOIA representatives have guidance and direction to provide effective and efficient FOIA support:

  • Evaluating current training and support methods for updating and enhancing FOIA support throughout the agency.

  • Sharing IT guidance with FOIA representatives for use of SIMS-FOIA to ensure a database exists for tracking FOIA requests and developing reports from SIMS-FOIA data.

  • Collecting information from FOIA representatives regarding SIMS-FOIA issues and making recommendations to the SIMS-FOIA software team for improvements and enhancements.

  • Making recommendations for improved IT support through participation in SIMS-FOIA software enhancement meetings and Solicitor office FOIA meetings.

OFCCP

OFCCP has disclosure officers in its National Office and all six of its regional offices. Accordingly, the agency has a designated FOIA coordinator in the National Office and a FOIA liaison for each of its six regional offices. All agency FOIA professionals utilize the SIMS/FOIA tracking system. The FOIA coordinator oversees the agency's FOIA caseload and provides support and technical guidance to FOIA liaisons.

The agency's Information Technology Branch supports the FOIA coordinator on an as needed basis. Support functions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Furnishing PCs and internet access to all agency FOIA staff.

  2. Providing access to agency databases to facilitate the performance basic searches.

  3. Extracting and formatting raw data from the agency's case management system for response to FOIA requests.

  4. Performing complex searches of agency databases.

  5. Managing the content of the agency's website.

OLMS

OLMS employs a designated FOIA professional whose primary responsibility includes processing FOIA requests. This individual is assisted by IT professionals and other OLMS personnel, in web development and redacting frequently requested audit reports and final agency decisions for posting to the OLMS website.

OLMS IT support has been instrumental in securing redaction software to expedite FOIA processing and in obtaining fee estimates for FOIA requests for information in the OLMS Case Data System. The OLMS FOIA professional maintains accurate files on all FOIA requests and appeals, and keeps meticulous records detailing the status of each request.

OWCP

The Office of Worker's Compensation Programs utilizes technology to track and complete FOIA requests. When warranted, some of the divisions within the Program have assigned a Division FOIA Coordinator and have weekly updates on pending and overdue FOIAs. The agency also work closely with SOL for guidance on technical and legal issues.

OWCP relies on two levels of IT support to ensure that they can meet our obligations to satisfy FOIA requests:

The Department provides the first level of IT support with the Secretary's information Management System (SIMS)-FOIA application with which OWCP tracks FOIA requests and submits responses. In addition to the SIMS-FOIA application, department information technology center (ITC) staff is available to provide assistance with using the application and in ensuring that the electronic records are maintained for historical purposes.

OWCP's Division of Information Technology and Management & Services is directed to provide IT support to our programs for the research and output of electronic records needed to address a FOIA request. For example, OWCP occasionally receives FOIA requests from newspapers asking for extracts of data stored in our databases. In these cases DITMS assists the program staff by implementing data queries to extract the information requested, then further assists by providing support to ensure that the requested data is copied to appropriate media and encrypted if required.

WHD

In addition to the training provided by SOL, Wage and Hour conducted its own one day training on June 4, 2009 for all FOIA staff nationwide. Outside presenters included DOL Counsels for FOIA and Administrative Law. WH presenters were the Deputy Director for Enforcement Policy, the Deputy Director for the office of Interpretation and Regulatory Analysis and the WH FOIA Coordinator. all presentation material was approved through the Deputy Administrator for enforcement Policy (an SES position). Post evaluation forms completed by WH participants confirmed that this training was a resounding success.

WHD has provided IT staff with necessary FOIA training. During the past year, the agency has set up procedures that FOIA/IT uses to obtain responsive information in a more efficient and effective manner.

MSHA

The FOIA Officer has met with Program Areas to identify ways to streamline the review process when responding to requests. Requests will be reviewed and cleared by the Mine Safety and Health Division of the Solicitor's Office which has resulted in a reduction of processing time. MSHA provides a template to coordinators to assist them in preparing responses. The FOIA staff work closely with the Public Affairs Office to identify those requests that can be processed as an information request instead of FOIA. The FOIA Officer works closely with the IT office to ensure the agency has sufficient IT support including computer hardware and software equipment and adequate space on network drives.

EBSA

Each office in EBSA has identified a FOIA contact in addition to the disclosure Officer to ensure that FOIAs assigned to each office are handled immediately. In addition, all EBSA employees with FOIA responsibilities have access to and use the FOIA SIMS system developed by the Department of Labor to track and manage the FOIAs that EBSA processes. The FOIA SIMS system notifies the appropriate personnel in each office when a FOIA has been assigned to that office. All staff have the appropriate equipment, network and FOIA SIMS access and training in order to perform this work.

ETA

  • ETA leadership has impressed upon all levels of program management the importance of responding to FOIA requests as well as the department's commitment to the presumption of openness. We have provided guidance, training, and procedural instruction to Administrators, FOIA Liaisons as well as subject matter experts as a part of our daily and quarterly responsibilities. ETA FOIA professionals conduct telephone conferences and meetings with program management, regional staff, and ETLS counterparts to ensure efficient and accurate processing of requests.

  • ETA provides weekly status reports to agency leadership and ARRA counterparts which monitors hot/sensitive and ARRA request processing, backlog and overdue reporting. Additionally, the ASET shares a detailed monthly report with ETA Program Administrators to ensure that the appropriate resources are provided to FOIA personnel responsible for processing these requests.

  • ETA is now in the processing of reviewing and developing response templates for no records, partial releases, and third party notifications. We believe these templates will reduce the incidence of FOIA appeals and speed response time through our program offices.

  • In efforts to increase efficiency and accuracy of FOIA operations, ETA has effected key roles and dual controls (primary and back-up) in each program office and implemented the Deputy Solicitor's protocol for gaining SOL clearance on media, hot/sensitive, or problematic requests as follows:

  1. The ETA Agency Coordinator, under the direction of the Agency Disclosure Officer, reviews and acknowledges incoming requests passed to it from SOL and all hot/sensitive or ARRA related requests, as well as hot/sensitive requests served directly on program offices. The Agency Disclosure officer responds to all hot/sensitive requests thru the multi-tier approval process and delegates non-sensitive requests appropriately.

  2. Program office FOIA personnel review responsive records and obtain disclosure recommendations from subject matter experts.

  3. FOIA liaisons will alert the Agency Coordinator of any processing difficulties or discrepancies in disclosure recommendations, especially prospective denials under Ex. 2, 5, or 7.

  4. The Agency Coordinator will work with liaisons and appropriate subject matter experts to answer any procedural or technical question or resolve any disclosure conflict. When necessary, any unresolved matter is escalated to the attention of the Agency Disclosure Officer for resolution with Program Administrators or ASET personnel.

  5. Any unresolved denial or legal questions are forwarded to the ASET and ETLS for review and clearance through the Disclosure officer before release or denial as appropriate.

  6. The Agency Coordinator also produces weekly reports to document the progress or identify any processing delays for the review of the Agency Disclosure Officer and the appropriate program and agency leadership.

  7. The Agency Disclosure Officer has implemented quarterly training, FOIA workshops, as well as made technical assistance and FOIA SIMS training available to all FOIA liaisons through the Agency Coordinator by appointment and from 9am to 2:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  8. Both the Disclosure Officer and Agency Coordinator conducted a regional FOIA webinar for the liaisons who were unable to travel to the mandatory SOL FOIA conference in June.

OASAM

OASAM continues to take its FOIA responsibilities very seriously, which was demonstrated in November 2009 when CPPR dedicated a Management Analyst position (GS-13) and a new Director of the Office of Information Resources (GS-15), in order to place a renewed focus on the OASAM FOIA program, which includes serving as the disclosure office for the Office of the Secretary.

These individuals are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Freedom of information Act, the President's January 21 FOIA memorandum and other related directives. The agency is also proactively consulting with the Department's legal staff to ensure the accuracy and consistency of OASAM FOIA responses.

CPPR's Office of Information Resources utilizes the SIMS-FOIA system to manage and track FOIA requests. This database allows users to monitor all activities related to the FOIA program. CPPR also implemented an internal data tracking system to supplement and ensure the accuracy of the SIMS database and utilizes Microsoft Outlook to create due-date markers to ensure more timely responses.

As noted, CPPR's Office of Information Resources utilizes the Secretary's information Management System (SIMS) to manage and track FOIA requests. This database allows users to monitor all activities related to the FOIA program. CPPR also implemented an internal data tracking system to supplement and ensure the accuracy of the SIMS database and utilizes Microsoft Outlook to create due-date markers to ensure more timely responses.

Lastly, the status of pending FOIAs is provided to OASAM leadership on a weekly basis (both National Office and Regions).

ALJ

The United States Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges is a relatively small agency. Most of the FOIA requests received by OALJ are routine requests for transcripts or other documents filed with an ALJ during an adjudication. Thus, OALJ typically does not have a backlog of FOIA requests, and usually easily meets the statutory and regulatory time frames for FOIA responses.

OALJ has provided training to judges and law clerks on the types of FOIA issues they are likely to encounter when adjudicating cases. Our FOIA coordinator is stationed at OALJ Headquarters in Washington, DC. The headquarters and district offices each have a senior staff member ("Special assistant") who works closely with the FOIA coordinator to ensure timely responses to FOIA requests. If a FOIA request raises an unusual or difficult FOIA issue, the judge or FOIA coordinator will consult with OALJ's senior attorney. The senior attorney will contact the Office of the Solicitor if necessary to resolve FOIA issues. When appropriate, the Chief ALJ will be consulted for final decisions on FOIA determination.

OALJ is supported by a small IT division. The IT division supports proactive disclosures by maintaining systems that ensure the prompt posting of ALJ decisions and other reading room materials. The IT division also provides quality assurance relating to the posting. In addition, the IT division has been instructed to support the FOIA Coordinator as needed, and to give the FOIA coordinator's IT needs the highest priority.

VETS

Agency initiatives have been instituted to improve disclosure by instituting a multi-tier review and decision process that is intended not only to address the protection of information, but also to determine whether disclosure can be more inclusive.

When a FOIA request is received by the VETS, be it regional or national, they are entered into the SIMS-FOIA tracking system, then, processed the resulting disposition annotating the results in the SIMS-FOIA system. The requests are immediately forwarded to the Regional Administrators who then disseminate usually to their Regional Senior Investigator for processing.

