Skip top navigation Skip to content

print   email  Share

2014 EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
CHIEF FOIA OFFICER REPORT

Name and Title of Chief FOIA Officer Peggy R. Mastroianni, Legal Counsel

Section I: Steps Taken to Apply the Presumption of Openness

The guiding principle underlying the President's FOIA Memorandum and the Attorney General's FOIA Guidelines is the presumption of openness.

Describe the steps your agency has taken to ensure that the presumption of openness is being applied to all decisions involving the FOIA. To do so, you should answer the questions listed below and then include any additional information you would like to describe how your agency is working to apply the presumption of openness.

FOIA Training

  1. Did your agency hold an agency FOIA conference, or otherwise conduct training during this reporting period? 

    Yes. During FY 2013, several FOIA training sessions were conducted via video- conference and teleconference.  One training was conducted onsite at a FOIA component during the reporting period.

  2. If so, please provide the number of conferences or trainings held, a brief description of the topics covered, and an estimate of the number of participants from your agency who were in attendance.

    Six video-conferences, two teleconferences, and one on-site training session were conducted in FY 2013.  The conferences covered substantive and nonsubstantive FOIA matters such as those that follow:

    • comparison of EEOC FY 2011 and FY 2012 Annual FOIA Report data, the requirements for quarterly reporting on Fiscal Year 2013 EEOC FOIA data, and the 2013 Chief FOIA Officer Report;
    • review of requirements to adjudicate and respond to the expedited request portion of the FOIA request within 10 calendar days, and to respond to a request for records within 20 business days;
    • discussion of the FOIA processing changes brought about by the revisions to EEOC FOIA regulations which: permit multi-tracking of simple and complex requests, require adding the email address of the person signing the determination letter to the signature block, and require the charging party or the respondent to submit a "Filed" marked copy of the court complaint with their FOIA request;
    • FOIA processing issues including the timing for forwarding misdirected requests to the appropriate office; the requirement to indicate at the site of redaction the exemption used and the volume of information redacted on the copy of the record being disclosed; and the importance of identifying the withheld and redacted records on the exemption pages in a manner that permits easy identification of the withheld or redacted record.
  3. Did your FOIA professionals attend any FOIA training during the reporting period such as that provided by the Department of Justice?

    Yes.  Washington, D.C. based FOIA professionals attended the following Department of Justice training during the reporting period: FOIA Administrative Forum, training on Fees, training on the D.C. Circuit decision in Crew v. FEC, 711 F.3d 180 (D.C. Cir. 2013), the Refresher Training on the Annual FOIA Report, and FOIA for Attorneys and Access Professionals.

  4. Provide an estimate of the percentage of your FOIA professionals who attended substantive FOIA training during this reporting period.

    We estimate that 85% of EEOC FOIA professionals attended substantive FOIA training this reporting period.

  5. OIP has issued guidance that every agency should make core, substantive FOIA training available to all their FOIA professionals at least once each year. Provide your agency's plan for ensuring that such training is offered to all agency FOIA professionals by March 2015. Your plan should anticipate an upcoming reporting requirement for your 2015 Chief FOIA Officer Reports that will ask whether all agency FOIA professionals attended substantive FOIA training in the past year.

    EEOC plans to provide annual FOIA training to its FOIA professionals and FOIA appeal attorneys through an online question and answer power point presentation.  FOIA staff will be required to log in and successfully complete the FOIA training by October 15,  2014.  Upon successful completion of the training, the trainee will receive a certificate.  A copy of the certificate must be submitted to the Chief FOIA Officer or designee.

Outreach:

  1. Did your FOIA professionals engage in any outreach and dialogue with the requester community or open government groups regarding your administration of the FOIA?If so, please briefly discuss that engagement.

    EEOC conducted one outreach effort early in Fiscal Year 2013.  A FOIA appeal attorney made a FOIA presentation to a major segment of our requester community at an American Bar Association employment law program in Florida.  The appeal attorney described how FOIA requests for employer and employee access to closed investigation charge files are processed, and dialogued with participants on related issues.

Discretionary Disclosures:

  1. In his 2009 FOIA Guidelines, the Attorney General strongly encouraged agencies to make discretionary releases of information even when the information might be technically exempt from disclosure under the FOIA. OIP encourages agencies to make such discretionary releases whenever there is no foreseeable harm from release.
  2. Does your agency have a formal process in place to review records for discretionary release? If so, please briefly describe this process. If your agency is decentralized, please specify whether all components at your agency have a process in place for making discretionary releases.

