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Office of the Solicitor

U.S. Department of Labor Freedom of Information Act Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2002

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ANNUAL REPORT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002

October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002

The Department received a total of 17,722 initial requests for records during fiscal year 2002.

  1. Basic Information Regarding Report

  1. For questions concerning this report, please contact Miriam Mc D. Miller, Co-counsel for Administrative Law, Office of the Solicitor, Room N-2428, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, telephone number (202) 693-5522.

  2. The electronic address for this report is on the World Wide Web at http://www.dol.gov/dol/foia/main.htm.

  3. You may obtain a paper copy of this report by writing to Ms. Miller at the above address.

  1. How to Make a FOIA Request

The Department of Labor is organized into divisions and agencies often referred to as "components". Within the Labor Department, each component processes its own FOIA requests. Therefore, a request will receive the fastest possible response if it is addressed directly to the disclosure officer for the component that a requester believes has the records.

Requesters who cannot determine the proper disclosure officer to which the request should be addressed may direct the request to the Office of the Solicitor, Division of Legislation and Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room N-2428, Washington, D.C. 20210.

  1. The following list contains the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the individual agency components and offices in the national office. Unless otherwise specified, the mailing address for the following national office components is as follows:

U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Room SL-33
Washington, DC 20210

  1. Office of the Secretary of Labor, tel. (202) 693-7277.

  2. Office of the Solicitor of Labor, tel. (202) 693-5522.

  3. Office of the Administrative Law Judges, 800 K Street, N.W., Suite N-400, Washington, D.C. 20001-8002, tel. (202) 693-7440.

  4. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, tel. (202) 693-7277.

  5. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, tel. (202) 693-4600.

  6. Office of the Inspector General, tel. (202) 693-5116.

  7. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, tel. (202) 693-5082.

  8. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, tel. (202) 693-4654.

  9. Bureau of International Labor Affairs, tel. (202) 693-4790.

  10. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Postal Square Building, Room 4040, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20212-0001, tel. (202) 691-5107.

  11. Employment Standards Administration, tel. (202) 693-0256.

  12. Employment and Training Administration, tel. (202) 693-3140.

  13. Mine Safety and Health Administration, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, 21st Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22209, tel. (202) 693-9424.

  14. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, tel. (202) 693-1897.

  15. Employee Benefits Security Administration, formerly known as the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, tel. (202) 693-8655.

  16. Office of the Chief Financial Officer, tel. (202) 693-6806.

  17. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, tel. (202) 693-4745.

  18. Office of the Associate Deputy Secretary for Adjudication, tel. (202) 693-5025.

  19. Employees' Compensation Appeals Board, tel. (202) 693-5025.

  20. Administrative Review Board, tel. (202) 693-5025.

  21. Benefits Review Board, tel. (202) 693-5025.

  22. The Office of Disability Employment Policy, tel. (202) 693-4930.

  23. The Office of Small Business Programs, tel. (202) 693-6474.

  24. Women's Bureau, tel. (202) 693-6735.

The heads of the foregoing components shall make available for inspection and copying, in accordance with the provisions of the FOIA, records in their custody or in the custody of component units within their organizations, either directly or through their authorized representative in particular offices and locations.

The addresses and telephone numbers for the various regional offices are presented below. The telephone number which is listed is for the Department's Office of Administration and Management (OASAM) for that region. That office can provide the requester with a more specific telephone number for the respective component. Unless otherwise specified, the mailing address for these regional offices by region, shall be:

Region I:

U.S. Department of Labor
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
One Congress Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02203
Telephone: (617) 565-1991

(For Wage and Hour only: Contact Region III)

Region II:

U.S. Department of Labor
201 Varick Street
New York, New York 10014
Telephone: (212) 337-2215

(For Wage and Hour only: Contact Region III)

Region III:

U.S. Department of Labor
The Curtis Center, Suite 600 East
170 S. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3305
Telephone: (215) 861-5030

Region IV:

U.S. Department of Labor
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Telephone: (404) 562-2018

(OWCP Only)

U.S. Department of Labor
214 N. Hogan Street, Suite 1006
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Telephone: (904) 357-4725

Region V:

U.S. Department of Labor
Kluczynski Federal Building
230 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Telephone: (312) 353-8373