Departmental OASAM Information Technology staff is in place to insure that VETS FOIA personnel have sufficient IT support. There is a SIMS-FOIA help desk in place to attend to any IT issue that may arise.

OIG

The Office of the Inspector General is a small agency with one Disclosure officer who handles all phases of the FOIA process. The Disclosure Officer is working with the IT program to refine its FOIA tracking system for functionality and reporting queries. IT personnel have replicated the OIG tracking system to be similar to the DOL SIMS in order to provide consistency in the format of reporting.

OIG currently deploys its audit reports to the web with the exception of certain reports that are sensitive. OIG does not plan to post requests that concern criminal/program investigations covered under the Privacy Act and that contain grand jury information.

BLS

Careful consideration is given to all Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The channels of communication with BLS staff are maintained by providing procedural guidance, and legal interpretations in consultation with the Office of the Solicitor of Labor (SOL) and the Department of Justice, to assure consistent compliance with the Act. BLS maintains its FOIA program through the DOL SIMS-FOIA Tracking System which monitors the progress of requests in order to facilitate BLS compliance with requirements regarding the timeliness of the FOIA responses and other requirements under the Act. additionally, the tracking system generates reports on other FOIA activities including requirements of the new FOIA amendments, E.O. 13392 and the 2007 Open government Act. The BLS FOIA program has adequate IT support.

Adj Bds

The Adjudicatory Boards currently has one Coordinator responsible for all FOIA activities. Presently, the Boards are utilizing SIMS-FOIA for tracking and control of FOIA requests.

The Adjudicatory Boards obtain FOIA IT support through designated IT staff within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management. within the agency, there are assigned SIMS-FOIA technicians available to assist with help desk tickets, system functionality, etc.

WB

The Bureau maintains ongoing efforts to work collaboratively and collectively with key departmental contacts, agency components, WB National and Regional office staff, and constituents.

The WB FOIA Coordinator will continue to serve as liaison; attend quarterly departmental meetings, training conferences, seminars, etc. in an effort to stay abreast of relevant FOIA matters, information of new guidance, directives, or policies to ensure open communication within the Bureau.

The Women's Bureau has taken steps to ensure that key FOIA personnel have effective systems and sufficient IT support through:

  • Work/coordination with designated IT personnel as necessary to help identify barriers, issues, and provide resolutions (i.e. cross-agency collaborations may include SOL/DOL/WB/DOJ)

  • Ensuring key FOIA personnel participation in agency, DOL, Federal, or other FOIA-related IT/Technology training opportunities, i.e. DOL SIMS-FOIA; FOIA Xpress

  • Maintaining internal/external communications (via quarterly meetings/reporting), and promoting awareness of new technology or upgrades that may impact/enhance IT systems related to FOIA preparation, tracking, dispensation, reporting, and overall compliance

ODEP

ODEP receives and responds to FOIA requests via the SIMS-FOIA system. This system is effective and efficient. The agency has an assigned individual who regularly receives and monitors FOIA actions. Sufficient IT support is provided for the SIMS-FOIA system and through the Help Desk.

ASP

In early 2009, OASP staff attended a DOJ sponsored meeting on transparency in government, and in the spring, OASP staff attended the 2-day SOL sponsored FOIA training.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy obtains FOIA IT support through designated IT staff within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for administration and Management. Within the agency, there are assigned SIMS-FOIA technicians available to assist with help desk tickets, etc.

OCIA

OCIA rarely processes FOIA requests. However, should the need arise, there is a staff person in place who is properly trained regarding FOIA administrative process.

OCIA obtains FOIA IT support through designated IT staff within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management. Within the agency, there are assigned SIMS-FOIA technicians available to assist with help desk tickets, system functionality, etc.

ILAB

ILAB's system for responding to requests is very efficient and effective. All staff involved in the FOIA process are fully briefed and kept up-to-date on the FOIA regulations. The FOIA Coordinator has implemented an automated tracking system in order to meet established deadlines. The Coordinator monitors the status of responses and fully keeps the requestor aware of what and when the information will be disclosed. ILAB uses electronic scanning and other types of formats that can be electronically submitted to the requestor as appropriate.

ILAB has taken steps to ensure that FOIA personnel have up-to-date IT equipment and software. Computers have been upgraded from desktops to laptops with docking stations and staff have access to network scanning for electronic FOIA responses. ILAB uses OASAM's IT support staff for all computer needs and they are providing a top-notch service. All electronic responses are submitted to Section 508 requirements.

Audits

We are in the process of adding this to the website but they are currently not on the web. We are working with SOL to develop proper procedures to protect confidential and proprietary information using FOIA as our guide. We hope to have 6 audits on the web by the end of next quarter (June) and 6 more by the end of the fiscal year.

TVPRA

The following reports are products of a research contract with ICF macro/Macro International. They were cited for the TVPRA Initial List and, since they were not previously published, would have required a FOIA request had OCFT not decided to post them on the website:

OCFT is in the process of preparing four similar studies for release on the web.

CFO

The FOIA coordinator receives a request through the SIMS-FOIA system or directly from a requester. The request is assigned immediately to the appropriate office for a records search, along with a due date. Active requests are tracked by the coordinator. OCFO does not have a sufficient number of requests to merit a dedicated IT infrastructure for FOIA; assignments and follow-up inquiries are made via email, while responsive records are provided in paper format to the coordinator. The coordinator prepares a response for the disclosure official's signature.

OPA

Each OPA FOIA request is tracked and forwarded to OPA staffers. The staff is asked to search files for any information regarding the FOIA. The request is then e-mailed back to the FOIA coordinator. The coordinator prepares the response and the response is mailed out in a timely manner. The coordinator then closes out the FOIA request.

The Office of Public Affairs utilizes the Secretary's Information Management system (SIMS) as a tracking system for all FOIA request. OPA obtains FOIA IT support through designated IT staff within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management. Within the agency, there are assigned SIMS-FOIA technicians available to assist with help desk tickets, system functionality, etc.

OSBP

In cooperation with the Office of the Solicitor, the Office of Small Business programs was able to ensure that FOIA requests were responded to in an effective and efficient manner. OSBP used the SIMS-FOIA system for tracking and control of all FOIA requests.

SOL

Currently, the Office of the Solicitor is responsible for four roles regarding FOIA. The primary role is to oversee the FOIA Program for the entire department of Labor. All departmental activities in relation to initial requests and litigation are overseen by Counsel for FOIA, FACA and Privacy. In addition to the Counsel for FOIA, there are three FOIA attorneys, one FOIA Specialist, one paralegal and one support staff person. All of whom service the Department in variety of FOIA functions.

Secondly, the Office of the Solicitor serves as the central location for the department's FOIA Appeals Unit. Appeals staff consists of the Director of FOIA appeals, three appeals attorneys, one paralegal and one support staff.

Thirdly, as an agency within the Department of Labor, SOL also operates as a separate Disclosure Office with a Lead FOIA Coordinator and divisional FOIA contracts responsible for processing FOIA requests and consultations.

The agency also functions as the business owner of the SIMS-FOIA. Although the Department currently has a decentralized FOIA Program, SIMS-FOIA was created to function as a centralized tracking and control system for all DOL FOIA disclosure offices (with the exception of the Office of the Inspector General).

During FY '09, in an effort to ensure that there is an effective system for IT support, the Office of the Solicitor hired additional information technology staff. In addition, the agency obtains FOIA IT support through designated IT staff within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and management. Within the agency, there are assigned SIMS-FOIA technicians available to assist with help desk tickets, system functionality, etc.

JOB CORP

In accordance with Departmental guidelines, Job Corps ensures that all FOIA requests are logged into the department FOIA system within the prescribed timeframes.

All FOIA requests are recorded and tracked in the SIMS FOIA. The Department is responsible for managing the system. The program is equipped with sufficient tools and IT support is available when needed.

Part III.    Steps Taken to Increase Proactive Disclosures

DOL remains committed to the effort of increasing proactive disclosures. at present, there are eleven DOL agencies that actively post and update electronic reading room materials. Smaller agencies with infrequent requests for information operate and update conventional reading rooms.

The Department is currently operating within a decentralized FOIA system. however, under the guidance of the Office of the Solicitor, annual reading room reviews are performed to ensure that components are increasing the amount of materials available on their websites. Each agency website is subsequently linked to the departmental FOIA main page where materials from all DOL agencies may be found and downloaded by the public.

The following is a current listing (links) of Departmental FOIA Reading room materials that can be found via the DOL public website:

Administrative Staff Manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.

Opinions and Orders made in the adjudication of cases

Statements of Policy and Interpretations adopted by the agency and not published in the Federal Register

"Hot FOIAs" and Frequently Requested Reports

DOL Forms
DOL Regulations

DOL Component Responses:

OSHA

The Agency has established a policy of openness that includes sharing information with the public through new additions to the public Website since the issuance of the FOIA guidelines. Those additions include:

  • A" Highlights" box to emphasize workplace disasters, OSHA events and other information for the public.

  • "Worker Fatality" summary section on OSHA's public internet site that includes weekly fatality reports summarizing workplace deaths.

  • Data statistics section showing information on specific injury and illness rates, worker fatalities, and workplace inspections.

OFCCP

Currently, OFCCP posts policy directives, technical assistance guides and answers to frequently asked questions on its website. In addition, the agency hosts numerous web-based outreach events including webinars and listening sessions hosted by the agency Director. OFCCP is evaluating the feasibility of making additional information available on the agency website that would be of interest to our stakeholders.

OLMS

As part of the ongoing effort to increase the amount of material available on the OLMS website, OLMS is in the process of redacting and posting all final agency determinations on the OLMS Online FOIA Reading Room retroactive to 1996. these final agency determinations include: Compliance Audit Program and international-Compliance Audit Program closing letters; Assistant Secretary decisions and Orders in Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) cases; Form LM-2 hardship Determinations; Transit Employee Protection determinations; and election and trusteeship case decisions. The latter includes election and trusteeship statements of reasons; union election certifications and determinations; and union election dismissal letters.

OWCP

The website has a significant amount of information available both readable and downloadable. Forms, benefit rates, frequently asked questions, and medical information are all some of the types of information available.

OWCP periodically reviews both FOIA request trends and the available datasets to determine appropriateness for release. OWCP is in a unique position within the Department in that a significant portion of our data resides at the individual claimant level, containing significant amounts of personal data that is governed by the Privacy Act. Therefore in working with the Department to share data, OWCP must take extra care to ensure that our constituents' personal information is protected from public disclosure.