    EEOC is formalizing a process to review records for discretionary release.  We anticipate that the framework for our process will be completed and piloted during this reporting period. Guidance was issued directing all FOIA components to review their records for discretionary release.  A recent audit of a sampling of processed FOIA requests indicates the need to formalize the review for discretionary release. The formal process will require processors to consider whether they reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by the exemption utilized and to articulate the harm. When a real harm cannot be articulated, the record or information must be released.

  3. During the reporting period did your agency make any discretionary releases of otherwise exempt information?

    Yes. Some discretionary releases of exempt material were made.

  4. What exemptions would have covered the information that was released as a matter of discretion? 

    The material disclosed would have been covered by exemption (b)(5).

  5. Provide a narrative description, or some examples of, the types of information that your agency released as a matter of discretion.

    Typically, EEOC does not consider the administrative judge's hearing decision in federal  sector cases to be a final agency decision.  The EEOC decision on appeal is considered the final agency decision.  EEOC makes the appellate decisions available to the public on the EEOC website. 

    This reporting year, EEOC determined that the administrative judge hearing decisions could be released in response to a request when the EEOC decision on appeal has been made public.  The information EEOC publishes in the appellate decision will be released to the public from hearings decision.

  6. If your agency was not able to make any discretionary releases of information, please explain why.

    Over 98% of the FOIA requests received by EEOC seek disclosure of investigative charge file material that EEOC and its employees are prohibited from disclosing to the public.  

  7. Did your agency post all of the required quarterly FOIA reports for Fiscal Year 2013? If not, please explain why not and what your plan is for ensuring that such reporting is successfully accomplished for Fiscal Year 2014.

    Yes. EEOC did post all of the required quarterly FOIA reports, some in advance of the due date.

  8. Describe any other initiatives undertaken by your agency to ensure that the presumption of openness is being applied.  If any of these initiatives are online, please provide links in your description.

    We are in the preliminary discussions concerning the development of a FOIA Log for the website that would indicate that a request for a charge file was logged without breaching the confidentiality provisions of the statutes we enforce.

Section II: Steps Taken to Ensure that Your Agency
Has an Effective System in Place for Responding to Requests

As the Attorney General emphasized in his FOIA Guidelines, "[a]pplication of the proper disclosure standard is only one part of ensuring transparency. Open government requires not just a presumption of disclosure, but also an effective system for responding to FOIA requests." It is essential that agencies effectively manage their FOIA program.

Describe here the steps your agency has taken to ensure that your management of your FOIA program is effective and efficient. To do so, answer the questions below and then include any additional information that you would like to describe how your agency ensures that your FOIA system is efficient and effective.

Personnel:

During Sunshine Week 2012, OPM announced the creation of a new job series entitled the Government Information Series, to address the work performed by FOIA and Privacy Act professionals. Creation of this distinct job series was a key element in recognizing the professional nature of their work.

  1. Has your agency converted all of its FOIA professionals to the new Government Information Specialist job series?  

    No.  Limited agency resources, a freeze on hiring, and the sequester impeded EEOC's ability to convert its FOIA professional positions to the new Government Information series. 

  2. If not, what proportion of personnel has been converted to the new job series?

    To date, no FOIA personnel have been converted to the new job series.

  3. If not, what is your plan to ensure that all FOIA professionals' position descriptions are converted?

    The recently signed Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget contains sufficient funding for EEOC to begin the conversion of FOIA professional to the new job series.  The plan is to have the new position descriptions created by May 2014.  We anticipate that the actual conversions of FOIA professional positions to the new job series will be completed two months thereafter.

Processing Procedures:

  1. For Fiscal Year 2013 did your agency maintain an average of ten or less calendar days to adjudicate requests for expedited processing? If not, describe the steps your agency will take to ensure that requests for expedited processing are adjudicated within ten calendar days or less.

    Yes. EEOC maintained an average of 6.7 days to adjudicate requests for expedited processing.

  2. Has your agency taken any steps to make the handling of consultations and referrals more efficient and effective, such as entering into agreements with other agencies or components on how to handle certain categories or types of records involving shared equities so as to avoid the need for a consultation or referral altogether, or otherwise implementing procedures that speed up or eliminate the need for consultations. If so, please describe those steps.

