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DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION (DEA)
55 DAYS TO RESPOND TO ARCHIVE; OUTSTANDING REQUESTS UP
TO 1 YEAR OLD
|Recordkeeping Issues - In response to inquiry from
the National Security Archive, the DEA informed the Archive
that it had not received the January 31, 2003 FOIA request
for the Ten Oldest FOIA Requests. Although the Archive verified
that it had sent the request to the correct fax number and
that the transmission record showed that it had been successfully
transmitted, the DEA could not offer an explanation for the
problem. The request was resent on February 26, 2003.
|Ten Oldest - DEA responded approximately
55 business days after the initial request and 38 business
days after the request was resent. The response included a
list of pending FOIA requests that all appear to have been
filed in 2002. The Archive requested copies of the actual
requests on May 2, 2003, but was told that it would take time
to open each file and find the original requests. They still
have not been received. The Ten Oldest FOIA Requests relate
to DEA Contracts, policy and procedures manuals and training
materials, Internet and Online Investigations Projects, the
number of methamphetamine and GBH laboratories seized nationwide,
Latin American Affairs, Drug Trafficking in Burma, Thailand
and/or Laos, hemp beers and ales, meetings with the Office
of National Drug Control Policy and the State Departments
IND Bureau, and proposed legalization of marijuana in Nevada
since January 1, 2002.
|Workload Statistics - DEA's FOIA reported statistics
from 1998 through 2002 indicate that the number of FOIA requests
has gone up and down over the years, from a high of 2,452
in 1999 to a low of 1,765 in 2002. The number processed each
year also has gone up and down, sticking close to the number
filed each year (from a high of 2,377 processed in 2000 to
a low of 1,839 processed in 2002). DEA's processing rate per
year -- a comparison of the number of requests processed to
the number received - increased from 98.09% in 1998 to 104.19%
|Backlog Statistics - DEA's backlog of pending FOIA
requests has increased (from 146 FOIA requests pending at
the end of 1998 to 212 FOIA requests pending at the end of
2002). Its backlog as a percentage of FOIA requests processed
each year has increased from 7.12% in 1998 to 11.53% in 2002.
Its backlog rate per year -- a comparison of the number of
requests pending at the end of the year to the number received
during that year -- has increased from 6.98% in 1998 to 12.01%
|Processing Time - DEA reported median
processing times from 11-16 days over the 1998-2002 period.
Those still pending at the end of 2002 are reported as having
a median response time of 15 days. This is in contrast to
the 55 days that it took to respond to the request for the
Ten Oldest FOIA Requests. No processing times are reported
for expedited requests.