Chief FOIA officer exemption 5 guidance (Federal Election Commission)

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Federal Election Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-04
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive or other document (or segment of another document) written by or for the Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that provides departmental application of FOIA exemption 5 from 1990 to the day this request is processed.

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,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Federal Election Commission

October 17, 2013

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This email acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request dated October 10, 2013.

Your request for a fee wavier has been granted. Please note that,
depending upon the nature of your request, we may be able to respond to
you more quickly if you are able to state your request more specifically
or narrowly, either in terms of the scope of documents you have requested
or by refining the time frame of your request. If you would like to
discuss this option or if you have any questions, please contact the FOIA
Requester Service Center at (202) 694-1650. Please include the following
tracking number in all future correspondence regarding this matter ? FOIA

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. 10, 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: Federal Election Commission

Good morning Mr. Musgrave,

Thank you for your e-mail. We expect to send a response to your FOIA
Request, FOIA No. 2014-04, by the end of the week. Please let us know if
you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,
Catherine Kelley

requests@muckrock.com
11/16/2013 05:00 AM

To
FOIA@fec.gov,
cc

Subject
Follow up to Freedom of Information Request: Chief FOIA officer exemption
5 guidance (Federal Election Commission)

November 16, 2013
Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
Attn: FOIA Requester Service Center
Room 408
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

This is a follow up to a previous request:

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 10, 2013. Please let me
know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification
is needed.

Thank you for your help.

---

On Oct. 17, 2013:

October 17, 2013

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This email acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request dated October 10, 2013.

Your request for a fee wavier has been granted. Please note that,
depending upon the nature of your request, we may be able to respond to
you more quickly if you are able to state your request more specifically
or narrowly, either in terms of the scope of documents you have requested
or by refining the time frame of your request. If you would like to
discuss this option or if you have any questions, please contact the FOIA
Requester Service Center at (202) 694-1650. Please include the following
tracking number in all future correspondence regarding this matter ? FOIA

---

On Oct. 10, 2013:

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive or other document (or segment of
another document) written by or for the Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that
provides departmental application of FOIA exemption 5 from 1990 to the day
this request is processed.

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,

Shawn Musgrave

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 7070
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed
(i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might
be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

From: Catherine H. Kelley

VIA EMAIL

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com

Re: FEC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request, No. 2014-04

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This is in response to your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) dated October 10, 2013, and received by the Federal
Election Commission?s (FEC) FOIA Requester Service Center on October 17,
2013. Specifically you requested: Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive
or other document (or segment of another document) written by or for the
Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that provides departmental application of FOIA
exemption 5 from 1990 to the day this request is processed.

We searched our records and found one document with information responsive
to your request. However, we are withholding this information in its
entirety, a total of two pages, pursuant to FOIA Exemption 5. Exemption 5
protects from disclosure attorney work-product as well as information
subject to the deliberative process and attorney-client privileges. See 5
U.S.C. § 552(b)(5). Accordingly, your request is denied in full.

For your information, the FEC FOIA Office generally refers to the
Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act for guidance
on the application of Exemption 5. The chapter discussing Exemption 5 is
available on the Department of Justice's website at the following link:
http://www.justice.gov/oip/foia-guide13/exemption5.pdf.

You have the right to appeal any adverse FOIA determination to the
Commission under 11 C.F.R. § 4.8. If you have any questions please
contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at FOIA@fec.gov, or (202)
694-1650. Thank you for contacting the FEC.

Sincerely,

Catherine H. Kelley
FOIA Requester Service Center

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

I would like to appeal this decision. This request is in the public interest, as the FEC's invocation of exemption 5 (as in this case) is not well-known to the public. Your denial of this request further enshrouds the FEC's interpretation and application of the exemption in mystery.

For this and any other reasons deemed applicable by the appeals authority, I appeal the denial of this request.

Respectfully,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: Federal Election Commission

Mr. Musgrave,

If possible, I would like to talk to you about your FOIA appeal. In
particular, I want to make sure I understand what aspects of the decision
you are appealing so that the agency may properly respond to your appeal.
Is there a phone number where I could reach you? Please let me know if
there is a time today or tomorrow that would be convenient for you to
talk.

Thank you,
Catherine Kelley

Shawn Musgrave <requests@muckrock.com>
Sent by: requests@muckrock.com
11/26/2013 06:13 PM

To
FOIA@fec.gov,
cc

Subject
RE: Freedom of Information Request #2014-04

November 26, 2013
Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
Attn: FOIA Requester Service Center
Room 408
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

This is a follow up to request number 2014-04:

Hello,

I would like to appeal this decision. This request is in the public
interest, as the FEC's invocation of exemption 5 (as in this case) is not
well-known to the public. Your denial of this request further enshrouds
the FEC's interpretation and application of the exemption in mystery.

For this and any other reasons deemed applicable by the appeals authority,
I appeal the denial of this request.

Respectfully,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

---

On Nov. 26, 2013:

VIA EMAIL

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com

Re: FEC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request, No. 2014-04

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This is in response to your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) dated October 10, 2013, and received by the Federal
Election Commission?s (FEC) FOIA Requester Service Center on October 17,
2013. Specifically you requested: Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive
or other document (or segment of another document) written by or for the
Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that provides departmental application of FOIA
exemption 5 from 1990 to the day this request is processed.

We searched our records and found one document with information responsive
to your request. However, we are withholding this information in its
entirety, a total of two pages, pursuant to FOIA Exemption 5. Exemption 5
protects from disclosure attorney work-product as well as information
subject to the deliberative process and attorney-client privileges. See 5
U.S.C. § 552(b)(5). Accordingly, your request is denied in full.

