EPA appointee credit card statements and receipts

Nick Surgey filed this request with the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking #

EPA-HQ-2018-005662

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Nick Surgey

To Whom It May Concern:

On behalf of Documented, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following:

Itemized statements and receipts for the use -- between January 20, 2017 until the present day -- of any government issued credit cards, also known as “SmartPay”, by or on behalf of the following EPA appointees:

1. Scott Pruitt
2. Ryan Jackson
3. Cara Rodriguez
4. Dawn Michelle Hale
5. Kelsi Daniell
6. Nancy Beck
7. Elizabeth Bennett
8. Susan Bodine
9. Brittany Bolen
10. Elizabeth Bowman
11. Byron R. Brown
12. Henry Darwin
13. Patrick J. Davis
14. Samantha Dravis
15. Lincoln Ross Ferguson
16. John Peter Freire
17. Holly W. Greaves
18. Sarah A. Greenwalt
19. Amanda Gunasekara
20. Sydney Morgan Hupp
21. Milan Hupp
22. Albert Kelly
23. John A. Konkus
24. Troy Lyons
25. Forrest McMurray
26. Charles D. Munoz
27. Christian Palich
28. Justin Schwab
29. Kenneth Wagner
30. William L. Wehrum
31. Patrick Traylor
32. George Y. Sugiyama
33. Jahan Wilcox

The requester is entitled to a fee waiver because he is a member of the news media, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since the requester has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Requester is an investigative journalist and the director of Documented, an investigative watchdog and reporting group that explores the relationship between industry and government. Nick Surgey is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy and writes for the Intercept.

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,

Nick Surgey
Co-Director
Documented

From: Environmental Protection Agency

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28186d517)
* Tracking Number: EPA-HQ-2018-005662
* Requester Name: Nick Surgey
* Date Submitted: 03/21/2018
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: To Whom It May Concern:

From: Environmental Protection Agency

03/23/2018 04:45 PM FOIA Request: EPA-HQ-2018-005662

Dear Nick Surgey,Thank you very much for your interest in the Environmental Protection Agency. This correspondence references the above Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which seeks information about the EPA Administrator’s travel, schedule, or both. Many people or entities have requested information about these records. We appreciate your patience as we process these requests.
Interim Response
Today we are releasing 612 pages of records to you. The release contains materials responsive to your FOIA request. This release may include additional records that you have not requested; however, the records may be of interest to you. We are releasing these records proactively to you at no cost.  Please find the records here: https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28134aaec. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28134aaec)

This release includes documents that have been partially withheld. The reasons for the withholdings are printed over the redactions.  Should you wish to appeal any withholding determination, you will have the opportunity to do so.  We will provide you with appeal rights at the time of the final production.
Records Released on 03.23.2018:

*
EPA Admin Travel 02.21.2017-03.19.2017 (4-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin Travel 03.20.2017-06.01.2017 (29-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin and Staff Travel 06.02.2017-06.18.2018 (58-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin and Staff Travel 06.15.2017-08.29.2017 (33-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin Travel 08.30.2017-02.14.2018 (68-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin Calendar 02.12.2017-04.07.2017 (171-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin Calendar 02.12.2017-05.19.2017 (145-page PDF)
*
EPA Admin Calendar 05.19.2017-06.19.2017 (104-page PDF)
Unusual Circumstances and Extension of Time

To complete your request, EPA will need to search for and collect the requested records from multiple EPA offices that are separate from the Office of the Administrator (AO).  As a result of these unusual circumstances, an extension of time to respond to your request is necessary under 40 C.F.R. § 2.104(d).

The AO has received an unprecedented amount of FOIA requests during fiscal year 2017.  In fiscal year 2016, AO received only 203 FOIA requests, whereas in fiscal year 2017, AO received 1,043 FOIA requests.  This is a 413% increase in FOIA requests from fiscal years 2016 to 2017. We are still processing these requests.