(FECA only)

U.S. Department of Labor
1240 East Ninth Street, Room 851
Cleveland, Ohio 44199
Telephone: (216) 357-5372

Region VI:

U.S. Department of Labor
525 Griffin Square Building
Griffin & Young Streets
Dallas, Texas 75202
Telephone: (214) 767-6800

Region VII:

U.S. Department of Labor
City Center Square Building
1100 Main Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64105-2112
Telephone: (816) 426-3891

(For Wage and Hour only: Contact Region V)

(OFCCP only)

U.S. Department of Labor
1100 Main Street, Suite 860
Kansas City, Missouri 64105
Telephone: (816) 502-0370

Region VIII:

U.S. Department of Labor
1999 Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80202
Telephone: (303) 844-1700

(For Wage and Hour and OFCCP: Contact Region VI)

(OWCP only)

U.S. Department of Labor
1999 Broadway, Suite 600
Denver, Colorado 80201
Telephone: (720) 264-3038

The mailing address for the Director of the Regional Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training in Region VIII is:

Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training
U.S. Custom House
721 ‑ 19th Street, Room 465
Denver, Colorado 80202
Telephone: (303) 844-4791

Region IX:

U.S. Department of Labor
71 Stevenson Street
San Francisco, California 94105
Telephone: (415) 975-4057

Region X:

U.S. Department of Labor
1111 Third Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98101-3212
Telephone: (415) 975-4057

(For Wage and Hour only: Contact Region IX)

  1. Agency response-time.

The agency's response-time ranges generally from five to fifty days. Complex requests usually take more time.

  1. Why some requests are not granted.

A FOIA request can be made for any agency record. This does not mean, however, that the Labor Department will disclose every record sought. There are statutory exemptions that authorize the withholding of certain information. In addition, the agency cannot comply with a FOIA request if there are no responsive records.

Another reason for not granting a FOIA request is that the FOIA does not require agencies to do research for the requester, to analyze data, to answer questions, or to create records in order to respond to a FOIA request.

  1. Definitions of Terms and Acronyms Used in the Report (To be included in each report)

  1. Agency-specific acronyms or other terms.

  1. OALJ Administrative Law Judges

  2. ASP Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy

  3. CFO Chief Financial Officer

  4. ESA Employment Standards Administration

  5. ETA Employment and Training Administration

  6. ILAB Bureau of International Labor

  7. BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics

  8. MSHA Mine Safety and Health Administration

  9. OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration

  10. OADJS Office of Adjudicatory Services

  11. OASAM Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

  12. OCIA Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs

  13. ODEP Office of the Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy

  14. OIG Office of the Inspector General

  15. PWBA Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, now known as the Employee Benefits Security Administration

  16. OSBP Office of Small Business Programs

  17. SOL Office of the Solicitor

  18. VETS Veterans' Employment and Training Service

  19. WB Women's Bureau

  1. Basic terms, expressed in common terminology.

  1. FOIA/PA request - Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act request. A FOIA request is generally a request for access to records concerning a third party, an organization, or a particular topic of interest. A Privacy Act request is a request for records concerning oneself; such requests are also treated as FOIA requests. (All requests for access to records, regardless of which law is cited by the requester, are included in this report.)

  2. Initial Request - a request to a federal agency for access to records under the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act.

  3. Appeal - a request to a federal agency asking that it review at a higher administrative level a full denial or partial denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act, or any other FOIA determination such as a matter pertaining to fees.

  4. Processed Request or Appeal - a request or appeal for which an agency has taken a final action on the request or the appeal in all respects.

  5. Multi-track processing - a system in which simple requests requiring relatively minimal review are placed in one processing track and more voluminous and complex requests are placed in one or more other tracks. Requests in each track are processed on a first-in/first-out basis. A requester who has an urgent need for records may request expedited processing (see below).

  6. Expedited processing - an agency will process a FOIA request on an expedited basis when a requester has shown an exceptional need or urgency for the records which warrants giving priority to his or her request over other requests that were made earlier.

  7. Simple request - a FOIA request that an agency using multi-tracking processing places in its fastest (non expedited) track based on the volume and/or simplicity of records requested.

