FOIA

Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Freedom Of Information Act Annual Report
for Fiscal Year 2007

(October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007)

 

I. Basic Information Regarding Report
II. How to Make a FOIA Request
III. Definitions of Terms and Acronyms Used in the Report
IV. Exemption 3 Statutes
V. Initial FOIA/PA Requests
VI. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests
VII. Compliance with Time Limits/Status of Pending Requests
VIII. Comparisons with Previous Year(s) (Optional)
IX. Costs/FOIA Staffing
X. Fees
XI. FOIA Regulations (Including Fee Schedule)
XII. Report on FOIA Executive Order Implementation

I. Basic Information Regarding Report

A. Name of Person to be contacted with questions about this report:

Stacy J. Easter
Paralegal Specialist
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Three Lafayette Centre
1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581

Tel.: 202-418-5105

B. A copy of this report can be found on our website at:

http://www.cftc.gov/foi/foiareference/foia_annrept07.html

C. To obtain a copy of this report in paper form, please submit the Electronic FOIA Request Form found on our website at:

http://www.cftc.gov/foi/foiarequestform/index.htm or send a written request to:

    Mail: FOIA Compliance Office
    Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    Three Lafayette Centre
    1155 21st Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20581

    or

    E-mail: [email protected]

    II. How to Make a FOIA Request

     

    Information on making a FOIA request is available on the Commission’s website at: http://www.cftc.gov/foi/index.htm.

     

    III. Definitions of Terms and Acronyms Used in the Report

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

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

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

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

    5. Grant – an agency decision to disclose all records in full in response to a FOIA request.

    6. 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.

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

    8. 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).

    9. “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.

    10. 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).

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

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

      IV. Exemption 3 Statutes

       

      The only Exemption 3 statute relied on by the Commission during fiscal year 2007 is Section 8(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 USC § 12(a). Section 8(a) prohibits the release of data and information that would disclose the business transactions or market positions of any person and trade secrets or names of customers, and any data or information concerning or obtained in connection with any pending investigation of any person. The use of Section 8(a) has not been challenged in court.

      V. Initial FOIA/PA Requests

      A. Numbers of initial requests

      B. Disposition of initial requests

      • 1. Number of requests pending as of end of preceding fiscal year: 11

        2. Number of requests received during current fiscal year: 185

        3. Number of requests processed during current fiscal year: 177

        4. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year: 19

          1. Number of total grants: 91

          2. Number of partial grants: 37

          3. Number of denials: 9

          • a. Number of times each FOIA exemption used (counting each exemption once per request):

           

          Exemption 1

          0

          Exemption 2

          0

          Exemption 3

          14

          Exemption 4

          24

          Exemption 5

          10

          Exemption 6

          7

          Exemption 7(A)

          3

          Exemption 7(B)

          0

          Exemption 7(C)

          2

          Exemption 7(D)

          2

          Exemption 7(E)

          4

          Exemption 7(F)

          0

          Exemption 8

          10

          Exemption 9

          0

          •  

            4. Other reasons for nondisclosure (total): 40

            a. No records: 29

            b. Referrals: 4

            c. Request withdrawn: 7

            d. Fee-related reason: 0

            e. Records not reasonably described: 0

            f. Not a proper FOIA request: 0

            g. Not an agency record: 0

            h. Duplicate request: 0

            i. Other: 0

            VI. Appeals of Initial Denials of FOIA/PA Requests

            A. Numbers of appeals.

            B. Disposition of appeals.

            • 1. Number of appeals received during fiscal year: 0

              2. Number of appeals processed during fiscal year: 1

                1. Number completely upheld: 1

                2. Number partially reversed: 0

                3. Number completely reversed: 0

                • a. Number of times each FOIA exemption used (counting each exemption once per appeal):

                 

                Exemption 1

                0

                Exemption 2

                0

                Exemption 3

                0

                Exemption 4

                1

                Exemption 5

                0

                Exemption 6

                0

                Exemption 7(A)

                0

                Exemption 7(B)

                0

                Exemption 7(C)

                0

                Exemption 7(D)

                0

                Exemption 7(E)

                0

                Exemption 7(F)

                0

                Exemption 8

                0

                Exemption 9

                0

                • 4. Other reasons for nondisclosure (total): 0

                  • a. No records: 0

                    b. Referrals: 0

                    c. Request withdrawn: 0

                    d. Fee-related reason: 0

                    e. Records not reasonably described: 0

                    f. Not a proper FOIA request: 0

                    g. Not an agency record: 0

                    h. Duplicate request: 0

                    i. Other: 0

                  VII. Compliance with Time Limits/Status of Pending Requests

                  A. Median processing time for requests processed during the year.

                  B. Status of pending requests.

                  • 1. Number of requests processed: 177

                    2. Median number of days to process: 15

                      1. Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year: 19

                      2. Median number of days that such requests were pending as of that date: 12

                      VIII. Comparisons With Previous Year(s) (Optional)

                       

                       

                       

