FOIA Regulations and Guidelines for Requesters and Officers (United States Customs and Border Protection)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the United States Customs and Border Protection of the United States of America.
Tracking # CBP-AP-2017-025011; CBP-2017-043478
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

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:

• The manual that this FOIA office uses to process FOIA requests, or, if no manual exists, other guiding documentation/protocols for processing Freedom of Information Requests.

• All guides to agency Freedom of Information Act request regulations (For reference, see the Department of Justice's Guidance on FOIA Regulations [https://www.justice.gov/oip/oip­guidance/guidance­agency­foia­regulations] and the associated template [https://www.justice.gov/oip/template­agency­foia­regulations])

• All guidelines and regulations regarding the submission and processing of appeals, including but not limited to:
- ­ The appropriate person or position to whom an appeal should be submitted
­ - The appropriate address to which an appeal should be submitted
­ - Any appropriate fax numbers and email addresses available for the submission of appeals ­ All guidelines regarding the processing time and procedures for appeals
­- All rights related to the submission of appeals, including those related to appeal rights for constructive denial

If any responses include direction to an online location or similarly publicly-available material, please provide direct links or file downloads.

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: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d281117059)
* Tracking Number: CBP-2017-025011
* Requester Name: Beryl Lipton
* Date Submitted: 01/24/2017
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: The manual that FOIA uses to process FOIA requests, or, if no manual exits, other guiding documentation/protocols for processing FOIA requests. All guidelines and regulations regarding the submission and processing of appeals.

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d281228608)
* Tracking Number: CBP-2017-043478
* Requester Name: Beryl Lipton
* Date Submitted: 03/22/2017
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: "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 Jan. 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016." See attachment for further details.

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

06/16/2017
Beryl Lipton
DEPT MR 24852 411A Highland Ave. Somerville MA 02144
Dear Beryl Lipton
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Division received your letter inquiring about a FOIA request that you previously submitted to CBP reference FOIA number CBP-2017-043478.
This letter is to confirm that your FOIA request has been received by CBP and will be processed in the order it was received.  Once responsive records are available, you will be notified electronically by CBP FOIA that records are available to view via your FOIAonline account.  If you already have a FOIAonline account, you can view or print responsive records from your account.  If you do not already have a FOIAonline account, please create one by taking the following steps:


* Simply go to your search engine (i.e., google, etc.) and type FOIAonline, then hit enter, that will take you to the FOIAonline site.
* From there, press the green button on the right “Create an Account” and follow the prompts to create a FOIAonline account.
* Make sure when creating your account you use the same email address that you provided when submitting your original FOIA request – that way the email addresses in your original FOIA request can be synched with the FOIAonline account you create.
Submitting a FOIA request online is the preferred method (vs. postal mail) for many reasons:

* You immediately receive a unique FOIA tracking number and acknowledgment that your FOIA request was received by CBP.
* You can track your FOIA request any day/any time through your FOIAonline account.
* When responsive records become available, you receive an email letting you know records can be viewed via your FOIAonline account,
* You can view all of your historical FOIA requests via the “dashboard” in your FOIAonline account.
In the future, please use your FOIAonline account to submit future FOIA requests to CBP.  Please note that all FOIA requests for official travel records on an individual must include 1) the subject’s name, 2) the subject’s date of birth, and 3) third party consent.  If this information is not provided with the original FOIA request, it will be considered “insufficient”, and will not be processed.
Finally, the CBP FOIA office has a significant backlog of FOIA requests.  The expected response time for a FOIA request for travel documents is 3-6 months.   If you do not receive a response to your FOIA request within 20 business days, please do not resubmit the same FOIA request as it creates further delays.  We are working very hard to clear the FOIA backlog and we thank you in advance for your cooperation.

CBP FOIA Division

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

Beryl Lipton
DEPT MR 24852 411A Highland Ave. Somerville MA 02144

Dear Beryl Lipton:

This notice acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) received on 01/24/2017 in which you are seeking records pertaining to the appeals process.     Please use the following unique FOIA tracking number CBP-2017-025011 to track the status of your request.  If you have not already done so, you must create a FOIAonline account at https://foiaonline.regulations.gov.  This is the only method available to check the status of your pending FOIA request. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/)

Provisions of the Act allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request.  We shall charge you for records in accordance with the DHS FOIA regulations outlined on the DHS website, https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/22/2016-28095/freedom-of-information-act-regulations. By submitting your request, you have agreed to pay up to $25.00 in applicable processing fees, if any fees associated with your request exceed this amount, CBP shall contact you; however, the first 100 pages are free. (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/11/22/2016-28095/freedom-of-information-act-regulations)

Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request.  Consistent with 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(a) of the DHS FOIA regulations, CBP processes FOIA requests according to their order of receipt.  Although CBP’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, FOIA does permit a 10-day extension of this time period in certain circumstances pursuant to 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.5(c).

CBP’s FOIA Division is working hard to reduce the amount of time necessary to respond to FOIA requests.  Currently, the average time to process a FOIA request related to "travel/border incidents" is a minimum of 3-6 months. We truly appreciate your continued patience.

