Non-federal COVID-19 response (Office of the Governor)

Emma Best filed this request with the Office of the Governor of Texas.
Multi Request Non-federal COVID-19 response
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Emma Best


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Memos, emails, letters, documents, reports, recorded phone calls and virtual meetings and other media discussing or describing COVID-19 response, shutdown and stay-at-home plans and orders, quarantines, and "re-opening" plans, as well as copies of discussions of COVID-19 with CDC, White House, FEMA or similar emergency management agencies, offices of Surgeons General and similar bodies, and management of medical facilities or organizations. This request excludes unsolicited messages from the public which received no response.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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 look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

From: Office of the Governor

April 27, 2020

Ms. Best,

This email seeks to narrow or clarify your request to avoid the production of and potential charges for responsive information that you are not interested in receiving. Additionally, clarifying or narrowing the scope of your public information request can assist the OOG in providing responsive information to you more quickly and potentially avoid the need for a decision from the Office of the Attorney General.

Your original request seeks "[m]emos, emails, letters, documents, reports, recorded phone calls and virtual meetings and other media discussing or describing COVID-19 response, shutdown and stay-at-home plans and orders, quarantines, and "re-opening" plans, as well as copies of discussions of COVID-19 with CDC, White House, FEMA or similar emergency management agencies, offices of Surgeons General and similar bodies, and management of medical facilities or organizations. This request excludes unsolicited messages from the public which received no response." Please respond to the following requests for clarification or narrowing:

· I understand your request to be for two categories of information:

Memos, emails, letters, documents, reports, recorded phone calls and virtual meetings and other media that:

1) discuss or describe COVID-19 response, shutdown and stay-at-home plans and orders, quarantines, and "re-opening" plans; or

2) discuss COVID-19 with CDC, the White House, FEMA or similar emergency management agencies, office of Surgeons General and similar bodies, and management of medical facilities or organizations.

Is this a correct understanding of your request?

· If the above is a correct restatement of your request, with respect to seeking information about shutdown and stay-at-home plans and orders and "re-opening" plans, I understand your request to only seek information in the context of COVID-19. If that understanding is not correct, please advise.

· You do not provide a time period for your request. Please identify the time period for which you seek documents responsive to your request.

· You do not identify individuals from whom, or divisions of the Office of the Governor from which, you seek information. Please identify the individuals from whom, or divisions of the Office of the Governor from which, you seek information.

· Please clarify: What emergency management agencies or types of emergency management agencies do you consider to be similar to FEMA?

· Please clarify: What bodies or types of bodies do you consider to be similar to Office of Surgeons General?

· Please clarify: Do you consider phone calls received by customer service representatives in our Constituent Communications division "unsolicited messages from the public which received no response?"

Your narrowing or clarification of this request does not preclude you from making future requests for additional information. After we receive your response, we can begin a search of our records for the information you are seeking. If the OOG does not receive a response from you by the 61st day after the date this email is sent, your request will be considered withdrawn. See Gov't Code § 552.222(d), (g). The withdrawal of your request does not preclude you from requesting the same or other information in the future. You can reach us at publicrecords@gov.texas.gov<mailto:publicrecords@gov.texas.gov> or 512-463-1750 with any questions.
Best regards,

Joseph Behnke

Public Information Coordinator

Assistant General Counsel

Office of the Governor

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