Fee Status Guidance

Martin Pfeiffer filed this request with the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking #

19-00265-R

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Martin Pfeiffer

To Whom It May Concern:

1) THIS IS A FOIA REQUEST
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request copies of the following records:

Current internal policy guidance, trainings and materials (including but not limited to videos or web modules), memos, reports,guidelines, recommendations, and other relevant documents currently in force regarding the assignment of fee status categories to FOIA requestors. For example, please provide (but do not limit you response to) the current NNSA documents and guidance that outlines the process and steps through which individual FOIA analysts assign requestors to fee categories. In addition, if available, please provide records indicating how many requests over the last 5 years or available portion thereof were made under each fee status category; how many were denied requested status and why; and how many were appealed and with what result.

As the FOIA requires, please release all reasonably segregable nonexempt portions of documents. If you withhold information or records then please identify the exemption through which you do so and advise me of my options for appeal under the law.

2) FEES AND FEE STATUS
I am a PhD student at the University of New Mexico and the information requested is for academic and public education purposes, including my PhD dissertation project, and not primarily for commercial use. Furthermore, I will make responsive records available to the public via my academic publications and presentations; on social media (I have over 14,000 Twitter followers); and through the News Site MuckRock.com. Please note that you can access my UNM student profile page at the following url: https://anthropology.unm.edu/people/grad-students/profile/martin-pfeiffer.html.

Therefore, as per Sack v. DOD (2016) I qualify for educational institution fee status and ask that you process my request accordingly. I refer to Sack v. DOD (2016) in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District explicitly repudiated the narrowness of the section of the OMB's 1987 Fee Guidelines that deal with criteria for granting educational institution fee status (see pages 9-12 of the full decision): "[i]n our view, the OMB's rule for student requests is inconsistent with the statute" [referring to FOIA] (p. 11).

From the summary of the Court's Opinion (p. 1):
“We disagree with the Government’s slicing of the term “educational institution." If teachers can qualify for reduced fees, so can students. Students who make FOIA requests to further their coursework or other school-sponsored activities are eligible for reduced fees under FOIA because students, like teachers, are part of an educational institution." [underline added]

If fees are assessed then I agree to pay fees up to $30 without additional notice. In the event that there are fees exceeding $30 then please inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.

RECORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS
I hereby request that all records generated by this request be delivered in electronic format via email or, if that is not possible, on CD-ROM if available.
Please do not hesitate to contact me (preferably via email) with any questions or information. You may, and I request that you do so, engage in rolling release of responsive documents.

CONCLUSION
I look forward to receiving your response within the twenty day statutory period. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and time in this matter.

Regards,
-marty-
Martin Pfeiffer

From: Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration

Dear Mr. Pfeiffer,

This email is to notify you of the receipt of your June 26, 2019, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. You requested the following:

Current internal policy guidance, trainings and materials (including but not limited to videos or web modules), memos, reports, guidelines, recommendations, and other relevant documents currently in force regarding the assignment of fee status categories to FOIA requestors. For example, please provide (but do not limit you response to) the current NNSA documents and guidance that outlines the process and steps through which individual FOIA analysts assign requestors to fee categories. In addition, if available, please provide records indicating how many requests over the last 5 years or available portion thereof were made under each fee status category; how many were denied requested status and why; and how many were appealed and with what result.

FOIA 19-00265-R has been received and currently being processed. We received your request on July 1, 2019. Thank you!

Sincerely,

R. Marquez

Roberto Marquez,
Government Information Specialist
Office of the General Counsel
National Nuclear Security Administration

From: Martin Pfeiffer

Hi Mr. Marquez,

Thank you for your notification of receipt and the assignment of a control number. I appreciate your assistance with this and my other requests.

Have a good week.

Regards,
-marty-
Martin Pfeiffer

From: Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration

Hello Mr. Pfeiffer,

Please see the attached document and final response to your FOIA request under control number FOIA 19-00265-R.

Thank you,

Ariana Gallegos
DRA Contractor
FOIA/PA Specialist
DOE/NNSA
Office of the General Counsel
ariana.gallegos@nnsa.doe.gov

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