EOPmails (Department of Agriculture)

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2017-OSEC-01985-F
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

a copy of all emails from the domain EOP.gov to senior managers encompassed within the required agency system for retaining emails of senior officials. Frequently this records management policy/system is described by the name Capstone.
https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/grs/grs06-1-faqs.html

If the agency has not yet established NARA-compliant email retention procedures, then I instead request an electronic search of the mailboxes of agency senior managers for all emails that include the EOP.gov phrase in the FROM address.

I limit this request to the time period January 20, 2017 to the present.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

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,

Michael Best

From: Jordan, Christine - OCIO

Jordan, Christine - OCIO would like to recall the message, "USDA FOIA Request No. 2017-OSEC-01985-F Acknowledgment".

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Jordan, Christine - OCIO

Good morning, Mr. Best.

This e-mail acknowledges receipt of the February 6, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department FOIA Office (DFO). Your request was received in the DFO on February 6th.

The DFO is under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and serves as the focal point for USDA's FOIA program. The DFO provides coordination and ensures agency-wide compliance with the FOIA. Additionally, the DFO processes requests and appeals on behalf of the Office of the Secretary and Departmental Management's ("DM") components. For a complete listing of DM's components, please visit http://www.dm.usda.gov/agencies.htm.

The FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), requires USDA to make a determination in response to a FOIA request within 20 business days from its date of receipt. In unusual circumstances, the Federal agency time limit may be extended by 10 business days as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a wide-ranging search including searches with components and possible consultations with components that have a substantial interest in the determination of this request, USDA will invoke a 10 business day extension for determination of your request. You have the option to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive documents.

Provisions of the FOIA allow USDA to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. For purposes of fee assessment, you are categorized as a news media requester, pursuant to 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section (5)(c). For your review and information, a copy of the USDA FOIA Fee Schedule is enclosed. In accordance with 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section 6(a)(4), your fees shall be waived where the amount of the fee is $25.00 or less. You will be contacted before any fees over $25.00 are accrued.

A search will be conducted for records responsive to your request. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that a FOIA Analyst in this office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.

Your request has been assigned FOIA Case No. 2017-OCIO-01985-F. Please refer to this case number in any future correspondence. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Ms. Christine Jordan at (202) 772-9091 or electronically at Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov> or USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov>. For additional information regarding USDA FOIA regulations and process, please refer to the information available on-line at www.dm.usda.gov/foia<http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia>.

The DFO Team appreciates the opportunity to assist you in this matter.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Department FOIA Office
Patriot Plaza III, 355 E Street, SW
Washington DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Jordan, Christine - OCIO

Good morning, Mr. Best.

This e-mail acknowledges receipt of the February 6, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department FOIA Office (DFO). Your request was received in the DFO on February 6th.

The DFO is under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and serves as the focal point for USDA's FOIA program. The DFO provides coordination and ensures agency-wide compliance with the FOIA. Additionally, the DFO processes requests and appeals on behalf of the Office of the Secretary and Departmental Management's ("DM") components. For a complete listing of DM's components, please visit http://www.dm.usda.gov/agencies.htm.

The FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), requires USDA to make a determination in response to a FOIA request within 20 business days from its date of receipt. In unusual circumstances, the Federal agency time limit may be extended by 10 business days as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a wide-ranging search including searches with components and possible consultations with components that have a substantial interest in the determination of this request, USDA will invoke a 10 business day extension for determination of your request. You have the option to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive documents.

Provisions of the FOIA allow USDA to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. For purposes of fee assessment, you are categorized as a news media requester, pursuant to 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section (5)(c). For your review and information, a copy of the USDA FOIA Fee Schedule is enclosed. In accordance with 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section 6(a)(4), your fees shall be waived where the amount of the fee is $25.00 or less. You will be contacted before any fees over $25.00 are accrued.

A search will be conducted for records responsive to your request. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that a FOIA Analyst in this office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.

Your request has been assigned FOIA Case No. 2017-OSEC-01985-F. Please refer to this case number in any future correspondence. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Ms. Christine Jordan at (202) 772-9091 or electronically at Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov> or USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov>. For additional information regarding USDA FOIA regulations and process, please refer to the information available on-line at www.dm.usda.gov/foia<http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia>.

The DFO Team appreciates the opportunity to assist you in this matter.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Department FOIA Office
Patriot Plaza III, 355 E Street, SW
Washington DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: USDAFOIA - OCIO

Good morning, Mr. Best.

Your request is in the queue here in the Department FOIA Office and I am currently working on it. I will get you a response as soon as I can.

Although your request is phrased broadly, there is no need for additional clarification at this time.
Best,
Christine Jordan

From: Jordan, Christine - OCIO

Good afternoon, Mr. Best.

Please find attached the Final Response Letter associated with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted recently to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2017-OCIO-01985-F. A copy of your incoming request is also attached for your reference.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Department FOIA Office
Patriot Plaza III, 355 E Street, SW
Washington DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

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