    EEOC did not have any consultations or referrals with other agencies during Fiscal Year 2013. The Department of Labor (DOL) and EEOC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) governing the conduct of shared investigations of entities covered by their respective statutes.  Included in the MOU is a provision that provides for EEOC to forward records in its possession that originated with DOL to that agency for processing in response to a FOIA request.

Requester Services:

  1. Do you use e-mail or other electronic means to communicate with requesters when feasible?

    Dedicated FOIA email boxes were provided to each EEOC FOIA component approximately two years ago.  FOIA email addresses are available on the EEOC website, and on the component's FOIA website.  Headquarters and field FOIA components routinely use email and other electronic means such as the Internet to receive, to communicate and to respond to FOIA requests or appeals when this is the medium chosen by the requester.

  2. Does your agency notify requesters of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at NARA?

    Yes.  Notice of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) and the services it offers was included in the recent revision to EEOC FOIA regulations and can be found at 29 C.F.R. 1610.11.  For more than two years, the OGIS notice suggested by DOJ has been included in EEOC's FOIA appeal determination letters.  Additionally, potential requesters who contact either of the EEOC's two Requester Service Centers are advised about OGIS and the services it provides.

  3. Describe any other steps your agency has undertaken to ensure that your FOIA system operates efficiently and effectively, such as conducting self-assessments to find greater efficiencies, improving search processes, eliminating redundancy, etc.

    EEOC audited its field FOIA components in the three latter months of Fiscal Year 2013.  During July, August and September, five of the FOIA components received an email directing them to forward five preselected closed FOIA files to headquarters to be audited.  The audits were completed quickly and a report of the audit findings with recommendations for improvement and changes was sent to the Director of the component.

    These audits enable EEOC to locate and target those areas where our FOIA professionals would benefit the most from training.

    Implementation of Pay.gov during the reporting period will allow requesters to pay assessed fees on line from international and national locations.  Payment of fees on Pay.gov is more efficient and customer friendly as requesters can pay fees on line at any time from any location.  Pay.gov also ensures that payment checks are not lost or delayed in the mail.

Section III: Steps Taken to Increase Proactive Disclosures

Both the President and Attorney General focused on the need for agencies to work proactively to post information online without waiting for individual requests to be received.

Describe here the steps your agency has taken both to increase the amount of material that is available on your agency website, and the usability of such information, including providing examples of proactive disclosures that have been made during this past reporting period (i.e., from March 2013 to March 2014). In doing so, answer the questions listed below and describe any additional steps taken by your agency to make and improve proactive disclosures of information.

Posting Material:

  1. Do your FOIA professionals have a system in place to identify records for proactive disclosures?

    EEOC's system to identify records for proactive disclosures is in the process of being formalized.  EEOC currently does not have such a system.

  2. If so, describe the system that is in place.
  3. Provide examples of material that your agency has posted this past reporting period, including links to where this material can be found online.

    A sampling of records EEOC posted during this reporting period:

  4. Beyond posting new material, is your agency taking steps to make the posted information more useful to the public, especially to the community of individuals who regularly access your agency's website, such as soliciting feedback on the content and presentation of posted material, improving search capabilities on the site, posting material in open formats, making information available through mobile applications, providing explanatory material, etc.?

    Yes.  We met with our IT Department to map out strategy for making information posted on the website more useful to the public.

  5. If so, provide examples of such improvements.

    For example, links to tutorials on how to access information most often sought by the community of individuals who regularly use the EEOC website have been added.  We  plan to make the information provided at certain of these links more helpful.

  6. Did your agency use any means to publicize or highlight important proactive disclosures for public awareness? If so, was social media utilized?

    EEOC did not utilize social media during the reporting period to highlight important proactive disclosures for public awareness.  EEOC publicized or highlighted proactive disclosures in the print media and press releases.

  7. Has your agency encountered challenges that make it difficult to post records you otherwise would like to post? If so, please briefly explain what those challenges are?

    As previously stated, restricted resources, staff attrition, a hiring freeze, and the sequester impeded EEOC ability to post other records.  EEOC anticipates that it will be able to take some steps this reporting period to make the information posted on the website more customer-friendly and easier to navigate.

  8. Describe any other steps taken to increase proactive disclosures at your agency.

    No other steps were taken.

Section IV: Steps Taken to Greater Utilize Technology

A key component of the President's FOIA Memorandum was the direction to "use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government." In addition to using the Internet to make proactive disclosures, agencies should also be exploring ways to utilize technology in responding to requests.  Over the past several years, agencies have reported widespread use of technology in receiving and tracking FOIA requests and preparing agency Annual FOIA Reports. For 2014, as we have done over the past years, the questions have been further refined and now address different, more innovative aspects of technology use.