In 2009, OWCP's Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation made available online, data on overseas contractor injuries and deaths based on reports filed under the Defense Base Act. This publication effort was initiated after reviewing FOIA request trends in the recent past. Additionally, as part of the Department's Open Government initiative, OWCP has recently completed or is in the process of completing the following activities:

  • Completed and submitted an inventory of datasets for all four of its programs;

  • OWCP will participate in the Department-wide analysis of this data to determine if additional datasets are appropriate for general release via the websites;

  • Added to OWCP websites, links to the Department's open Government web page to elicit feedback from our employees and stakeholders regarding new ideas for sharing data; and

  • OWCP and its Programs are also currently in the process of finalizing email messages that will be sent (within one week) to all employees and to program stakeholders, requesting that they share their ideas on improving the availability and quality of information OWCP produces and shares. subsequently, OWCP will participate in the Department-wide analysis of the feedback received to inform our data sharing initiatives.

WHD

WH is now in the process of converting all paper records in an electronic document management system which will be searchable by many different criteria. the FOIA system can be converted to this system as well and it is planned to use to two systems side by side until the new system has been thoroughly tested and approved by the appropriate authorities.

The agency has added to its website, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural workers' Protection Act list of eligible contractors; Child Labor Section 14C information; and new information regarding the Davis-Bacon Act. We have also expanded many of our existing data sets.

MSHA

The FOIA Officer has met with Program Areas to identify ways to streamline the review process when responding to requests. Requests will be reviewed and cleared by the Mine Safety and Health Division of the Solicitor's Office which has resulted in a reduction of processing time. MSHA provides a template to coordinators to assist them in preparing responses. The FOIA staff work closely with the Public Affairs Office to identify those requests that can be processed as an information request instead of FOIA. The FOIA Officer works closely with the IT office to ensure the agency has sufficient IT support including computer hardware and software equipment and adequate space on network drives.

Since the issuance of the new FOIA guidelines, we have posted accident investigation reports and a listing of mine addresses in advance of FOIA requests. MSHA is continually looking for ways to expand the information posted to better serve the public and hopefully reduce the number of FOIA requests. MSHA has recommended several new categories of information to be posted on the web, such as congressional requests, responses and logs. However, the agency will discuss with the DOL prior to posting to ensure a consistent agency-wide approach.

EBSA

The EBSA website has an enormous amount of information on it for our stakeholders. Since the new guidelines were issued, EBSA has posted the Form 5500 data sets from 1999 through 2009 in a downloadable format. It will be updated approximately quarterly. In addition, the EFAST 2 system implemented in January, 2010, will make individual Form 5500 filings available to the public on the web shortly after they have been filed.

ETA

Since the issuance of the new FOIA Guidelines, ETA personnel took steps to survey the most frequently requested records and determine what kinds of information would be most helpful on our web sites. With more than 80% of ETA FOIA requests related to Foreign Labor Certifications and applications, and another 15% related to grant applications and contracts, ETA program personnel have moved to increase the amount of information available to the public. In the case of Grants and Contracts, grant awards were already on the web, however, personnel are taking steps to also place the names and contact information of recent awardees on the web to decrease the number of non-specific FOIA requests for unnamed grantees. This action will streamline OGCM requests and proactively disclose the most frequently requested information.

OFLC staff analyzed the frequency and category of FOIA, general correspondence and telephone inquiries in order to plan to determine the type of improvements and proactive disclosures to put on the web. Additionally, program personnel determined the due to the frequency of FOIA requests for information already available on the web, that redesign efforts on the foreign labor website were necessary to make it more user friendly so that potential requestors can more readily find the information desired.

With the most commonly asked questions geared toward the status of pending applications, followed by requests for information on trends of the temporary visa program activities, the OFLC web site has been updated to new and additional information in several key areas. Since the issuance of the new guidelines, the following additions have been made to the OFLC site:

  1. Program Debarment Information – Listing of debarred employers, attorneys and /or agents from both the permanent and temporary programs has been added.

  2. OFLC Disclosure Data –Now provides information on the number of U.S. employers using foreign labor certification programs (permanent and temporary) by Fiscal Year; also indicates the number of foreign workers requested, wages paid, where employed, etc.

  3. OFLC Performance Reports – Now provides increased access to OFLC Annual Reports with the total number of labor certifications by fiscal year, number of certifications for each program, types of jobs certified, area of the country requesting certifications.

  4. "What's New" - this addition provides ready access to updates regarding OFLC regulations and procedures

  5. "For Employers" – Backlog Application Status – Allows employers to search case number backlog data

  6. ICERT System Portal- newly Designed to allow H-1 employers to file on-line; as well as gain access to their records electronically.

  7. ICERT Portal - added to allow access to search for prevailing wages and afford electronic submission of requests for prevailing wage determinations

OASAM

OASAM monitors the subject matter of FOIA requests to identify trends, as well as when information requested can be made available without review. individual Centers will post the information on their respective websites. currently, we have not determined specific trends or repetitive requests that would warrant the posting of requested material on the OASAM National Office website. However, the agency is prepared to do so when appropriate.

ALJ

OALJ's Document Management System automatically pushes ALJ decisions to the OALJ web site 24 hours after issuance. Longshore decisions are withheld from the web site for 5 business days to enable service on the parties by the district director. All reading room materials, such as newsletters, digest and benchbook updates, rules of practice, and similar materials are posted on the OALJ web site as soon as available. An e-mail subscription list is used to notify interested persons of new postings on the OALJ web site.

During the period from January 22, 2009 through March 11, 2010, OALJ posted 5718 ALJ decisions to its web site. These decisions included two new case types that were not available in 2008: appeals of denials of H-2B alien labor certification applications, and hearings involving Consumer Product Safety Act whistleblowers. In addition, OALJ has continually updated its other reading room materials with supplements and newsletters. In April 2009, OALJ added a new digest of decisions concerning permanent alien labor certification. This digest was significantly updated on February 17, 2010.

VETS

Discussion is underway to determine if a National and Regional office initiative would be useful. The Agency has discussed the feasibility of posting certain types of information. Most of our information is not of the nature that promotes global release.

OIG

OIG currently deploys its audit reports to the web with the exception of certain reports that are sensitive. OIG does not plan to post requests that concern criminal/program investigations covered under the Privacy Act and that contain grand jury information.

BLS

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) public website features our latest economic statistics, and highlights recently added data which makes the site more engaging for the public. The website provides online access to the BLS FOIA page which features "quick links" to specific FOIA-related information to assist the public. The BLS has information posted on its FOIA page encouraging the public to explore the BLS website or use our search engine to see if the information being sought is already available to the public through the Website. additionally, the BLS FOIA page informs the public that the Statistical data produced by the BLS may be obtained without making a request under the FOIA and also provides contact information for our information services and for the BLS programs that produce the data being sought to determine if a FOIA request needs to be submitted. Our goal is ensure that we provide the public with the highest quality of customer service.

BLS has reviewed the FOIA processes for its public website and although relatively small, it is possible to increase the amount of FOIA related information on the public website. Therefore, the agency will be doing so in the near future.

Adj Bds

Currently, there are no documents available that would meet the criteria for proactive disclosure.

WB

In accordance with E-FOIA Amendments; Departmental guidelines; FOIA directives and regulations, the Bureau ensures that materials are made readily available via the Women's Bureau Reading Room. The Bureau's Reading Room contains WB and/or DOL links which include: Administrative Staff Manuals, agency opinions and Orders, agency Statements of Policy and Interpretations, "Hot FOIAs" and frequently requested documents, i.e. CFDA/Grants, etc.

The Women's Bureau, in accordance with established DOL policies and guidelines, proactively works to readily and systematically posts information on its Website in an effort to keep the public informed about programs and initiatives that support and promote and support the Bureau's mission and vision. Examples of the type of information posted include internal/external collaborations across the region and at the state, local, federal, and private sector levels; publications, resources, and a host of other wide-ranging issues, and activities.

ODEP

ODEP maintains a website that provides access to many items that may be important to persons interested and involved in the disability employment and services community. This website is regularly reviewed and updated.

ASP

OASP has been actively engaged in DOL's Open Government Initiative.

The DOL semi-annual Regulatory Agenda and Annual Plan appears on the OASP web, along with any updates that may change regulatory priorities.

OCIA

OCIA does not typically receive FOIA requests. Therefore, at this time, there is no need for a FOIA website or FOIA reading room.

ILAB

Since the issuance of the new FOIA guidelines, ILAB has taken tremendous steps to increase the amount of materials that is available on our website. below are examples of the type of information that is now available:

Evaluations

We have started to put some evaluations on the web and will continue throughout the year to add more. Previously, evaluation reports had to be obtained through FOIA. They are available at: http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/ocft/oversight.htm. We hope to add 8 more evaluations on the web by the end of March and 13 more by the end of the fiscal year.

CFO

Almost all requests received by OCFO pertain to the Secretary's travel vouchers. We are evaluating whether this information should or can be disclosed proactively online. As of this time, it has not been posted. Having evaluated the average 10-15 FOIA requests OCFO receives annually, we have not identified other data sets owned by OCFO that are of public interest that are not already available on either OCFO or DOL's website, such as financial statements and federal agency liabilities for certain employment benefits.

OPA

Due to the limited number of FOIA requests that reach this agency each year, there is currently no need for a separate FOIA website or FOIA reading room.

OSBP

The Office of Small Business did not post any documents to its web site because much of our correspondence is generally associated with Executive correspondence or requests for information that is openly available on the U.S. department of Labor's web site.

SOL

The Office of the Solicitor has a dual role with respect to the Department's FOIA websites. On behalf of the Department of Labor, and with the assistance of the DOL Office of Public Affairs, SOL manages the departmental FOIA website. The agency ensures that current and accurate information regarding FOIA, as well as the proper links to all departmental FOIA websites are posted.

SOL also maintains its own individual FOIA page. During FY '09 the agency hired additional information technology staff to assist with a number of IT issues that include updating and maintaining its FOIA site.