  8. Complex request - a FOIA request that an agency using multi-track processing places in a slower track based on the volume and/or complexity of records requested.

  9. Grant - an agency decision to disclose all records in full in response to a FOIA request.

  10. Partial grant - an agency decision to disclose a record in part in response to a FOIA request, deleting information determined to be exempt under one or more of the FOIA's exemptions; or a decision to disclose some records in their entireties, but to withhold others in whole or in part.

  11. Denial - an agency decision not to release any part of a record or records in response to a FOIA request because all the information in the requested record is determined by the agency to be exempt under one or more of the FOIA's exemptions, or for some procedural reason (such as because no record is located in response to a FOIA request).

  12. Time limits - the time period in the Freedom of Information Act for an agency to respond to a FOIA request (ordinarily 20 working days from proper receipt of a perfected FOIA request).

  13. A Perfected request - a FOIA request for records which adequately describes the records sought, which has been received by the FOIA office of the agency or agency component in possession of the records, and for which there is no remaining question about the payment of applicable fees.

  14. Exemption 3 statute - a separate federal statute prohibiting the disclosure of a certain type of information and authorizing its withholding under FOIA subsection (b)(3).

  15. Median number - the middle, not average, number. For example, of 3, 7, and 14, the median number is 7.

  16. Average number - the number obtained by dividing the sum of a group of numbers by the quantity of numbers in the group. For example, of 3, 7, and 14, the average is 8.

  1. Exemption 3 Statutes

  1. List of Exemption 3 statutes relied on by this agency during fiscal year 2002.

  1. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration withheld the disclosure of advance notice of safety inspections under the authority of section 17(f) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 666(f)).

  2. The Office of Labor-Management Standards invoked section 304(a) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA) (29 U.S.C. 464(a)) to protect the identities of complainants in investigations. This office also withheld grand jury material pursuant to Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

  3. The Mine Safety and Health Administration withheld the names of miners, pursuant to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, section 103(g)(1) (30 U.S.C.813(g)(1)), who requested safety inspections. It also withheld information to protect the confidentiality of coal mine maps pursuant to section 312(b) of the statute (30 U.S.C. 872(b)).

Except for Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the withholding of information under the statutes, cited above, has not, as yet, been litigated in the courts under the FOIA.

  1. INITIAL FOIA/PA ACCESS REQUESTS

  1. NUMBERS OF INITIAL REQUESTS.

 

NUMBER OF REQUESTS PENDING AS OF END OF PRECEDING YEAR

NUMBER OF REQUESTS RECEIVED IN CURRENT YEAR

NUMBER OF REQUESTS PROCESSED IN CURRENT YEAR

NUMBER OF REQUESTS PENDING AS OF END OF CURRENT YEAR

OSHA

733

9,998

10,440

291

ESA

344

4,915

5,032

227

MSHA

101

1,156

1,151

106

ETA

38

455

406

87

PWBA

52

336

334

54

OASAM

4

200

190

14

ALJ

0

213

213

0

VETS

0

105

103

2

OIG

1

104

104

1

BLS

9

36

40

5

OADJS

0

38

34

4

WB

2

16

17

1

ODEP

0

13

11

2

ASP

0

10

8

2

OCIA

0

3

3

0

ILAB

0

1

1

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

SOL

4

123

114

13

TOTALS

1288

17,722

18,201

809

  1. DISPOSITION OF INITIAL REQUESTS.

 

NUMBER OF TOTAL GRANTS

NUMBER OF PARTIAL GRANTS

NUMBER OF DENIALS [1]

OTHER REASONS REASONS FOR NON-DISCLOSURE (Subtotal) [2]

OSHA

738

5012

1515

3175

ESA

3170

1008

243

611

MSHA

782

231

40

98

ETA

276

28

0

102

PWBA

151

57

32

94

OASAM

90

20

1

79

ALJ

184

2

0

27

OIG

27

33

13

31

BLS

3

8

0

29

VETS

59

27

0

17

OADJS

7

1

0

26

ASP

2

2

0

4

WB

2

0

0

15

ODEP

2

0

0

9

OCIA

1

1

0

1

ILAB

1

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

SOL

19

12

14

69

TOTALS

5514

6442

1858

4387

  1. EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ; EACH EXEMPTION IS COUNTED ONLY ONCE PER REQUEST

Part One

 

