CERT CMU-SEI (Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense)

George LeVines filed this request with the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America.
Tracking # 15-F-0225
Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: George LeVines

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any contracts with Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's CERT.

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,

George LeVines

From: Williams, Reynaldo I CIV (US)

Mr. George LeVines
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 13969
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Sent by electronic mail: requests@muckrock.com.

Dear Mr. LeVines:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Contracts with Carnegie Mellon University Engineering Institute, received on October 27, 2014 and assigned FOIA case number 15-F-0225.

Please note this office only processes FOIA requests for the Office of Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff (OSD/JS) and not for the entire Department of Defense (DoD). As there is no central FOIA processing point for the entire DoD, each of the military services and various DoD components are responsible for processing of their own FOIA requests. FOIA requests involving the search of offices outside of OSD/JS should be directed to the appropriate FOIA office. You may find links to the non-OSD/JS DoD FOIA requester services on our website at: http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/.

Your request is not sufficiently described to support processing. Unfortunately, we cannot find the contracts requested without a contract number or knowing the specific OSD/JS component, and it is the requester's responsibility to reasonably describe the records sought. The FOIA does not require agencies to conduct research in order to respond to requests.

We suggest that you seek the information from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS)-NG), the current central repository of information on Federal contracting at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/. The system contains detailed information on contract actions over $3,000 (FY2004 and later data). The system can identify the contractor name, amount of contract, etc. FPDS-NG offers public users access to the spending patterns of the Federal government - at no cost. Once you have registered at www.fpds.gov, you will have access to all actions in that have been submitted to FPDS-NG from across the Federal government.

If you are not satisfied with this action, you may petition the Appellate Authority, the Director of Administration, Office of the Secretary of Defense, by writing directly to the OSD/Joint Staff Freedom of Information, ATTN: Appeals Office, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-1155; you may also submit your appeal electronically at the following link: http://pal.whs.mil/palMain.aspx. Your appeal should be postmarked within 60 calendar days of the date of this mail, should cite case number 15-F-0225 and should be clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

Thank You.

Sincerely,

Mr. Reynaldo I.L. Williams
Government Information Specialist
For Suzanne Council on behalf of
M. L. Wahling, Acting Chief, Freedom of Information Act Division
OSD/JS FOIA Office

From: George LeVines

Dear Mr. Reynaldo I.L. Williams,

I am writing to clarify some aspects of your response and seek you guidance with further processing of this request.

You suggest that I might glean contract information that might help clarify this request by searching https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/. You also state that that system is able to query information from contracts for more than $3,000 dating back to 2004 by contractor name.

Since I happen to know that Vupen Security — an offensive cyber security firm — held at least one contract between 2004 and the present with the federal government, I decided to query the vendor, per your suggestion. Hark! The system was unable to pull up any matches. Not only that, but the system was unable to find the contract when querying by vendor city (Montpellier, FR), Solicitation Number, or Contract Number.

Here is a link to the request that produced the contract of which I speak: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/vupen-contracts-with-nsa-6593/#787525-responsive-documents.

You'll note that the FOIA request which produced the contract with Vupen did not request the docket by contract number but by vendor name.

In light of these facts please explain how:

1) If I am supposedly able to query a contract by vendor via https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/, you are not?

2) Since all contracts are clearly NOT listed at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/ is one in my predicament to proceed with verifying that a contract does or does not exist except by requesting a FOIA to the agency that one is curious as to its contractual standing with a particular vendor?

In other words, if I know that the database at https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/ is incomplete (which I think we've demonstrated that it is) and I am wondering if a particular agency contracted with a particular vendor, but I am required to provide a contract number in order for a FOIA search to be performed, what am I to do? How do I glean the contract number if it is not in the database?

Please advise.

With warmest regards for your diligence in this matter,

George LeVines

From: Williams, Reynaldo I CIV (US)

Mr. George LeVines
MuckRock News
Boston, MA

Sent by electronic mail: requests@muckrock.com

Good morning Mr. Mr. LeVines:

Thank you for your inquiry reference your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for contracts with Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's CERT, received on October 27, 2014 and assigned FOIA case number 15-F-0225.

Please note this office only processes FOIA requests for the Office of Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff (OSD/JS) and not for the entire Department of Defense (DoD). As there is no central FOIA processing point for the entire DoD, each of the military services and various DoD components are responsible for processing of their own FOIA requests. FOIA requests involving the search of offices outside of OSD/JS should be directed to the appropriate FOIA office. You may find links to the non-OSD/JS DoD FOIA requester services on our website at: http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/ <http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/.

It is the requester's responsibility to reasonably describe the records sought. The FOIA does not require agencies to conduct research in order to respond to requests. However, after cursory search on the internet for Carnegie Mellon and Computer Emergency Response (CERT), we see that the contracts you seek relate to computer security, and multi-disciplinary cybersecurity education and research.

We suggest that the DoD agency most likely to hold records that you request would be the U.S. Cyber Command, currently a sub-unified command under U.S. Strategic Command, which has three operational focus areas: defending the nation, supporting the combatant commands and defending the DOD information networks. FOIA requests may be made to:

USSTRATCOM/J006 (FOIA)
901 SAC BLVD STE 2E27
Offutt AFB NE 68113

Telephone: (402) 294-6321
FAX: (402) 294-7535
Electronic Mail: FOIA-PARequestCenter-U@stratcom.mil.

Your request will be closed in this office.

Thank you .

Sincerely,

Mr. Reynaldo I.L. Williams
Government Information Specialist
For Suzanne Council on behalf of
M. L. Wahling, Acting Chief, Freedom of Information Act Division
OSD/JS FOIA Office

From: George LeVines

Thank you for the advice.

The maze of the US Government can be a doozy, as I'm sure you know.

Cheers,

George

From: Williams, Reynaldo I CIV (US)

Good morning Sir,
Your welcome and a have wonderful day.

Sincerely,

Mr. Reynaldo I.L. Williams
Government Information Specialist
For Suzanne Council on behalf of
M. L. Wahling, Acting Chief, Freedom of Information Act Division
OSD/JS FOIA Office

Files

pages

Close