FOIA

COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT ANNUAL REPORT

FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008

(October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008)

 

I. Basic Information Regarding Report

1. 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, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20581

Tel.: 202-418-5105

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

http://www.cftc.gov/FOI/foia_annrept08.html

3. To obtain a copy of this report in paper form, please submit the Electronic FOIA Request Form found on our website at: FOIA Request Form or send a written request to:

Mail: FOIA Compliance Office

Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Three Lafayette Centre

1155 21st Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20581

or

 

E-mail: mailto:FOIAsubmissions@cftc.gov

II. Making a FOIA Request

1. Requests are received by using the CFTC’s FOIA Request Form, by fax: 202-418-5124, or by submitting by mail to: FOIA Compliance Office, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. Each FOIA request should include a reasonable description of the records sought and an agreement to pay fees.

2. CFTC records are releasable unless they contain information that qualifies for withholding under one or more of the nine FOIA exemptions. Certain categories of information may be considered exempt from disclosure under the FOIA, such as registration applications, trade data, disclosure documents, employee personnel records, financial reports, and trade practice investigative files.

    III. Acronyms, Definitions, and Exemptions

    1. Agency acronyms or terms:

    a. “CFTC” or “Commission" - Commodity Futures Trading Commission

     

    2. Definitions:

    a. Administrative Appeal – a request to a federal agency asking that it review at a higher administrative level a FOIA determination made by the agency at the initial request level.

    b. 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.

    c. Backlog - the number of requests or administrative appeals that are pending at an agency at the end of the fiscal year that are beyond the statutory time period for a response.

    d. Component – for agencies that process request on a decentralized basis, a “component” is an entity, also sometime referred to as an Office, Division, Bureau, Center, or Directorate, within the agency that processes FOIA requests. The FOIA now requires that agencies include in their Annual FOIA Report data for both the agency overall and for each principal component of the agency.

    e. Consultation - the procedure whereby the agency responding to a FOIA request first forwards a record to another agency for its review because that other agency has an interest in the document. Once the agency in receipt of the consultation finishes its review of the record, it responds back to the agency that forwarded it. That agency, in turn, will then respond to the FOIA requester.

    f. 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).

    g. FOIA Request – a FOIA request is generally a request to a federal agency for access to records concerning another person (i.e., a “third-party” request), or concerning an organization, or a particular topic of interest. FOIA requests also include request made by requesters seeking records concerning themselves (i.e., “first-party” requests) when those requesters are not subject to the Privacy Act, such as non-U.S. citizens. Moreover, because all first-party requesters should be afforded the benefit of both the access provisions of the FOIA as well as those of the Privacy Act, FOIA requests also include any first-party requests where an agency determines that it must search beyond it Privacy Act “systems of records” or where a Privacy Act exemption applies, and the agency looks to FOIA to afford the greatest possible access. All requests which require the agency to utilize the FOIA in responding to the requester are included in this report.

      Additionally, a FOIA request includes records referred to the agency for processing and direct response to the requester. It doe not, however, include records for which the agency has received a consultation from another agency. Consultations are reported separately in Section XII of this report.

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

      i. Full Denial – an agency decision not to release any records in response to a FOIA request because the records are exempt in their entireties under one or more of the FOIA exemptions, or because of a procedural reason, such as when no records could be located.

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

      k. Multi-Tracking 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 ore more other tracks. Requests granted expedited processing are placed in yet another track. Requests in each track are processed on a first in/first out basis.

      i. Expedited Processing – an agency will process a FOIA request on an expedited basis when a requester satisfies the requirements for expedited processing as set forth in the statue and in agency regulations.

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

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

      l. Partial Grant/ Partial Denial – an agency decision to disclose portions of the record and to withhold other portions that are exempt under the FOIA, or to otherwise deny a portion of the request for a procedural reason.

      m. Pending Request or Pending Administrative Appeal – a request or administrative appeal for which an agency has not taken final action in all respects.

      n. Perfected Request – a request for records which reasonably describes such records and is made in accordance with published rules stating the time, place, fees (if any) and procedures to be followed.

      o. Processed Request or Processed Administrative Appeal – a request or administrative appeal for which an agency has taken final action in all respects.

      p. Range in Number of Days – the lowest and highest number of days to process requests or administrative appeals.

      q. 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).