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

OSHA

0

254

2

2734

3401

1753

ESA

0

171

6

462

723

125

MSHA

0

2

9

8

89

96

ETA

0

0

1

38

12

62

PWBA

0

8

0

12

17

24

OASAM

0

0

0

1

5

16

ALJ

0

0

0

0

1

1

OIG

0

15

0

6

8

21

VETS

0

0

0

0

8

1

OADJS

0

0

0

0

0

0

ASP

0

0

0

0

0

3

WB

0

0

0

0

0

6

ODEP

0

0

0

0

0

0

OCIA

0

0

0

0

0

1

ILAB

0

0

0

0

0

0

SOL

0

0

0

1

16

5

TOTAL

0

450

18

3264

4280

2120

EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ; EACH EXEMPTION IS COUNTED ONLY ONCE PER REQUEST

Part Two

 

(7)(A)

(7)(B)

(7)(C)

(7)(D)

(7)(E)

(7)(F)

(8)

(9)

TOTAL

OSHA

1515

0

4340

3211

539

2

0

0

17,751

ESA

243

0

719

482

138

0

0

0

3,069

MSHA

40

0

84

45

0

0

0

0

373

ETA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

113

PWBA

32

0

30

7

16

0

0

0

146

OASAM

1

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

27

ALJ

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

OIG

13

0

15

9

0

0

0

0

93

VETS

0

0

7

2

0

0

0

0

18

OADJS

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ASP

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

WB

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

ODEP

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OCIA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

ILAB

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SOL

6

0

9

0

1

0

0

0

38

TOTAL

1850

0

5206

3758

694

2

0

0

21,642

  1. OTHER REASONS FOR NONDISCLOSURE.

 

This column totals up all of the numbers set forth in the nine columns listed to the right of this column. [3]

No records

Referrals

Request withdrawn

Fee related Reason

Records not reasonably described

Not a proper FOIA request

Not an agency record

Duplicate request

Other (specify)
The reasons for non disclosure in this category were for various reasons.

OSHA

3175

2177

526

122

29

111

96

50

59

5

ESA

611

302

199

36

7

12

17

13

8

17

MSHA

98

59

8

22

6

0

1

1

1

0

ETA

102

41

23

12

8

7

3

2

2

4

PWBA

94

42

23

19

0

7

0

0

3

0

OASAM

79

15

24

10

0

2

1

24

2

1

ALJ

27

18

7

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

OIG

31

23

3

3

0

1

0

1

0

0

BLS

29

10

8

3

0

0

2

5

1

0

VETS

17

10

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

0

OADJS

26

18

5

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

ASP

4

0

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

WB

15

9

4

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

ODEP

9

7

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

OCIA

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SOL

69

53

6

6

0

0

0

4

0

0

TOTALS

4387

2785

839

241

50

140

121

107

76

28

  1. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests

  1. Numbers of appeals.

  1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year 2002: 263

  2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year 2002: 319

  1. Disposition of appeals.

  1. Number completely upheld: 66

  2. Number partially reversed: 130

  3. Number completely reversed: 10 [4]

  1. number of times each FOIA exemption was used (counting each exemption once per appeal)

(1) Exemption 1: 0
(2) Exemption 2: 15
(3) Exemption 3: 1
(4) Exemption 4: 30
(5) Exemption 5: 107
(6) Exemption 6: 13
(7) Exemption 7(A): 23
(8) Exemption 7(B): 0
(9) Exemption 7(C): 136
(10) Exemption 7(D): 99
(11) Exemption 7(E): 11
(12) Exemption 7(F): 1
(13) Exemption 8: 0
(14) Exemption 9: 0

  1. Other reasons for nondisclosure (total): 113

  1. no records: 23

  2. referrals: 2

  3. appeal withdrawn: 58

  4. fee-related reason: 1

  5. records not reasonably described: 0

  6. not a proper FOIA appeal for some other reason: 5

  7. not an agency record: 0

  8. duplicate request: 2

  9. other (specify): 22; miscellaneous reasons

  1. COMPLIANCE WITH TIME LIMITS/STATUS OF PENDING REQUESTS

  1. Median Processing Time for Requests Processed DURING THE YEAR

 

