North Dakota Department of Transportation emails re: protests Sept 7-18 2016

Christopher Thomas filed this request with the Department of Transportation of North Dakota.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Christopher Thomas

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to North Dakota Constitution, Article XI, Section 6, and the North Dakota Open Records Statute, N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18(1), I hereby request the following records:

Any email sent or received by any employee of the Department of Transportation between the dates of September 7, 2016 and September 18, 2016 which contains the words "protest" "protests" "protester" or "protesters."

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.

Sincerely,

Christopher Thomas
Investigative Journalist, Unicorn Riot - an educational 501(c)(3) nonprofit
www.unicornriot.ninja

From: -Info-Dept. of Transportation

Dear Christopher.
Thank you for your email. Your request has been submitted to our open records section at the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Sincerely,
NDDOT

From: Barreth, Steven L.

Christopher,

In regards to your pipeline protest open records request to ND DOT:

We had the state server team scan the DOT E-Mail boxes at the server level to gather all E-Mails in the time frame specified in your request. Because you asked for protest, protests, protestors, and protestor; I had them scan the root word "protest" in both the subject and body to be all encompassing. Because DOT deals with contracts and contracts can be protested, we picked up about 50 mails that also speak to contract related protests. After kicking all of those out we still have between 1300 and 1400 emails to review for that date range. I also instructed any department personnel to scan their archive folders (very few have them) with that same information and range. We are conservatively estimating 12 hours to go through the emails we found. State Statute allows us to charge $25 per hour after the first hour of the discovery process or in this case 11 hours. We believe we do have some records that meet your request. Please keep in mind this is only an estimate and the time required may be more or less. We also charge (after the first hour) for any time needed to organize and do any redaction before electronically shipping the records to you.

If you agree with the charges and want The ND DOT to proceed with your request. Please remit one half of the 11 hour estimate payment which comes to $137.50. This is one half of the total estimated time/cost of 11 hours/$275. Another estimate may be necessary as we move forward. If a refund is due, we will send that along with records or require a final payment before sending the records.

Please make checks payable to:
North Dakota Department of Transportation
Finance Division
608 E. Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58554
You may also pay by credit card at (701) 328-2635
When making payment please indicate when calling or on Check ND DOT Request #532
Thanks!

Respectfully,

Steve Barreth
Information Management Officer
North Dakota Department of Transportation
(701) 328-4001
slbarreth@nd.gov

From: Christopher Thomas

Mr. Barreth,

Thank you for processing this request. I am willing to pay for any fees associated with producing records responsive to my request. However, I am strictly seeking any records created relevant to any protest events surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL.) I would greatly appreciate it if you could remove any records strictly related to contracts or other purchasing decisions by your department which have no relevance to the DAPL issue. Please let me know if you are able to reduce the fee for this request based on this narrower scope, or if the fee will remain the same. Thank you for your time.

sincerely,
Christopher Thomas
Investigative Journalist, Unicorn Riot - a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit
www.unicornriot.ninja

From: Barreth, Steven L.

Christopher,

The fee will remain the same, as it is estimated that processing with take that amount of time and there could be additional time for redaction. If you can (you don’t have to by any means) be more specific on what, if any particular incident, you are looking for, a particular person, or e-mail; that could likely reduce the time and fees involved.

Please advise, otherwise; submit payment and we will process through and get a pst file ready for delivery, upon which time the balance due will be expected before the files are sent.
Thanks!

Steve

From: MuckRock.com


To Whom It May Concern:

Please find enclosed a check for $275.00 to satisfy the fee associated with the attached public records request.

Thank you.

From:

Steven L Barreth from the Dept of Transportation has invited you to download a file named muckrock_532_NDDOT_12222016.zip. The description of the file is as follows: DAPL Protest E-Mail Request.

You can download the file using the following link: https://apps.nd.gov/itd/filetransfer/downloadByInvitation.htm?id=1-f4b6931fd13c804de2e9ca5f45b70832.

Christopher....attached please find a zip file. within the zip is pst with email relevant to your request as well as a zip with additional email that needed redaction of personal information and finally one attachment to one of the redacted emails. Please use the included link to download your information. The link will be active for 10 days. Thanks! Steve B

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