EOPmails (Department of Energy)

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of Energy of the United States of America.
Tracking # HQ-2017-00527-F
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

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: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Good Afternoon Mr. Best,

We have received your FOIA request concerning "copy of all emails from the domain EOP.gov to senior managers encompassed within the required agency system for retaining emails of senior officials".

Can you identify which positions you would consider a senior manager and also which offices you would like searched? If this is a request for transition related documents, there was only one program office that lead the transition effort at DOE and I could search that Office for the documents you requested.

If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, please provide a phone number that I can contact you at or call me at 202-586-1355.

Thank you,

Anjelica Ruda, Esq.
Central Research, Contractor to the
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
202-586-1355

From: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Best,

Attached is the acknowledgement letter for your Department of Energy FOIA request HQ-2017-00527-F.

Thank you,

Anjelica Ruda, Esq.
Central Research, Contractor to the
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
202-586-1355

From: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Good Morning Mr. Best,

We have now received this request from multiple others requesters that have all agreed to search senior officials in the Office of Management at DOE. This was the office designated to only handle transition efforts at DOE and where the documents you seek are most likely to be found. The search will also be quicker to process if I submit one search request for these requests instead of multiple search requests to our IT office.

Do you agree to the amended search of the Office of Management? Please confirm.

Thank you for your assistance,

Anjelica Ruda

From: Michael Best

I'm sorry, I seem to have lost track of your earlier request for clarification. To respond to that - is it not possible to search generally for communications with addresses belonging to a specific domain?

"This was the office designated to only handle transition efforts..." My concern is that this would limit the communications to the transition. My interest is with the Executive's communications with your Agency as a whole.

I'll do my best to not let further inquiries from you get lost. I'm sorry about that!

Michael

From: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Best,

We can search for a specific domain, but it will be of the DOE officials I list in the search request. Thus, it would help to narrow the program offices to the ones relevant to your search and that would most likely produce responsive content. Otherwise, I would have to list the senior officials of all program offices, which would complicate and delay the search while most likely searching some program offices that would not produce responsive documents (we have approx. 25-30 program offices). Suggestions of potentially relevant program offices would be Office of Management, Office of the Executive Secretariat, or Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Please respond with the name of the offices at DOE you would like searched.

Thank you,

Anjelica

From: Michael Best

The Office of Management, Office of the Executive Secretariat, and the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs will be fine. Thanks!

From: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Great, thank you for your response.

Anjelica Ruda

From: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Best,

Attached is a copy of the interim letter for your Department of Energy FOIA request HQ-2017-00527-F.

Thank you,

Anjelica Ruda, Esq.
Central Research, Contractor to the
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
202-586-1355

From: Ruda, Anjelica M. (CONTR)

Dear Mr. Best,

We are continuing to search and process your request. We hope to have a response to you within the next few weeks.

Thank you,

Anjelica Ruda

From: Drohan, Kathleen (CONTR)

Hi Michael,

Your FOIA request concerning "emails from the domain EOP.gov" has been transferred from FOIA Analyst Anjelica Ruda to myself. I was hoping to discuss your request with you. Is there a phone number I could reach you at or would you be able to call me at the number listed below?
Thanks,

Kathleen

Kathleen Drohan
FOIA Analyst
CRI Contractor
US Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20585
(202) 287-6814

From: Drohan, Kathleen (CONTR)

Hi Michael,

I'm trying to reach you to discuss your request. Please let me know if you're still interested in receiving a response for this request. If I don't hear back from you by close of business on August 24th, I'll consider your request closed.
Thanks,

Kathleen

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