For your information, we use multiple tracks to process requests, but within those tracks we work in an agile manner. The time needed to complete our work on your request will necessarily depend on a variety of factors, including the complexity of our records search, the volume and complexity of any material located, and the order of receipt of your request.

In fiscal year 2017, the average processing time for complex FOIA requests processed by AO was 388 working days.  Using this number as instructive to estimate the time to process your request, the new estimated completion date for this FOIA is 9/16/2019.
Opportunity to Discuss and Modify

EPA’s FOIA regulations state:

Whenever possible, your request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter. If known, you should include any file designations or descriptions for the records that you want. The more specific you are about the records or type of records that you want, the more likely EPA will be able to identify and locate records responsive to your request.

40 C.F.R. § 2.102(c).

We would like to provide you the opportunity to discuss the request with us and clarify or narrow the request.  As indicated in 40 C.F.R. § 2.102(c), if you would like to speak with us about your request, please include or be prepared to discuss any specific information about the records you seek, including time-period, authors, or a more detailed description of the records’ subject matter. Publicly Available Information and Next Steps

The following are sources of publicly available information that you can access immediately:


*
Our website: https://www.epa.gov/home/advanced-search (https://www.epa.gov/home/advanced-search)
*
FOIAonline for records previously released through FOIA requests: https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/search/ (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/search/)
*
Environmental Topics Information repositories: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-topics/z-index (https://www.epa.gov/environmental-topics/z-index)
*
Technical/scientific/educational publications: https://www.epa.gov/nscep (https://www.epa.gov/nscep)
*
Staff Manuals and Guidance: https://www.epa.gov/foia/national-online-foia-library#admin (https://www.epa.gov/foia/national-online-foia-library#admin)
*
Policy Statements: https://www.epa.gov/foia/national-online-foia-library#statement (https://www.epa.gov/foia/national-online-foia-library#statement)
*
Superfund sites and data: https://www.epa.gov/foia/national-online-foia-library#superfund (https://www.epa.gov/foia/national-online-foia-library#superfund)

If it is possible for us to do so, we will provide you with interim releases as they become available.

If you wish to clarify your request further so that EPA can process your request in a shorter amount of time, or if this release satisfies your request and you would like to close your request, the Office of the Administrator is happy to work with you.

Additionally, you may seek assistance from EPA’s FOIA Public Liaison at hq.foia@epa.gov or (202) 566-1667 , or from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). You may contact OGIS in any of the following ways: by mail, Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, MD 20740-6001; by email, ogis@nara.gov; by telephone, (202) 741-5770 or (877) 684-6448 ; or by fax: (202) 741-5769

If you have any additional questions about your request, please contact Christopher Creech at creech.christopher@epa.gov or (202) 564-4286 , or Fredrick No at no.fredrick@epa.gov or (202) 564-2793

Please direct media related inquiries to press@epa.gov.


Thank you,

EPA Office of the Administrator

From: Nick Surgey

Please withdraw this request.

With thanks,

Nick Surgey

From: Environmental Protection Agency

03/29/2018 09:02 AM FOIA Request: EPA-HQ-2018-005662

Good morning Mr. Surgey,
This email is in regards to the above referenced request recently received by the Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM).  It seems to be requesting the same information as EPA-2018-005665 submitted by you and currently being processed by the Office of Acquisition Management (OAM) with the addition of 1 name (Cara Rodriguez).  If this is correct, OARM is requesting that we continue processing 005665 with the addition of this name and close out 005662 as a duplicate request.  Please let me know if you are in agreement or if there is a need to discuss, I can be reached at 202-564-7177 or sandfoss.kristina@epa.gov.
Thank you for your interest in the EPA and have a wonderful day!
Kristina

