|Submitted||March 20, 2014|
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*Expedited Processing Requested*
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
FOIA Processing Notes for the following case:
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. 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.
Good morning Mr. Slaughter:
Attached is the acknowledgement of receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request, FEMA 2014-FEFO-00559. If you need to contact our office concerning this request, please call Monique Booker-Kasper, FOIA Team Lead, at (202) 212-2302 or electronically at Disclosure-Unit-TeamA@fema.dhs.gov<mailto:Disclosure-Unit-TeamA@fema.dhs.gov> and refer to your FEMA reference number.
The FEMA Disclosure Branch
A copy of the below appeal has been sent to the indicated address.
FOIA Officer — Attn: Monique Booker-Kasper
500 C Street, S.W., Room 840
Washington, D.C. 20472
April 14, 2014
Dear Miss Booker-Kasper,
Please consider this a formal appeal to your agency's conditional fee waiver regarding case #2014-FEF0-00559.
This requester is a news media representative, as evidenced by published stories in a number of online media outlets: https://dustinslaughter.contently.com/.
I am also a frequent contributor to MuckRock News, and as such, not a commercial requester. MuckRock News is a repository for original government records and a platform for journalists to use said records for disseminating news to the public:
"MuckRock is a collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze & share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed."
MuckRock News' mission is clearly stated, along with accolades from other legitimate news organizations, here: https://www.muckrock.com/about/
As you are likely aware, processing notes often provide insight into how a government agency, such as FEMA, deliberates internally, and may even add to the value of a news story. Since this information is sought for journalistic purposes, and will therefore be released to the public free of charge.
Furthermore, the related request, case #2014-FEFO-00248, was not given a conditional fee waiver. Indeed, those responsive records are expected to be released free of charge.
I urge your office to reconsider its conditional fee waiver decision with the understanding that this request is for news gathering purposes, not commercial ones, and release the requested processing notes as such.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to your agency's timely response as mandated by statute.
Dustin M. Slaughter
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 20, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-FEF0-00559.
Thank you for your help.
A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.
A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.
Attached, please find your September 28, 2015, Appeal response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Good Morning, Attached is our final response to your request. If you need to contact FEMA again concerning your request, please provide the FEMA reference number. This will enable FEMA to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce their response time. FEMA can be reached at 202-646-3323. Regards, DHS Privacy Office