FY 2013 Audit Log (AAA)

Jason Smathers filed this request with the United States Army Audit Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2015-04 ; Appeal 1504138313
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Jason Smathers

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

A log of all audits completed in fiscal year 2013.

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.

Sincerely,

Jason Smathers

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A fix is required to perfect the requesfix is required to perfect the request.

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A fix is required to perfect the requesfix is required to perfect the request.

From: Jason Smathers

Concerning this request, I agree to fees up to $12 billed under the "other" requester fee category. If fees are expected to exceed this amount, please let me know so that I can either adjust my willingness to pay fees or attempt to narrow the scope of this request.

I understand your concern over my several requests in a single day. However, I think we can agree that any reasonable review of these requests will find a sweeping range in topics. Each request is on s separate subject and are linked only by being submitted to your office on the same day. There was no attempt to avoid fees in the separation of requests into multiple requests. Rather, a unique request was made for each unique subject matter. Further, I think you are aware that the FOIA does not allow for a request to be denied based on the mere fact that you believe multiple requests are on the same subject and require consolidation. If for some reason you will not process my requests individually and insist on consolidation, please provide notice that you are doing so along with appeal rights and details so that I can escalate this matter.

Thank you very much for your reconsideration. I hope we are able to settle this matter without escalate.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Jason Smathers

To:
US Army Audit Agency
Attn: FOIA Officer
Building 1464
6000 Sixth Street
Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060

Copy to:
Office of the General Counsel
104 Army Pentagon, RM 3C546
Washington, DC 20310-0104

Dear Appeals Authority:

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act concerning a FOIA request sent to the Army Audit Agency.

On October 22, 2013 I requested "A log of all audits completed in fiscal year 2013."

To date, I have not gotten any specific communication back from the Army Audit Agency with the exemption of a December 2, 2013 letter stating that the Army Audit Agency was not going to process any of my FOIA requests at this time because I made multiple requests at the same time and I did not state a willingness to pay fees. I promptly responded to this letter, but am still waiting to hear from them three months later.

On December 9th to attempt to settle this matter with the AAA directly, I sent the following three paragraphs via email to the AAA:

“Concerning this request, I agree to fees up to $12 billed under the "other" requester fee category. If fees are expected to exceed this amount, please let me know so that I can either adjust my willingness to pay fees or attempt to narrow the scope of this request.

I understand your concern over my several requests in a single day. However, I think we can agree that any reasonable review of these requests will find a sweeping range in topics. Each request is on s separate subject and are linked only by being submitted to your office on the same day. There was no attempt to avoid fees in the separation of requests into multiple requests. Rather, a unique request was made for each unique subject matter. Further, I think you are aware that the FOIA does not allow for a request to be denied based on the mere fact that you believe multiple requests are on the same subject and require consolidation. If for some reason you will not process my requests individually and insist on consolidation, please provide notice that you are doing so along with appeal rights and details so that I can escalate this matter.

Thank you very much for your reconsideration. I hope we are able to settle this matter without escalate.”

I did request a fee waiver and asked that I be contacted if fees were expected to be incurred and the fee waiver was denied. Assuming you remand this request for further processing, I hereby authorize up to $12 in fees for this request. I would have been happy to discuss fees with the AAA if they contacted me.

I also assert that I did not submit separate requests for the purpose of avoiding fees. I did however submit unrelated requests separately for the purpose of clarity. Therefore, I appeal any decision that aggregates my requests for billing purposes. I also appeal the decision to not process my requests for this reason.

I also wish to point out that the Army Audit Agency has become notorious for ignoring FOIA related communication. In the case of this request I have sent the following communication:
11/25/13: initial request
12/9/13: objection and request for appeals information
1/8/14: status request
2/7/14: status request

Of these four attempts on my part to request these records and to follow up on that request, I have received no tracking number for this FOIA request and have received no specific acknowledgement of my request other than a letter approximately six weeks after my request that stated none of my FOIA requests are being processed.

I also sent an email on 2/6/14 to usarmy.pentagon.hqda.-dcs-g-1.mbx.FOIA-Liaison@mail.mil which was listed as an Army FOIA Public Liaison online in hopes of finding a resolution to several FOIA requests which have been ignored by the Army Audit Agency. However, that email sent one month ago has also not been answered.

To date, the AAA has not provided me with details on how to appeal their adverse determination. I am sending this appeal to the Army General Counsel as I understand they are responsible for appeals at other Army components and I am sending a copy to the initial denial authority in hopes that between the two, this appeal reaches the proper authority and is considered.

In summary, I appeal the following:
1) The failure to acknowledge this request.
2) The failure to assign this request a tracking number.
3) The failure to provide an estimated date of completion as required by statue when requested.
4) The refusal to accept my FOIA request for whatever reason(s) they may have had.
5) The determination that I have made multiple requests on the same subject to avoid paying fees. Thus I request that you instruct the AAA to treat separate requests separately.
6) The refusal of the Army Audit Agency to provide proper details for appealing adverse determinations made by the initial denial authority.

For the reasons herein and for all other reasons deemed appropriate by the appeals authority, I hereby appeal.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Curry, Hayley R CPT USARMY HQDA OGC (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Dear Mr. Smathers,

Please see attached.

V/r,

Hayley R. Curry
Office of the Army General Counsel
(Operations & Personnel)
hayley.r.curry.mil@mail.mil
(703) 693-3669

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: United States Army Audit Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: Jason Smathers

Upon appeal, the US Army general counsel has ruled that your determination that my request was not perfected was inappropriate and has remanded my request back to your office. Please immediately provide me with a tracking number and an estimated date of completion, then promptly thereafter provide the records requested.

Thank you.

Regards,
Jason Smathers

Original request:

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

A log of all audits completed in fiscal year 2013.

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.

Sincerely,

Jason Smathers

(Please note that in a follow up I agreed to fees up to $12, however, also note that your ability to charge fees is now limited for failing to meet the 20 day deadline per statute)

From: Hankins, Timothy S CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Mr. Smathers,

Please find attached our response to your FOIA Remand Request 2015-04.

Timothy S. Hankins
U.S. Army Audit Agency
Paralegal FOIA/Privacy Officer
703.545.5881

This email and any files transmitted with it may contain PRIVILEGED or SENSITIVE information and may be read or used only by the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of the email or any of its attachments, please be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, distribution, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email or any attached files is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately purge it and all attachments and notify the sender by reply email or contact the sender at the number listed.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

From: Hankins, Timothy S CIV USARMY HQDA AAA (US)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Mr. Smathers,

Please find attached our response to your FOIA Remand Request 2015-01.

Timothy S. Hankins
U.S. Army Audit Agency
Paralegal FOIA/Privacy Officer
703.545.5881

This email and any files transmitted with it may contain PRIVILEGED or SENSITIVE information and may be read or used only by the intended recipient. If you are not the intended recipient of the email or any of its attachments, please be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, distribution, forwarding, printing, or copying of this email or any attached files is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately purge it and all attachments and notify the sender by reply email or contact the sender at the number listed.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #Appeal 1504138313.

Thank you for your help.

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