JOB CORP

Since the new issuance Job Corps has posted additional material to the public web site, http://www.jobcorps.gov/AboutJobCorps/authority.aspx. For example, we have proactively posted the following documents on the public website:

Job Corps Policy and Requirements Handbook

Job Corps Policy and Requirements Handbook (PRH) (6,248 kb PDF file)
Record of Changes to the Job Corps PRH (59 kb PDF file)

Job Corps Data

Job Corps Center Inventory (48 kb XLS file)
Who job Corps Serves (23 kb XLS file)
Student outcomes (22 kb XLS file)
Common Measures Performance Indicators (21 kb XLS file)

Enrollment by State/Zip Code (per Calendar Year)

Calendar Year 2009 (836 kb XLS file)
Calendar Year 2008 (825 kb XLS file)
Calendar Year 2007 (829 kb XLS file)
Calendar Year 2006 (801 kb XLS file)
Calendar Year 2005 (799 kb XLS file)

Job Corps Annual Report

Program Year 2006 (5,188 kb PDF file)
Program Year 2005 (3,627 kb PDF file)
Program Year 2004 (2,480 kb PDF file)
Program Year 2003 (6,362 kb PDF file)
Program Year 2002 (1,289 kb PDF file)

Job Corps Advisory Committee Report

Job Corps Advisory Committee Report (2,823 kb PDF file)

Job Corps Performance Reports

Center Report (OMS-10)

Program Year 2008 - PDF file (35 kb) or TXT file (75 kb)
Program Year 2007 - PDF file (34 kb) or TXT file (75 kb)
Program Year 2006 - PDF file (34 kb) or TXT file (74 kb)

Outreach and Admissions Report (OAOMS-10)

Program Year 2008 - PDF file (26 kb) or TXT file (35 kb)
Program Year 2007 - PDF file (24 kb) or TXT file (34 kb)
Program Year 2006 - PDF file (23 kb) or TXT file (34 kb)

Career Transition Services Report (POMS-10)

Program Year 2008 - PDF file (35 kb) or TXT file (49 kb)
Program Year 2007 - PDF file (22 kb) or TXT file (53 kb)
Program Year 2006 - PDF file (26 kb) or TXT file (56 kb)

Monthly Reports

Center Report (OMS-10) (35 kb PDF file)
Outreach and Admissions Report (OAOMS-10) (22 kb PDF file)
Center Transition Services Report (POMS-10) (26 kb PDF file)

Job Corps Model Requests for Purchase (RFPs)

Center RFP (443 kb PDF file)
Outreach and Admissions/Career Transition Services (OA/CTS) RFP (324 kb PDF file)

Strategic Planning

DOL Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2006-2011

DOL Annual Performance and Accountability reports

Fiscal Year 2009
Fiscal Year 2008
Fiscal Year 2007
Fiscal Year 2006
Fiscal Year 2005
Fiscal Year 2004
Fiscal Year 2003
Fiscal Year 2002
Fiscal Year 2001

Program Assessment

The Office of Management and Budget's assessment of the Job Corps program is available at www.ExpectMore.gov.

Job Corps is currently reviewing its system of records in order to post routine requests to our FOIA Web site.

Part IV.    Steps Taken to Greater Utilize Technology

The Department of Labor is currently utilizing the SIMS-FOIA to centrally control and track FOIA requests. SIMS-FOIA has the capability to generate variety of reports that include overdue FOIAs and the FOIA annual report. It also has a web portal that enables the public to obtain the status of requests.

At present, the general public can file a FOIA request via mail or by accessing the following DOL link: foiarequest@dol.gov

DOL Component Responses:

Electronic receipt of requests:

  1. Does your agency currently receive requests electronically?

OSHA - Yes

OSHA receives FOIA requests through emails and fax machines. These methods allow the public to expedite their FOIA requests as opposed to having only land mail options for sending their FOIA requests to OSHA.

OFCCP - Yes

OFCCP receives requests electronically to the extent allowed by the Departmental FOIA regulations (i.e. via foiarequest@dol.gov).

OLMS - Yes
OWCP - Yes
WHD - Yes
MSHA - Yes

Electronic requests are submitted to DOL's centralized e-mail address and forwarded to MSHA.

EBSA - Yes
ETA - Yes

ETA receives electronic requests provided they are submitted to foiarequest@dol.gov, additionally, this agency receives amended requests, and withdrawals via email.

OASAM - Yes
ALJ - Yes
VETS - Yes
OIG – Yes
BLS - Yes
Adj Bds - Yes
WB - Yes

The Women's Bureau primarily receives electronic requests via the SIMS-FOIA (Secretary's Information Management System – an internal Department of Labor FOIA tracking and Reporting System) designed to enable agency components to comprehensively manage FOIA request. The Women's bureau may also receive requests via a link established on DOL's FOIA page (foiarequest@dol.gov).

The Bureau complies with FOIA/Departmental requirements and ensures availability of information by providing written guidelines and instructions for making FOIA requests, checking status of FOIA appeals (WB-FOIA@dol.gov); and establishing links on the WB Website (http://www.dol.gov/wb/e-foia.htm) which provide FOIA Resources (including department or other relevant Federal agencies), i.e., DOL FOIA Page; Annual FOIA Reports; DOL/DOJ FOIA Regulations and E-FOIA Amendments, Executive Orders, etc.

In accordance with E-FOIA Amendments; departmental guidelines; FOIA directives or regulations, the Bureau ensures that materials are made readily available via the Women's Bureau Reading Room. the Bureau's Reading Room contains WB and/or DOL links which include: administrative Staff Manuals, agency Opinions and Orders, agency Statements of policy and Interpretations, "Hot FOIAs" and frequently requested documents, i.e. CFDA/Grants, etc.

ODEP - Yes
ASP - Yes
OCIA - Yes
ILAB - Yes
OPA - Yes
OSBP - Yes
SOL - Yes
JOB CORP - Yes

  1. If not, what are the current impediments to your agency establishing a mechanism to receive requests electronically?

OSHA – N/A
OFCCP – N/A
OLMS – N/A
OWCP – N/A
WHD – N/A
MSHA

In an effort to eliminate the delay of receipt of FOIA requests that are forwarded by DOL to MSHA, we should have a mechanism to electronically receive requests directly from the requester to MSHA.

EBSA – N/A
ETA – N/A
OASAM – N/A
ALJ – N/A
VETS – N/A
OIG – N/A
BLS – N/A
Adj Bds – N/A
WB – N/A
ODEP – N/A
ASP – N/A
OCIA – N/A
ILAB – N/A
CFO – N/A
OPA – N/A
OSBP – N/A
SOL – N/A
JOB CORP – N/A

  1. Does your agency track requests electronically?

OSHA – Yes

OSHA uses SIMS-FOIA to maintain its FOIA database for ensuring timely and accurate responses to FOIA requests and developing reports.

OFCCP - Yes

OFCCP tracks requests electronically via SIMS-FOIA, which the agency has utilized since its inception in 2004-2005. OFCCP provides a tracking number to all FOIA requestors.

OLMS - Yes
OWCP - Yes
WHD - Yes
MSHA - Yes

MSHA tracks requests using the SIMS-FOIA system. the requesters can also track the status of their requests using DOL's website. the request and any correspondence (interim, partial, final responses) are scanned into the SIMS system. When practical, the requested records are also entered into the system. We also use an excel spreadsheet to monitor and track overdue requests.

EBSA - Yes
ETA - Yes

ETA tracks all requests electronically to include status requests and follow-ups. ETA also receives uploaded records from regions electronically to avoid excess postal and freight charges.

OASAM - Yes
ALJ - Yes
VETS - Yes
OIG - Yes
BLS - Yes
Adj Bds - Yes
WB - Yes

The Women's Bureau utilizes SIMS-FOIA. Through this system, WB is able to receive FOIA requests, track, respond, and complete quarterly and annual reports as required using information captured in the database.

ODEP - Yes
ASP - Yes
OCIA - Yes
ILAB - Yes

All requests received electronically are entered into the department's SIMS-FOIA system, assigned a FOIA tracking number, and due date.

CFO - Yes

OCFO utilizes SIMS-FOIA to track requests assigned to the agency, but does not use an internal electronic tracking system.

OPA - Yes
OSBP - Yes
SOL - Yes
JOB CORP - Yes

  1. If not, what are the current impediments to your agency utilizing a system to track electronically.

OSHA – N/A
OFCCP – N/A
OLMS – N/A
OWCP – N/A
WHD – N/A
MSHA – N/A
EBSA – N/A
ETA – N/A
OASAM – N/A
ALJ – N/A
VETS – N/A
OIG – N/A
BLS – N/A
Adj Bds – N/A
WB – N/A
ODEP – N/A
ASP – N/A
OCIA – N/A
ILAB – N/A
CFO – N/A
OPA – N/A
OSBP – N/A
SOL – N/A
JOB CORP – N/A

Electronic processing of requests:

  1. Does your agency use technology to process requests?

OSHA - Yes

OSHA FOIA requests are entered into and processed through the SIMS. By using that system, FOIA coordinators may reference data to ensure proper facilities are processing a FOIA request, requests are being processed in a timely manner, and data is being accumulated to provide reports about OSHA FOIA support.

OFCCP - Yes

OFCCP utilizes technology to a large extent when processing FOIA requests. The following are examples of how the agency utilizes technology to process FOIA requests: 1) receipt of requests electronically via foiarequest@dol.gov, 2) use of the SIMS/FOIA tracking system, 3) searching for records and available information through electronic means, 4) communicating with requestors via e-mail, 5) preparing responses electronically, and 6) providing responsive records in electronic format when requested.

OLMS - Yes
OWCP - Yes
WHD - Yes
MSHA - Yes
EBSA - Yes

Certain requests such as for customized searches of database are processed electronically. Hard copy productions, however are processed by hand

ETA - Yes

ETA uses all available technology to process requests to include digital software and scanning devices, electronically mailed responses, and electronic downloads from relevant databases. Currently, the ETA does not have access to electronic redaction software.

OASAM - Yes
ALJ - Yes
VETS - Yes
OIG – Yes

(When practicable, OIG will use redaction software.)

BLS - Yes
Adj Bds - Yes
WB - Yes

The Women's Bureau uses technology such as Office automation and Computer-based systems to process requests via E-mail, the internet, and by fax.

ODEP - Yes
ASP - Yes
OCIA - Yes
ILAB - Yes

ILAB uses electronic technology to process requests when the requestor has provided an email address and if the material disclosed can be made available in an electronic format.

CFO - Yes

OCFO uses email, spreadsheets, and PDF technology to process requests. OCFO also makes requests of its travel system provider to conduct electronic searches of its database to obtain travel-related information for FOIA requests.

