Department of State embassy cables concerning the Chagos Archipelago

Matthieu Bourbaki filed this request with the U.S. Department of State of the United States of America.
Tracking # F-2013-07099
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Matthieu Bourbaki

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The request seeks a small number of specifically identified Department of State embassy cables as well as any additional cables on the same topic. The cables pertain to UK proposals to establish a marine reserve in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), including the Chagos Archipelago, as well as reference to Chagossian advocates for resettlement rights in the area and UK rights in British Overseas Territories.

I hereby request the following records:

1. The embassy cable bearing the message reference number "09LONDON1156," originating in the London Embassy on 15 May 2009, with the subject "HMG FLOATS PROPOSAL FOR MARINE RESERVE COVERING THE CHAGOS ARCHIPELAGO (BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY)";
2. The embassy cable bearing the message reference number "08LONDON2667," originating in the London Embassy;
3. The embassy cable bearing the message reference number "09LONDON1344," originating in the London Embassy on 6 May 2009, with subject "UPDATE ON STATUS OF HMG PROPOSAL FOR MARINE RESERVE IN BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY; USG INITIAL REACTIONS WELCOME";
4. The embassy cable bearing the message reference number "09LONDON993," originating in the London Embassy on 27 April 2009, with subject "UK REBUFFS ARGENTINE CLAIM TO SEABED RIGHTS AROUND SOUTH ATLANTIC BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES, INCLUDING FALKLAND ISLANDS."
5. Any other embassy cables from 2009 to the present date containing reference to the Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands and the marine reserve or marine park in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), or Chagossian resettlement rights. Possible search terms could include: "Chagos Archipelago," "Chagos Islands," "British Indian Ocean Territory," "BIOT," "marine reserve," "marine park," "resettlement," "Chagossian rights."

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,

Matthieu Bourbaki

From: Department of State

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Request

Your query has been forwarded to the FOIA Requester Status mailbox for reply.

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

This is in reference to your June 5, 2013 email regarding case number F-2013-07099. The estimated completion date for the subject case is June 2014. Estimated completion dates are subject to change, and are "strictly" estimates and not intended to be used as "actual" dates of completions. This is due to various extenuating factors, which may or may not include coordination with other Agencies during the process (referrals, concurrences, etc.). However, please note, interim release dates are provided, as applicable.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or have any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

From: Matthieu Bourbaki

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, originally submitted on April 22, 2013 with reference number #F-2013-07099.

In your previous letter, you offered to provide interim release dates; as my original request labeled requested sets of records 1 - 5, please provide interim release dates for each of these sets. In particular, sets 1 - 4 request specific cables bearing reference numbers:
1. 09LONDON1156
2. 08LONDON2667
3. 09LONDON1344
4. 09LONDON993

Please see our original request for details on the request, and inform us of the estimated completion dates for these documents to be sent as they become available.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

I have contacted the Case Analyst and requested an estimated completion date for your case. The Analyst will contact the bureaus doing the searches and the individuals reviewing the material. This will take some time because each case is different. The search and review time varies. The time depends on the complexity of information requested and the time it takes to review the material.

Please check back with us in a week or so and we should have an answer for you.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

From: Matthieu Bourbaki

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 22, 2013. You have stated that you have contacted the Case Analyst and requested an estimated completion date for my case, which would be available in a week or so from July 22. I am following up on that notice. You had assigned my case reference number #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

This is in reference to your July 28, 2013 email regarding case number F-2013-07099. The estimated completion date for your request is June 2014. Estimated completion dates are subject to change and are "strictly" estimates, not intended to be used as "actual" dates of completion. This is due to unusual circumstances, which may or may not include coordination with other Agencies during the process (referrals, concurrences, etc.). However, please note, interim release dates are provided, as applicable.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or have any questions regarding any FOIA-related matters, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

From: Matthieu Bourbaki

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, originally submitted on April 22, 2013 with reference number #F-2013-07099.

