All communications between Darin Selnick and officials at the VA

Jasper Craven filed this request with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America.
Tracking # 18-01717-F
Due Nov. 3, 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Jasper Craven

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All e-mail communications between Darin Selnick, Veteran Affairs Advisor at White House Domestic Policy Council, and employees at the VA between Jan. 20, 2017 and current day

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 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jasper Craven

From: Johnson, Doloras F.

Mr. Craven,
I have attached an update to your FOIA request.

Ms. Doloras Johnson
VA FOIA Service-Office of Privacy Information and Identity Protection (PIIP)
Quality, Privacy, and Risk (QPR)
Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
Phone: 202-632-7233
Fax: 202-632-7581
Hotline: 1-877-750-3642

From: Jasper Craven

Good evening,

As the request for clarification was rather vague itself, let me try and be more clear:

I am requesting all email communications between Darin Selnick, (described on LinkedIn as Veteran Affairs Advisor at White House Domestic Policy Council https://www.linkedin.com/in/darin-selnick-a0419b5/) and the 17 VA leadership staff mentioned in this link: https://www.va.gov/opa/bios/ I am requesting all communications between Jan. 20 and present day. Please give me a call at 802-274-0365 if you require further clarification, and thanks for the diligent work on this.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Craven,
I have attached an update to your request.

Ms. Doloras Johnson
VA FOIA Service-Office of Privacy Information and Identity Protection (PIIP)
Quality, Privacy, and Risk (QPR)
Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
Phone: 202-632-7233
Fax: 202-632-7581
Hotline: 1-877-750-3642

From:

November 13, 2017

Via email: requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Mr. Jasper Craven
MuckRock - Dept. 44249
411 A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

This is an acknowledgment, fee category, and deadline extension to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated October 18, 2017, and received in this FOIA office on November 8, 2017. You requested:

· "...all email communications between Darin Selnick, (described on LinkedIn as Veteran Affairs Advisor at White House Domestic Policy Council) and 17 VA leadership staff mentioned in this link: https//www.va.gov/opa/bios between the dates of January 20, 2017 and present."

Your request has been assigned FOIA Tracking Number 18-00974-F. Please refer to it whenever communicating with the VA about your FOIA request.

Initial Agency Findings

The VA's FOIA operations are decentralized. As stated in Mr. John Buck's November 1, referral letter your original request will be processed by a number of VA Offices. Our office will only be processing information as it relates to the Executive Director, OALC; Mr. Gregory Giddens.

"Media-Use" Fee Category

I placed you in the "media-use" requester fee category, for which we charge duplication fees only after the first free one hundred (100) pages, and the VA does not collect FOIA duplication fees below $25.00. 38 C.F.R. § 1.561(e)(5), (f), and (g). "For other forms of duplication, including electronic copies, the FOIA Officer will charge the direct costs of that duplication." 38 CFR § 1.561(d)(2). "Direct costs include, for example, the salary of the employee performing the work (the basic rate of pay for the employee, plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits costs)..." 38 C.F.R. § 1.561(b)(3). At this time I do not see this request incurring any fees, should this change our office will notify you in advance.

Deadline Extension

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A no responsive documents response.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

November 29, 2017

Via email: requests@muckrock.com

Mr. Jasper Craven
MuckRock - Dept. 44249
411 A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

This is an update and clarification request to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated October 18, 2017, and received in this FOIA office on November 8, 2017. You requested:

• “…all email communications between Darin Selnick, (described on LinkedIn as Veteran Affairs Advisor at White House Domestic Policy Council) and 17 VA leadership staff mentioned in this link: https//www.va.gov/opa/bios between the dates of January 20, 2017 and present.”

Your request has been assigned FOIA Tracking Number 18-00974-F. Please refer to it whenever communicating with the VA about your FOIA request.

FOIA REQUEST PLACED "ON HOLD" PENDING FURTHER CLARIFICATION

The FOIA provides that agencies are to search for records responsive to FOIA requests that "reasonably describe" the records requested. 38 C.F.R. § 1.554(d)(1)-(3)

Essentially, the Office of Automation/E-Messaging Services (OAE) will search for records responsive to a FOIA request when that request describes the records sought so that a professional agency employee familiar with the subject area may identify the records that would be responsive to the FOIA request and locate those records with a "reasonable amount of effort". For example, a request for any and all e-mails between two parties is not considered a reasonably described request, and would impose an unduly burdensome search responsibility on OAE.

The FOIA provides that the requester must describe the records sought in enough detail to allow VA personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. To the extent possible, the requester should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the document. Generally, the more information the requester provides about the record sought, the more likely VA personnel will be able to locate any responsive records. Wide-ranging requests that lack specificity, or contain descriptions of very general subject matters, with no description of specific records, may be considered "not reasonably described" and thus not subject to further processing.
We have determined that your FOIA request does not reasonably describe the records with sufficient particularity for OAE employees to identify and search for the records with a reasonable amount of effort. I am seeking clarification of your request to ensure that a search conducted by OAE is focused on locating the records you seek.

Specifically, I am requesting clarification of the following, the title and/or subject matter of the e-mails you seek.

In accordance with VA's implementing regulations, found at 38 C.F.R. § 1.554(d)(4), I am providing you with 30 calendar days to provide clarification on your request. If I have not heard from you by January 10, 2018, I will assume that you are no longer interested in pursuing your request and will take the appropriate measures to administratively close your request. Please keep in mind that the timeframe, which our office has to respond to your FOIA request does not run while we wait for your response to our request for clarification.

Should you have any questions concerning this letter or the processing of this request please contact me at patricia.litewski@va.gov or 202-461-6923?

VA FOIA Public Liaison, OGIS & Appeal Options

The undersigned processed your request. Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the processing of this request, you have the right to seek assistance from the VA FOIA Public Liaison at 1-877-750-3642 or by email at vacofoiase@va.gov.

Additionally, as part of the 2007 FOIA amendments, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) was created to offer mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies. You may contact OGIS by email at ogis@nara.gov; by toll-free telephone at 1-877-684-6448 (or 202-741-5770); by facsimile at 202-741-5769; or by writing to: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2510, College Park, MD 20740-6001.

Should you disagree with these findings, you may administratively appeal in writing to: General Counsel (024), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20420. You must file your appeal within 90 days from the date of this letter clearly marking both the letter and the envelope “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” Please include a copy of this letter with your appeal, and state why you disagree with this determination.

If you are dissatisfied with any appeal results, judicial review will thereafter be available to you in the United States District Court of your residence, principal place of business, or the District of Columbia where the records you seek are located.

Sincerely,

Patricia Litewski

Patricia Litewski
Deputy FOIA Officer
Office of Acquisition, Logistics & Construction

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good Afternoon Mr. Craven,

Attached to this message is VHA's acknowledgment of your FOIA Request. Ms. Amber Smith will be processing your request and her contact information is listed on the attached letter. Please let me know if you should have any questions.

I would kindly appreciate your confirmation of receipt of this email. A hard copy of the attached letter will not follow in postal mail unless specifically requested by you.

V/R,

Mrs. Tracy R. Cephas, Staff Assistant
VHA Central Office FOIA Office
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Office: 202-461-5879
Fax: 202-273-9387
Email: Tracy.Cephas@va.gov<mailto:Tracy.Cephas@va.gov>
[http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608020842350182619&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0]
"I am a Disabled Army Veteran and former Army Civilian and I CARE!"

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

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