FOIA March Madness 2017 - I- Appeal logs, procedures, letters, opinions (Securities and Exchange Commission)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking # 17-02099-FOIA
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

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.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Katilius, Lizzette

From: foiapa

Ms. Lipton, we have approximately 1300 appeal decisions that are responsive to items 2, 3 and 4 of your request. Please let me know if you are interested in a certain category of appeal decisions? For example, decisions on exemption 7(A), or adequacy of search? This would help bring down the number of pages to be reviewed and enable us to respond to you in a shorter amount of time. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Thank you
Lizzette Katilius
Securities and Exchange Commission
Office of FOIA Services, Branch Chief
202-551-7910

From: Katilius, Lizzette

Dear Ms. Lipton,
Attached you will find our partial response to your request.  In addition, please let me know if you would consider revising the scope of items 2-4 of your request regarding the appeal decision letters.
(Due to file size limits per email this is the first of two emails)
Thank you,
Lizzette
Lizzette Katilius
Securities and Exchange Commission
Office of FOIA Services, Branch Chief
202-551-7910

From: Katilius, Lizzette

Ms. Lipton, attached is the Liaison Guidance referenced in our partial response to your request. (Due to file size limits per email I had to send our response via two separate emails.) Please forgive the inconvenience.

Thank you,
Lizzette

Lizzette Katilius
Securities and Exchange Commission
Office of FOIA Services, Branch Chief
202-551-7910

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Good morning, Ms. Lipton. Concerning the FOIA request you submitted to the SEC on March 14, 2017, asking for records of appeal logs, procedures, letters, and opinions, dated from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016, we provided a partial response with records on March 16, 2017, to Items 1, 5, and 6 of your FOIA request.

With respect to Items 2, 3, and 4 of your request, we completed some preliminary research (see below). Based on this research, we will begin providing you with responsive records on a rolling basis.

But to be sure we're sending the records you want versus inundating you with unnecessary documents, we wanted to ask a question concerning the organization highlighted in green below. As you can see the cases from this organization make up a sizeable percentage of our appeals. And the language in their appeals, including our opinion letters, are all very similar. Because they are so similar we could send a sampling of the responsive records for this organization rather than overloading you with hundreds of similar letters. But if you want us to provide a copy of them all, we can do that as well.

In any event, we will continue processing your request. If you are interested in reducing the processing time and records as mentioned above, please email or call me. Thanks!

Completely Affirmed

Completely Reversed/Remanded

Partially Affirmed & Partially Reversed/Remanded

Organization

Count

Organization

Count

Organization

Count

Aguirre Law, APC

2

Aguirre Law APC

4

Probes Reporter, LLC

51

MuckRock News

21

MuckRock News

11

The Wall Street Journal

4

5

2

Various single submission appeals

20

2

Bisceglie & Walsh

6

75

9

Sharpless & Stavola, PA

4

Bellinger & Donahue

2

Sharesleuth.com

5

Knopf / Random House

3

Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP

2

The Wall Street Journal

9

4

11

The Wall Street Journal

8

11

Empirestatebuildinginvestors.com

4

Probes Reporter, LLC

691

Probes Reporter, LLC

48

3

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

2

5

2

The Wall Street Journal

2

2

Bryan Cave LLP

2

Dow Jones

2

Aguirre Law APC

2

2

2

LATHAM & WATKINS LLP

2

Automated Matching Systems Exchange

4

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

2

2

Various single submission appeals

34

Various single submission appeals

104

146

892

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov<mailto:Ovallj@sec.gov>

From: MuckRock

Hello Ms. Katiliusm and Mr. Ovall,

Thank you so much for you help with this request so far. I hope you know that we really appreciate the speed and diligence of the work that you've done. For the time being, could we please limit this request to those 75 Partially Affirmed and 146 Completely Reversed appeal opinions? That would mean that for now, we'll ignore element four of this request. However, would it be possible to get whatever applicable estimate there might be for retrieving those 892 appeal letters and opinions? If the burden of retrieval isn't too great, we're happy to be inundated with all of them.

There was some confusion about the appeal letters that we have requested, and I wanted to clarify that it would be great if we could also get the initial appeal letters, i.e. the letters sent by the requesters to appeal the initial FOIA decisions.