In your previous letter, you offered to provide interim release dates; as my original request labeled requested sets of records 1 - 5, please provide interim release dates for each of these sets. In particular, sets 1 - 4 request specific cables bearing reference numbers:
1. 09LONDON1156
2. 08LONDON2667
3. 09LONDON1344
4. 09LONDON993

Please see our original request for details on the request, and inform us of the estimated completion dates for these documents to be sent as they become available.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

The Department records show that you were informed on August 2, 2013 that the estimated completion for the subject case is June 2014.

From: FOIA Status

The department records show that you were informed on August 2, 2013 that the estimated completion date for the subject case is June 2014.

From: Matthieu Bourbaki

Hello,

This is Tom Nash, news editor at MuckRock, just emailing to confirm a conversation I just had on the phone with regards to this request in which I was told State does not provide interim releases on FOIA requests. Please let me know if that's incorrect.

Thanks

Tom

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Nash,

In regards to your question. That is absolutely incorrect. As soon as documents go through the review process our standard procedure is to release them as soon as possible. In this case with the cables you asked for all of them will go through the search and review process and then they will be released.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or have any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

The estimated completion date is still June 2014.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

At this time, the estimated completion date is still June 2014.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

The estimated completion date for this case is: June 2014

- ECDs are subject to change.
- ECDs are "strictly" estimates and not intended to be used as "actual" dates of completions, due to various extenuating factors, which are beyond the control of the Branch, which may or may not include coordination with other Agencies during the process (referrals, concurrences, etc.).
Interim release dates are provided, as applicable

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov

Chris Barnes
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center
(202) 261-8484
foiastatus@state.gov

In accordance with Executive Order 12958, this message is UNCLASSIFIED

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

In response to your status inquiries for February 15, 2014 & March 17, 2014, the estimated completion date is June 2014.

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 22, 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 #F-2013-07099.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

The Department's electronic case notes indicate the case is still open. The searches are still pending. Each case is different and the processing time depends on the complexity of information requested, the location of the information, and the time it takes to review the records.

The proposed estimated completion date for this case is: June 2014.

- ECDs are subject to change.
- ECDs are "strictly" estimates and not intended to be used as "actual" dates of completions, due to various extenuating factors, which may or may not include coordination with other Agencies during the process (referrals, concurrences, etc.).
Interim release dates are provided, as applicable

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

Jennine A. Daniels
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center
(202) 261-8484
foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

This email is UNCLASSIFIED.

From: Department of State

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Department of State

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

From: Matthieu Bourbaki

To whom it may concern:

This is a follow up question for my request originally submitted on April 22, 2013. You had assigned it reference number #F-2013-07099.

STATE replied that 39 responsive documents to my request were retrieved, from which 14 are withheld in full under exemption (b)(1).

In my request i asked for the cables with the MRN 09LONDON1156 and 09LONDON1344, neither of which were released either in full or with excisions.

Are the cables with the MRN 09LONDON1156 and 09LONDON1344 withheld in full under exemption (b)(1)?

What are the MRN and date of the remaining 12 cables that you are withholding?

Thank you for your help.

Matthieu Bourbaki

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

The e-mail and information you sent in has been forwarded to the appropriate office.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or have any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov

Chris Barnes
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center
(202) 261-8484
foiastatus@state.gov

In accordance with Executive Order 12958, this message is UNCLASSIFIED

From: FOIA Status

Mr. Bourbaki,

We received a reply from the analyst to your questions and I am forwarding it to you:

"The requester should go through appeals to have his second question answered. We do not give out cable numbers of denied documents directly to requesters.
In regards to his first question, the response letter states that requested documents MRN 09LONDON1156 and 09LONDON1344 are withheld under (b)(1). (All DIF withheld under (b)(1).) "

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further concerns or any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8582 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov

Chris Barnes
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center
(202) 261-8484
foiastatus@state.gov

In accordance with Executive Order 12958, this message is UNCLASSIFIED

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