FOIA March Madness 2017 - II - Appeal logs, procedures, letters, opinions (Federal Maritime Commission)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Federal Maritime Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking # 17-013
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: FOIA

Dear Ms. Lipton:

Attention: Muckrock News, DEPT MR 34871

This acknowledges receipt of and is a partial response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request below received by the Federal Maritime Commission (Commission) on March 14, 2017. Your request, pursuant to the Commission rules at 46 C.F.R. §503.31-34, seeking appeal logs, procedures, letters, and opinions, as described has been assigned FMC FOIA number 17-013.

In response to items #1-4 there are no records responsive.

In reference to item #5 of your request, would you please confirm that the information you are seeking applies only to “appeals?” Also, in reference to item #5, for search purposes, is the timeframe from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016?

In response to item #6, our standard appeal language in FOIA response emails is as follows:

Administrative appeals should be submitted to the Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission pursuant to 46 C.F.R. §503.32<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=51cf16598984c3d824281fb7bf2f3053&mc=true&node=pt46.9.503&rgn=div5#se46.9.503_132>.

Please feel free to reply directly to this email with additional information in reference to item #5 or, if this partial response is sufficient to close your FOIA request. There will be no charge for this partial response to your FOIA request. When corresponding with the Commission regarding this request, please refer to the assigned FMC FOIA No. provided above. Feel free to contact me on my direct line at 202-523-6759 if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Linda Hale
FOIA Specialist
Office of the Secretary
Federal Maritime Commission
[cid:image001.png@01D2A193.2628D3C0]<http://www.fmc.gov/about/freedom_of_information_act.aspx>

The Commission’s FOIA Public Liaison is available to resolve any disputes. Her contact information is:
Rachel Dickon, Assistant Secretary
Phone: 202-523-5725
Email: FOIA@FMC.gov<mailto:FOIA@FMC.gov>

Also, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue litigation. If you wish to contact OGIS, you may email them at: ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov> or call 1-877-684-6448<tel:1-877-684-6448>.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Hale,

Thank you for your note. Yes, Item 5 only applies to appeals.

Thanks so much for your help!
Beryl

From: FOIA

Dear Ms. Lipton:

Attention: Muckrock News, DEPT MR 34871

Thank you for your clarification. Also in reference to email chain below regarding FMC FOIA 17-013 (#5), would you please clarify for search purposes, the timeframe for documents relating to #5 of your request?

Please feel free to reply directly to this email with additional information. When corresponding with the Commission regarding this request, please refer to the assigned FMC FOIA No. provided above. Feel free to contact me on my direct line at 202-523-6759 if you have any questions.
Sincerely,

Linda Hale
FOIA Specialist
Office of the Secretary
Federal Maritime Commission
[cid:image001.png@01D2A47F.184DCF00]<http://www.fmc.gov/about/freedom_of_information_act.aspx>

The Commission’s FOIA Public Liaison is available to resolve any disputes. Her contact information is:
Rachel Dickon, Assistant Secretary
Phone: 202-523-5725
Email: FOIA@FMC.gov<mailto:FOIA@FMC.gov>

Also, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue litigation. If you wish to contact OGIS, you may email them at: ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov> or call 1-877-684-6448<tel:1-877-684-6448>.

From: FOIA

Dear Ms. Lipton:

Attention: Muckrock News, DEPT MR 34871

This is our final response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request 17-013 filed with the Federal Maritime Commission (Commission) seeking appeal logs, procedures, letters, and opinions as described in your request below.

Since you were not specific in your request regarding the time-frame for item #5, and we have not received a response from you regarding additional clarification of time-frame, we used the same search parameters as specified throughout your request, January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016. Accordingly, other than guidance regarding appeals that is specified in our regulations at: 46 C.F.R. §503.32<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=9109e9d6d5bedc9383fae368c74ea2a9&mc=true&node=pt46.9.503&rgn=div5#se46.9.503_132>, there are no documents responsive to item #5 of your request.

With this response we will consider your request closed. Administrative appeals should be submitted to the Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission pursuant to 46 C.F.R. §503.32<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=9109e9d6d5bedc9383fae368c74ea2a9&mc=true&node=pt46.9.503&rgn=div5#se46.9.503_132>. There will be no charge for responding to your FOIA request. When corresponding with the Commission regarding this FOIA request, please refer to the assigned FMC FOIA number provided above.

Feel free to contact Linda Hale of my staff or me at 202-523-5725<tel:202-523-5725> if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Rachel E. Dickon
Assistant Secretary/FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Maritime Commission

The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue litigation. If you wish to contact OGIS, you may email them at: ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov> or call 1-877-684-6448<tel:1-877-684-6448>.

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