Communication sent to government agencies about FOIA

Brandon Smith filed this request with the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Est. Completion None
No Responsive Documents


From: Brandon Smith

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All communications, whether paper or electronic, however official or casual, sent by the DOJ's Office of Information Policy to any other government entity--date range January 20, 2017 to May 17, 2017--that constitutes a change in interpretation of FOIA statute or caselaw from a previous interpretation, or that describes such a change.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

The requester is a journalist making the request for the purpose of researching an article for publication. The journalist has previously published work at The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Chicago Tribune, In These Times, and other publications and as such maintains a fee status as a media requester.

In the event that there are fees, please inform me of the total and itemized charges in advance of fulfilling my request. Please only communicate regarding this request electronically, via reply email. However, if the files containing responsive documents are too large for e-mail attachment, please first alert me via reply email and then mail a CD to:

Brandon Smith
1300 13th St NW #402
Washington, DC 20005

I also request expedited processing of this request. I meet the second of the two burdens I could meet to warrant expedition: I am 1. primarily engaged in the dissemination of information as my occupation--as are the outlets I publish in--and 2. in need of urgently informing the public about actual or alleged government activity. If there are no documents responsive to my request, then there will be no need to "urgently inform the public." But if there *are* documents responsive to my request, by definition, the interpretations governing the FOIA--the foundational transparency law of the United States--will have changed under its new president. And as you can see by reading the request, the responsive documents to this request would constitute proof of that change. If this is the case, there is perhaps no more urgent matter about which to inform the public. And because such an extreme condition exists under one possibility of a response, the necessity is on the responding agency to respond positively to my request for expedition. (In other words, this extreme condition need not exist under both responsive possibilities, but only one, to require your agency to act.)

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to my request for expedited processing within 10 business days, as the statute requires. If expedition is not granted, I look forward to seeing a response to this request within 20 business days, again under your statutory burden.


Brandon Smith
Independent Journalist

From: OIP-NoReply

Attached is this Office's response to the above-referenced request.