Kristina Sandfoss
EPA / HQ / OARM

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Dear Mr. Surgey,

I have been assigned to process your two FOIA requests, EPA-HQ-2018-005665 (Due 4/18/18) and EPA-HQ-2018-005662 (Due 4/26/18). They are asking for the itemized statements and receipts of the government issued credit card, known as "Smart Pay," for various Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) political appointees working at our Agency. Both FOIA requests appear to be identical in all respects except that EPA-HQ-2018-005662 has one additional individual listed, Cara Rodriguez. I wanted to inform you that I am cancelling FOIA Request EPA-HQ-2018-005665 and will only be processing FOIA Request EPA-HQ-2018-005662. If you have any questions, please contact me at (202) 564-4493 or via email at Marusak.Kirk@epa.gov<mailto:Marusak.Kirk@epa.gov>. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Kirk R. Marusak
Government Information Specialist
Office of Acquisition Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 564-4493
Fax: (202) 564-2553
Marusak.Kirk@epa.gov

From: Nick Surgey

Kristina

Please close out 005662. The name of Cara Rodriguez was an error on my part.

Also, I have received a message in response to this request for credit card receipts (and I have also received the same message for many other requests), providing me with an interim response of travel records. This request was not for travel vouchers. It seems that these letters are being sent out without much regard to what the request was about.

Thanks,

Nick

From: Muckrock Staff

Please close out 005662. The name of Cara Rodriguez was an error on my part.

Also, I have received a message in response to this request for credit card receipts (and I have also received the same message for many other requests), providing me with an interim response of travel records. This request was not for travel vouchers. It seems that these letters are being sent out without much regard to what the request was about.

Thanks,

Nick

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Good morning Nick,

Apologies for the confusion with these requests. Hopefully, I can clear up some miscommunications.

OARM/Office of Acquisition Management closed out 005665 as a duplicate.

The Office of General Counsel proactively provided interim responses regarding travel vouchers to any request that concerned purchases.

I am unable to access the case to verify, but I believe that OARM/Office of Acquisition Management notified you of the transfer of this request to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) for processing, and I apologize if that was not the case.

So, in summary, EPA-HQ-2018-005662 is being processed by OCFO and the name Cara Rodriguez does not need to be included in the search, and moving forward, OCFO will provide you with any status updates regarding this request.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or incorrect. Thank you for your patience and have a great day!
Kristina

Kristina Sandfoss
EPA / HQ / OARM

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Melissa Reeder of OCFO in Cincinnati is processing FOIA Request EPA-HQ-2018-005662. I eliminated FOIA Request
EPA-HQ-2018-005665. I hope that clarifies the status of both FOIA requests.

Kirk R. Marusak
Government Information Specialist
Office of Acquisition Management
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (202) 564-4493
Fax: (202) 564-2553
Marusak.Kirk@epa.gov

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Good morning Nick,
Just to clarify, “Smartpay” encompasses both the purchase card and the travel card. Dianne Lyles, who is the EPA purchase card team leader that works in the Office of Acquisition Management has indicated that political appointees do not get issued a purchase card. Thus, she found none of the individuals on the list who had a purchase card. However, political appointees are issued a GSA Smartcard for Travel. The travel voucher indicates what charges were made on their government travel card.
Thanks!
Melissa

Melissa Reeder
US EPA
OC-FSD-CFC
513-487-2009

From: Nick Surgey

Thanks, Melissa.

Nick

From: Environmental Protection Agency

In 4 days from the sending of this message, your FOIAonline user account password for requests@muckrock.com will lock due to inactivity. To prevent this from happening, please log into the FOIAonline application and reset your password.

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Your FOIAonline user account for requests@muckrock.com has been locked due to inactivity. Your account can be unlocked using the Forgot Password link at the top of any page within FOIAonline.