Online tracking of FOIA requests:

  1. Can a FOIA requester track the status of his/her request electronically?

    Yes.  Presently, those requesters who submit their request through the EEOC FOIA Internet site can track the status of their request or appeal electronically.

  2. If yes, how is this tracking function provided to the public? For example, is it being done through regularly updated FOIA logs, online portals, or other mediums?

    This tracking function is provided to the requester via an online portal.  Each requester who submits a request via the EEOC FOIA Internet site receives a unique confirmation number.  That confirmation number may be used to access that portion of the FOIA Tracking System (FTS) that contains information concerning the status of the request.  This information is entered into the FTS by the FOIA professional as the requester's FOIA is being processed. 

  3. Describe the information that is provided to the requester through the tracking system. For example, some tracking systems might tell the requester whether the request is "open" or "closed," while others will provide further details to the requester throughout the course of the processing, such as "search commenced" or "documents currently in review." List the specific types of information that are available through your agency's tracking system.

     EEOC FOIA professionals provide details about the status of the processing of the request throughout the course of its processing.  The requester can access information in the FTS such as the date EEOC received the request, the date the acknowledgement letter was issued, the date and reason the request was tolled to obtain additional information from the requester, that an extension has been taken, that payment of fees is pending, that the documents are being reviewed, and that the response has been submitted to the person authorized to issue the determination for review and signature.

  4. In particular, does your agency tracking system provide the requester with an estimated date of completion for his/her request?

    Yes, the acknowledgment letter is completed in the tracking system as the request or appeal is logged into the FTS.  Requesters who file via the Internet may access the FTS to view the anticipated completion date of a request or appeal.

Use of technology to facilitate processing of requests:

  1. Beyond using technology to redact documents, is your agency taking steps to utilize more advanced technology to facilitate overall FOIA efficiency, such as improving record search capabilities, utilizing document sharing platforms for consultations and referrals, or employing software that can sort and de-duplicate documents?

    Yes.  EEOC is taking steps to utilize more advanced technology that will facilitate overall FOIA efficiency such as upgrading the FOIA Tracking System initiated in 2009 to the more advanced FOIA software of FOIAXpress.  FOIAXpress will permit EEOC to obtain efficiencies tracking, verifying and reconciling data utilized in production of the DOJ annual and quarterly FOIA reports and other EEOC FOIA reports.

    EEOC is also continuing to implement technological advancements to receive and store records such as federal sector complaints, and will soon implement a portal that will allow private sector charges to be submitted to the EEOC online. Over 98% of the FOIA requests EEOC receives are for private sector charge files.  Having this functionality will facilitate EEOC's ability to process requests for charge file records quicker and more efficiently.

  2. Are there additional technological tools that would be helpful to achieving further efficiencies in your agency's FOIA program?

    Employing advanced technologies such as those mentioned above in question 5.  Would enable EEOC to improve its FOIA administration, and to process its expanding records disclosure workloads more effectively and efficiently, while reducing the need for additional human resources.

Section V: Steps Taken to Improve Timeliness in Responding to Requests and Reducing Backlogs

The President and the Attorney General have emphasized the importance of improving timeliness in responding to requests. This section addresses both time limits and backlog reduction. Backlog reduction is measured both in terms of numbers of backlogged requests or appeals and by looking at whether agencies closed their ten oldest requests, appeals, and consultations.

For the figures required in this Section, please use those contained in the specified sections of your agency's 2013 Annual FOIA Report and, when applicable, your agency's 2012 Annual FOIA Report.

Simple Track Requests

  1. Section VII.A of your agency's Annual FOIA Report, entitled "FOIA Requests - Response Time for All Processed Requests," includes figures that show your agency's average response times for processed requests. For agencies utilizing a multi-track system to process requests, there is a category for "simple" requests, which are those requests that are placed in the agency's fastest (non-expedited) track, based on the low volume and/or simplicity of the records requested.
    1. Does your agency utilize a separate track for simple requests?

      Yes.  EEOC recently implemented multi-tracking of its FOIA requests and appeals.  There is a separate track for simple requests.  However, EEOC's current FOIA software does not have the capability to track simple request data separately. Consequently, simple request data and complex request data is reported together as simple requests on our annual FOIA reports to DOJ.

