|Submitted||Feb. 13, 2015|
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To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
A copy of the manual, handbook or other procedural guideline(s) used in processing FOIA requests received by the agency.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is completely encompassed within the public interest and made solely for the purpose of building a better understanding of how the government operates in regards to the manner in which your agency responds to FOIA requests.
Additionally, 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.
Ms. R. M. Seibert
Please see the attached letter regarding your FOIA/PA request. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter, please contact this office at (202) 406-6370.
United States Secret Service
All e-mail to/from this account is subject to official review and is for official use only. Action may be taken in response to any inappropriate use of the Secret Service's e-mail system. This e-mail may contain information that is privileged, law enforcement sensitive, or subject to other disclosure limitations. Such information is loaned to you and should not be further disseminated without the permission of the Secret Service. If you have received this e-mail in error, do not keep, use, disclose, or copy it; notify the sender immediately and delete it.
Whom It May Concern:
This is an appeal for FOIA Request #20150501
I appeal being classified as a commercial requester. I am an independent researcher studying the history of how the Church of Scientology weaponized the FOIA in the 1970s and 1980s to attack the government over an alleged conspiracy against their organization. I use MuckRock for its tracking and digital reproduction service while making a large number of FOIA requests against various agencies in pursuit of my research. My project is strictly for the purpose of developing a better understanding of how the government works when confronted with an aggressive requester and vexatious litigant and other agencies have classified my ongoing efforts in the “other” fee category.
All my FOIA requests along this line of research are in support of the public interest and fall into the "other" fee category. My status as an individual user of MuckRock should have no bearing on my fee category. I have never filed a single FOIA as a commercial requester and I have no commercial interest in this request. I am not selling the information or engaging in any commercial activity using the data and MuckRock gains no financial benefit after disclosures are posted. The only financial benefit MuckRock receives from my work as an independent researcher is a transaction completed prior to your agency receiving a request sent via their services.
Additionally, the materials I am requesting in this instance are for the public interest regarding how your agency processes FOIA requests. This same material has been released by other agencies under the “other” fee category as a matter of public interest and there is no reason why your agency should be an exception to the established norm that you can review here: https://www.muckrock.com/search/?q=FOIA+Manual
For the reasons stated above, and all other reasons deemed appropriate by the appeals authority, I hereby appeal.
Ms. R. M. Seibert
An interim response, stating the request is being processed.
A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.
A copy of documents responsive to the request.
A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.