Annenberg / Collection News / Lippincott / Van Pelt

TRACFed federal data warehouse wins FOIA recognition

TRAC, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse hosteTRACFed logod by Syracuse University, has been recognized in federal court as an educational and journalistic organization for FOIA requests and not as a commercial requestor. The ruling – Long v. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83835 (D.D.C. June 29, 2015) – against Immigration and Customs Enforcement reduces FOIA request processing fees charged to TRAC. In addressing ICE’s arguments, the ruling reviews the criteria defining educational and news media organizations for FOIA purposes.

The TRAC public website offers free reporting tools on selected federal enforcement agencies, including Department of Homeland Security, FBI, IRS, DEA, and ATF, on administrative and criminal court actions on immigration, and on federal judges’ performance.

TRACFed, the subscription data warehouse behind the TRAC public website, is available to Penn readers through a subscription held cooperatively by the Penn Libraries and the Biddle Law Library. The TRACFed data warehouse and tools provide direct dynamic access to a wide range of data concerning federal criminal, civil and administrative enforcement (including performance data on individual judges and federal prosecutors), federal staffing, federal funding, and other topics. Tools available through TRACFed include:

  • TRAC Express – to produce data tables, maps, and graphs.
  • Going Deeper – to drill into case-level criminal and civil data and to data on individual federal employees.
  • TRAC Analyzer – to create, store, and analyze data slices based on your own criteria.
  • Custom Reports – to produce tables and reports on criminal matters.
  • Web lockers, to store up to 20,000 records.

Penn researchers are eligible to apply for the TRAC Fellows Program. TRAC Fellows receive special access to TRACFed data for specific research projects.

Please contact Lauris Olson, Coordinator for Social Sciences Collections, if you have questions about TRACFed.

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