Congressman Randy Forbes Communication (OSD)

Jason Smathers filed this request with the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense of the United States of America.
Tracking # 13-F-0745
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Jason Smathers

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All correspondence between the OSD or his representative and Congressman Randy Forbes between 1/1/2013 and the date 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,

Jason Smathers

From: Gibbens, Curtis A. CIV WHS-ESD

Dear Mr. Smathers,

This is an interim response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request below. Your request has been assigned case number 13-F-0745 and we ask that you use that number when referring to your request.

We will be unable to respond to your request within the FOIA's 20 day statutory time period as there are unusual circumstances which impact on our ability to quickly process your request. These unusual circumstances are: (a) the need to search for and collect records from a facility geographically separated from this office; (b) the potential volume of records responsive to your request; and (c) the need for consultation with one or more other agencies or DoD components having a substantial interest in either the determination or the subject matter of the records. For these reasons, your request has been placed in our complex processing queue and will be worked in the order the request was received. Our current administrative workload exceeds 1,200 open requests.

I am the action officer assigned to your request and can be reached at either Curtis.Gibbens@whs.mil or (571) 372-0412. Please reference the case number indicated above in all correspondence with this office.

Respectfully,

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 April 26, 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: Gibbens, Curtis A. CIV WHS-ESD

Mr. Smathers,

Your request is still in the search process. Once the documents are gathered, they will be distributed to the appropriate offices for review. Your estimated completion time will depend on how many documents are located and if they require review by multiple offices.

Respectfully,

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 April 26, 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: Gibbens, Curtis A. CIV WHS-ESD

Dear Mr. Smathers,

Your requested documents have been located. The Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel is the originator of all documents to Congressman Randy Forbes . Our office is required to process any SECDEF document records through the highest levels of review within DoD, before any such documents finally may be released to a FOIA requester. We will not be able to release the records piecemeal. All of the records found would have to make the rounds of higher level review as an entirety, a process that we estimate may take a year or more.

Our main interest is in trying to assist you with a very complex FOIA request. We believe that a very significant amount of processing time can be saved if you are willing to amend your request for communications FROM Congressman Randy Forbes?

We will appreciate it very much if you will advise us that you are willing to accept the records as explained in this message. If not, we will continue processing and respond to you when all reviews are finished, but please let me know how you wish to proceed by July 17, 2013. If I do not hear from you by this time, we will continue processing your request excluding the documents from the SECDEF.

If I can answer any questions you may have concerning this e-mail, I will be very glad to do so.

Respectfully,

From: Jason Smathers

I am very much interested in the communication both directions, so please continue to process this request as it was written. Thank you!

From: Gibbens, Curtis A. CIV WHS-ESD

Thank you for your quick response.

Respectfully,

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 April 26, 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: Gibbens, Curtis A. CIV WHS-ESD

Mr. Smathers,

Your requested documents have been located and currently in the review process. In addition, it would be helpful if you address your request with its case number, 13-F-0745.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Your request is currently in the review process. The estimated time of completion date is four months, however, this estimate can change because the documents will undergo review by multiple offices.

Respectfully,

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

In an effort for a faster response to your attached FOIA request, we will eliminate the following records:

1) Letters to the Office of the Secretary of Defense or the Department of Defense (DoD) sent on behalf of constituents, i.e., constitute problems, complaints, views on issues, or individual situations from A to Z; (NOTE: An exception would be "constituent" letter sent to DoD on behalf of a business, company or a corporation).

2) DoD "responses" to letters sent on behalf of constituents, as noted above.

3) Thank you letters signed by the Secretary of Defense or the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Please let me know if you wish to include these records. If I do not hear from you by September 23, 2013, we will process your request without these records.

In addition, we ask that you consider amending your request for only correspondence "FROM" Congressman Randy Forbes. Although these documents will still undergo a high level review, which will take time, it will eliminate the multiple offices that would have to conduct a review.

Further information, there are responsive documents signed by the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). Our office is required to process any SECDEF or DEPSECDEF documents or records through the highest levels of review within DoD, before any such documents finally may be released to a FOIA requester. We will not be able to release the records piecemeal. All of the records found along with the SECDEF letter would have to make the rounds of higher level review as an entirety, a process that we estimate may take a year or more.

Our main interest is in trying to assist you with a very complex FOIA request. We believe that a very significant amount of processing time can be saved if you are willing to accept this amendment. Please let me know how you wish to proceed.

From: Jason Smathers

I agree to the three limitations proposed, however, I do wish to have both records to and from Forbes.

Thanks,
Jason

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Thank you for your response, we will continue to proceed with your request.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Your request is still in the process of a very complex review.

Respectfully,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Your requested documents have been located and currently in the process of a complex review.

Respectfully,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Your requested documents have been located and currently in the process of a complex review.

Respectfully,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Your requested documents have been located and currently in the process of a complex review. We will contact you if there are any questions or concerns.