OPA - Yes
OSBP - Yes
SOL - Yes
JOB CORP - Yes

  1. If not, what are the current impediments to your agency utilizing technology to process requests?

OSHA – N/A
OFCCP – N/A
OLMS – N/A
OWCP – N/A
WHD – N/A
MSHA – N/A
EBSA – N/A
ETA – N/A
OASAM – N/A
ALJ – N/A
VETS – N/A
OIG

The type of records and size of print requiring the electronic redaction can be impediments and delay the amount of time it takes to answer requests.

BLS – N/A
Adj Bds – N/A
WB – N/A
ODEP – N/A
ASP – N/A
OCIA – N/A
ILAB – N/A
CFO – N/A
OPA – N/A
OSBP – N/A
SOL – N/A
JOB CORP – N/A

Electronic Preparation of Annual FOIA Report

  1. Does your agency utilize technology to prepare your agency Annual FOIA Report?

OSHA - Yes

SIMS-FOIA provides data entered throughout the year to produce OSHA's FOIA Annual Report.

OFCCP - Yes

OFCCP utilizes SIMS-FOIA's capability to generate the agency's annual report to the greatest extent possible. When needed, additional analysis is performed electronically utilizing MS Word and Excel.

OLMS - Yes
OWCP - Yes
WHD - Yes

WH uses extensively SIMS-FOIA to process the annual Report. All regions are mandated to fully update their SIMS-FOIA electronic records prior to running the report. They are then required to review the document manually to insure accuracy.

MSHA – Yes,

The SIMS-FOIA system prepares the agency annual report.

EBSA

Technology is used to prepare the Annual FOIA report to a limited extent. The current tracking system utilized by the department has much, but not all of the necessary information.

ETA - Yes

ETA is in full compliance with DOL and DOJ requirements through its use of the FOIA SIMS electronic tracking database. The annual report is pulled using this software which has undergone several releases to accommodate current tracking and measurement requirements.

OASAM - Yes
ALJ - Yes
VETS - Yes
OIG - Yes

OIG uses program that is designed to be similar to DOL system.

BLS - Yes
Adj Bds - Yes
WB - Yes

The Women's Bureau utilizes technology such as office Automation and Computer-based systems that include SIMS-FOIA which is designed to capture and generate a record of WB Fiscal Year FOIA experience. The information contained within SIMS-FOIA facilitates preparation of a DOL Annual FOIA Report.

ODEP - Yes
ASP - Yes
OCIA - Yes
ILAB - Yes
CFO - Yes

OCFO utilizes SIMS-FOIA to prepare the report and validates the data against an internal log maintained by the FOIA coordinator.

OPA - Yes
OSBP - Yes
SOL - Yes
JOB CORP - Yes

  1. If not, what are the current impediments to your agency utilizing technology in preparing your Annual FOIA Report?

OSHA – N/A
OFCCP – N/A
OLMS – N/A
OWCP – N/A
WHD – N/A
MSHA – N/A
EBSA – N/A
ETA – N/A
OASAM – N/A
ALJ – N/A
VETS – N/A
OIG – N/A
BLS – N/A
Adj Bds – N/A
WB – N/A
ODEP – N/A
ASP – N/A
OCIA – N/A
ILAB – N/A
CFO – N/A
OPA – N/A
OSBP – N/A
SOL – N/A
JOB CORP – N/A

Part V.    Steps Taken to Reduce Backlogs and Improve Timeliness in Responding to Requests

  1. Backlog Status

DOL – Initial Request Backlog Comparison Chart

AGENCY

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of FY 2008

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of FY 2009

Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of First Quarter FY 2010

OSHA

216

249

264

OFCCP

14

9

8

OLMS

1

3

6

OWCP

0

0

12

WHD

91

166

81

MSHA

29

41

22

EBSA

11

35

35

ETA

37

37

27

OASAM

12

57

57

ALJ

3

1

1

VETS

2

0

2

OIG

0

9

11

BLS

0

2

2

Adj Bds

0

0

1

WB

0

0

1

ODEP

0

0

0

ASP

0

0

3

OCIA

0

0

0

ILAB

1

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

OPA

0

0

0

OSBP

2

0

0

SOL

3

10

8

JOB CORP

0

0

0

AGENCY OVERALL

422

619

541

DOL – Oldest Pending Requests

  • 2009 Oldest Pending Request = 07/05/2007 (601 days)

  • 2008 Oldest Pending Request = 07-14-06 (777 days)

At the end of FY 2009, the Department of Labor had a total backlog of 619 requests. However, as demonstrated by the chart below, by the close of the first quarter (FY 2010), the Department showed a 12.6% reduction with a total of 541 backlogged requests.

This reduction is demonstrative of the Department being on pace toward exceeding its annual goal of a 10% reduction in total backlog.

DOL – Appeals

Note:    All FOIA Appeals are reviewed by the department's centralized FOIA Appeals Unit located within the Office of the solicitor. (Therefore, required data regarding appeals will be listed within this section of the report, not with individual component responses.

  • Oldest Appeal at the end of FY 2009 – 10/13/2005 (1,448 days pending)

  • Oldest Appeal at the end of FY 2008 – 12/10/04 (1,391 days pending)

  • Number of Backlogged Appeals as of September 30, 2009 totaled 178

  • Number of Backlogged Appeals as of September 30, 2008 totaled 208

AGENCY

Number of Backlogged Appeals As of End of the Fiscal Year 2008

Number of Backlogged Appeals As of End of the Fiscal Year 2009

OSHA

117

84

ESA

43

38

  • OMAP

  • OFCCP

  • OLMS

  • OWCP

  • WHD

6

7

3

14

13

3

3

0

19

13

MSHA

4

4

EBSA

6

2

ETA

22

31

OASAM

5

4

ALJ

1

1

VETS

5

5

OIG

0

4

BLS

2

0

Adj Bds

0

1

WB

0

0

ODEP

0

0

ASP

0

0

OCIA

0

0

ILAB

0

0

CFO

1

1

OPA

0

0

OSBP

0

0

SOL

2

2

JOB CORP

0

1

AGENCY OVERALL

208

178

Note:    The "Appeals" backlog is decreasing.

DOL Component Responses:

OSHA

FY 2008 backlog - 216 Oldest reported pending request 300 days (7/16/07)
FY 2009 backlog - 249 Oldest reported pending request 249 days (10/2/08)

OFCCP

FY 2008 – 14 (backlogged requests)
FY 2009 – 9 (backlogged requests)
FY 2010 (1st Quarter) – 8 (backlogged requests)

OLMS

At the end of FY 2009, OLMS had three backlogged FOIA requests.
Two requests were pending at the end of Fiscal Year 2008.

OWCP

OWCP had no backlogged FOIA requests in FY 2009. there were also no backlogged requests in 2008.

WHD

WH had 91 backlogged FOIAs in FY 2008 and 166 backlogged FOIAs in FY2009. At the end of the first Quarter of FY 2010, there were 88 backlogged FOIAs.
FY 2008 Oldest Pending Request – 11/8/2006 (664 days)
FY 2009 Oldest Pending Request – 11/18/08 (227 days)

MSHA

At the end of FY 2009, MSHA had a total of 41 backlog requests which range from 1-536 days overdue.
2008: 29 Date of oldest request in 2008: 10-18-07 Appeals: 4
2009: 41 Date of oldest request in 2008: 08-13-07 Appeals: 4

EBSA

Backlogged requests at the end of 2008: 10; oldest received 4/24/2008
Backlogged requests at the end of 2009: 35; Oldest received 4/16/2009

ETA

At the end of FY 2009, ETA had 37 backlogged FOIA requests. The ETA FY 2009 backlog decreased to 37 from the FY 2008 backlog of total of 101, which well surpassed the FOIA Improvement Plan goal for backlog reductions.

At the end of FY2009, there were five pending requests from FY2008. The oldest request still in process is from January 2008 and has more than 10,000 responsive deliberative process records. The remaining 32 backlogged requests are from FY2009.

OASAM

At the end of Fiscal Year 2009 OASAM had 57 backlogged FOIA requests. At the end of FY '08, there were 12 backlogged requests.

Oldest Requests

2008: 07-14-06 (777 days)
2009: 02-26-08 (456 days)

ALJ

At the end of Fiscal Year 2009, ALJ had one backlogged request.

VETS

At the end of Fiscal Year 2009, VETS had no backlogged requests.
Two backlogged requests were pending at the close of FY 2008. The date of the oldest request was 3/14/2008.

OIG

OIG had nine backlogged FOIA requests.

FY '08 - 0 Backlog
FY '09 - 9 backlogged requests (04-27-09 - date of oldest)

BLS

BLS had two backlogged FOIA requests at the end of FY 2009.

2009 - Oldest Pending Requests:

  • Backlogged FOIA request Date: May 20, 2009 pending

  • Backlogged FOIA request Date: June 8, 2009 Closed

2008 - There were no backlogged or pending requests at the end of FY 2008.

Adj Bds

The Adjudicatory Boards did not have a FOIA backlog.

WB

The Bureau had no backlogged FOIA requests.

ODEP

ODEP did not have a FOIA backlog.

ASP

ASP did not have a FOIA backlog.

OCIA

OCIA did not have any backlogged FOIA requests.

ILAB

ILAB did not have a backlog of FOIA requests.

CFO

OCFO did not have a FOIA backlog.

OPA

OPA did not have a FOIA backlog.

OSBP

OSBP did not have a FOIA backlog.

SOL

At the end of FY 2009, the Office of the solicitor had 10 backlogged FOIA requests.

2009: Oldest Pending Request (07-05-2007 – 601 days)
2008: Oldest Pending Request (07-05-2007 – 332 days)

JOB CORP

FOIA backlog numbers from FY 2008: We experienced no backlog.
FOIA backlog numbers from FY 2009: We experienced no backlog.