Simple Requests

Complex Requests

Requests Accorded Expedited Processing*

Number of Requests Processed

Median Number of Days to Process

Number of Requests Processed

Median Number of Days to Process

Number of Requests Processed

Median Number of Days to Process

OSHA

7,423

13

2,618

15

399

5

ESA

3,665

13

1,256

27

111

28

MSHA

1,151

15

0

0

0

0

ETA

357

9

38

23

11

20

PWBA

304

13

30

25

0

0

OASAM

173

3

16

7

1

2

ALJ

213

1

0

0

0

0

VETS

86

7

15

15

2

5

OIG

64

15

40

25

0

0

BLS

40

20

0

0

0

0

OADJS

28

24

6

49

0

0

WB

10

17

4

18

3

13

ODEP

9

25

0

0

2

25

ASP

6

25

2

30

0

0

OCIA

3

5

0

0

0

0

ILAB

1

1

0

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

0

0

SOL

109

10

16

30

0

0

TOTALS

13,642

 

4030

 

529

 

* Almost all of the requests for expedited processing were granted by the component.

  1. STATUS OF PENDING REQUESTS

 

NUMBER OF REQUESTS PENDING AS OF THE END OF FISCAL YEAR

MEDIAN NUMBER OF DAYS PENDING

OSHA

291

20

ESA

227

36

MSHA

101

8

ETA

87

11

PWBA

54

30

OASAM

14

9

ALJ

0

0

VETS

4

10

OIG

2

20

BLS

1

25

OADJS

2

22

WB

1

18

ODEP

2

10

ASP

1

25

OCIA

0

0

ILAB

0

0

CFO

0

0

SOL

13

25

TOTALS

809

 

  1. OSTS/FOIA STAFFING

 

Staffing Levels

Total Costs (Including Staff and All Resources)

Number of Full Time Personnel

Number of Personnel With Part Time or Occasional FOIA Duties (In Total Work-Years)

Total Number of Personnel (In Work-Years)

FOIA Processing (Including Appeals) (Estimated)

OSHA

3

57

60

$3,300,000

ESA

12

36

48

2,640,000

MSHA

1

18.6

19.6

1,078,000

ETA

0

13

13

715,000

PWBA

0

36

36

1,980,000

OASAM

1

6

7

385,000

ALJ

0

1

1

55,000

VETS

0

2

2

110,000

OIG

1

.5

1.5

82,500

BLS

0

.31

.31

17,050

OADJS

0

.05

.05

2,750

WB

0

.5

.5

27,500

ODEP

0

.02

.02

1,100

ASP

0

.40

.40

22,000

OCIA

0

0

0

0

ILAB

0

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

SOL

4

7.35

11.35

1,450,000

Litigation-related activities (estimated)

 

 

 

250,000

TOTALS

22

178.74

200.74

$12,115,900

  1. FEES

  1. TOTAL AMOUNT OF FEES COLLECTED BY AGENCY FOR PROCESSING REQUESTS.

OSHA

$144,560.51

ESA

29,915.13

MSHA

21,030.39

ETA

4,814.75

PWBA

4,706.48

OASAM

78.80

ALJ

1424.82

VETS

0

OIG

390.00

BLS

0

OADJS

0

WB

0

ODEP

0

ASP

0

OCIA

0

ILAB

0

CFO

0

SOL

443.90

TOTAL

$207,364.78

  1. PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL COSTS: 1.71%

  1. FOIA Regulations (Including Fee Schedule)

The electronic address for accessing the Department's FOIA regulations, 29 C.F.R Part 70, is on the Department's web site at http://www.dol.gov/dol/foia/main.htm. In addition, they can be accessed on the World Wide Web at GPO Access, a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office, at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

___signed___________
Howard M. Radzely
Acting Solicitor of Labor


Footnotes

[1]    In order to reconcile these calculations, please refer to the adjacent column, setting forth "Other Reasons for Nondisclosure".

[2]    This column is repeated on page 12.

[3]    This column is a repeat from page 10.

[4]    Please refer to the calculation for item 4, below, in order to reconcile these calculations.