Department Heads travel expenses communications (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Elijah Kaplan filed this request with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America.
Tracking #

18-5871-F

18-05869-F

VHA-18-05865-F

Multi Request Department Heads travel expenses communications
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

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 the travel expenditures of all agency political appointees confirmed by the Senate 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: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good Afternoon Mr. Kaplan,

Attached to this message is VHA's acknowledgment of your FOIA Request. Ms. Deana Marakowski will be processing your request and her contact information is listed on the attached letter. Please let me know if you should have any questions.

I would kindly appreciate your confirmation of receipt of this email. A hard copy of the attached letter will not follow in postal mail unless specifically requested by you.

V/R,

Ms. Tracy R. Cephas, Staff Assistant
VHA Central Office FOIA Office
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Office: 202-461-5879
Fax: 202-273-9387
Email: Tracy.Cephas@va.gov<mailto:Tracy.Cephas@va.gov>
[http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608020842350182619&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0]
"I am a Disabled Army Veteran and former Army Civilian and I CARE!"

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

April 2, 2018

Via email: requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Elijah Kaplan

MuckRock News

DEPT MR 51153

411A Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02144-2516

This is the initial agency to your FOIA request dated March 15, 2018 and received in the VA Office of Acquisition, Logistics & Construction (OALC) FOIA office on March 29, 2018, our search cutoff date. You requested: "All communications and documents regarding the travel expenditures of all agency political appointees confirmed by the Senate from January 20, 2017 to present."

Please refer to FOIA 18-05864-F when communicating with the VA about this FOIA request. To clarify, the OALC FOIA office responds for only potential responsive records located within VA OALC. Nine (9) other VA FOIA offices will respond to you separately relating to records located within their own respective VA components.

Initial Agency Decision

The VA OALC Principal Executive Director is not a VA political appointee confirmed by the Senate, but rather a competitive position. OALC has no political appointees confirmed by the Senate. Thus, we have no responsive records.

Should you request additional information under the FOIA or believe that additional information or records are responsive to this FOIA request, the VA is entitled to charge additional processing fees at $65.62 per hour accordingly

VA FOIA Public Liaison, OGIS & Appeal Options

The undersigned processed your request. Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the processing of this request, you have the right to seek assistance from the VA FOIA Public Liaison at 1-877-750-3642 or by email at vacofoiase@va.gov<mailto:vacofoiase@va.gov>.

Additionally, as part of the 2007 FOIA amendments, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) was created to offer mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue litigation. You may contact OGIS by email at ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov>; by toll-free telephone at 1-877-684-6448 (or 202-741-5770); by facsimile at 202-741-5769; or by writing to: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2510, College Park, MD 20740-6001.

Should you disagree with these findings, you may administratively appeal in writing to: General Counsel (024), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20420. You must file your appeal within 90 days from the date of this letter clearly marking both the letter and the envelope "Freedom of Information Act Appeal." Please include a copy of this letter with your appeal, and state why you disagree with this determination.

If you are dissatisfied with any appeal results, judicial review will thereafter be available to you in the United States District Court of your residence, principal place of business, or the District of Columbia where the records you seek are located.

Sincerely,

Richard Ha, JD, CIPP/G

VA FOIA Officer

Office of Acquisition, Logistics, & Construction

Richard Ha, JD, CIPP/G
OALC FOIA Officer, Procurement Policy Services (OALC-PPS)
US Dept of Veterans Affairs
202-632-5286 o
202-445-8261 Iphone
202-343-1434 f
Richard.ha1@va.gov<mailto:Richard.ha1@va.gov>
Telework MW
CWS every 2nd Fri

These messages and attachments are For Official Use Only, not to be shared outside intended parties, and may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(3) prohibiting the release of information that another statute prohibits; 41 U.S.C. § 4702(b) prohibiting the release of unincorporated proposals; 41 U.S.C. § 423(a) prohibiting the release of bid or proposal information or evaluations before award; 26 U.S.C. § 6103 prohibiting the release of tax identification numbers; 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(4) prohibiting the release of confidential commercial information; 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5) under the deliberative process, attorney-client, and work product privileges; and 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) protecting personally identifiable information. If you received these messages and attachments in error, you must inform the FOIA Officer and destroy them immediately. The VA reserves its discovery rights including, but not limited to, objections, privileges, motions, etc.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good Morning Mr. Kaplan,

Attached please find the Veterans Health Administration's notice of administrative closure.