      If so, for your agency overall, for Fiscal Year 2013, was the average number of days to process simple requests twenty working days or fewer?

      Yes.  For the agency overall, the average number of days to process simple requests was 18.

    2. If your agency does not track simple requests separately, was the average number of days to process non-expedited requests twenty working days or fewer?

      The average number of days to process simple and complex requests was 18.

Backlogs and "Ten Oldest" Requests, Appeals and Consultations:

  1. Section XII.A of your agency's Annual FOIA Report, entitled "Backlogs of FOIA Requests and Administrative Appeals" shows the numbers of any backlogged requests or appeals from the fiscal year. Section VII.E, entitled "Pending Requests - Ten Oldest Pending Requests," Section VI.C.  (5), entitled "Ten Oldest Pending Administrative Appeals," and Section XII.C., entitled "Consultations on FOIA Requests - Ten Oldest Consultations Received from Other Agencies and Pending at Your Agency," show the ten oldest pending requests, appeals, and consultations. You should refer to these numbers from your Annual FOIA Reports for both Fiscal Year 2012 and Fiscal Year 2013 when completing this section of your Chief FOIA Officer Report.

    Backlogs

    1. If your agency had a backlog of requests at the close of Fiscal Year 2013, did that backlog decrease as compared with Fiscal Year 2012?

       No.  The EEOC backlog of requests increased as compared to Fiscal Year 2012.

    2. If your agency had a backlog of administrative appeals in Fiscal Year 2013, did that backlog decrease as compared to Fiscal Year 2012?

      EEOC did not have a backlog of appeals at the end of Fiscal Year 2013.

    Ten Oldest Requests

    1. In Fiscal Year 2013, did your agency close the ten oldest requests that were pending as of the end of Fiscal Year 2012?

      Yes.  The 10 oldest requests pending at the end of Fiscal Year 2012 were closed in Fiscal Year 2013.

    2. If no, please provide the number of these requests your agency was able to close by the end of the fiscal year, as listed in Section VII.E of your Fiscal Year 2012 Annual FOIA Report. If you had less than ten total oldest requests to close, please indicate that. For example, if you only had seven requests listed as part of your "ten oldest" in Section VII.E.  and you closed two of them, you should note that you closed two out of seven "oldest" requests.

    Ten Oldest Appeals

    1. In Fiscal Year 2013, did your agency close the ten oldest administrative appeals that were pending as of the end of Fiscal Year 2012?

       EEOC had no administrative appeals pending at the end of Fiscal Year 2012.

    2. If no, please provide the number of these appeals your agency was able to close, as well as the number of appeals your agency had in Section VI.C.(5) of your Fiscal Year 2012 Annual FOIA Report.

    Ten Oldest Consultations

    1. In Fiscal Year 2013, did your agency close the ten oldest consultations received by your agency and pending as of the end of Fiscal Year 2012?

      EEOC did not have any consultations pending at the end of Fiscal Year 2012.

    2. If no, please provide the number of these consultations your agency did close, as well as the number of pending consultations your agency listed in Section XII.C. of your Fiscal Year 2012 Annual FOIA Report.

Reasons for Any Backlogs:

  1. If you answered "no" to any of the questions in item 2 above, describe why your agency was not able to reduce backlogs and/or close the ten oldest pending requests, appeals, and consultations. In doing so, answer the following questions then include any additional explanation:

    Request and/or Appeal Backlog

    1. Was the lack of a reduction in the request and/or appeal backlog a result of an increase in the number of incoming requests or appeals?

      The lack of reduction in the request backlog was influenced in part by an increase in the number of incoming requests.

    2. Was the lack of a reduction in the request and/or appeal backlog caused by a loss of staff?

      Yes.  Loss of staff and a continuing hiring freeze impeded EEOC's ability to reduce its backlog

    3. Was the lack of a reduction in the request and/or appeal backlog caused by an increase in the complexity of the requests received?

      Many of the requests EEOC received during the reporting period sought complex and/or voluminous amounts of information.  Responses to complex and voluminous requests require the commitment of numerous hours of manual search, review, and redaction time. 

    4. What other causes, if any, contributed to the lack of a decrease in the request and/or appeal backlog?

        As paper is the official form of EEOC record, most searches and review of responsive records are conducted manually.  Manual search and review of responsive records is a time-consuming process, and a major factor impeding reduction in request backlogs.

