EOPmails (OGE)

Emma Best filed this request with the Office of Government Ethics of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

OGE FOIA FY 17/169

FY

FY 17_169

Status
Completed

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: USOGE

Please see attached correspondence related to the status of your request.

From: USOGE

We are still processing the responsive records. I have updated the expected date of completion to be May 15, 2017.

For future reference, you may track the status of your FOIA request online at: https://extapps2.oge.gov/FOIAStatus/FOIAInfo.nsf/SearchByFOIANumber?OpenForm. Please enter the individualized tracking number above for status information, including the estimated date of completion.

Thank you for your patience as we try to respond to all requests as expeditiously as possible.
Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer Matis
OGE FOIA Team

From: Office of Government Ethics

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Office of Government Ethics

Please be advised that OGE responded to a FOIA request related to the topic of your request this morning. The records are posted at https://extapps2.oge.gov/FOIAStatus/FOIAResponse.nsf/2FC940AD2A3190BD8525811B004560CE under FY 17/239. However, because the scope of your request is broader than that in FY 17/239, we are continuing to process your request and will send you a separate FOIA response once processing is complete.
Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer Matis
OGE FOIA Team
202-482-9216

________________________________
OGE Confidential Notice: This message may contain Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that requires safeguarding or dissemination control under applicable law, regulation, or Government-wide policy. This email, including all attachments, may constitute a Federal record or other Government property that is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the transmission to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of this email or its contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by responding to the email and then immediately delete the email.
________________________________

From: Office of Government Ethics

A first set of responsive documents from the agency, with more to be sent at a specified date.

From: Office of Government Ethics

I am writing regarding your FOIA request OGE FOIA FY 17/169 for "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." Records relating to your request have recently been posted to OGE's website here (top of the page): https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/Freedom%20of%20Information%20Act%20(FOIA)/B9B880B7B93AF8EF85257EF5006DAAB6?opendocument

We are continuing to process your request. After viewing the posted records, if you wish to withdraw your request, please contact me at the number below.

Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer Matis
OGE FOIA Team
202-482-9216

________________________________
OGE Confidential Notice: This message may contain Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that requires safeguarding or dissemination control under applicable law, regulation, or Government-wide policy. This email, including all attachments, may constitute a Federal record or other Government property that is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the transmission to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of this email or its contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by responding to the email and then immediately delete the email.
________________________________

From: Office of Government Ethics

Please see attached correspondence and records.

Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer Matis
OGE FOIA Team
202-482-9216

________________________________
OGE Confidential Notice: This message may contain Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) that requires safeguarding or dissemination control under applicable law, regulation, or Government-wide policy. This email, including all attachments, may constitute a Federal record or other Government property that is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the transmission to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, copying or use of this email or its contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender by responding to the email and then immediately delete the email.
________________________________

From: Office of Government Ethics

Mr. Best,

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) received a referral from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted on February 6, 2017. The OGE assigned tracking number FY17-169 to your request for a "copy of all emails from the domain EOP.gov to senior managers" from January 20, 2017 to present. USTR has assigned this referral tracking number FY19-57. Please cite this number in any future communications with our office regarding your request.

Attached please find eight pages of responsive records forwarded to USTR by OGE, which we are releasing in part. Portions of the documents have been redacted because we reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by FOIA Exemptions 3, 5, or 6. Exemption 3 incorporates certain nondisclosure provisions contained in federal statutes other than the FOIA, e.g., 5 U.S.C. app. 107(a), Ethics in Government Act of 1978 financial disclosure information pertaining to certain government employees. Exemption 5 protects from disclosure "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency." The redacted materials are exempt under the deliberative process privilege, which protects the decision-making processes of the executive branch in order to safeguard the quality and integrity of governmental decisions. The redacted information reflects the give-and-take of the consultative process between USTR and OGE during the confirmation process and reflect the personal opinions of the writers rather than the policies of the agencies. Finally, Exemption 6 protects personal information such as financial information and cell phone numbers, the release of which would not shed light on the performance of the agency's statutory duties.

This constitutes a complete response to your request. You may contact me or my colleague Melissa Keppel by email at FOIA@ustr.eop.gov or 202-395-3419 for any further assistance and to discuss any aspect of your request. Additionally, you may contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration to inquire about the FOIA mediation services they offer. The contact information for OGIS is as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769.

If you are not satisfied with the response to this request, you may also administratively appeal by writing to: FOIA Office, GSD/RDF; ATTN: Janice Kaye, Anacostia Naval Annex, Bldg. 410/Door 123, 250 Murray Lane, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20509.

Your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted within 90 days of the date of the response to your request. Both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked: "Freedom of Information Act Appeal" and should include a reference to the FOIA Case File number listed above. Heightened security in force may delay mail delivery; therefore we suggest that you also email any such appeal to foia@ustr.eop.gov.

In the event you are dissatisfied with the results of any such appeal, judicial review will thereafter be available to you in the United States District Court for the judicial district in which you reside or have your principal place of business, or in the District of Columbia, where we searched for the records you requested.

Thank you,
Monique

Monique T. Ricker
FOIA Program Manager/Attorney

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
WASHINGTON DC 20508

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