  1. Age of Requests

The following is a listing of all backlogged appeals as of September 30, 2009:

Age of "DOL" Backlogged Appeals as of September 30, 2009

Date

Appeal Number

Number of Days Open

Agency

10/13/2005

050378

1448

OSHA

04/11/2006

060130

1268

EBSA

04/13/2006

060140

1266

ETA

01/31/2007

070079

973

OSHA

02/28/2007

070101

945

EBSA

03/23/2007

070134

922

BLS

04/18/2007

070162

896

OSHA

05/22/2007

070190

862

OALJ

07/18/2007

070246

805

OSHA

08/07/2007

070275

785

WHD

08/07/2007

070279

785

OSHA

09/28/2007

070312

733

OSHA

10/30/2007

080021

701

BLS

10/31/2007

080038

700

OSHA

11/20/2007

080043

680

OWCP

11/20/2007

080046

680

OSHA

12/21/2007

080075

649

OSHA

01/14/2008

080082

625

OASAM

02/19/2008

080111

589

OWCP

02/21/2008

080131

587

OSHA

03/06/2008

080138

573

OSHA

03/17/2008

080148

562

OSHA

03/18/2008

080153

561

ETA

03/18/2008

080155

561

OSHA

04/11/2008

080172

537

OSHA

04/11/2008

080174

537

OSHA

04/11/2008

080176

537

OSHA

04/15/2008

080177

533

OSHA

04/15/2008

080183

533

OSHA

04/15/2008

080185

533

OSHA

04/15/2008

080186

533

OSHA

04/22/2008

080182

526

SOL

04/29/2008

080175

519

OCFO

05/01/2008

080196

517

OSHA

05/02/2008

080198

516

OFCCP

05/02/2008

080199

516

OSHA

05/02/2008

080200

516

WHD

05/02/2008

080201

516

OSHA

05/02/2008

080202

516

WHD

05/02/2008

080203

516

VETS

05/02/2008

080206

516

OWCP

05/02/2008

080208

516

ESA

05/02/2008

080209

516

OSHA

05/02/2008

080210

516

OSHA

05/13/2008

080211

505

OWCP

05/14/2008

080217

504

OSHA

05/14/2008

080218

504

OFCCP

06/05/2008

080227

482

OSHA

06/05/2008

080234

482

OSHA

06/05/2008

080233

482

OSHA

06/06/2008

080238

481

OSHA

06/06/2008

080239

481

OSHA

06/18/2008

080256

469

OSHA

06/18/2008

080259

469

OSHA

07/07/2008

080270

450

OSHA

07/10/2008

080276

447

OWCP

07/10/2008

080278

447

OSHA

07/10/2008

080279

447

OSHA

07/10/2008

080280

447

OSHA

07/11/2008

080283

446

WHD

07/11/2008

080285

446

OASAM

07/21/2008

080295

436

WHD

07/24/2008

080297

433

OSHA

07/24/2008

080299

433

OSHA

08/06/2008

080310

420

OSHA

08/06/2008

080312

420

OSHA

08/09/2008

080333

397

OSHA

08/09/2008

080334

397

OSHA

09/05/2008

080342

390

OWCP

09/05/2008

080345

390

OSHA

09/05/2008

080346

390

OSHA

09/12/2008

080352

383

ETA

09/17/2008

080357

378

OSHA

09/17/2008

080358

378

OSHA

10/16/2008

090010

349

ETA

10/16/2008

090011

349

ETA

10/16/2008

090012

349

ETA

10/20/2008

090017

345

OSHA

10/20/2008

090021

345

OSHA

11/06/2008

090041

328

VETS

11/06/2008

090042

328

MSHA

11/17/2008

090047

317

WHD

11/17/2008

090048

317

WHD

11/17/2008

090049

317

WHD

11/17/2008

090050

317

WHD

11/17/2008

090051

317

OSHA

11/28/2008

090054

306

OSHA

11/28/2008

090055

306

ETA

11/28/2008

090058

306

MSHA

12/04/2008

090064

300

OSHA

12/11/2008

090067

293

OSHA

12/11/2008

090069

293

OWCP

12/11/2008

090072

293

VETS

12/18/2008

090080

286

ETA

12/30/2008

090083

274

OSHA

01/09/2009

090089

264

OSHA

01/09/2009

090093

264

ETA

01/09/2009

090094

264

OSHA

01/09/2009

090098

264

OWCP

01/23/2009

090101

250

ETA

01/23/2009

090107

250

WHD

01/26/2009

090111

247

OWCP

01/26/2009

090112

247

OSHA

02/11/2009

090129

231

OIG

02/11/2009

090130

231

OSHA

02/11/2009

090132

231

ETA

02/19/2009

090125

223

OIG

02/19/2009

090139

223

OSHA

02/19/2009

090141

223

OSHA

03/11/2009

090145

203

ETA

03/11/2009

090149

203

OSHA

03/18/2009

090156

196

WHD

03/18/2009

090159

196

ESA

03/18/2009

090161

196

ETA

03/23/2009

090171

191

OWCP

03/25/2009

090178

189

OSHA

03/25/2009

090179

189

OSHA

03/25/2009

090180

189

OSHA

04/02/2009

090185

181

ETA

04/02/2009

090186

181

OWCP

04/15/2009

090189

168

MSHA

04/15/2009

090193

168

OSHA

04/23/2009

090197

160

OSHA

04/23/2009

090203

160

OSHA

04/23/2009

090204

160

ETA

05/05/2009

090212

148

OSHA

05/05/2009

090215

148

OSHA

05/08/2009

090217

145

ETA

05/08/2009

090219

145

OWCP

05/08/2009

090223

145

OSHA

05/20/2009

090226

133

OSHA

05/20/2009

090227

133

ETA

05/20/2009

090230

133

OSHA

06/10/2009

090234

112

OWCP

06/10/2009

090236

112

ETA

06/10/2009

090238

112

OSHA

06/10/2009

090241

112

WHD

06/15/2009

090252

107

ETA

06/15/2009

090253

107

OJC

06/17/2009

090244

105

VETS

06/25/2009

090260

97

ETA

06/25/2009

090251

97

OSHA

06/25/2009

090261

97

ETA

06/25/2009

090263

97

OASAM

06/25/2009

090264

97

OSHA

06/26/2009

090269

96

OSHA

07/07/2009

090271

85

ETA

07/10/2009

090275

82

OSHA

07/10/2009

090276

82

OSHA

07/22/2009

090279

70

ETA

07/22/2009

090285

70

OASAM

08/05/2009

090287

56

OWCP

08/05/2009

090288

56

ETA

08/05/2009

090290

56

ETA

08/05/2009

090292

56

OSHA

08/05/2009

090293

56

OSHA

08/05/2009

090294

56

OSHA

08/14/2009

090295

47

ETA

08/14/2009

090296

47

ETA

08/14/2009

090297

47

ETA

08/14/2009

090298

47

OWCP

08/14/2009

090299

47

MSHA

08/17/2009

090301

44

WHD

08/17/2009

090303

44

ETA

08/17/2009

090306

44

OSHA

08/17/2009

090309

44

ESA

08/17/2009

090310

44

OWCP

08/17/2009

090312

44

OWCP

08/18/2009

090313

43

OSHA

08/19/2009

090318

42

OSHA

08/19/2009

090319

42

VETS

08/19/2009

090320

42

OSHA

08/27/2009

090322

34

OSHA

08/27/2009

090324

34

SOL

08/28/2009

090325

33

ETA

08/28/2009

090328

33

OFCCP

08/28/2009

090329

33

OSHA

09/08/2009

090330

22

ETA

Note:    The Director of the FOIA Appeals Unit maintains monthly records to document the number of appeals issued, received, and progress on reducing the backlog, and report the progress to the Deputy associate and Associate Solicitor, and, upon request, to the Deputy Solicitor. in the last FY, SOL advertised for and hired a third attorney for the counsel area (although her start date was not until FY 2010). The Appeals Unit also regularly utilizes the two track system to insure that small routine cases of approximately 20 pages or less are responded to quickly. Processing personnel routinely call requesters to negotiate with them to limit requests and to see if requesters are still interested in older requests.

Component Responses:

OSHA

OSHA FOIA Backlog (As of the End of FY 2009)

