772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron and Contract FA8903-06-D-8507-025

Nick Steffel filed this request with the Air Force of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-00016-A
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Nick Steffel

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Information regarding the 772nd Enterprise Sourcing Squadron's Task Order 0025 under contract number FA8903-06-D-8507-025 to build a command and control facility (Project No. 76916) at Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Nick Steffel

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Zadlo, Billy CIV USAF 502 ABW (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Mr. Steffel,

Sir, attached is our acknowledgement letter confirming receipt and fee
waiver approval of your 9 Oct 13, Freedom of Information Act Request. Thank
you.

V/r,

//Signed//

BILL ZADLO, DAFC

502 CS/SCOKR (FOIA/PA)

DSN: 420-0124

(210) 808-0124

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

From: Zadlo, Billy CIV USAF 502 ABW (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Mr. Steffel,

Sir we have reconsidered your FOIA request and have changed your fee
category. Attached is our amended acknowledgement letter and fee waiver
denial. I have put your request on hold until I get a fee estimate from the
OPR.

V/r,

//Signed//

BILL ZADLO, DAFC

502 CS/SCOKR (FOIA/PA)

DSN: 420-0124

(210) 808-0124

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

From: MuckRock

Hello,

This is not a commercial request. Please note that I am a member of the staff and faculty at the department of Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. This request is being made in lines with my teaching and research in the area of the internet and information policy. I would sincerely hope that would be a pretty definitive sign that this isn't commercially motivated.

Please update the fee status accordingly.

Thank you.

From: Zadlo, Billy CIV USAF 502 ABW (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Mr. Steffel,

Our records indicate that MuckRock is in the commercial requester category.
If you are requesting this information through MuckRock you will be considered
a commercial requester. If you wish to submit a FOIA request without using
MuckRock, you will need to withdraw this request and request the information
without utilizing MuckRock. If you would like to discuss your request or need
assistance in submitting a new request, please contact me. Thank you.

V/r,

//Signed//
BILL ZADLO, DAFC
502 CS/SCOKR (FOIA/PA)
DSN: 420-0124
(210) 808-0124

From: Zadlo, Billy CIV USAF 502 ABW (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Mr. Steffel,

This is a follow-on to my email below. Did you want to submit a new FOIA
request
not utilizing MuckRock and withdraw FOIA 2014-00204-F? If not, you can appeal
our
decision to place your request in the "Commercial" fee category. Instructions
for
submitting an appeal were included in our 14 Nov 13, Acknowledgement letter to
you.
Please let me know what you decide to do regarding FOIA 2014-00204-F by close
of
business 20 Nov 13. If you have any questions, please contact me. Thank you.

V/r,

//Signed//
BILL ZADLO, DAFC
502 CS/SCOKR (FOIA/PA)
DSN: 420-0124
(210) 808-0124

From: Nick Steffel

Hello,

Please see below and attached for an appeal of the commercial requester designation. A copy has also been sent to the Secretary of the Air Force at the address below, as indicated in the attached letter of November 14 and email below.

Please confirm receipt of both the digital and hard copies.

Thank you.

=========

Secretary of the Air Force
C/O: 502 CS/SCOKR (FOIA)
2406 Gun Shed Road, Suite 2050
JBSA-162851Fort Sam Houston TX 78234

November 18, 2013

Dear Administrator:

This is an appeal for 2014-00204-F, in which I have been classified as a commercial requester.

As I wrote on November 14 (all correspondence attached), this is not a commercial request nor am I a commercial requester. I am a member of the staff and faculty at the department of Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. This request is being made in lines with my teaching and research in the area of the internet and information policy.

Based on the attached email of November 15 from Bill Zadlo, DAFC, I understand that the Air Force has circulated a memo requiring all requests coming from MuckRock users to be billed using the commercial fee category. I believe that the decision to consider MuckRock and its users a commercial user of FOIA comes from a misunderstanding of what MuckRock is.

MuckRock is an investigative tools website which provides tools for filing FOIA requests. MuckRock does sell a subscription service to use these tools, however, the end user is directly communicating with the agency. I am using MuckRock to do this for the sake of proper FOIA request tracking. The MuckRock system has created a special email account specific to this request so we can communicate and track that communication appropriately. The MuckRock system also tracks the date the request was sent and alerts me if too much time passes without a response so I can follow up with you.

In spirit it fulfills the same role that hiring an assistant would — they handle the correspondence, track the dates information was sent/received and handle the administrative steps in between. Their charging a nominal fee for filing a request on my behalf is no more commercial than paying an assistant $8/hr to do it for me (and, frankly, they're better at it anyway).

What you might call the "fee waiver clause" at 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii) loosely defines a commercial request as "in the commercial interest of the requester." I would contend I have no commercial interest in these documents whatsoever as I am not selling the information I receive nor has anyone paid me to obtain this information. If your stance is that MuckRock themselves have a commercial interest in the fulfillment of my request, I would contend that they have no more than my hypothetical assistant would have. They are simply an intermediary and this request (as this appeal rather pleasantly demonstrates) is most definitely my own.

I trust that upon re-consideration you will reverse the decision to bill me as a commercial user. Should you deny my appeal, please let me know so I may determine how best to proceed.

I will expect to receive your decision within 20 business days.

Kind regards,

Nick Steffel

From: Zadlo, Billy CIV USAF 502 ABW (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

Mr. Steffel,

This email confirms our receipt of your fee category appeal. Your appeal
has been forwarded to the HQ Air Education and Training Command (AETC)
Freedom of Information Act office for action. They will respond directly
to you. Thank you.

V/r,

//Signed//

BILL ZADLO, DAFC

502 CS/SCOKR (FOIA/PA)

DSN: 420-0124

(210) 808-0124

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO

From: AETC FOIA/PA Workflow

Mr. Steffel,

Your appeal was sent to the Air Force Legal Operations Agency. See attached
letter.

Sincerely,

//signed//

Sharlotte E. Terry
Freedom of Information and Privacy Manager
Air Education and Training Command
Directorate of Communications
Computer Systems Squadron

From: Air Force

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Air Force

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

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