Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse

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The Transactional Records Action Clearinghouse (TRAC) was established in 1989 at Syracuse University as a "data gathering, data research and data distribution organization." TRAC has offices at both Syracuse University and in Washington, D.C. [1]

TRAC "gathers, analyzes, and distributes data about the fairness and effectiveness of federal enforcement of laws and regulations." TRAC's purpose is "to provide the U.S. public with the information they need to hold the federal government accountable for its activities, staffing, and spending." [2]

TRAC "obtains data on government operations" and "reviews all publicly-available information such as reports and statistical tables generated by agencies, Congressional testimony, websites, news articles, and reports by Inspectors General and the GAO. TRAC then files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain internal agency data. It also goes after detailed, redacted records of the thousands or millions of individuals impacted by agency action. Importantly, TRAC also litigates against the federal government when its FOIA requests are not fully and promptly complied with." [3]

Leadership

"The co-directors of TRAC are Susan Long, a statistician and professor in Syracuse University's School of Management who as a FOIA pioneer has specialized in federal enforcement issues for more than 25 years, and David Burnham, an investigative writer and former New York Times reporter, who has covered local, state and federal enforcement issues since 1966." [4]

Current Activities

"Currently featured are separate TRAC Web sites describing the enforcement activities and staffing patterns" of the following agencies: [5]

Immigration Documentation

In November 2005, TRAC "added administrative immigration enforcement as a particular focus of its research ... [in] hopes to supplement the work of immigration advocates by uncovering hard data to document what is known - and, at times, is not known - about how the government enforces immigration laws. To accomplish this, TRAC ... hired Washington-based immigration attorney Larry Katzman as well as a system/web delivery professional to work full time in this arena." [6]

Funding

TRAC has been supported by Syracuse University, as well as by "foundations such as the Rockefeller Family Fund, the New York Times Company Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Beldon Fund and the Open Society Institute, research grants and contracts, and fees which help offset the costs of providing services to academics, reporters, attorneys and others subscribing to TRACFED, or those requesting specialized research and data set preparation." [7]

Contact Information

Main Syracuse Office [computing services]:

TRAC
488 Newhouse II
Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York 13244-2100
Phone: 315 443-3563
FAX: 315 443-3196

Washington, D.C. Office:

TRAC
Suite 900
666 11th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202 518-9000
FAX: 202 347-1116

Web: http://trac.syr.edu/

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