Skip to page content
Office of the Solicitor

U.S. Department of Labor Freedom of Information Act Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2003

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ANNUAL REPORT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003

October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003

The Department received a total of 20,962 initial requests for records during fiscal year 2003.

  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. The Office of Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy, tel. (202) 693-4922.

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

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

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

  19. Office of the Associate Deputy Secretary for Adjudication, tel. (202) 693-5028.

  20. Employees' Compensation Appeals Board, tel. (202) 693-5028.

  21. Office of Adjudicatory Services, tel. (202) 693-5028.

  22. Benefits Review Board, tel. (202) 693-5028.

  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

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

(For Wage and Hour: Contact San Francisco)

  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.

ALJ

Administrative Law Judges

ASP

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy

OPA

Office of Public Affairs

CFO

Office of the Chief Financial Officer

ESA

Employment Standards Administration

ETA

Employment and Training Administration

ILAB

Bureau of International Labor

BLS

Bureau of Labor Statistics

MSHA

Mine Safety and Health Administration

OSHA

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OAS

Office of Adjudicatory Services

OASAM

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

OCIA

Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs

ODEP

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy

OIG

Office of the Inspector General

EBSA

Employee Benefits Security Administration

OSBP

Office of Small Business Programs

SOL

Office of the Solicitor

VETS

Veterans' Employment and Training Service

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 2003.

  1. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration withheld information under the authority of the Arms Control and Disarmament Amendments Act of 1989, 22 U.S.C. 2571.

  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, who requested safety inspections, pursuant to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, section 103(g)(1) (30 U.S.C.813(g)(1)). 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)).

  4. The Bureau of Labor Statistics withheld employment statistical information concerning individuals pursuant to the authority of the Wagner-Peyser Act, at 29 U.S.C. 49l-2.5. The withholding of grand jury information, pursuant to Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, was upheld by a court in the case of Senate of Puerto Rico v. United States Department of Justice, 823 F.2d 574 (D.C. Cir.1987).

  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

291

10,981

11,085

187

ESA

227

7,078

7,116

189

MSHA

106

1,141

1,180

67

ETA

87

469

517

39

EBSA

54

301

321

34

OASAM

14

220

204

30

ALJ

0

207

207

0

VETS

2

81

75

8

OIG

1

115

113

3

BLS

5

74

78

1

OAS

4

28

32

0

WB

1

42

40

3

ODEP

2

11

13

0

ASP

2

10

10

2

OCIA

0

19

19

0

ILAB

0

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

OPA

0

20

20

0

OSBP

0

22

14

8

SOL

13

143

141

15

TOTALS

809

20,962

21,185

586

  1. DISPOSITION OF INITIAL REQUESTS.

 

NUMBER OF TOTAL GRANTS

NUMBER OF PARTIAL GRANTS

NUMBER OF DENIALS [1]

OTHER REASONS REASONS FOR NONDISCLOSURE (Subtotal) [2]

OSHA

701

5,989

1,126

3,269

ESA

5,068

1,054

255

739

MSHA

682

341

18

139

ETA

273

90

0

156

EBSA

175

26

20

100

OASAM

125

22

0

57

ALJ

164

6

0

37

OIG

19

33

9

52

BLS

10

13

0

55

VETS

13

43

0

17

OAS

7

5

0

20

ASP

3

1

0

6

WB

15

9

0

16

ODEP

2

0

0

11

OCIA

10

6

0

3

ILAB

0

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

OPA

0

0

0

20

OSBP

0

0

0

14

SOL

15

23

7

96

TOTALS

7,282

7,661

1,435

4,807

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

 

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)(A)

(7)(B)

(7)(C)

(7)(D)

(7)(E)

(7)(F)

(8)

(9)