I hope you'll excuse the delay in my response, and please know that your office may call our office any time about requests at 617-299-1832.

Thanks again! I hope you have a lovely day!

Best,
Beryl

From: ovallj@sec.gov

You have received 2 secure files from OvallJ@SEC.GOV.
Use the secure links below to download.
Good afternoon, Ms. Lipton. Please see the attached Partial Response to a FOIA request you submitted to the SEC.

Sincerely,

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov

Secure File Downloads:
Available until: 21 April 2017

Click links to download:
17-02099-FOIA Response (3.22.2017).pdf ,34.18 KB - [Fingerprint: bbdcfc425e2acb9480d16d77b8dab85b]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui220420176426f771fb2b87e1b87878e32602e468

17-02099-FOIA Responsive Records (717 pages).pdf ,140.38 MB - [Fingerprint: 291307004d75612a5d4d0289a070b00e]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui220420174861fef730f5e1c3c287370289595366
You have received attachment link(s) within this email sent via SEC's Secure File Transfer. To retrieve the attachment(s), please click on the link(s).

From: ovallj@sec.gov

You have received 2 secure files from OvallJ@SEC.GOV.
Use the secure links below to download.
Good afternoon, Ms. Lipton. Please see the attached Partial Response to a FOIA request you submitted to the SEC.

Sincerely,

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov

Secure File Downloads:
Available until: 21 April 2017

Click links to download:
17-02099-FOIA Response (3.22.2017).pdf ,34.18 KB - [Fingerprint: bbdcfc425e2acb9480d16d77b8dab85b]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui220420176426f771fb2b87e1b87878e32602e468

17-02099-FOIA Responsive Records (717 pages).pdf ,140.38 MB - [Fingerprint: 291307004d75612a5d4d0289a070b00e]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui220420174861fef730f5e1c3c287370289595366
You have received attachment link(s) within this email sent via SEC's Secure File Transfer. To retrieve the attachment(s), please click on the link(s).

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Thank you for your email, Beryl! Per your narrowed request, and as discussed in our telephone conversation this afternoon, attached is a letter covering our 2nd partial response. As I mentioned on the phone, because the 717 pages of responsive records are too large to send via regular email, I will be sending them via the Accellion email service which accommodates voluminous records.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.
Thanks!

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov<mailto:Ovallj@sec.gov>

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Thank you for your email, Beryl! Per your narrowed request, and as discussed in our telephone conversation this afternoon, attached is a letter covering our 2nd partial response. As I mentioned on the phone, because the 717 pages of responsive records are too large to send via regular email, I will be sending them via the Accellion email service which accommodates voluminous records.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.
Thanks!

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov<mailto:Ovallj@sec.gov>

From: SEC

Please verify your e-mail address

Please click on the following link to verify your e-mail.
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Thank you for using Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Secure File Sharing.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. Ovall,

I just wanted to let you know that I've received your response letter and the links to retrieve the documents; I'm currently awaiting the verification email associated with the Accellion account and will upload those materials as soon as possible.

Thanks so much for your help!
Beryl

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Good afternoon, Ms. Lipton. Similar to our response yesterday, I am emailing you our response letter, but due to the large volume of responsive records, I will need to email them to you via Accellion, which accommodates large volumes of records.

Thank you for your patience!

Sincerely,

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov<mailto:Ovallj@sec.gov>

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Good afternoon, Ms. Lipton. Similar to our response yesterday, I am emailing you our response letter, but due to the large volume of responsive records, I will need to email them to you via Accellion, which accommodates large volumes of records.

Thank you for your patience!

Sincerely,

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov<mailto:Ovallj@sec.gov>

From: ovallj@sec.gov

You have received 2 secure files from OvallJ@SEC.GOV.
Use the secure links below to download.
Good afternoon, Ms. Lipton. Please see the attached final response to a FOIA request you submitted to the SEC.