    5. Briefly explain the obstacles your agency faced in closing its ten oldest requests, appeals, and consultations from Fiscal Year 2012.

      EEOC did not face any obstacles closing its ten oldest requests, appeals and consultations in Fiscal Year 2012.  As previously stated, EEOC did not have any appeals or consultations pending from Fiscal Year 2012.

    6. If your agency was unable to close any of its ten oldest requests or appeals because you were waiting to hear back from other agencies on consultations you sent, please provide the date the request was initially received by your agency, the date when your agency sent the consultation, and the date when you last contacted the agency where the consultation was pending.

      EEOC had no consultations in Fiscal Year 2012.

Plans for Closing of Ten Oldest Pending Requests, Appeals, and Consultations and Reducing Backlogs:

Given the importance of these milestones, it is critical that Chief FOIA Officers assess the causes for not achieving success and create plans to address them.

  1. If your agency did not close its ten oldest pending requests, appeals, and consultations, please provide a plan describing how your agency intends to close those "ten oldest" requests, appeals, and consultations during Fiscal Year 2014.

    N/A.

  2. If your agency had a backlog of more than 1000 pending requests and did not reduce that backlog in Fiscal Year 2013, provide your agency's plan for achieving backlog reduction in the year ahead.

    EEOC's backlog of pending requests is well below the threshold requiring the establishment of a remedial plan.

Interim Responses:

OIP has issued guidance encouraging agencies to make interim releases whenever they are working on requests that involve a voluminous amount of material or require searches in multiple locations. By providing rolling releases to requesters agencies facilitate access to the requested information.

  1. Does your agency have a system in place to provide interim responses to requesters when appropriate?

    Yes. EEOC has a system in place for making rolling disclosures of records.  All FOIA requests that were responded to on a rolling disclosure basis were closed during the Fiscal Year 2013.

  2. If your agency had a backlog in Fiscal Year 2013, please provide an estimate of the number or percentage of cases in the backlog where a substantive, interim response was provided during the fiscal year, even though the request was not finally closed.

    Interim responses were not provided for the cases backlogged at the end of Fiscal Year 2013. 

Use of FOIA's Law Enforcement "Exclusions"

In order to increase transparency regarding the use of the FOIA's statutory law enforcement exclusions, which authorize agencies under certain exceptional circumstances to "treat the records as not subject to the requirements of [the FOIA]," 5 U.S.C. § 552(c)(1), (2), (3), please answer the following questions:

  1. Did your agency invoke a statutory exclusion during Fiscal Year 2013?

    No. EEOC did not invoke a statutory exclusion during Fiscal Year 2013.

  2. If so, what was the total number of times exclusions were invoked?

    No response is required.

Spotlight on Success

Out of all the activities undertaken by your agency since March 2013 to increase transparency and improve FOIA administration, please briefly describe here at least one success story that you would like to highlight as emblematic of your agency's efforts. The success story can come from any one of the five key areas. As noted above, these agency success stories will be highlighted during Sunshine Week by OIP. To facilitate this process, all agencies should use bullets to describe their success story and limit their text to a half page. The success story is designed to be a quick summary of a key achievement. A complete description of all your efforts will be contained in the body of your Chief FOIA Officer Report.

  • FOIA component meetings -- Initiation of all-FOIA component video-conference meetings to exchange ideas and best practices, and to reemphasize the important contributions FOIA professionals  make to the EEOC. Each month, six field components were showcased.  This provided FOIA staff in headquarters and the field FOIA components the opportunity to meet and talk with their FOIA cohorts agency wide.
  • Training -- Due to nonexistent funding for training resulting from the sequester, EEOC was able to provide onsite FOIA training to only one FOIA component in Fiscal Year 2013.  However, FOIA training was provided to the FOIA components via video- conferencing and teleconferences.
  • Chief FOIA Officer staff visits-- Due to limited agency travel funds and 15 of the 17 FOIA components being located outside of Washington, D.C., it is difficult for the Chief FOIA Officer to interact personally with FOIA staff located in our field offices.  It was decided that whenever the Chief FOIA Officer who is also the Legal Counsel of the EEOC had a speaking engagement in a city where a FOIA component is located, that she would also visit the FOIA component to meet and talk with the FOIA professionals.
  • Implementation of Pay.gov for fees  -- Requesters may now pay fees assessed for FOIA services on line through Pay.gov. Pay.gov provides efficiencies to the requester and to the EEOC.