                      2005

                      2006

                      2007

                      % change from previous year

                      A. Comparison of numbers of requests received:

                      220

                      219

                      185

                      15% decrease

                      B. Comparison of numbers of request processed:

                      223

                      221

                      177

                      20% decrease

                      C. Comparison of median number of days requests were pending as of end of the fiscal year:

                      8

                      13

                      12

                      7% decrease

                      D. Number of requests for expedited processing:

                      0

                      0

                      0

                      0% change

                       

                      IX. Costs/FOIA Staffing

                      A. Staffing levels.

                      B. Total costs (including staff and all resources).

                      • 1. Number of full-time FOIA personnel: 1

                        2. Number of personnel with part-time or occasional FOIA duties (in total work-years): 1

                        3. Total number of personnel (in work-years): 2

                          1. FOIA processing (including appeals): $147,000

                          2. Litigation-related activities (estimated): $0

                          3. Total costs: $147,000

                          X. Fees*

                          A. Total amount of fees collected by agency for processing requests: $2,042.25

                          B. Percentage of total costs: 1.41%

                            *Total amount of fees billed: $4,583.15

                             

                            XI. FOIA Regulations (Including Fee Schedule)

                             

                            The Commission’s FOIA regulations, 17 CFR § 145, can be found on the Commission’s web site at: http://www.cftc.gov/FOI/cftcfoiaguide.html

                            XII. Report on FOIA Executive Order Implementation

                             

                            This section of the annual report contains a description of the Commission’s progress in implementing the goals and objectives set out in its FOIA improvement plan

                            A. Description of supplementation/modification of agency improvement plan (if applicable):

                            B. Report on agency implementation of its plan, including its performance in meeting milestones, with respect to each improvement area:

                            As stated in our July 2006 improvement plan and discussed in our FY 2006 Annual Report, the Commission began tracking the number of requests that are received and responded to electronically in FY 2007.

                            • Not applicable

                               

                              Request

                              E-mail

                              Facsimile

                              Total

                              Received by

                              102

                              27

                              129

                              Responded to

                              115

                              8

                              123

                              C. Identification and discussion of any deficiency in meeting plan milestones (if applicable):

                              D. Additional narrative statement regarding other executive order-related activities (optional):

                              E. Concise description of FOIA exemptions:

                              The nine exemptions to the FOIA authorize federal agencies to withhold information covering:

                              F. Additional statistics:


                              • This procedure was established so that requesters would receive a faster response and save on processing fees.

                                  1. Automated Tracking Capabilities;

                                  2. To enhance the system so that FOIA staff can determine the status of open FOIA requests and share that information with the requester. The original target date was October 2006;

                                  3. The Commission’s progress under the plan was constrained due to lack of resources and limited staff. The Commission’s FOIA Section moved from the Office of the Secretariat to the Office of General Counsel exacerbating the other delays; and

                                  4. The Commission is in the process of reviewing their budget and setting priorities for needed IT projects. FOIA Staff will continue to work with the Commission’s Office of the Executive Director and the Information and Technology Services office to address the needs of the office. Target completion date has been revised to October 2008.

                                    Not applicable

                                      1. classified national defense and foreign relations information;

                                      2. internal agency rules and practices;

                                      3. information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law;

                                      4. trade secrets and other confidential business information;

                                      5. inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges;

                                      6. information involving matters of personal privacy;

                                      7. records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, to the extent that the production of those records

                                      8. information relating to the supervision of financial institutions; and

                                      9. geological information on wells.

                                      • A. could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings,

                                        B. would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,

                                        C. could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,

                                        D. could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source,

                                        E. would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or

                                        F. could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;

                                        1. Ten Oldest Pending FOIA Request:

                                        Labeled by year, list ten oldest pending requests as of January 1, 2008, each request is listed by the date it was received by CFTC.

                                         

                                        Calendar
                                        Year

                                        2000

                                        2001

                                        2002

                                        2003

                                        2004

                                        2005

                                        2006

                                        2007

                                        Date of ten oldest request

                                        0

                                        0

                                        0

                                        0

                                        0

                                        0

                                        0

                                        Nov 27, Nov 27, Nov 29, Dec 4, Dec 11, Dec 14, Dec 19, Dec 20, Dec 27, Dec 31

                                         

                                        2. Consultations

                                        a. Number of Consultations Received, Processed, and Pending:

                                           

                                          Consultations Received From Other Agencies During FY 07

                                          Consultations Received From Other Agencies That Were Processed by Your Agency During FY 07 (includes those received prior to FY 07)

                                          Consultations Received From Other Agencies That Were Pending by Your Agency as of October 1, 2007 ( includes those received prior to FY 07)

                                          0

                                          0

                                          0

                                             

                                            b. Ten Oldest Pending Consultations Received From Other Agencies:

                                               

                                              Calendar
                                              Year

                                              2000

                                              2001

                                              2002

                                              2003

                                              2004

                                              2005

                                              2006

                                              2007

                                              Consults Received

                                              0

                                              0

                                              0

                                              0

                                              0

                                              0

                                              0

                                              0

                                               

                                              G. Attachment: Agency improvement plan (in current form)