For your information, the FEC FOIA Office generally refers to the
Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act for guidance
on the application of Exemption 5. The chapter discussing Exemption 5 is
available on the Department of Justice's website at the following link:
http://www.justice.gov/oip/foia-guide13/exemption5.pdf.

You have the right to appeal any adverse FOIA determination to the
Commission under 11 C.F.R. § 4.8. If you have any questions please
contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at FOIA@fec.gov, or (202)
694-1650. Thank you for contacting the FEC.

Sincerely,

Catherine H. Kelley
FOIA Requester Service Center

---

On Nov. 19, 2013:

Good morning Mr. Musgrave,

Thank you for your e-mail. We expect to send a response to your FOIA
Request, FOIA No. 2014-04, by the end of the week. Please let us know if
you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,
Catherine Kelley

requests@muckrock.com
11/16/2013 05:00 AM

To
FOIA@fec.gov,
cc

Subject
Follow up to Freedom of Information Request: Chief FOIA officer exemption
5 guidance (Federal Election Commission)

November 16, 2013
Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
Attn: FOIA Requester Service Center
Room 408
999 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20463

This is a follow up to a previous request:

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 10, 2013. Please let me
know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification
is needed.

Thank you for your help.

---

On Oct. 17, 2013:

October 17, 2013

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This email acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request dated October 10, 2013.

Your request for a fee wavier has been granted. Please note that,
depending upon the nature of your request, we may be able to respond to
you more quickly if you are able to state your request more specifically
or narrowly, either in terms of the scope of documents you have requested
or by refining the time frame of your request. If you would like to
discuss this option or if you have any questions, please contact the FOIA
Requester Service Center at (202) 694-1650. Please include the following
tracking number in all future correspondence regarding this matter ? FOIA

---

On Oct. 10, 2013:

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive or other document (or segment of
another document) written by or for the Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that
provides departmental application of FOIA exemption 5 from 1990 to the day

this request is processed.

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,

Shawn Musgrave

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 7070
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed
(i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might

be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

---

On Nov. 16, 2013:

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request,
copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 10, 2013. Please let me
know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification
is needed.

Thank you for your help.

---

On Oct. 17, 2013:

October 17, 2013

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This email acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request dated October 10, 2013.

Your request for a fee wavier has been granted. Please note that,
depending upon the nature of your request, we may be able to respond to
you more quickly if you are able to state your request more specifically
or narrowly, either in terms of the scope of documents you have requested
or by refining the time frame of your request. If you would like to
discuss this option or if you have any questions, please contact the FOIA
Requester Service Center at (202) 694-1650. Please include the following
tracking number in all future correspondence regarding this matter ? FOIA

---

On Oct. 10, 2013:

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive or other document (or segment of
another document) written by or for the Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that
provides departmental application of FOIA exemption 5 from 1990 to the day
this request is processed.

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,

Shawn Musgrave

Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 7070
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly addressed
(i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News) requests might
be returned by the USPS as undeliverable.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Ms. Kelley,

Apologies that I didn't get a chance to speak yesterday or today. How is tomorrow to discuss this?

Best,
Shawn

From: Federal Election Commission

Mr. Musgrave,

My apologies for not responding to you sooner. I have been out of the
office for the holidays. Please let me know if there is a time you are
available to speak this week.

Thank you,
Catherine
----- Forwarded by Catherine Kelley/FEC/US on 01/06/2014 11:05 AM -----

From: Shawn Musgrave

Ms. Kelley,

As it has been difficult coordinating a time to speak by phone, may we clarify things by email?

Best,
Shawn

From: Federal Election Commission

Certainly we can clarify things by email. I just want to make sure I
understand what aspect of the FEC's response to FOIA 2014-04 you are
appealing. Are you appealing the adequacy of the search, the decision to
deny the request, and/or something else? Any additional information you
would like to provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your
attention to this matter.

Catherine

From: Shawn Musgrave

Ms. Kelley:

I appeal the decision to withhold responsive documents. As I wrote on 2013-11-26, I am seeking documents that shed light on how the FEC determines whether to invoke exemption 5. The FEC has withheld these documents by invoking this same exemption. The denial of this request further enshrouds the FEC's interpretation and application of the exemption in mystery.

For this and any other reasons deemed applicable by the appeals authority, I appeal the denial of this request.

Respectfully,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: Federal Election Commission

Thank you for your response.

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. 10, 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 #2014-04.

Thank you for your help.

From: Katie A. Higginbothom

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock News
requests@muckrock.com

Subject: FEC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request 2014-04

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

On November 26, 2013, the Federal Election Commission received
your email appealing the Agency?s decision in FOIA Request 2014-04 to deny
your request for ?[a]ny guidance, memo, protocol, directive or other
document (or segment of another document) written by or for the Chief
FOIA/Privacy Officer that provides departmental application of FOIA
exemption 5 from 1990 to the day this request is processed.?

After reviewing your email, the FEC?s FOIA Office determined that the
information we previously withheld pursuant to FOIA Exemption 5 is
publicly available on the Agency?s website, and therefore should have been
released. The withheld document is attached and also available at the
following link: http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2009/mtgdoc0972.pdf. Additional
information regarding the Commission?s consideration of this matter is
available at the following link:
http://www.fec.gov/agenda/2009/agenda20091119.shtml.

The attached document reflects the only information responsive to your
request that the FEC FOIA Office located in its search for records.
Accordingly, please let us know if this satisfies your request and you are
willing to withdraw your FOIA appeal. We appreciate your consideration of
this request. If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA
Requester Service Center at FOIA@fec.gov, or (202) 694-1650. Thank you
for contacting the FEC.

Sincerely,

Katie A. Higginbothom
FOIA Public Liaison

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