Sincerely,

Secure File Downloads:
Available until: 22 April 2017

Click links to download:
17-02099-FOIA Responsive Records (732 pages).pdf ,100.58 MB - [Fingerprint: 9faea4f96c7b73c98d3a69352407c68f]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui23042017e7376ce4ab7de0107e9d199f63992da8

17-02099-FOIA Response (3.23.2017).pdf ,34.04 KB - [Fingerprint: b7cee3e2f3897d77619799509f9bc809]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui230420171e468d6cae748d9a39f5e43af5cacf4a
You have received attachment link(s) within this email sent via SEC's Secure File Transfer. To retrieve the attachment(s), please click on the link(s).

From: ovallj@sec.gov

You have received 2 secure files from OvallJ@SEC.GOV.
Use the secure links below to download.
Good afternoon, Ms. Lipton. Please see the attached final response to a FOIA request you submitted to the SEC.

Sincerely,

Secure File Downloads:
Available until: 22 April 2017

Click links to download:
17-02099-FOIA Responsive Records (732 pages).pdf ,100.58 MB - [Fingerprint: 9faea4f96c7b73c98d3a69352407c68f]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui23042017e7376ce4ab7de0107e9d199f63992da8

17-02099-FOIA Response (3.23.2017).pdf ,34.04 KB - [Fingerprint: b7cee3e2f3897d77619799509f9bc809]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui230420171e468d6cae748d9a39f5e43af5cacf4a
You have received attachment link(s) within this email sent via SEC's Secure File Transfer. To retrieve the attachment(s), please click on the link(s).

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Good morning, Ms. Lipton. If you have a moment, please give me a call at (202) 551-6376. Thanks!

From: ovallj@sec.gov

You have received 1 secure file from OvallJ@SEC.GOV.
Use the secure link below to download.
Good morning, Ms. Lipton. I left you a voice-mail this morning. There appears to be a problem with uploading the files I sent you last Thursday. So I'm resending. Please disregard my email from last Thursday.

If you have any questions, please give me a call or email.

Thanks!

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov

Secure File Downloads:
Available until: 26 April 2017

Click link to download:
17-02099-FOIA Responsive Records (732 pages).2.pdf ,98.57 MB - [Fingerprint: 286e8418265a15677e92ca1c436932b2]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui270420179200eb7cc4d61bc390bc89121e70e8de
You have received attachment link(s) within this email sent via SEC's Secure File Transfer. To retrieve the attachment(s), please click on the link(s).

From: ovallj@sec.gov

You have received 1 secure file from OvallJ@SEC.GOV.
Use the secure link below to download.
Good morning, Ms. Lipton. I left you a voice-mail this morning. There appears to be a problem with uploading the files I sent you last Thursday. So I'm resending. Please disregard my email from last Thursday.

If you have any questions, please give me a call or email.

Thanks!

Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov

Secure File Downloads:
Available until: 26 April 2017

Click link to download:
17-02099-FOIA Responsive Records (732 pages).2.pdf ,98.57 MB - [Fingerprint: 286e8418265a15677e92ca1c436932b2]
https://wft.sec.gov/seos/1000/mpd/ui270420179200eb7cc4d61bc390bc89121e70e8de
You have received attachment link(s) within this email sent via SEC's Secure File Transfer. To retrieve the attachment(s), please click on the link(s).

From: Ovall, Jeffery L.

Hi Beryl! Hey, we just saw the winners announced on your site: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/apr/12/foia-march-madness-2017-and-winner/

Thanks so much! It was fun being a part of the competition! We’re glad you and those who view your website are able to benefit from our responses!

Hey, I was just talking to John Livornese and we would like to invite you to come over some time that would be good for you and meet our Director and staff.

Let us know.

Thanks!
[http://email.requests.muckrock.com/o/eJwNzEEOgyAQRuHTlCWZGfiVLlh1102P0CCDrVFjlOr5y_IlX55GoDNTFOKenAh7EXjrBL2zDCDYB4QFobt5Osp-lvqrdj3zfGx5tnlbzTdSwl2GMNKoTFKIkw7cWpM6RRlNY-t70uggcJ054utKy_Jsy1qy_WzXH8AEJ0s] Jeff Ovall
FOIA Branch Chief
FOIA/Privacy Act Office
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Room 2738, Station Place 2
Washington, DC 20549
Phone (202) 551-6376
Ovallj@sec.gov<mailto:Ovallj@sec.gov>

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