Auditor General emails 10/17/13 (AAA)

Jason Smathers filed this request with the United States Army Audit Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # FP-16-015042; 2015- 01 ; Appeal 1504138317
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Jason Smathers

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All emails to or from Mr. Randall L. Exley, The Auditor General where the emails were sent on October 17, 2013. Please include all attachments as well.

I am an "all other" requester for the purposes of this request. I request that you limit search time to 2 hours. I agree to duplication fees up to $10 if such a list happens to be more than 100 pages which is the free entitlement for "all other" requesters.

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,

Jason Smathers

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A fix is required to perfect the requesfix is required to perfect the request.

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A fix is required to perfect the requesfix is required to perfect the request.

From: Jason Smathers

Concerning this request, I agree to fees up to $12 billed under the "other" requester fee category. If fees are expected to exceed this amount, please let me know so that I can either adjust my willingness to pay fees or attempt to narrow the scope of this request.

I understand your concern over my several requests in a single day. However, I think we can agree that any reasonable review of these requests will find a sweeping range in topics. Each request is on s separate subject and are linked only by being submitted to your office on the same day. There was no attempt to avoid fees in the separation of requests into multiple requests. Rather, a unique request was made for each unique subject matter. Further, I think you are aware that the FOIA does not allow for a request to be denied based on the mere fact that you believe multiple requests are on the same subject and require consolidation. If for some reason you will not process my requests individually and insist on consolidation, please provide notice that you are doing so along with appeal rights and details so that I can escalate this matter.

Thank you very much for your reconsideration. I hope we are able to settle this matter without escalate.

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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: Jason Smathers

TO:
US Army Audit Agency
Attn: FOIA Officer
Building 1464
6000 Sixth Street
Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060

Copy to:
Office of the General Counsel
104 Army Pentagon, RM 3C546
Washington, DC 20310-0104

Dear Appeals Authority:

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act concerning a FOIA request sent to the Army Audit Agency.

On October 22, 2013 I requested "All emails to or from Mr. Randall L. Exley, The Auditor General where the emails were sent on October 17, 2013. Please include all attachments as well."

To date, I have not gotten any specific communication back from the Army Audit Agency with the exemption of a December 2, 2013 letter stating that the Army Audit Agency was not going to process any of my FOIA requests at this time because I made multiple requests at the same time and I did not state a willingness to pay fees. I promptly responded to this letter, but am still waiting to hear from them three months later.

I did request a fee waiver and asked that I be contacted if fees were expected to be incurred and the fee waiver was denied. Assuming you remand this request for further processing, I hereby authorize up to $12 in fees for this request. I would have been happy to discuss fees with the AAA if they contacted me.

I also assert that I did not submit separate requests for the purpose of avoiding fees. I did however submit unrelated requests separately for the purpose of clarity. Therefore, I appeal any decision that aggregates my requests for billing purposes. I also appeal the decision to not process my requests for this reason.

Finally, I wish to point out that the Army Audit Agency has become notorious for ignoring FOIA related communication. In the case of this request I have sent the following communication:
10/22/13: initial request
12/9/13: objection and request for appeals information
1/8/14: status request
2/7/14: status request

Of these four attempts on my part to request these records and to follow up on that request, I have received no tracking number for this FOIA request and have received no specific acknowledgement of my request other than a letter approximately six weeks after my request that stated none of my FOIA requests are being processed.

To date, the AAA has not provided me with details on how to appeal their adverse determination. I am sending this appeal to the Army General Counsel as I understand they are responsible for appeals at other Army components and I am sending a copy to the initial denial authority in hopes that between the two, this appeal reaches the proper authority and is considered.

In summary, I appeal the following:
1) The failure to acknowledge this request.
2) The failure to assign this request a tracking number.
3) The failure to provide an estimated date of completion as required by statue when requested.
4) The refusal to accept my FOIA request for whatever reason(s) they may have had.
5) The determination that I have made multiple requests on the same subject to avoid paying fees. Thus I request that you instruct the AAA to treat separate requests separately.
6) The refusal of the Army Audit Agency to provide proper details for appealing adverse determinations made by the initial denial authority.

For the reasons herein and for all other reasons deemed appropriate by the appeals authority, I hereby appeal.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

From: MuckRock

Office of the General Counsel
104 Army Pentagon, RM 3C546
Washington, DC 20310-0104

Copy to:
US Army Audit Agency
Attn: FOIA Officer
Building 1464
6000 Sixth Street
Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060

Dear Appeals Authority:

This is a followup to an appeal sent on March 10, 2014 to both the OGC and USAAA that has yet to be acknowledged by either agency. Please confirm receipt and provide and estimated completion date.

Thank you.

***
Begin original appeal:

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act concerning a FOIA request sent to the Army Audit Agency.

On October 22, 2013 I requested "All emails to or from Mr. Randall L. Exley, The Auditor General where the emails were sent on October 17, 2013. Please include all attachments as well."

To date, I have not gotten any specific communication back from the Army Audit Agency with the exemption of a December 2, 2013 letter stating that the Army Audit Agency was not going to process any of my FOIA requests at this time because I made multiple requests at the same time and I did not state a willingness to pay fees. I promptly responded to this letter, but am still waiting to hear from them three months later.

I did request a fee waiver and asked that I be contacted if fees were expected to be incurred and the fee waiver was denied. Assuming you remand this request for further processing, I hereby authorize up to $12 in fees for this request. I would have been happy to discuss fees with the AAA if they contacted me.