From: Environmental Protection Agency

06/18/2018 05:49 AM FOIA Request: EPA-HQ-2018-005662

  • FOIA -- EPA-HQ-2018-005662 Nick Surgey re Fee Waiver Not Billable Letter

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Your request for Fee Waiver for the FOIA request EPA-HQ-2018-005662 has been determined to be not applicable as the request is not billable. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Request Created on: 03/21/2018
* Fee Waiver Disposition Reason: N/A
* Request Long Description: To Whom It May Concern:

From: Environmental Protection Agency

EPA-HQ-2018-005662 has been processed with the following final disposition: Partial grant/partial denial.
Records were released to the public as a result of this request. You may retrieve these records immediately using the following link: View Records.Over the next 2 hours, these records are also being added to FOIAonline's search pages, further enabling you to retrieve these documents associated with your FOIA request at any time. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28186d517)

From: Environmental Protection Agency

EPA-HQ-2018-005662 has been processed with the following final disposition: Partial grant/partial denial.
Records were released to the public as a result of this request. You may retrieve these records immediately using the following link: View Records.Over the next 2 hours, these records are also being added to FOIAonline's search pages, further enabling you to retrieve these documents associated with your FOIA request at any time. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28186d517)

From: Nick Surgey

Chandra

Thank you for your response. There was no letter attached. Was this omitted by mistake? Your response is marked in FOIA Online as a "Partial grant/partial denial," but it would be helpful for me if you could explain what is being provided here, and what has been omitted or denied.

With thanks,

Nick Surgey

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Good morning Mr. Surgey,
I apologize for the confusion.

This is in response to your request for Itemized statements and receipts for the use -- between January 20, 2017 until the present day -- of any government issued credit cards, also known as “SmartPay”, by or on behalf of the following EPA appointees: 1. Scott Pruitt 2. Ryan Jackson 3. Cara Rodriguez 4. Dawn Michelle Hale 5. Kelsi Daniell 6. Nancy Beck 7. Elizabeth Bennett 8. Susan Bodine 9. Brittany Bolen 10. Elizabeth Bowman 11. Byron R. Brown 12. Henry Darwin 13. Patrick J. Davis 14. Samantha Dravis 15. Lincoln Ross Ferguson 16. John Peter Freire 17. Holly W. Greaves 18. Sarah A. Greenwalt 19. Amanda Gunasekara 20. Sydney Morgan Hupp 21. Milan Hupp 22. Albert Kelly 23. John A. Konkus 24. Troy Lyons 25. Forrest McMurray 26. Charles D. Munoz 27. Christian Palich 28. Justin Schwab 29. Kenneth Wagner 30. William L. Wehrum 31. Patrick Traylor 32. George Y. Sugiyama 33. Jahan Wilcox

“SmartPay” consists of three lines of cards: purchase, fleet and travel. Political appointees are only provided with the travel card. Attached are the vouchers for the 33 people listed above.

This letter concludes our response to your request. If you consider this a denial, you may appeal this response by email at hq.foia@epa.gov, or by mail to the EPA’s National FOIA Office, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (2310A), Washington, DC 20460. Only items mailed through the United States Postal Service may be delivered to 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue. If you are submitting your appeal by hand delivery, courier service, or overnight delivery, you must address your correspondence to 1301 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5315, Washington, DC 20001. Your appeal must be in writing, and it must be received no later than 90 calendar days from the date of this letter. The Agency will not consider appeals received after the 90-calendar-day limit. Appeals received after 5:00 p.m. EST will be considered received the next business day. The appeal letter should include the FOIA tracking number listed above. For quickest possible handling, the subject line of your email, the appeal letter, and its envelope, if applicable, should be marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal." Additionally, you may seek dispute resolution services from EPA's FOIA Public Liaison at hq.foia@epa.gov or (202) 566-1667, or from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). You may contact OGIS in any of the following ways: by mail, Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510 , 8610 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001; email, ogis@nara.gov; telephone, (202) 741-5770 or (877) 684-6448; or fax, (202) 741-5769.

Melissa Reeder
US EPA
OC-FSD-CFC
513-487-2009

Melissa Reeder

From: Nick Surgey

Thanks, Melissa.

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