1

10/23/08

236

2

10/22/08

237

3

10/22/08

237

4

10/16/08

240

5

10/15/08

241

6

10/15/08

242

7

10/6/08

247

8

10/3/08

248

9

10/3/08

248

10

10/2/08

249

11

1/19/08

635

12

10/10/08

360

13

10/10/08

360

14

10/12/08

358

15

11/17/08

353

16

11/24/08

346

17

12/5/08

335

18

12/2/08

307

19

12/15/08

294

20

12/26/08

283

21

1/3/09

275

22

1/10/09

268

23

1/11/09

267

24

1/13/09

266

25

1/17/09

261

26

3/18/09

260

27

1/19/09

259

28

1/19/09

259

29

1/24/09

254

30

1/25/09

253

31

2/4/09

246

32

2/4/09

246

33

2/11/09

239

34

2/12/09

238

35

2/16/09

234

36

2/16/09

234

37

2/17/09

233

38

2/19/09

231

39

2/24/09

226

40

2/24/09

226

41

2/28/09

220

42

3/2/09

217

43

3/14/09

205

44

3/14/09

205

45

3/22/09

197

46

3/24/09

195

47

3/27/09

192

48

3/27/09

192

49

3/28/09

191

50

4/6/09

183

51

4/6/09

183

52

4/7/09

182

53

4/12/09

177

54

4/13/09

176

55

4/18/09

171

56

4/18/09

169

57

4/19/09

170

58

4/20/09

169

59

4/26/09

163

60

4/27/09

162

61

4/27/09

162

62

4/27/09

162

63

4/29/09

160

64

5/2/09

156

65

5/5/09

153

66

5/5/09

153

67

5/8/09

150

68

5/10/09

148

69

5/15/09

143

70

5/16/09

142

71

5/16/09

142

72

5/17/09

141

73

5/23/09

135

74

5/25/09

133

75

6/8/09

120

76

6/10/09

118

77

6/10/09

118

78

6/10/09

118

79

6/20/09

108

80

6/20/09

108

81

6/21/09

107

82

6/22/09

106

83

6/23/09

105

84

6/27/09

101

85

6/28/09

100

86

6/30/09

98

87

6/30/09

98

88

6/3/09

98

89

7/3/09

64

90

7/4/09

63

91

7/4/09

63

92

7/6/09

61

93

7/7/09

60

94

7/10/09

57

95

7/10/09

57

96

7/11/09

56

97

7/14/09

53

98

7/17/09

40

99

7/17/09

40

100

7/16/09

38

101

7/20/09

47

102

7/20/09

47

103

7/21/09

46

104

7/25/09

42

105

7/27/09

42

106

7/28/09

39

107

7/31/09

36

108

7/31/09

36

109

8/2/09

34

110

8/2/09

34

111

8/4/09

32

112

8/8/09

28

113

8/9/09

27

114

8/9/09

27

115

8/11/09

26

116

8/14/09

25

117

8/14/09

25

118

8/15/09

24

119

8/17/09

23

120

8/18/09

22

121

8/21/09

20

122

8/22/09

19

123

8/23/09

18

124

8/25/09

6

125

8/25/09

6

126

8/28/09

4

127

8/28/09

4

128

8/29/09

3

129

8/29/09

3

130

8/30/09

1

131

8/30/09

1

132

8/30/09

1

133

8/30/09

1

134

8/30/09

1

135

5/6/09

83

136

8/13/09

14

137

8/25/09

6

138

8/25/09

6

139

8/31/09

2

140

5/20/05

1483

141

2/19/08

478

142

11/16/08

217

143

11/10/08

213

144

11/12/08

211

145

11/19/08

204

146

11/24/08

199

147

12/04/09

189

148

12/05/09

188

149

12/16/08

177

150

12/17/08

176

151

2/5/09

126

152

2/6/09

125

153

2/9/09

122

154

2/10/09

121

155

2/17/09

114

156

2/23/09

108

157

2/24/09

107

158

3/3/09

100

159

3/24/09

79

160

3/27/09

76

161

3/31/09

72

162

4/6/09

66

163

4/9/09

63

164

4/10/09

62

165

4/14/09

58

166

4/16/09

56

167

4/21/09

51

168

4/29/09

43

169

4/30/09

42

170

5/1/09

41

171

5/4/09

38

172

5/5/09

37

173

5/6/09

36

174

5/13/09

29

175

5/14/09

28

176

5/19/09

23

177

5/22/09

20

178

5/28/09

14

179

6/2/09

9

180

6/4/09

7

181

6/8/09

3

182

12/29/08

297

183

1/14/09

236

184

1/20/09

229

185

2/4/09

216

186

2/4/09

216

187

3/3/09

190

188

3/16/09

167

189

4/20/09

132

190

4/20/09

132

191

5/6/09

123

192

6/9/09

90

193

6/17/09

77

194

6/29/09

68

195

6/29/09

68

196

7/16/09

48

197

8/14/09

25

198

8/17/09

22

199

8/28/09

21

200

11/10/08

320

201

11/10/08

320

202

11/17/08

313

203

1/2/09

267

204

1/15/09

254

205

2/11/09

227

206

2/17/09

221

207

2/18/09

220

208

2/24/09

214

209

2/25/09

213

210

3/11/09

199

211

3/12/09

198

212

3/16/09

194

213

3/16/09

194

214

3/19/09

191

215

3/24/09

186

216

4/14/09

165

217

4/14/09

165

218

4/24/09

155

219

4/28/09

151

220

5/6/09

143

221

5/7/09

142

222

5/12/09

137

223

5/13/09

136

224

5/18/09

131

225

5/19/09

130

226

5/20/09

129

227

5/26/09

123

228

5/29/09

120

229

6/2/09

116

230

6/8/09

110

231

6/16/09

102

232

6/17/09

101

233

6/23/09

95

234

6/25/09

93

235

7/10/09

78

236

7/23/09

65

237

7/30/09

58

238

8/6/09

51

239

8/7/09

50

240

8/10/09

47

241

8/25/09

32

242

8/28/09

29

243

8/31/09

26

244

9/17/09

9

245

9/18/09

8

246

9/21/09

5

247

9/25/09

1

248

8/4/09

53

249

2/27/09

146

OFCCP

FY 2008 Backlogged FOIA Requests (10 Oldest)

Agency

Total Number of Backlogged FOIA Requests
(Number of Requests Pending Beyond Statutory Time Period of 20 Days)

Dates of 10 Oldest Backlogged FOIA Requests

Number of Days Pending

OFCCP

14

02/07/2008
02/26/2008
04/07/2008
04/15/2008
04/18/2008
04/18/2008
04/18/2008
04/29/2008
07/21/2008
07/21/2008

152
59
122
117
102
67
25
98
42
42

FY 2009 Backlogged FOIA Requests

Agency

Total Number of Backlogged FOIA Requests
(Number of Requests Pending Beyond Statutory Time Period of 20 Days)

Dates of Backlogged FOIA Requests

Number of Days Pending

OFCCP

9

05/05/2009
05/08/2009
06/26/2009
06/26/2009
06/26/2009
06/26/2009
06/26/2009
07/13/2009
08/24/2009

92
98
67
67
67
67
67
57
27

OLMS

2009

April 28, 2009 (pending 155 days)
April 28, 2009 (pending 155 days)
July 14, 2009 (tolled) (pending 78 days)

2008

July 30, 2008 (completed)
September 19, 2008 (completed)

OWCP

OWCP did not have a backlog.

WHD

Wage and Hour Division

Date of Request

Number of Days Pending

06/23/2009

100

08/17/2009

45

08/24/2009

38

09/02/2009

29

09/17/2009

14

09/24/2009

7

09/24/2009

7

09/24/2009

7

09/25/2009

6

08/12/2009

50

02/05/2007

969

02/12/2008

597

08/20/2008

407

02/18/2009

225

04/20/2009

164

06/04/2009

119

06/05/2009

118

06/19/2009

104

06/19/2009

104

06/26/2009

97

06/25/2009

98

06/29/2009

94

07/10/2009

83

07/06/2009

87

07/06/2009

87

07/07/2009

86

07/13/2009

80

07/06/2009

87

07/13/2009

80

07/17/2009

76

07/17/2009

76

08/03/2009

59

08/06/2009

56

08/11/2009

51

08/12/2009

50

08/12/2009

50

08/13/2009

49

08/17/2009

45

08/18/2009

44

08/12/2009

50

08/19/2009

43

08/20/2009

42

08/21/2009

41

08/24/2009

38

08/24/2009

38

08/26/2009

36

08/26/2009

36

08/27/2009

35

08/31/2009

31

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/01/2009

30

09/03/2009

28

09/03/2009

28

09/03/2009

28

09/04/2009

27

09/08/2009

23

09/08/2009

23

09/08/2009

23

09/09/2009

22

09/09/2009

22

09/10/2009

21

09/11/2009

20

09/11/2009

20

09/11/2009

20

08/26/2009

36

09/14/2009

17

09/14/2009

17

09/01/2009

30

09/14/2009

17

09/14/2009

17

09/15/2009

16

09/15/2009

16

09/15/2009

16

09/21/2009

10

09/17/2009

14

09/21/2009

10

09/21/2009

10

09/25/2009

6

09/29/2009

2

09/10/2009

21

11/15/2007

686

08/31/2009

31

06/22/2006

1197

07/08/2008

450

08/11/2008

416

10/27/2008

339

09/09/2009

22

09/02/2009

29

08/10/2009

52

08/13/2009

49

09/15/2009

16

09/15/2009

16

09/18/2009

13

09/21/2009

10

09/15/2009

16

10/11/2006

1086

09/29/2008

367

11/19/2008

316

12/08/2008

297

05/26/2009

128

05/29/2009

125

06/15/2009

108

06/15/2009

108

06/19/2009

104

06/19/2009

104

06/09/2009

114

06/19/2009

104

06/29/2009

94

06/26/2009

97

06/26/2009

97

06/26/2009

97

06/26/2009

97

07/10/2009

83

06/30/2009

93

07/15/2009

78

07/17/2009

76

07/20/2009

73

08/10/2009

52

07/29/2009

64

07/30/2009

63

08/04/2009

58

08/04/2009

58

08/12/2009

50

08/12/2009

50

08/13/2009

49

08/14/2009

48

08/27/2009

35

08/19/2009

43

08/20/2009

42

08/20/2009

42

08/24/2009

38

08/11/2009

51

09/01/2009

30

09/02/2009

29

09/03/2009

28

09/10/2009

21

08/17/2009

45

08/19/2009

43

09/15/2009

16

09/15/2009

16

09/15/2009

16

09/16/2009

15

09/21/2009

10

09/23/2009

8

09/23/2009

8

09/23/2009

8

09/23/2009

8

09/18/2009

13

09/14/2009

17

09/23/2009

8

09/23/2009

8

09/10/2009

21

09/10/2009

21

09/10/2009

21

09/10/2009

21

09/14/2009

17

10/14/2008

352

MSHA

AGENCY

Number of Backlogged Requests

Dates of Backlogged Requests

Number of Days

MSHA

41

August 13, 2007
September 25, 2007
October 22, 2007
February 8, 2008
March 24, 2008
August 4, 2008
August 7. 2008
August 28, 2008
December 29, 2008
January 23, 2009
March 12, 2009
March 31, 2009
June 2, 2009
June 15, 2009
June 15, 2009
June 15, 2009
June 18, 2009
June 8, 2009
June 8, 2009
June 29, 2009
June 29, 2009
June 29, 2009
June 8, 2009
July 31, 2009
July 31, 2009
August 3, 2009
August 4, 2009
August 5, 2009
August 10, 2009
June 29, 2009
September 1, 2009
September 4, 2009
September 4, 2009
September 9, 2009
September 14, 2009
September 15, 2009
September 14, 2009
September 16, 2009
September 21, 2009
September 14, 2009
September 15, 2009

536
500
488
412
384
291
279
264
176
157
128
122
76
76
76
73
72
67
66
66
66
62
58
43
42
42
41
39
36
34
21
18
18
16
13
12
12
11
8
7
4

EBSA

EBSA

Request Date

Number of Days Pending

1.

4/17/2009

177 days

2.

5/12/2009

160 days

3.

6/8/2009

142 days

4.

6/9/2009

141 days

5.

6/9/2009

141 days

6.

6/22/2009

133 days

7

6/22/2009

133 days

8.

6/23/2009

132 days

9.

6/23/2009

132 days

10.

6/23/2009

132 days

11.

6/29/2009

127 days

12.

6/30/2009

126 days

13.

6/30/2009

126 days

14.

6/30/2009

126 days

15.

6/30/2009

126 days

16.

6/30/2009

126 days

17.

6/30/2009

126 days

18.

6/30/2009

126 days

19.

7/17/2009

114 days

20.

8/4/2009

102 days

21.

8/4/2009

102 days

22.

8/7/2009

99 days

23.

8/11/2009

97 days

24.

8/13/2009

95 days

25.

9/11/2009

75 days

26.

10/8/2009

56 days

27.

10/13/2009

54 days

28.

10/13/2009

54 days

29.

