U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
EMS TRANSMISSION 03/06/2007
Instruction Memorandum No. 2007-076
To: All ADs, SDs, and CDs
Attn: Freedom of Information Act Coordinators
From: Assistant Director, Information Resources Management
Subject: Multitrack Processing of Freedom of Information Act Requests
Program Area: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) provides updated guidance on the use of Multitrack Processing of FOIA requests within the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Policy/Action: The BLM will fully implement Multitrack Processing when processing FOIA requests it receives. All offices will use one of the three tracks listed below to process their requests based on the amount of time required for a request to be processed (43 CFR 2.26(a)):
1. Simple: 1-5 workdays
2. Normal: 1-20 workdays
3. Complex: over 20 workdays
For requests placed in the “Simple” or “Normal” tracks, notification to the requester is not required. For requests placed in the “Complex” track, the BLM will notify the requester no later than 20 workdays from the date of receiving the request. The BLM may provide the requester filing a “Complex” request with the opportunity to limit the scope of their request. If a requester limits the scope of their request, it may result in faster processing within the “Complex” track, or move the request for even faster processing to the “Normal” track.
In the event that the Department of the Interior (DOI) determines that a single consolidated response to a request seeking documents from multiple Bureaus/offices is appropriate, the request will be considered “Complex.” Similarly, if the BLM determines that a single consolidated response to a request seeking documents from multiple BLM offices is appropriate, the request will be considered “Complex.”
Timeframe: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Minimal.
Background: On February 6, 2004, the BLM adopted two processing tracks, Normal and Complex. In order to comply with Executive Order 13392, the Department of the Interior is making it mandatory to employ three tracks (Simple, Normal, or Complex) to process FOIA requests. This new policy should enable the BLM to reduce its backlog and ensure that requests are processed fairly by treating similar requests in a like manner.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: 1278, External Access to BLM Information.
Coordination: This policy was developed in coordination with the State and Center FOIA Coordinators.
Contact: Lizzette Katilius, (Acting) BLM FOIA Officer, (WO-560), at (202) 452-5013.