Communications regarding payments to Ben Carson Jr.

Elijah Kaplan filed this request with the Department of Housing and Urban Development of the United States of America.
Tracking #

18-FI-HQ-01137

Due April 13, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Elijah Kaplan

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All communications and documents in your possession, of any type whatsoever, regarding any payments to Benjamin S. Carson Jr. from January 20, 2017 to present

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,

Elijah Kaplan

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,
Attached, please find a letter acknowledging the Department's receipt of your FOIA request 18-FI-HQ-01137.  This request relates to "payments to Benjamin S. Carson Jr. from January 20, 2017 to present."
Please provide further clarification as to what agency records you are seeking through this request.  It is unclear what exactly you mean by "payments to Benjamin S. Carson Jr."  Also, if you wish for us to search for "communications" you will need to specify whose communications you seek.  We are unable to process this request until you provide these points of clarification.  At your earliest convenience, please contact me either via this email or at 202-402-3450.
Thank you for your interest in the Department's programs and policies.
Best,
Ethan G. Bodell, Esq.
Government Information Specialist
Office of the Executive Secretariat

From: Elijah Kaplan

Dear Mr. Bodell,

Thank you for the quick response. I will attempt to clarify the request and we can hopefully get closer to what I'm hoping to find. I'm interested in Ben Carson Jr.'s involvement in the lead-up to the elder Carson's 2017 "listening tour" reported here: https://theweek.com/speedreads/672869/ben-carson-proposes-listening-tour-during-hud-confirmation-hearing

Specifically what I would like to know is if Carson Jr. collected any fee from the Department of Housing and Urban Development as an organizer of the event.

On the communications request, it's absolutely fair that you need more specificity, so I'll narrow the request to communications to or from Ben Carson, the former not Jr.

Let me know if this is specific enough,
Thank you
Elijah Kaplan

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,

This is quite helpful. I have submitted an eDiscovery request for Secretary Carson’s emails in the stated timeframe, and will assign the request to the appropriate office to check for records of any fees paid out to Ben Carson Jr.
Best,

Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,

This request was submitted for an eDiscovery search in March. The initial data pull likely will take place in either July or August. We do not manage this process in-house. Rather, we submit eDiscovery requests to an outside contractor, who schedules data pulls on a first-in-first-out basis. At the current time, they are dealing with a significant backlog of both FOIA and litigation matters, which are run through the same system, and thus new submissions are being scheduled several months out.
Best,

Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Good morning Mr. Kaplan,

The initial data pull was completed on 5/1/18, which was way ahead of our initial estimate (as you remember, I thought this might not happen until late summer). A keyword search was then submitted to limit the total batch of results to only those related to the subject of your request. Effectively, the process is halfway done. Once the keyword search runs, any matching results will be sent to me for review. As of today, the keyword search has not yet been scheduled. Once we get a date, I will be happy to let you know. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.
Best,

Ethan G. Bodell, Esq.
Government Information Specialist
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of the Executive Secretariat
FOIA Branch, Room 10139
(202) 402-3450 | ethan.g.bodell@hud.gov

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Good morning Mr. Kaplan,

I just checked on the status of this eDiscovery search, and unfortunately I have no updates since my last email. The search is still waiting for an available scheduling slot to open in which to assign the keyword search. The status has not changed, but it was updated at the end of May. Thus, they did check for available slots since we last spoke, but none have opened.
Best,

Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Good morning Mr. Kaplan,

I just checked on the status of this eDiscovery search, and unfortunately I have no updates since my last email. The search is still waiting for an available scheduling slot to open in which to assign the keyword search.
Best,
Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,

Your FOIA request, 18-FI-HQ-01137, is awaiting a keyword search to complete the eDiscovery process. At this time, there are no available scheduling slots into which your keyword search can be placed, so it is waiting in the eDiscovery queue for any such slots to open. Once scheduled, the keyword search will be run on the scheduled date, and any responsive records will be delivered to me to review, perform any necessary redactions, and prepare the final package for release to you.
Best,

Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,

As of today, 9/18/18, your FOIA request, 18-FI-HQ-01137, is still awaiting a keyword search to complete the eDiscovery process. At this time, there are no available scheduling slots into which your keyword search can be placed, so it is waiting in the eDiscovery queue for any such slots to open. Once scheduled, the keyword search will be run on the scheduled date, and any responsive records will be delivered to me to review, perform any necessary redactions, and prepare the final package for release to you.
Best,
Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,
As of today, 10/18/18, your FOIA request, 18-FI-HQ-01137, is still awaiting a keyword search to complete the eDiscovery process. At this time, there are no available scheduling slots into which your keyword search can be placed, so it is waiting in the eDiscovery queue for any such slots to open. Once scheduled, the keyword search will be run on the scheduled date, and any responsive records will be delivered to me to review, perform any necessary redactions, and prepare the final package for release to you.
Best,

Ethan Bodell

From: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mr. Kaplan,

As of today, 11/19/18, your FOIA request, 18-FI-HQ-01137, is still awaiting a keyword search to complete the eDiscovery process. At this time, there are no available scheduling slots into which your keyword search can be placed, so it is waiting in the eDiscovery queue for any such slots to open. Once scheduled, the keyword search will be run on the scheduled date, and any responsive records will be delivered to me to review, perform any necessary redactions, and prepare the final package for release to you.
Best,
Ethan Bodell

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