Faith Based Czar Communication (ED)

Jason Smathers filed this request with the U.S. Department of Education of the United States of America.
Tracking # 11-00590-F
Est. Completion Sept. 15, 2017
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Jason Smathers

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All records of communication between your agency and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships including but not limited to emails, letters or other communication to and from Joshua DuBois or any member of his staff.

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,

Jason Smathers
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com
Daytime: (617) 299-1832
For mailed responses, please address:
MuckRock
185 Beacon St. #3
Somerville, MA 02143

From: Department of Education

From: Women's Bureau, USDOL

Dear Mr. Smathers:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sent electronically to “FOIARequests” at the U.S. Department of Labor. In your request you asked for the following:

all records of communication between your agency and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
including but not limited to emails, letters or other communication to and from Joshua Dubois or any member of his staff

The Women’s Bureau, an agency component of the Department of Labor, has searched it files and found no records responsive to your request.

You may file an appeal of this decision with the Solicitor of Labor within 90 days from the date of this letter. The appeal must state, in writing, the grounds for the appeal, including any supporting statement or arguments. To facilitate processing, you may wish to fax your appeal to: (202) 693-5538. The appeal should include a copy of your initial request and a copy of this letter. The appeal must be addressed to: Solicitor of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2428, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210. If mailed, both the envelope, and the letter of appeal itself should be clearly marked: "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

Cheryl D. Edwards
FOIA Coordinator
Women's Bureau, USDOL
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
202-693-6735 (Phone)
202-693-6746 (Fax)
WBFOIA@dol.gov

From: Director, FOIA Service Center

August 26, 2013


Mr. Jason Smathers
MuckRock
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 20005-5819
Email: requests@MuckRock.com

RE: FOIA Request No. 11-00590-F

Dear Mr. Jason Smathers:

This email is in regard to your FOIA request (11-00590-F) emailed to the U.S. Department of Education (Department) on January 2, 2013, and officially received by the Department’s FOIA Service Center on January 3, 2013. We attempted to reach you by telephone on July 29, 2013, August 6, 2013, and August 19, 2013, regarding your FOIA request. To date, we have not been able to reach you directly to discuss your request. However, the Department is very much interested in responding to your request prior to the expiration of this fiscal year. Below please find the factors that you may consider relevant to any discussion of your request:

1. You specifically requested “All records of communication between your agency and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships including but not limited to emails, letters or other communication to and from Joshua DuBois or any member of his staff.”

Does the fact that Mr. DuBois is no longer employed at the White House in any way affect your request for “[a]ll records of communication[s] between your agency and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships including but not limited to emails, letters or other communication[s] to and from Joshua DuBois or any member of his staff”?

2. In searching the Departmental files for records responsive to your request, we have determined that there are approximately 46,000 email messages that may be responsive.

In an effort to decrease substantially the time needed to complete our review of these communications and to greatly expedite your receipt of records that would be satisfactory for your needs, would you be willing to specify that you are interested in receiving the following rather than what is in your original broader request?

a. Only email messages from “Mr. DuBois or any member of his staff to the Department.

b. All emails from Mr. DuBois only to the Department.

Moreover, if there is some other way that we can substantially reduce the scope of your request, assuming you still desire this information, please contact me directly or you may contact the FOIA Service Center at (202) 401-8365 or via e-mail at EDFOIAManager@ed.gov to discuss your request.


Please be advised that any scope reduction you are willing to provide us at this time will only expedite our response back to you. We would appreciate receiving a response from you by Tuesday, September 3, 2013, to assess what amount of resources to devote to your request. Should we not hear from you by the said time (September 3rd), we will assume you do not wish to narrow the scope of your request. Should you decide not to narrow the scope of your original request; we simply don't have the resources to complete your request within the fiscal year or soon thereafter given the sheer volume of documents involved with your request.

While we deeply regret our delay in responding, we will wait to hear from you before we take further action on your request. Should you choose not to respond within 30 calendar days, we will conclude you no longer wish to pursue this request and your file will be closed.