10/26/2009

45 days

30.

10/30/2009

41 days

31.

11/12/2009

34 days

32.

11/16/2009

   

33.

11/18/2009

   

ETA

ETA - FY 2009 FOIA Backlog

Request Date

Number of Days Pending

1/24/2008

424

7/1/2008

310

7/5/2008

314

8/11/2008

286

9/12/2008

263

11/21/2008

215

12/1/2008

205

12/1/2008

205

1/6/2009

180

16/2009

180

2/3/2009

168

2/4/2009

167

2/4/2009

167

2/4/2009

167

2/5/2009

166

2/21/2009

152

2/23/2009

150

2/23/2009

150

2/23/2009

150

3/9/2009

145

3/9/2009

145

3/9/2009

145

3/9/2009

145

3/9/2009

145

3/10/2009

144

3/10/2009

144

3/10/2009

144

3/10/2009

144

3/10/2009

144

3/10/2009

144

3/10/2009

144

3/11/2009

143

3/11/2009

143

3/11/2009

143

3/12/2009

142

3/12/2009

142

3/12/2009

142

OASAM

OASAM SIMS Number

Date of Request

Days Pending

552422

3/26/2009

225

553871

4/6/2009

217

555019

4/15/2009

210

557046

4/28/2009

210

559422

5/12/2009

192

561359

5/20/2009

178

561617

5/20/2009

175

561634

5/28/2009

175

561841

5/20/2009

174

561844

5/20/2009

174

561845

5/20/2009

174

561848

5/20/2009

174

561850

5/20/2009

174

562005

5/20/2009

174

562009

5/20/2009

174

562011

5/20/2009

174

562012

5/20/2009

174

563549

6/9/2009

173

564977

5/20/2009

173

564982

5/23/2009

172

564968

5/21/2009

171

562587

6/12/2009

170

563876

5/20/2009

169

563903

5/20/2009

169

563909

5/20/2009

169

563976

5/20/2009

169

563980

5/20/2009

169

563982

5/20/2009

169

563998

5/20/2009

169

565130

5/20/2009

168

565131

5/20/2009

168

555186

4/16/2009

166

565314

7/1/2009

166

563869

5/17/2009

164

564681

3/14/2009

160

566439

7/9/2009

159

567103

7/15/2009

156

567107

7/15/2009

156

567900

7/22/2009

151

568783

7/15/2009

148

567512

6/26/2009

148

569143

7/28/2009

147

569148

7/29/2009

146

570632

8/5/2009

141

570889

8/6/2009

141

570910

8/10/2009

138

571386

8/12/2009

136

571488

8/6/2009

135

571508

8/16/2009

133

571534

8/17/2009

132

572577

8/25/2009

127

572575

8/25/2009

127

572576

8/25/2009

126

573169

8/28/2009

123

576483

9/23/2009

106

ALJ

8-26-2009 (25 days pending)

VETS

VETS does not have a FOIA backlog.

OIG

04-27-2009 (168 days pending)
05-28-09 (148 days pending)
06-05-09 (142 days pending)
06-18-09 (93- days pending/closed)
07-07-09 (122 days pending)
07-07-09 (107- days pending/closed)
08-03-09 (88- days pending/closed)
08-24-09 (38- days pending/closed)
08-25-09 (46- days pending/closed)

BLS

FOIA request -- May 20, 2009 pending 167 days
FOIA request -- June 8, 2009 pending 108 days

Adj Bds

The Adjudicatory Boards did not have a backlog.

WB

The Women's Bureau did not have a backlog.

ODEP

ODEP did not have a backlog.

ASP

ASP did not have a backlog.

OCIA

OCIA did not have a backlog.

ILAB

ILAB did not have a backlog.

CFO

CFO did not have a backlog.

OPA

OPA did not have a backlog.

OSBP

OSBP did not have a backlog.

SOL

SOL - Backlogged FOIA Requests
(As of September 30, 2009)

Date of Request

Number of Days Pending

7/5/2007

562

9/11/2007

510

9/4/2008

267

10/29/2008

231

11/14/2008

220

1/8/2009

181

1/13/2009

175

1/23/2009

170

1/23/2009

170

2/6/2009

165

JOB CORP

Job Corp did not have a backlog.

  1. Backlog reduction Steps

OSHA – N/A
OFCCP – N/A
OLMS

OLMS is in consultation with its Solicitor's office to determine the appropriate disposition of its two oldest requests. They are comprehensive requests for voluminous documents related to pending regulatory activity. The July 14, 2009 request has been tolled pending the requestor's payment of fees associated with processing his request. See 29 C.F.R. §70.43(d).

OWCP – N/A
WHD – N/A
MSHA

The number of requests the agency receives continues to increase each year. We have several requests that require the review and redaction of voluminous records and involve more than one Program area. We have taken steps to improve timeliness in responding to requests. The agency has identified ways to streamline the process when responding to requests. Routine meetings are held with Program Areas with a backlog.

EBSA

The backlog remained steady due to a heavy workload. We have added FOIA activities to an additional person's duties and expect that the backlog will drop in the second quarter. Also, the posting of the Form 5500 data sets, some of the most often requested records, will help to alleviate the small backlog that has accumulated.

During the second quarter of 2010, EBSA staff has been focusing on the backlog and during have closed 19 of the oldest backlogged FOIAs listed above and expect to close most if not all of them by the end of the second quarter.

ETA

There has been a significant decrease in the age of backlogged requests as reported in this year's final report. ETA personnel have worked out the processes outlined in Section II in order to effectively reduce the backlog of requests.

OASAM

OASAM experienced a significant increase in the overall number of requests in 2009 and consequently reflected a comparable increase in the number of backlogged FOIAs. However, we are employing all available avenues to reduce outstanding FOIAs and proactively work with all OASAM Centers and Regions to expedite closure of all backlogged requests.

ALJ – N/A

OALJ does not have a backlog of FOIA requests.

VETS – N/A
OIG

OIG received two appeals that were remanded to the Agency for processing, and an influx of requests for investigative cases or sensitive IT audits that are large volume and take time to process and are not routine in nature. The issues OIG is handling trigger requests from witnesses/subjects of investigations, law firms, and a few media requests.

BLS – N/A
Adj Bds – N/A
WB – N/A
ODEP – N/A
ASP – N/A
OCIA – N/A
ILAB – N/A
CFO – N/A
OPA – N/A
OSBP – N/A
SOL

SOL FOIA backlog is mostly attributable to requests that are currently undergoing litigation and/or require the release of voluminous records. In an effort to remedy the issue, the agency has hired additional FOIA staff.

JOB CORP – N/A

  1. Steps to Improve Timeliness

OSHA

OSHA is currently reviewing FOIA processes.

OFCCP

OFCCP is improving timeliness in responding to FOIA requests through oversight by the agency's FOIA coordinator and an emphasis on opening lines of communication with requestors.

OLMS

Pursuant to DOL's FOIA regulations, OLMS has implemented a multi-track processing system that distinguishes between simple and more complex requests based on the amount of work and/or time needed to process the request. See 29 C.F.R. §70.25. OLMS grants priority processing to simple requests. OLMS routinely contacts requestors in an attempt to limit the scope of comprehensive, complex requests so that they might be more expeditiously processed. Where complex requests cannot be narrowed, OLMS provides disclosable documents in incremental responses. In addition, OLMS aggregates multiple requests when appropriate.

OWCP

We diligently work with FOIA requesters to narrow large requests as appropriate. OWCP utilizes technology to track and complete FOIA requests. We have assigned a Division FOIA Coordinator and have weekly updates on pending and overdue FOIAs. We also work closely with SOL for guidance on technical and legal issues.

Current pending requests involve meticulous review and redaction of claim files containing PII. We try to work on these complex, exhaustive data requests as quickly as our workload allows. Other pending requests seek a broad spectrum of data from our claim database and from individual cases files. We ask requesters to narrow the scope of the request.

WHD

WHD is currently reviewing FOIA processes.

MSHA

Reminders are sent to Disclosure Officers of the importance of timely disclosures. Partial disclosures are being made while continuing to process the remainder of the request. Status updates are sent to keep requesters informed on the status of their requests.

EBSA

During the second quarter of 2010, EBSA staff has been focusing on the backlog. During this time, the agency has closed 19 of its oldest backlogged FOIAs, and expects to close most if not all of them by the end of the second quarter.

ETA

  • ETA is working on increasing the number of response templates and electronic acknowledgment letters to improve timeliness of FOIA processing.

  • ETA has also implemented identified key roles in and dual control in response to appeal processing. The number of pending requests is unknown at this time.

OASAM

As noted, CPPR implemented an internal data tracking system to supplement and ensure the accuracy of the SIMS database and utilizes Microsoft Outlook to create due-date markers to ensure timely responses. These tools assist the office in determining when responses approaching a delinquency status – so that steps can be taken before a response is overdue. As noted above, the status of pending FOIAs are provided to OASAM leadership on a weekly basis (both National Office and Regions).

ALJ – N/A
VETS – N/A
OIG

OIG makes efforts to send interim letters, call requesters, and sending out initial partial responses to demonstrate good faith effort in order to deal with late requests.

BLS

FOIA processes are currently under review.

Adj Bds - N/A
WB

Overall, the Women's Bureau has maintained a very good record of managing and responding to FOIA requests and FOIA-related matters. The Bureau will continue to work to ensure compliance with the requirements established under the FOIA statute. The entails in part, continuing to work collaboratively and collectively with departmental agency components, WB national and Regional Office staff, and constituents as necessary. The Bureau will increase its use of technology to respond to requestors electronically via email and/or fax. Improvements will be assessed and implemented as needed.

ODEP – N/A
ASP

OASP is currently reviewing its FOIA procedures.

OCIA – N/A
ILAB – N/A
CFO – N/A
OPA – N/A
OSBP – N/A
SOL

The Office of the Solicitor has taken the necessary steps to hire additional FOIA personnel. These actions will have a direct impact on the reduction of FOIA backlog.

JOB CORP – N/A


Footnotes

[1]    Due to departmental restructuring, the Office of Small Business Programs is no longer an agency. The functions of the Office are now being provided by the Office of the Assistant secretary for Administration and Management.

[2]    The only exception to this mandate is the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Due to the confidentiality of its requests, OIG is unable to fully use SIMS-FOIA. Instead, the agency has developed a comparable system that is totally separate and distinct from the Department's system.