        3. FOIA Exemptions:

        a. Exemption 1: classified national defense and foreign relations information

        b. Exemption 2: internal agency rules and practices

        c. Exemption 3: information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law

        d. Exemption 4: trade secrets and other confidential business information

        e. Exemption 5: inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges

        f. Exemption 6: information involving matters of person privacy

        g. Exemption 7: records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, to the extent that the production of those records (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) cold reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of person 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.

        h. Exemption 8: information relating to the supervision of financial institutions

        i. Exemption 9: geological information on wells

          IV. EXEMPTION 3 STATUTES

          A. Exemption 3 Statutes Relied upon to Withhold Information

           

          Statute

          Type of Information Withheld

          Case Citation

          Number of Times Relied upon per Component

          Total Number of Times Relied upon by agency

          Section 8(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. § 12(a)

          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.

          17

          17

          V. FOIA REQUEST

          A. Received, Processed and Pending FOIA Requests:

           

           

          Number of requests pending as of end of preceding fiscal year:

          Number of requests received during current fiscal year:

          Number of requests processed during current fiscal year:

          Number of requests pending as of end of current fiscal year:

          CFTC Total

          19

          147

          151

          15

          B.(1) Disposition of FOIA Requests – All Processed Requests:

           

                                     
           

          # of Full Grants

            # of Partial Grants/ Denials

              # of Full Denials Based on Exemptions

                # of Full Denials Based on Reasons Other than Exemptions

                Total

                No Records

                  All Records Referred to Another Agency

                    Withdrawn

                      Fee-Related Reason

                        Records not Reasonably Describe

                          Improper FOIA Request for Other Reasons

                            Not Agency Records

                              Duplicate

                                Other: *Explain in chart below

                                  CFTC Total

                                  63

                                  28

                                  12

                                  31

                                  0

                                  9

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  8

                                  0

                                  0

                                  151

                                  B.(2) Disposition of FOIA Requests – “Other” Reasons for “Full Denials Based on Reasons Other Than Exemptions” from Sections V, B(1) Chart:

                                   

                                   

                                  Description of “Other” Reasons for Denials from Chart B(1) & Number of Times Those Reasons Were Relied Upon

                                  TOTAL

                                  CFTC Total

                                  0

                                  0

                                  B.(3) Disposition of FOIA Requests – Number of Times Exemptions Applied

                                   

                                   

                                  Ex. 1

                                  Ex. 2

                                  Ex. 3

                                  Ex. 4

                                  Ex. 5

                                  Ex. 6

                                  Ex. 7(A)

                                  Ex. 7(B)

                                  Ex. 7(C)

                                  Ex. 7(D)

                                  Ex. 7(E)

                                  Ex. 7(F)

                                  Ex. 8

                                  Ex. 9

                                  CFTC Total

                                  0

                                  0

                                  17

                                  28

                                  8

                                  11

                                  7

                                  0

                                  4

                                  1

                                  5

                                  1

                                  11

                                  0

                                  VI. ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS OF INITIAL DETERMINATIONS OF FOIA REQUESTS

                                  A. Received, Processed and Pending Administrative Appeals:

                                   

                                  Number of Appeals Pending as of Start of Fiscal Year

                                  Number of Appeals Received in Fiscal Year

                                  Number of Appeals Processed in Fiscal Year

                                  Number of Appeals Pending as of End of Fiscal Year

                                  0

                                  5

                                  4

                                  1

                                  B. Disposition of Administrative Appeals – All Processed Appeals:

                                   

                                  Number Affirmed on Appeal

                                  Number Partially Affirmed & Partially Reversed/Remanded on Appeal

                                  Number Completely Reversed/Remanded on Appeal

                                  Number of Appeals Closed for Other Reasons

                                  TOTAL

                                  4

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  4

                                  C.(1) Reasons for Denial on Appeal – Number of Times Exemptions Applied:

