Correspondence between SEC and Fleetcor re: 2014 10K

Vikas Kumar filed this request with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking # 17-02046-FOIA
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Brandon Smith

To Whom It May Concern:

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

The full chain of correspondence--any previous or following emails or letters--for the below letters between SEC and FleetCor, regarding Fleetcor's 2014 10K. I also request any associated or background documents (such as internal SEC memos, reports, or decisions) as well as any attachments to messages in the communications chain in question.

July 7, 2015 letter from SEC to Ron Clarke: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1175454/000000000015035396/0000000000-15-035396-index.htm

​July 17, 2015 Reply back to SEC: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1175454/000119312515255956/filename1.htm​

I also request the same searches be performed for correspondence and related documents (as outlined above) as regards Fleetcor's 2015 10K report.

This requester is a journalist working for a Congressionally-accredited news organization, and documents in response to this request will be made publicly available. As such, I request that all fees be waived. This information is of timely and newsworthy public importance, and as such, I request that this FOIA be assigned to an “expedited” processing track. If an expedited track is not available, I request that it be assigned to a “simple” processing track.

I prefer the request filled electronically, such as by e-mail attachment or web download link, and that any communication to this request be made in direct reply to this one, via the same communication method. Please inquire if you need another method of document transmission.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Brandon Smith
Correspondent
The Capitol Forum

From: Raguindin, Genevieve

From: Rollins, Carl

From: Brandon Smith

Dear Mr. Taylor,

I understand you have made your decision to deny our fee waiver, and we are willing to incur fees to process this FOIA. However, I must object to your findings in certain specific cases. If this letter strikes you as an appeal that you cannot process yourself (that is, reconsider your decision based on), feel free to forward this message to the FOIA public liaison and have that person reply to this message.

I will address your bullet points in subsequent paragraphs.

Does our request "concern" the operations of the federal government, more than in a passing way by nature of the fact that your agency likely possesses responsive documents? Decidedly yes, because various government agencies fuel their fleets using gas cards issued and serviced by the companies at issue here.

Do the requested documents shed "meaningful" light on the government's dealings (in this case with the Fleetcor company and its various brands and subsidiaries)? We argue yes, because if the SEC is in contact with the company in more than a passing way--as responsive documents may indicate--then the government agencies that use Fleetcor products may themselves be the victim of unscrupulous business practices.

Will our publication inform the public at large rather than just the requester? Decidedly yes, because we are a news outlet. While our investigative newsroom has a relatively small subscription base, 1. it is a "public" subscriber base; 2. our subscribers include other government agencies, and 3. our stories often are "picked up" or covered by other news outlets with a less-technical audience, such as our work profiling a possible nominee for FTC chair:

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/10/as-trump-neuters-regulatory-commissions-chuck-schumer-needs-to-decide-if-he-will-fight-or-give-in/

Will our report "contribute significantly" to public understanding of government operation? This always depends on what is returned in a FOIA request, but the responsive documents in this case have the possibility of adding weight to a story on which we have much evidence already: some government agencies use some private companies to do business and aren't aware that, at the same time, other government agencies are investigating or otherwise censuring those same companies. Possibly for practices that have included an agency as a "victim."

As for our commercial interest, like many news media companies, we are a company and our product is news. But like these other outlets, we also fulfill a public function that has been afforded some leniency in the interpretation of the FOIA. Disclosure to us is no more likely to benefit us than it would be likely to benefit CNN or the New York Times.

As for the balance of public interest, I refer any reader to the above arguments about this request in particular. As a newsroom we have been working to confirm whether a pattern and practice of abusive fees and billing practices impact this company's customers, from small business owners to government contracts.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Brandon Smith

From: Rollins, Carl

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