Farm Credit Administration Office of Inspector General 1501 Farm Credit Drive McLean, Virginia 22102-5090 August 4, 2015 The Honorable Ron Johnson Chairman 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 2 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 http://www.fca.gov/home/freedom_info.html. I trust this is responsive to your request for assistance. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Sincerely, Elizabeth M. Dean Inspector General Enclosure cc: FCA Chief FOIA Officer
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)