                                   

                                  Ex. 1

                                  Ex. 2

                                  Ex. 3

                                  Ex. 4

                                  Ex. 5

                                  Ex. 6

                                  Ex. 7(A)

                                  Ex. 7(B)

                                  Ex. 7(C)

                                  Ex. 7(D)

                                  Ex. 7(E)

                                  Ex. 7(F)

                                  Ex. 8

                                  Ex. 9

                                  0

                                  0

                                  3

                                  2

                                  2

                                  0

                                  3

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  0

                                  C.(2) Reasons for Denial on Appeal – Reasons Other than Exemptions:

                                   

                                  No Records

                                    All Records Referred at Initial Request Level

                                      Withdrawn

                                        Fee-Related Reason

                                          Records not Reasonably Described

                                            Improper FOIA Request for Other Reasons

                                              Not Agency Records

                                                Duplicate Request or Appeal

                                                  Request in Litigation

                                                    Appeal Based Solely on Denial of Request for Expedited Processing

                                                      Other *Explain in Chart Below

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                         

                                                        C.(3) Reasons for Denial on Appeal – “Other” Request from Section VI, C.(2) Chart:

                                                         

                                                        Description of “Other” Reasons for Denial on Appeal from Chart C.(2) & Number of Times Those Reasons Were Relied Upon

                                                        TOTAL

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        C.(4) Response Time for Administrative Appeals:

                                                         

                                                        Median Number of Days

                                                        Average Number of Days

                                                        Lowest Number of Days

                                                        Highest Number of Days

                                                        19.5

                                                        19.75

                                                        19

                                                        20

                                                        C.(5) Ten Oldest Pending Administrative Appeals:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        10th Oldest Appeal

                                                        9th

                                                        8th

                                                        7th

                                                        6th

                                                        5th

                                                        4th

                                                        3rd

                                                        2nd

                                                        Oldest Appeal

                                                        Date of Receipt of Ten Oldest Appeals

                                                                         

                                                        9/18/08

                                                        # of Days Pending

                                                                         

                                                        8

                                                        VII. FOIA REQUESTS: RESPONSE TIME FOR PROCESSED AND PENDING REQUESTS*

                                                         

                                                        A. Processed Requests – Response Time for all Processed Perfected Requests

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Median Number of Days

                                                        Average Number of Days

                                                        Lowest Number of Days

                                                        Highest Number of Days

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        14

                                                        23.7

                                                        1

                                                        315

                                                        B. Processed Requests – Response Time for Perfected Request in Which Information Was Granted:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Median Number of Days

                                                        Average Number of Days

                                                        Lowest Number of Days

                                                        Highest Number of Days

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        15

                                                        18.16

                                                        1

                                                        179

                                                        C. Processed Requests – Response Time in Day Increments:

                                                         

                                                        Days

                                                        1-20

                                                        21-40

                                                        41-60

                                                        61-80

                                                        81-100

                                                        101-120

                                                        121-140

                                                        141-160

                                                        161-180

                                                        181-200

                                                        201-300

                                                        301-400

                                                        401+

                                                        TOTAL

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        105

                                                        34

                                                        6

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        1

                                                        1

                                                        0

                                                        3

                                                        1

                                                        0

                                                        151

                                                        D. Pending Request – All Pending Perfected Requests:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Median Number of Days

                                                        Average Number of Days

                                                        Lowest Number of Days

                                                        Highest Number of Days

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        17

                                                        22.73

                                                        1

                                                        70

                                                        E. Pending Request – Ten Oldest Pending Perfected Requests:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        10th Oldest Request and Number of Days Pending

                                                        9th

                                                        8th

                                                        7th

                                                        6th

                                                        5th

                                                        4th

                                                        3rd

                                                        2nd

                                                        Oldest Request and Number of Days Pending

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        Date rec’d :

                                                        9/19/08

                                                         

                                                        9/17/08

                                                        9/12/08

                                                        9/5/08

                                                        8/27/08

                                                        8/26/08

                                                        8/14/08

                                                        8/1/08

                                                        7/9/08

                                                        6/20/08

                                                        # of days:

                                                        8

                                                        9

                                                        12

                                                        17

                                                        23

                                                        24

                                                        32

                                                        41

                                                        58

                                                        70

                                                        *The CFTC did not process nor have any pending expedited requests.

