Response - Congressional Request Regarding Release of Documents Under the Freedom of Information Act

Published by the Farm Credit Administration, Office of Inspector General on 2015-08-04.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Farm Credit Administration 	                                       Office of Inspector General
                                                                   1501 Farm Credit Drive
                                                                   McLean, Virginia 22102-5090

August 4, 2015

The Honorable Ron Johnson
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
344 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Thomas R. Carper
Ranking Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Johnson and Senator Carper:

The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs requested the assistance of
the Inspector General (IG) of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) in conducting an oversight
review of how Executive Branch departments and agencies respond to Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) requests. In your letter to me of June 23, 2015, you asked the FCA OIG to analyze
the involvement of non-career officials in the FOIA response process at FCA, if any, for the
period of January 1, 2007, to the present.

As part of the analysis, you requested me to seek a written certification from the agency’s chief
FOIA officer that 1) no non-career officials were involved in the agency’s response to any FOIA
request or 2) if such involvement occurred, the involvement of non-career officials has never
resulted in the undue delay of a response to a FOIA request or the provision of less information
than would have been provided but for the involvement of the non-career officials.

I sought and have attached a certification from the Chief FOIA Officer indicating no political
influence or untimeliness in responding to FOIA requesters.

The FCA, an independent Executive branch agency, is the regulator of the Farm Credit System,
a federally chartered network of cooperative lending institutions owned by the agricultural and
rural customers it serves, including farmers, ranchers, producers and harvesters of aquatic
products, agricultural cooperatives, and farm-related businesses. The FCA ensures the safety
and soundness and supervision of the 4 banks, 76 associations, related entities, and the
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation. The FCA is governed by a board consisting of three
members with staggered six-year terms who are presidentially appointed with the advice and
consent of the Senate.

The FCA handles FOIA requests on a centralized basis. The FOIA requests are responded to
by senior attorneys in the FCA Office of General Counsel. During the time period in issue, there
have been less than 50 requests per year, and responses to requesters were consistently within
the required statutory timeframe. More information on the FCA FOIA program can be found at

I trust this is responsive to your request for assistance. If you have any questions, please feel
free to contact me.


Elizabeth M. Dean
Inspector General


cc: FCA Chief FOIA Officer