Betsy DeVos Ed Dept

Emma Best filed this request with the U.S. Department of Education of the United States of America.
Due Jan. 25, 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Betsy DeVos, including communications received from or sent to Betsy DeVos, as well as emails mentioning her.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. 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 the non-profit Internet Archive, 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. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

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,

Michael Best

From: ED FOIA Manager

Dear Michael Best,

This e-mail is in response to your request for a status on the subject FOIA request: 17-00579-F

Status:
Conducting Search for responsive records. Once the search for responsive records has been completed the status will be updated accordingly. In the interim, you can monitor the status of your request via the Department’s FOIA Web page below:

http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/foiatoc.html

Unfortunately we do not have a specific completion time available. We understand how important your FOIA Request is to you and want to handle it as soon as possible but we must process all FOIA request in their order of receipt. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of Education FOIA Service Center!

ED FOIA Manager
FOIA Service Center
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202
202-401-8365 - Hotline
202-401-0920 – Fax
edfoiamanager@ed.gov<mailto:edfoiamanager@ed.gov>

From: ED FOIA Manager

Good Morning,

The Status of your FOIA request is still in the conducting search for responsive records stage. Once the search for responsive records has been completed the status will be updated accordingly.

FOIA Service Center
US Dept. of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202
202-453-7158 (Direct)
202-401-0920 (Fax)

From: Darby, Linda

Dear Mr. Best-

The Department would like for you to narrow the scope of your request to be more specific as to the information that you are seeking. Please reply to this e-mail.

Thank you,

Linda Darby
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center, OM/OCPO
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW, Room 2E309
Washington, DC 20202
(202) 401-8365

From: Michael Best

I believe that the scope was quite clear. Please clarify what was unclear to you so that I may clarify it for you.

From: Darby, Linda

Dear Mr. Best-

The Department needs more specific information as to the information that you are seeking in your FOIA request. Please reply to this e-mail by April 5, 2017. If you haven't replied by said date, your case will be administratively closed.

Thank you,

Linda Darby
Government Information Specialist
FOIA Service Center, OM/OCPO
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave. SW, Room 2E309
Washington, DC 20202
(202) 401-8365

From: Michael Best

As I said, I would be happy to help but you must tell me what was unclear. I asked you to "please clarify what was unclear to you so that I may clarify it for you." Telling me that "The Department needs more specific information" does not satisfy this. The request was clear enough per my understanding of case law. If you have reason to believe otherwise or can tell me what kind of information you need or what was unclear, I would be happy to help you. However, if you refuse to tell me what is unclear then I'm not sure how I can begin to help you.

Is it that you're as unclear on what's unclear as I am? In which case, am I really the one who has been unclear?

Files

There are no files associated with this request.