The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

(5 U.S.C. 552)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission submits the Commission's Freedom of Information Act Report for January through September 1997 to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honorable Newt Gingrich, and the President of the Senate, the Honorable Albert Gore Jr., to be referred to the appropriate committees of both Houses of Congress. The basic format of this report continues to follow that suggested in the July 1, 1975 letter of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Representative Bella S. Abzug.

  1. Most 1997 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests received by the Commission were for materials contained in the Commission's investigative case files that involved charges of discrimination filed pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621-33, the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101-213. Sections 706(b) and 709(e) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(b) and 8(e), and section 107 of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. 12117 prohibit Commission employees from making Title VII or ADA charges, conciliation materials, required reports and case file information public.

    The Commission's initial determinations on requests for records pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a) were as follows:

       Requests granted in full                 2,661
       Requests granted in part                 
       and denied in part                       7,622
       Requests denied in full                  1,017
       Requests withdrawn                         657
       Requests neither granted nor denied        834\FN1
       Pendings                                   882
       Total number of requests                13,673
  2. The following statutory exemptions were relied on in initial determinations not to disclose requested records:
       Exemption invoked               Number of times invoked\FN2
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1)                           0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(2)                          77
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3)\FN3                   1,132
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)                           4
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5)                       7,348
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6)                         314
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(A)                      621
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(B)                        0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(C)                    1,048
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(D)                       95
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(E)                        1
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(F)                        0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)                           0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(9)                           0
       Failure to pay prior fees                    8
  3. Determinations on FOIA requests were made by (a) the Assistant Legal Counsel, Advice and External Litigation Division, Office of Legal Counsel,(b) the Assistant Legal Counsel/FOIA, Office of Legal Counsel, and (c) the Regional Attorneys, pursuant to 29 C.F.R. 1610.8.
  4. The number of appeals from adverse initial determinations made pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6) were as follows:
       Appeals in which the initial
       determination was upheld                   162
       Appeals in which the initial
       determination was upheld in
       part and reversed in part                   93
       Appeals in which the initial 
       determination was reversed                  23
       Appeals withdrawn                            4
       Appeals remanded                            32
       Appeals neither granted nor denied           8
       Untimely filing                              0 
       Total number of appeals                    314\FN4
  5. There was one appeal from an adverse initial determination pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A) (assessment of fee from record search).
  6. The authorities relied on for total or partial denials of information on appeal were as follows:
       Exemption invoked                Number of times invoked\FN5
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1)                           0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(2)                           0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3)                          69
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4)                           1
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5)                         154
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6)                          17
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(A)                       53
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(B)                        2
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(C)                       78
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(D)                        2
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(E)                        1
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7)(F)                        0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(8)                           0
       5 U.S.C. 552(b)(9)                           0
       Untimely Filings                             0
  7. Determinations on FOIA appeals were made by the (a) Deputy Legal Counsel, (b) the Assistant Legal Counsel, Advice and External Litigation Division, Office of the Legal Counsel, and © the Assistant Legal Counsel/FOIA, Office of Legal Counsel pursuant to 29 C.F.R. 1610.11(b).
  8. There were no proceedings under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(F) during 1996.
  9. The regulations implementing 5 U.S.C. 552, published at 29 C.F.R. Part 1610, are attached to this report.
  10. In 1996, the total amount of fees collected for making records available was $83,320.86. Fees were waived when the Commission determined that to do so would be in the public interest.
  11. The following information is furnished pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(e)(7) as indicative of the Commission's efforts to administer this section.
    1. The Commission's published regulations, 29 C.F.R. sections 1610.5 through 1610.11, set forth the procedures by which members of the public may obtain copies of records under the FOIA. The regulations specify information that the Commission will disclose. 29 C.F.R. section 1610.18. They describe records which are exempt from disclosure under the statute. 29 C.F.R. section 1610.17. They also describe information that routinely is made available in public reading areas for inspection and copying. 29 C.F.R. section 1610.4. The regulations permit Commission officials and employees to continue informally to furnish to the public without compliance with FOIA procedures, records that customarily were provided to the public prior to the enactment of the FOIA. 29 C.F.R. section 1610.3. The regulations also provide that the Commission will make available exempt records, to the extent that it is not prohibited from doing so by other laws, whenever it determines that such disclosure is in the public interest. 29 C.F.R. section 1610.3.
    2. Commission personnel devoted an estimated 38,133.25 hours of time to administer the FOIA in 1997. This time was spent searching for records, preparing initial FOIA responses, and preparing appeal determinations.


  1. Includes requests for documents that had been destroyed or that had not been reasonably described, and requests for which there were no responsive documents.
  2. A number of determinations were based on multiple exemptions.
  3. The following statutory references were invoked pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3): Section 706(b) of Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(b); and Section 709(e) of Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(e).
  4. The Total Number of Appeals includes the fee waiver stated in #5.
  5. In a number of instances more than one exemption was utilized to deny a given request on appeal.

This page was last modified on January 25, 1999.

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