I also assert that I did not submit separate requests for the purpose of avoiding fees. I did however submit unrelated requests separately for the purpose of clarity. Therefore, I appeal any decision that aggregates my requests for billing purposes. I also appeal the decision to not process my requests for this reason.

Finally, I wish to point out that the Army Audit Agency has become notorious for ignoring FOIA related communication. In the case of this request I have sent the following communication:
10/22/13: initial request
12/9/13: objection and request for appeals information
1/8/14: status request
2/7/14: status request

Of these four attempts on my part to request these records and to follow up on that request, I have received no tracking number for this FOIA request and have received no specific acknowledgement of my request other than a letter approximately six weeks after my request that stated none of my FOIA requests are being processed.

To date, the AAA has not provided me with details on how to appeal their adverse determination. I am sending this appeal to the Army General Counsel as I understand they are responsible for appeals at other Army components and I am sending a copy to the initial denial authority in hopes that between the two, this appeal reaches the proper authority and is considered.

In summary, I appeal the following:
1) The failure to acknowledge this request.
2) The failure to assign this request a tracking number.
3) The failure to provide an estimated date of completion as required by statue when requested.
4) The refusal to accept my FOIA request for whatever reason(s) they may have had.
5) The determination that I have made multiple requests on the same subject to avoid paying fees. Thus I request that you instruct the AAA to treat separate requests separately.
6) The refusal of the Army Audit Agency to provide proper details for appealing adverse determinations made by the initial denial authority.

For the reasons herein and for all other reasons deemed appropriate by the appeals authority, I hereby appeal.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: 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. 22, 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: Curry, Hayley R CPT USARMY HQDA OGC (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Dear Mr. Smathers,

Please see attached.

V/r,

Hayley R. Curry
Office of the Army General Counsel
(Operations & Personnel)
hayley.r.curry.mil@mail.mil
(703) 693-3669

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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. 22, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #Appeal 1504138317.

Thank you for your help.

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. 22, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #Appeal 1504138317.

Thank you for your help.

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

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. 22, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #Appeal 1504138317.

Thank you for your help.

From: Jason Smathers

Upon appeal, the US Army general counsel has rule that your determination that my request was inappropriate and has remanded my request back to your office. Please immediately provide me with a tracking number and an estimated date of completion, then promptly thereafter provide the records requested.

Thank you.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

Original request:

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All emails to or from Mr. Randall L. Exley, The Auditor General where the emails were sent on October 17, 2013. Please include all attachments as well.

I am an "all other" requester for the purposes of this request. I request that you limit search time to 2 hours. I agree to duplication fees up to $10 if such a list happens to be more than 100 pages which is the free entitlement for "all other" requesters.

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,

Jason Smathers

From: Hankins, Timothy S CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Please find attached our final response.

TIMOTHY S. HANKINS
U.S. Army Audit Agency
Paralegal/FOIA/Privacy Officer

This email and any files transmitted with it may contain PRIVILEGED or SENSITIVE information and may be read or used only by the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of the email or any of its attachments, please be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, distribution, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email or any attached files is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately purge it and all attachments and notify the sender by reply email or contact the sender at the number listed.

From: Hoadley, Michael W CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Tim:
This is ready to send. I did notice last sentence in para 1 reads "Also, that you clarified . . ." and should read "Also, you clarified . . . " Small matter, good another one down.
v/r Mike

From: Hankins, Timothy S CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Please find attached our final response to the above FOIA Request.

TIMOTHY S. HANKINS
U.S. Army Audit Agency
Paralegal/FOIA/Privacy Officer

This email and any files transmitted with it may contain PRIVILEGED or SENSITIVE information and may be read or used only by the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of the email or any of its attachments, please be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, distribution, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email or any attached files is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately purge it and all attachments and notify the sender by reply email or contact the sender at the number listed.

From: Hankins, Timothy S CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Please find attached our final response to the above FOIA request.

TIMOTHY S. HANKINS
U.S. Army Audit Agency
Paralegal/FOIA/Privacy Officer

This email and any files transmitted with it may contain PRIVILEGED or SENSITIVE information and may be read or used only by the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of the email or any of its attachments, please be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, distribution, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email or any attached files is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately purge it and all attachments and notify the sender by reply email or contact the sender at the number listed.

From: Greiner-Lee, Tracy Louise CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers:

The agency previously responded to this request on August 13, 2015. As a courtesy, we have again attached the documents that you requested. We will no longer acknowledge follow-up emails for this same request; this response is the second time that the agency acknowledged and emailed you the documents that you requested. Further, because you appealed our original response, if you have not received a decision on your appeal from OGC, you must contact their office at usarmy.pentagon.hqdaaaa.list.aaa-foia-liaison@mail.mil to obtain a status of your appeal. In addition, as your email requests appear to be auto generated and are received by the agency on the same day every month, we kindly ask that you turn off the function that auto generates emails for requests to which the agency has already responded.

Respectfully,

Tracy L. Greiner-Lee, Esq.
Deputy Counsel (Labor & Employment Law)
Office of General Counsel
U.S. Army Audit Agency
6000 6th Street, Bldg 1464
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Phone: 703.545.5880

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NOTICE: This message is intended only for the addressee and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and/or attorney work product and may be exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act,
5 U.S.C. ยง 552. If you are not the intended recipient, do not read, copy, retain or disseminate this message or any attachment. If you have received this message in error, please email me at this address and promptly delete all copies of the message and any attachments. Neither the transmission of this message or any attachment, nor any error in transmission or delivery, shall constitute waiver of any applicable legal privilege.
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  • FOIA Appeal - Smathers - Fee Waiver Denial (UNCLASSIFIED)

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