For additional information please consult CBP FOIA website please click on FOIA Act Resources or visit (http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia) http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia. (http://www.cbp.gov/site-policy-notices/foia)

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

The FOIA request CBP-2017-025011 has had its Tracking Number changed to CBP-AP-2017-025011. This is normally due to the request being transferred to another agency (for example, EPA to Dept. of Commerce) or to a sub-agency to process it. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Old Tracking Number: CBP-2017-025011
* New Tracking Number: CBP-AP-2017-025011
* Requester Name: Beryl Lipton
* Date Submitted: 01/24/2017
* Long Description: The manual that FOIA uses to process FOIA requests, or, if no manual exits, other guiding documentation/protocols for processing FOIA requests. All guidelines and regulations regarding the submission and processing of appeals.

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

A search of CBP records produced two records responsive to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request CBP-AP-2017-025011, requesting "the manual that FOIA uses to process FOIA requests, or, if no manual exits, other guiding documentation/protocols for processing FOIA requests.  All guidelines and regulations regarding the submission and processing of appeals."
CBP has determined that the responsive records are releasable.
This completes the CBP response to your request.  You may contact a FOIA Public Liaison by sending an email via your FOIAonline account, or call 202-325-0150.  Please notate file number CBP-AP-2017-025011 on any future correspondence to CBP related to this request.
If you are not satisfied with the response to this request, you have a right to appeal the final disposition.  Should you wish to do so, you must file your appeal within 90 days of the date of this letter following the procedures outlined in the DHS regulations at Title 6 C.F.R. §5.9.  Please include as much information as possible to help us understand the grounds for your appeal.  You should submit your appeal via FOIAonline by clicking on the “Create Appeal” button that appears when you view your initial request.  If you do not have computer access, you may send your appeal and a copy of this letter to:  FOIA Appeals, Policy and Litigation Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 90 K Street, NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.  Your envelope and letter should be marked "FOIA Appeal." Copies of the FOIA and DHS regulations are available at www.dhs.gov/foia. (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)
Additionally, you have a right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) which mediates disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation.  If you are requesting access to your own records (which is considered a Privacy Act request), you should know that OGIS does not have the authority to handle requests made under the Privacy Act of 1974.  You may contact OGIS as follows:  Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769.

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

A search of CBP databases produced records responsive to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request CBP-2017-043478, requesting records maintained by CBP.
CBP has determined that the responsive records are partially releasable, pursuant to Title 5 U.S.C. § 552 and have applied the appropriate exemptions notated below:
Section 552 (FOIA)
___ (b)(1) ___ (b)(2)       ___ (b)(3)       ___ (b)(4)       ___ (b)(5)       ___ (b)(6)
___ (b)(7)(A) ___ (b)(7)(B) ___ (b)(7)(C) ___ (b)(7)(D)  ___ (b)(7)(E)  ___ (b)(7)(F)
___  (b)(3) Statute 49 U.S.C. § 114(s)
A description of the exemptions applied can be found by clicking the hyperlink. (https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/documents/2016-Dec/Definitions%20of%20the%20Exemptions%20Under%20the%20Freedom%20of%20Information%20Act.pdf) If you have a FOIAonline account, you MUST log into your account to retrieve your responsive records. After logging in, click on "View My FOIA Requests". Requests that have new, unread correspondence have a mail icon next to the tracking number.
The following checked item(s) also apply to your request:
___ Approximately _____ pages were withheld in their entirety.
_X__ Fees: In the processing of this FOIA request, no fees are being assessed.
___ Other:
This completes the CBP response to your request.  You may contact a FOIA Public Liaison by sending an email via your FOIAonline account, or call 202-325-0150.  Please notate file number CBP-2017-043478 on any future correspondence to CBP related to this request.
If you are not satisfied with the response to this request, you have a right to appeal the final disposition.  Should you wish to do so, you must file your appeal within 90 days of the date of this letter following the procedures outlined in the DHS regulations at Title 6 C.F.R. §5.9.  Please include as much information as possible to help their office understand the grounds for your appeal.  You should submit your appeal via FOIAonline by clicking on the “Create Appeal” button that appears when you view your initial request.  If you do not have computer access, you may send your appeal and a copy of this letter to:  FOIA Appeals, Policy and Litigation Branch, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 90 K Street, NE, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20229-1177.  Your envelope and letter should be marked "FOIA Appeal." Copies of the FOIA and DHS regulations are available at www.dhs.gov/foia. (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)
Additionally, you have a right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) which mediates disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation.  If you are requesting access to your own records (which is considered a Privacy Act request), you should know that OGIS does not have the authority to handle requests made under the Privacy Act of 1974.  You may contact OGIS as follows:  Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769.

From: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

The FOIA request CBP-2017-043478 has had its Tracking Number changed to CBP-AP-2017-043478. This is normally due to the request being transferred to another agency (for example, EPA to Dept. of Commerce) or to a sub-agency to process it. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Old Tracking Number: CBP-2017-043478
* New Tracking Number: CBP-AP-2017-043478
* Requester Name: Beryl Lipton
* Date Submitted: 03/22/2017
* Long Description: "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 Jan. 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016." See attachment for further details.

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