|Submitted||March 14, 2017|
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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:
1. Any available log of appeals submitted to this agency or the agency tasked with processing Freedom of Information Act appeals for this division. Please provide such logs for the period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016. Please, if possible, include with the log the following items:
• the request number associated with the FOIA in question
• the appeal number assigned to the appeal
• the description of the subject matter addressed by the request
• the division or office of initial receipt
• the date on which the appeal was received
• the date on which the appeal was closed
• the determination or final disposition status of the appeal
2. All appeal letters and opinion letters associated with appeals for which the determination was to reverse, in whole or in part, the decision of the initial request agency. Please provide such letters for appeals closed during the period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.
3. All appeal letters and opinion letters associated with appeals for which the determination was to remand the request to the appropriate agency. Please provide such letters for appeals closed during the period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.
4. All appeal letters and opinion letters associated with appeals for which the determination was to affirm the decision of the initial agency. Please provide such letters for appeals closed during the period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.
5. Any instructive or guiding materials provided to and/or utilized by employees of this department’s Freedom of Information Act office. Please include any manuals, procedural materials, reference guides, checklists, training materials, flow charts, directives, memorandums, legal decisions, presentations, or similar material used in the process of an appeal by this office or the office tasked to process FOIA appeals for this office. Any guiding materials used for the preparation of an appeal package should be considered responsive to, though not the entirety of, this element of this request.
6. The name and contact information for the appropriate appeal authority to whom appeals for this agency should be directed. If such information exists as part of a template letter sent to requesters, provision of this document will be considered satisfactory.
Please provide responsive materials on a rolling basis.
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.
Good Afternoon, Ms. Lipton:
This email acknowledges receipt of your March 14, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Department FOIA Office (DFO). Your request was received in this office on March 14, 2017.
The DFO is under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and serves as the focal point for USDA’s FOIA program. The DFO provides coordination and ensures agency wide compliance with the FOIA. The DFO processes requests and appeals on behalf of the Office of the Secretary and Departmental Management’s (“DM”) components. For a complete listing of DM’s components, please visit
The FOIA regulation 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i) requires USDA to make a determination in response to a FOIA request within 20 business days from its date of receipt. In unusual circumstances, the Federal agency time limit may be extended by 10 business days as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If your request seeks numerous records that will necessitate a wide-ranging search including searches with components and possible consultations with components that have a substantial interest in the determination of this request, USDA will invoke a 10 business day extension for determination of your request. You have the option to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive records.
Provisions of the FOIA allow USDA to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. For purposes of fee assessment, you were categorized as a media requester, pursuant to 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section (5)(c). For your review and information, a copy of the USDA FOIA Fee Schedule is enclosed. In accordance with 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section 6(a)(4), your fees shall be waived where the amount of the fee is $25.00 or less. You will be contacted before any fees over $25.00 are accrued.
A search will be conducted for records responsive to your request. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that a FOIA analyst will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.
Your request has been assigned FOIA Case No. 2017-OCIO-02759-F. Please refer to this case number in any future correspondence. If you have any questions regarding the processing of this request, please contact Department FOIA Team Lead, Marqui Q. Barnes at 202-694-1802 or electronically at email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov>. For additional information regarding USDA FOIA regulations and process, please refer to the information available on-line at www.dm.usda.gov/foia<http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia>.
We appreciates the opportunity to assist you in this matter.
Have a great day!
the USDA Department FOIA Office
Good Afternoon, Ms. Lipton:
Please see attached final response letter, and corresponding responsive records, pertaining to your recent FOIA request.
Should you have any questions/concerns, please let me know.
(Ms.) Marqui Q. Barnes, CIPP/G
Department FOIA Team Lead
Department FOIA Office
Policy, E-Government, and Fair Information Practices (PE&F)
Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
(202) 694-1802 (direct)
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You may now submit FOIA request(s) online to any USDA FOIA office using the USDA online web portal, Public Access Link (PAL). You may access PAL at https://efoia-pal.usda.gov/palMain.aspx. After you register and establish your password you will be able to (1) submit, (2) check the status of your FOIA, and (3) download our responses to your FOIA(s).
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Thank you so much for your help! This is terrific.
Hope you have a lovely day!