If you should have any questions regarding the information you are receiving, please just let me know.

Thank you,
Deana

Deana Marakowski
VHA FOIA Officer
Information Access and Privacy Office
Office of Health Informatics (10A7B)
Veterans Health Administration
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington D.C. 20420
Tel. 717-675-8363
Fax. 202-273-9387

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Elijah Kaplan

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Elijah Kaplan

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good afternoon Mr. Kaplan,

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Mr.  Elijah Kaplan:
Please review the attached letter and records in response to your March 15, 2018, FOIA/PA request to the VA Office of General Counsel.
Thank you for your interest in the VA.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

July 23, 2018 In Reply Refer To: 001B

FOIA Request: 18-05608-F

Elijah Kaplan
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 51153
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
requests@muckrock.com<mailto:requests@muckrock.com>

Dear Mr. Kaplan:

This is the Initial Agency Decision to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (OSVA) dated and received March 15, 2018, and assigned FOIA tracking number 18-05608-F. You requested "All communications and documents regarding the travel expenditures of all agency political appointees confirmed by the Senate from January 20, 2017 to present."

Initial Agency Decision
As attached, on June 21, 2018, we sought clarification as to whether you are still interested in your FOIA request. Because we did not receive this clarification within thirty (30) days, we concluded that you are no longer in pursuing your FOIA request. 38 C.F.R. § 1.554(d)(4).

FOIA Mediation
As part of the 2007 FOIA amendments, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) was created to offer mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue litigation. Under the provisions of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, the following contact information is provided to assist FOIA requesters in resolving disputes:

VA Central Office FOIA Public Liaison:
Name: John Buck
Email Address: vacofoiaservice@va.gov<mailto:vacofoiaservice@va.gov>

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
Email Address: ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov>
Fax: 202-741-5769
Mailing address:
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

FOIA Appeal
This concludes OSVA's response to request 18-05608-F. Please be advised that should you desire to do so, you may appeal the determination made in this response to:

Office of General Counsel (024)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420

If you should choose to file an appeal, please include a copy of this letter with your written appeal and clearly indicate the basis for your disagreement with the determination set forth in this response. Please be advised that in accordance with VA's implementing FOIA regulations at 38 C.F.R. § 1.559, your appeal must be postmarked no later than ninety (90) days of the date of this letter.

Sincerely,

Richard Ha, JD, CIPP/G

OSVA FOIA Officer

Attachments - four (4) pages of emails, dated June 21, 2018

Richard Ha, JD, CIPP/G
OSVA FOIA/Privacy Officer
Office of the Executive Secretary, Office of the Secretary (OSVA)
U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs
202-632-5286 o
202-309-3072 c
Richard.ha1@va.gov<mailto:Richard.ha1@va.gov>
Telework Weds
CWS 2nd Mon

These messages and attachments are For Official Use Only, not to be shared outside intended parties, and may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(3) prohibiting the release of information that another statute prohibits; 41 U.S.C. § 4702(b) prohibiting the release of unincorporated proposals; 41 U.S.C. § 423(a) prohibiting the release of bid or proposal information or evaluations before award; 26 U.S.C. § 6103 prohibiting the release of tax identification numbers; 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(4) prohibiting the release of confidential commercial information; 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5) under the deliberative process, attorney-client, and work product privileges; and 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6) protecting personally identifiable information. If you received these messages and attachments in error, you must inform the FOIA Officer and destroy them immediately. The VA reserves its discovery rights including, but not limited to, objections, privileges, motions, etc.

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