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HUD FOIA Status Report 08/01/2007

A1. Communication with Requesters (red on scorecard)

A2. By December 31, 2006, initiate analysis of means of disseminating decisions on releasability.

A3. Transferring the FOIA processing function out of the Office of General Counsel to the Office of Administration allowed the FOIA attorneys to do this. A comprehensive analysis was done based on common questions HUD program staff ask regularly on document releasability. This was done in November 2006.

A2. By December 31, 2006, initiate analysis of electronic communications with requesters.

A3. HUD identified in November 2006 an off-the-shelf FOIA tracking system that has a component called the Public Access Link (PAL). This link will allow requesters to access their FOIA request online at the hud.gov website and track its status in real time.

A2. By December 31, 2006, if realignment is completed, begin distributing legal decisions on releasability.

A3. Milestone met February 21, 2007. The Office of General Counsel posted two volumes on releasability on the HUD internal website. This guidance relates to Multifamily, REAC, and fair housing releasability. The second volume, published April 24, 2007, relates to releasability of documents relating to federal employee information.

B1. Affirmative and Proactive Disclosure of Information

B2. By September 30, 2006, identification of appropriate documentary material by FOIA Division and program offices; submission of first quarterly report that describes specific affirmative disclosure of documents by program area. Establish protocol for proactive disclosure of information on "hot button" issues.

B3. Milestone met May 2007. The HUD website was redesigned and additional releasable documents were posted. The list of HUD purchase charge card holders was published May 31, 2007.

B4. When the current HUD funding round is complete, the Department will make the top scoring grant applications available online through the hud.gov website. This will be done in October 2007.

C1. Improvement of HUD's FOIA Reference Guide

C2. By December 31, 2006, list of major information systems posted on FOIA website.

C3. In March 2007, HUD posted to its website an index of major information systems, arranged alphabetically, followed by a brief description of each one. The FOIA Reference Guide was posted in January 2007.

D1. Politeness/Courtesy

D2. By second quarter of 2007, engage outside contractor to provide training on customer service.

D3. An outside contractor was not hired. FOIA employees took in house customer service training. In addition, the Office of Administration implemented in January 2007 a new, very comprehensive customer service element for employees' annual performance plans.

D2. Begin scheduling public forums to receive comments on improving FOIA performance.

D3. Due to the departure of the former Chief FOIA Officer in November 2006, HUD did not begin its public forums on FOIA performance as planned. Instead, HUD posted the names and phone numbers of the FOIA liaisons, both in Headquarters and the field, on the FOIA Service Center website encouraging the public to contact their liaison with any comments, questions, concerns, etc., they had with their FOIA experience. To date, HUD has received approximately 39 comments from the public.

E1. Process for Obtaining Cooperation from HUD "Program Personnel"

E2. By December 31, 2006, issuance of memorandum to HUD Principal Staff regarding new tracking procedures concurrently with selection of new tracking system.

E3. Nothing to report.

E4. This milestone will be met in December 2007 with the implementation of the new FOIA tracking system.

E2. By December 31, 2006, begin addressing overdue FOIA requests in senior management meetings, and include FOIA compliance in senior management performance appraisals in next performance cycle.

E3. This milestone was met on March 13, 2007, when the Executive Secretary started meeting with program FOIA liaisons. Meetings and communication continue to reduce the program area overdue FOIAs. Additionally, beginning around the same time, overdue FOIA reports were delivered weekly and are discussed in the General Deputy Assistant Secretary meetings and Administrative Officers meetings.

F1. Organizational Realignment

F2. By second quarter of 2006, new position descriptions for field operations.

F3. Nothing to report.

F4. In August 2007 a report is due to HUD on a comprehensive FOIA processing review/business reengineering in both Headquarters and the field. When the report is delivered, HUD will begin to realign functions in the field as appropriate and issue a standardized FOIA position description for field operations by December 31, 2007.