TOTAL

OSHA

0

378

2

3,380

4,029

1,915

1,126

0

4,799

2,965

703

0

0

0

19,297

ESA

0

181

3

489

763

128

255

0

745

524

145

0

0

0

3,233

MSHA

0

5

15

18

104

174

16

0

75

74

0

0

0

0

481

ETA

0

0

0

41

6

60

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

107

EBSA

0

4

0

7

12

12

20

0

29

3

18

0

0

0

105

OASAM

0

1

0

0

5

27

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

33

ALJ

0

0

0

1

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

OIG

0

19

0

4

8

25

9

0

22

4

0

0

0

0

91

BLS

0

0

3

1

0

11

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

15

VETS

0

7

0

1

21

13

0

0

15

3

6

0

0

0

66

OAS

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

ASP

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

WB

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

ODEP

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OCIA

0

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ILAB

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OPA

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OSBP

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SOL

0

0

0

0

14

7

7

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

31

TOTALS

0

595

23

3,942

4,967

2,391

1,433

0

5,688

3,573

872

0

0

0

23,484

  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

3,269

2,019

786

130

39

58

27

121

87

2

ESA

739

379

212

45

28

10

22

13

8

22

MSHA

139

73

24

29

2

6

4

1

0

0

ETA

156

94

27

7

7

2

3

7

2

7

EBSA

100

60

16

9

2

3

0

6

4

0

OASAM

57

22

5

10

1

0

1

12

5

1

ALJ

37

24

11

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

OIG

52

41

6

1

1

0

1

0

1

1

BLS

55

26

10

4

0

0

2

12

1

0

VETS

17

9

3

2

0

0

2

0

1

0

OAS

20

12

2

2

0

1

0

0

0

3

ASP

6

4

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

WB

16

13

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ODEP

11

11

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OCIA

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OPA

20

20

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

OSBP

14

14

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

SOL

96

78

12

2

1

1

0

2

0

0

TOTALS

4,807

2,902

1,117

245

81

81

62

174

109

36

  1. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests

  1. Numbers of appeals.

  1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year 2003: 249

  2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year 2003: 225

  1. Disposition of appeals.

  1. Number completely upheld: 46

  2. Number partially reversed: 100

  3. Number completely reversed: 11

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

(1) Exemption 1: 0
(2) Exemption 2: 16
(3) Exemption 3: 0
(4) Exemption 4: 9
(5) Exemption 5: 80
(6) Exemption 6: 6
(7) Exemption 7(A): 20
(8) Exemption 7(B): 0
(9) Exemption 7(C): 104
(10) Exemption 7(D): 73
(11) Exemption 7(E): 13
(12) Exemption 7(F): 0
(13) Exemption 8: 0
(14) Exemption 9: 0

  1. Other reasons for nondisclosure (total): 68

  1. no records: 14

  2. referrals: 0

  3. appeal withdrawn: 26

  4. fee-related reason: 4

  5. records not reasonably described: 0

  6. not a proper FOIA appeal for some other reason: 2

  7. not an agency record: 0

  8. duplicate request: 0

  9. other (specify): miscellaneous reasons, 22

  1. COMPLIANCE WITH TIME LIMITS/STATUS OF PENDING REQUESTS

  1. Median Processing Time for Requests Processed DURING THE YEAR.

 

Simple Requests

Complex Requests

Requests For Expedited Processing

Number of Requests Processed

Median Number of Days to Process

Number of Requests Processed

Median Number of Days to Process

Number of Expedited Requests Received/Number Granted

Median Number of Days to Process

OSHA

7,698

8

3,182

18

365

205

ESA

5,426

15

1,566

31

145

124

MSHA

1,180

16

0

0

0

0

ETA

330

10

115

25

73

72

EBSA

321

15

0

0

0

0

OASAM

189

5

13

30

4

2

ALJ

207

2

0

0

0

0

VETS

62

11

11

23

2

2

OIG

108

25

5

35

0

0

BLS

78

15

0

0

0

0

OADJS

31

15

1

20

0

0

WB

38

13

1

23

5

1

ODEP

13

20

0

0

0

0

ASP

9

10

1

15

0

0

OCIA

17

21

2

40

0

0

ILAB

0

0

0

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

0

0

OPA

20

0

0

0

0

0

OSBP

14

7

0

0

0

0

SOL

132

10

9

30

0

0

TOTALS

15,873

 

4,906

 

594

406

  1. STATUS OF PENDING REQUESTS.

 

NUMBER OF REQUESTS PENDING AS OF THE END OF FISCAL YEAR

MEDIAN NUMBER OF DAYS PENDING

OSHA

187

17

ESA

189

40

MSHA

67

32

ETA

39

20

EBSA

34

30

OASAM

30

24

ALJ

0

0

VETS

8

25

OIG

3

25

BLS

1

37

OADJS

0

0

WB

3

13

ODEP

0

0

ASP

2

15

OCIA

0

0

ILAB

0

0

CFO

0

0

OPA

0

0

OSBP

8

45

SOL

15

38

TOTALS

586

 

  1. COSTS/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

71

74

$ 5,624,000

ESA

10

63

73

5,548,000

MSHA

1

16

17

1,292,000

ETA

0

7.1

7.1

539,600

EBSA

0

4.4

4.4

334,400

OASAM

1

1.8

2.8

212,800

ALJ

0

1.25

1.25

95,000

VETS

0

1

1

78,280

OIG

1

.5

1.5

114,000

BLS

0

1.1

1.1

81,320

OADJS

0

.43

.43

32,680

WB

0

.54

.54

41,040

ODEP

0

.18

.18

13,680

ASP

0

.14

.14

10,640

OCIA

0

.26

.26

19,760

ILAB

0

0

0

0

CFO

0

0

0

0

OPA

0

.27

.27

20,520

OSBP

0

.19

.19

14,440

SOL

3

8.8

11.8

1,170,000

Litigation-related activities (estimated)

1

.5

1.5

160,500

TOTALS

20

178.46

198.46

$15,402,660

  1. FEES

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

OSHA

$154,547.00

ESA

26,769.67

MSHA

32,238.68

ETA

4,426.10

EBSA

4,923.16

OASAM

0

ALJ

2,143.69

VETS

0

OIG

0

BLS

0

OADJS

0

WB

0

ODEP

0

ASP

0

OCIA

0

ILAB

0

CFO

0

OPA

0

OSBP

0

SOL

183.45

TOTALS

$225,276.75

  1. PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL COSTS: 1.46%

  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 at Washington, D.C. this 28th day of March, 2004

___signed___________
Howard M. Radzely
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.