Contract Discrepancy Reports - ORR Shelters

Andrew Free filed this request with the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America.
Tracking #

FOIA # 20-F-0009


Est. Completion None
Awaiting Appeal


From: Andrew Free

To Whom It May Concern:

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

1. All Contract Discrepancy Reports involving shelter contracts for unaccompanied minor custody shelters operated by HHS/ORR between January 1, 2017 and the date the appropriate agency component(s) task an adequate search.
2. All records reflecting penalties or other remedial measures levied against any contractor subject to a record identified by the search for records responsive to Item 1 above.

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.


Andrew Free

From: Department of Health and Human Services

Case No: 20-F-0009

October 11, 2019
Andrew Free
Dear Andrew Free:
This will acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request received by this office.  Your request has been assigned a case number based on the time it was received in this office and is being processed as expeditiously as possible.  The actual processing time will depend on the complexity of your request and whether sensitive records, voluminous records, extensive search, and/or consultation with other HHS components or other executive branch agencies are involved.  There may be a charge for these records and, in some cases, the charges may be substantial.
If you have any questions, please email or call 1-888-747-1861, or write to us at: (
Freedom of Information Act Office
Administration for Children and Families
4th Floor
Mary E. Switzer Building
330 C Street, SW
Washington, D.C.  20201
Please use the case tracking number at the top of the page when discussing your request.
Celeste Smith
FOIA Officer
Administration for Children and Families

From: Department of Health and Human Services

Good morning, Mr. Free:

Your request to HHS was received by the wrong HHS component. ACF is now in receipt of your request; it has been assigned FOIA # 20-F-0009. We will be sending you a response to your request as soon as a records search is completed and the records are processed.

Thank you,


From: Department of Health and Human Services

Good morning,

Thank you for your email regarding FOIA 20-F-0009. Your request is in queue for processing. We have a large backlog of requests, and are mandated to process requests on a first in-first out basis.

We anticipate processing your request soon.

Thank you,

From: Andrew Free

So, your backlog of more than two years means any records about these discrepancy reports will be a historic record by the time you produce it, cutting off access to information about the agency’s treatment of refugee children. You funded child cages to enforce the INA, but not FOIA processing to allow the public to assess how you conducted your enforcement. Your promise to one day, maybe, comply with FOIA empty. You’re breaking the law. Stop.

If you are unable to uphold the simplest of legal obligations—searching for and producing records about your activities—why should anyone trust you to protect the interests of vulnerable children?

From: Andrew Free

I hereby appeal the denial of this request by delay. Please remand with instructions to make these records Promptly Available, as the plain language of the statute requires.

Thank you,

Andrew Free
#DetentionKills Transparency Initiative
Al Otro Lado