                                                        VIII. REQUEST FOR EXPEDITED PROCESSING AND REQUESTS FOR FEE

                                                        WAIVER

                                                        A. Requests for Expedited Processing:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Number Granted

                                                        Number Denied

                                                        Median Number of Days to Adjudicate

                                                        Average Number of Days to Adjudicate

                                                        Number Adjudicated Within Ten Calendar Days

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                        0

                                                         

                                                        B. Requests for Fee Waiver:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Granted

                                                        Denied

                                                        Median Number of Days to Adjudicate

                                                        Average Number of Days to Adjudicate

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        0

                                                        1

                                                        18

                                                        18

                                                        IX. FOIA PERSONNEL AND COSTS

                                                         

                                                                     

                                                         

                                                        A. PERSONNEL

                                                        B. COSTS

                                                        Number of “Full-Time FOIA Staff”

                                                        Number of “Equivalent Full-Time FOIA Staff”

                                                        Total Number of “Full-Time FOIA Staff”

                                                        Processing Cost

                                                        Litigation-Related Cost

                                                        Total Cost

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        1

                                                        .621%

                                                        1.621%

                                                        $175,326.08

                                                        0

                                                        $175,326.08

                                                        X. FEES COLLECTED FOR PROCESSING REQUESTS

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Total amount of fees collected by agency for processing requests:

                                                        Percentage of total costs:

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        $2,444.95

                                                        .865%

                                                        XI. FOIA REGULATIONS (Including Fee Schedule)

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

                                                        XII. BACKLOGS, CONSULTATIONS, AND COMPARISONS

                                                        A. Backlogs of FOIA Requests and Administrative Appeals:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Number of Backlogged Requests as of End of Fiscal Year

                                                        Number of Backlogged Appeals as of End of Fiscal Year

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        6

                                                        0

                                                        B. Consultations on FOIA Requests – Received, Processed, and Pending Consultations:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies that Were Pending at Your Agency as of Start of the Fiscal Year

                                                        Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies During the Fiscal Year

                                                        Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies that Were Processed by Your Agency During the Fiscal Year

                                                        Number of Consultations Received from Other Agencies that Were Pending at Your Agency as of End of the Fiscal Year

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        0

                                                        1

                                                        0

                                                        1

                                                        C. Consultations on FOIA Requests – Ten Oldest Consultations Received from Other Agencies and Pending at Your Agency:

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        10th Oldest Consultation and Number of Days Pending

                                                        9th

                                                        8th

                                                        7th

                                                        6th

                                                        5th

                                                        4th

                                                        3rd

                                                        2nd

                                                        Oldest Consultation and Number of Days Pending

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                                         

                                                        Rec’d: 8/1/08

                                                        # of Days: 41

                                                        D. Comparison of Number of Request from Previous and Current Annual Report – Reports Received, Processed, and Backlogged:

                                                         

                                                                 
                                                         

                                                        NUMBER OF REQUEST RECEIVED

                                                        NUMBER OF REQUEST PROCESSED

                                                        Number Received During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

                                                        Number Received During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

                                                        Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

                                                        Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        185

                                                        147

                                                        177

                                                        151

                                                        E. Comparison of Numbers of Administrative Appeals from Previous and Current Annual Report – Appeals Received, Processed, and Backlogged:

                                                         

                                                                 
                                                         

                                                        NUMBER OF APPEALS RECEIVED

                                                        NUMBER OF APPEALS PROCESSED

                                                        Number Received During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

                                                        Number Received During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

                                                        Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Last Year’s Annual Report

                                                        Number Processed During Fiscal Year from Current Annual Report

                                                        CFTC Total

                                                        0

                                                        5

                                                        1

                                                        4