Respectfully,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Mr. Smathers,

Your requested documents have been located and currently in the process of a complex review.

Respectfully,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

Please be aware that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Thank you,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

Please be aware that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter. Thank you.

Respectfully,
Curtis Gibbens

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

Dear Mr. Delaware,

This email is in response to your request for an update on the processing of your Please know that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.

As previously noted, our backlog of open requests is approximately 1554. Included among these open cases are requests which are less complex than others, such as your request. As the results for those less complex cases are provided to our office, we take those requests from that queue and complete our action on them, and then send them out to the requesters. This will be the way your request, too, will be handled.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Good morning,

This email is in response to your request for an update on the processing of your Please know that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.
As previously noted, our backlog of open requests is approximately 1554. Included among these open cases are requests which are less complex than others, such as your request. As the results for those less complex cases are provided to our office, we take those requests from that queue and complete our action on them, and then send them out to the requesters. This will be the way your request, too, will be handled.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

This email is in response to your request for an update on the processing of your FOIA request, case number 13-F-0745. Please know that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.

As previously noted, our backlog of open requests is approximately 1554. Included among these open cases are requests which are less complex than others, such as your request. As the results for those less complex cases are provided to our office, we take those requests from that queue and complete our action on them, and then send them out to the requesters. This will be the way your request, too, will be handled.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

This email is in response to your request for an update on the processing of your FOIA request, case number 13-F-0745. Please know that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.

As previously noted, our backlog of open requests is approximately 1470. Included among these open cases are requests which are less complex than others, such as your request. As the results for those less complex cases are provided to our office, we take those requests from that queue and complete our action on them, and then send them out to the requesters. This will be the way your request, too, will be handled.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Gibbens
OSD/JS FOIA Office
571-372-0412

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 April 26, 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 #13-F-0745.

Thank you for your help.

From: Gibbens, Curtis A CIV WHS ESD (US)

Dear Mr. Smathers,

This email is in response to your request for an update on the processing of your FOIA request, case number 13-F-0745. Please know that our office processes all incoming FOIA requests on a first-in, first-out, basis. This means that your request was placed in a queue once it was received in our office. It also means it will be placed in a queue by the office that is tasked to search for responsive records. We already have initiated just such a search for responsive records, but the timing of the results to be provided to our office will depend on the place in the queue that your request was assigned. It is conceivable that all processing could be completed and the results provided to you at an early date, but it is also possible that more time will be required. In any case, all releasable records, if any, cannot be provided to you until all processing is completed. As soon as that occurs, we will send a formal letter to you.

As previously noted, we have a large backlog, our current administrative workload is 1506 open requests. Included among these open cases are requests which are less complex than others, such as your request. As the results for those less complex cases are provided to our office, we take those requests from that queue and complete our action on them, and then send them out to the requesters. This will be the way your request, too, will be handled.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.

Sincerely,

Curtis Gibbens, FOIA Analyst
for Adrienne M. Santos on behalf of
Stephanie L. Carr, Chief,
Freedom of Information Act Division
OSD/JS FOIA Requester Service Center

From: Farrell, Megan B CIV WHS EITSD (US)

Good morning Mr. Smathers,

I am the current action officer working your FOIA request 13-F-0745, attached. Your request was received on April 26, 2013. I apologize for the length of time your request has been open without response to you.

The purpose of this correspondence is to ask if you still wish to have our office process your request. Due to the subject matter and the length of time that has elapsed since your request was submitted, I ask that you respond to this email by Friday, September 25, with a willingness to continue processing. If we have not heard from you at that time, we will assume that due to the time that has transpired you are no longer interested in pursuing this FOIA request, and the request will be closed.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or require any additional information.

Thank you,
Megan

Megan Farrell
OSD/JS FOIA Analyst
(571) 372-0409

From: Jason Smathers

I do not want this letter closed. I hope you will keep it open considering I have waited for two and a half years and have asked for status updates about once a month. If you have closed my request and are unwilling to reopen it leaving it in its proper place in the queue, please provide me with appeal information. Thank you.

From: Farrell, Megan B CIV WHS ESD (US)

Good morning Mr. Smathers,

Your case has been re-opened and we are continuing to process it. I hope to have an update on an expected completion date to you soon. In the mean-time, please feel free to reach out to me for any status updates or with any questions you may have.

Thank you,
Megan

Megan Farrell
OSD/JS FOIA Analyst
(571) 372-0409

From: Farrell, Megan B CIV WHS ESD (US)

Good morning Mr. Smathers,

I will follow up with the necessary component office(s) and give you an update as soon as I hear back.

Thank you,
Megan

From: Farrell, Megan B CIV WHS ESD (US)

Good morning Mr. Smathers,

After talking with the office(s) that are working on your request, I would say it is safe to expect a response by the end of December. However, I will keep you updated if more time is required. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Megan

From: Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

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