Sincere regards,

Gregory A. Smith

Director, FOIA Service Center

Privacy, Information & Records Management Services

Office of Management

US Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Room 2E305

Washington, DC 20202

Phone (202) 453-6362

Email: Gregory.smith@ed.gov

From: Jason Smathers

Since Joshua DuBois is no longer at the white house, you may amend my request to include his predecessor, Melissa Rogers. You may limit the searches for DuBois and Rogers to the periods of time in which they directed the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. I am not interested in communication with DuBois after he left the White House.

You can further limit the volume of responsive records by eliminating duplicate records assuming many employees received the same email.

From: Director, FOIA Service Center

Please provide a telephone number and we will contact you tomorrow or another day this week at your convenience to further discuss your FOIA request.

From: Robert Wehausen Management & Program Analyst FOIA Appeals Coordinator

Dear Mr. Smathers:

Thank you for taking the time today to speak with James Hyler and I about your request. This email serves to confirm our conversation earlier today, in which you narrowed the scope of your FOIA request (Request No. 11-00590-F) as follows:

· You are seeking only emails between the Department of Education and Joshua DuBois or any member of his staff between February 1, 2012 and February 1, 2013.

Please confirm whether this accurately reflects our conversation.

Sincerely,

Robert Wehausen
Management & Program Analyst
FOIA Appeals Coordinator
FOIA Service Center
U.S. Dept. of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4510
202.205.0733

From: Jason Smathers

I confirm.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

Thank you for your help.

From: Wehausen, Robert

Good morning, Mr. Smathers -

At this time I don't have an estimate on when the Department will be able to provide you records for your FOIA request. I'll contact the Office of Secretary for a status and share my findings with you.

Thank you,

Robert Wehausen
Management & Program Analyst
FOIA Appeals Coordinator
FOIA Service Center
U.S. Dept. of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC  20202-4510
202.205.0733

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

Thank you for your help.

From: Wehausen, Robert

Good morning, Mr. Smathers:

Further clarification is not needed, your request is currently being processed by the program office.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

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 Jan. 2, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #11-00590-F.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Michael Morisy

Hey Michael,

I wanted to check in with you since I still not have heard from Jason Smathers. Once again, because this case is so old, I am including it in this email for reference purposes. Can you please let him know I am still projecting that he will be receiving responsive documents from us sometime re: Joshua DuBois around September 11, 2017 regarding FOIA case # 11-00590-F? I just confirmed with our program office to verify status. As previously mentioned, this is now the Department’s # 1 oldest case and I am trying to do everything possible to close it this fiscal year for obvious reasons. I have been tasked by our Assistant Secretary to focus on closing as many of our FOIA backlog cases as possible. This is now one of my top priorities between now and September 30.

Jason can certainly contact me should he wish to discuss but I will be out of the office after today until September 12. He will be receiving a response from us in approximately 10-14 days.

Hopefully Jason will be satisfied with the documents he will be receiving on or around September 10. Any assistance you can offer in order for us to close this case by 9/30/17 out would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me at the number below should you or Jason wish to discuss.

My sincere apology to Mr. Smathers once again for the delay in responding to his request but it is clearly being addressed and most definitely on my radar screen.

Best,

Jim Clemmens
US Department of Education
Office of Management
[detailed to the FOIA Service Center to address FOIA Backlog]
(202) 205-3957

From: Jason Smathers

I am still interested in this request. Please do not close it without processing it as it was submitted.

Thank you.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

From: MuckRock

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for your email. The link to directly upload the documents will be at the bottom of this email chain. If you have any issues feel free to call me at 1-650-656-3417 .

Thanks!

From: Michael Morisy

Hi Bobby,

Sorry about the technical issue. Changed some settings and the link at the very bottom of this email should work. Resending in the other thread as well.

- Michael

From: MuckRock

Hi,

Fresh upload link.

From: U.S. Department of Education

Hi Michael and Jason. We have just uploaded responsive documents to 11-00590-F via the link that Michael has provided to us. At this point, we would like to consider this case closed but should either of you have questions, feel free to contact us.

We would greatly appreciate an email confirming the closure of this case is acceptable to you.
Many thanks--
Jim Clemmens -202 205-3957
Bobby Wehausen- 202- 205-0733
US Dept. of Education”

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