FY2013 FOIA Log (Department of Agriculture)

Jason Smathers filed this request with the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-OCIO-00132-F ; 2014-FSA-00415-F
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 FOIA requests made 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: USDAFOIA - OCIO

Good Morning,

Your FOIA request has been received by the USDA FOIA Service Center. You will receive a formal acknowledgement letter in a few days.

Should you have any questions/concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Thank You,

The USDA FOIA Service Center

Stay Connected with USDA:

You may now submit FOIA request(s) online to any USDA FOIA office using the USDA online web portal, Public Access Link (PAL). You may access PAL at https://efoia-pal.usda.gov/palMain.aspx. After you register and establish your password you will be able to (1) submit, (2) check the status of your FOIA, and (3) download our responses to your FOIA(s).

From: USDAFOIA - OCIO

Good Afternoon Mr. Smathers:

Please see the attached acknowledgement letter pertaining to your recent FOIA request to the USDA FOIA Service Center.

If you have any questions/concerns please don't hesitate to contact us.

Thanks, and have a good afternoon!

The USDA FOIA Service Center

Stay Connected with USDA:
[cid:image001.png@01CE7270.B5080B70]<http://www.usda.gov/@@[cid:image002.png@01CE7270.B5080B70]@@http://blogs.usda.gov/@@ [cid:image003.png@01CE7270.B5080B70] @@http://www.facebook.com/usda/@@ [cid:image004.png@01CE7270.B5080B70] @@http://www.twitter.com/usda/@@ [cid:image005.png@01CE7270.B5080B70] @@http://www.youtube.com/usda/> [cid:image006.png@01CE7270.B5080B70] <https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAOC/subscriber/new> [cid:image007.png@01CE7270.B5080B70] <http://flickr.com/usdagov>

You may now submit FOIA request(s) online to any USDA FOIA office using the USDA online web portal, Public Access Link (PAL). You may access PAL at https://efoia-pal.usda.gov/palMain.aspx. After you register and establish your password you will be able to (1) submit, (2) check the status of your FOIA, and (3) download our responses to your FOIA(s).

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Barnes, Marqui - OCIO

Good Afternoon Mr. Smathers,

I am the FOIA analyst that has been assigned with processing your recent FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for "a log of all FOIA requests made in fiscal year 2013."

Please be advised that the USDA is a decentralized agency. As such, please indicate which USDA FOIA Office(s) you would like to receive the FOIA log from. To further assist you, I have pasted the link to the USDA FOIA Offices here: http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia/poc.htm.

Should you have any questions please contact me directly.

From: Jason Smathers

I am interested in FOIA logs for all of the USDA.

From: USDAFOIA - OCIO

Good Morning Mr. Smathers:

Please see the USDA FOIA Service Center's response (and corresponding responsive records) to your recent FOIA request attached.

Should you have any questions/concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us.

From: Jason Smathers

thank you!

From: Department of Agriculture

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Department of Agriculture

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Department of Agriculture

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Department of Agriculture

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: USDA Office of the General Counsel

Please see attached. I would appreciate a response confirming receipt of this email.
Thank you.

Brooke Geller
USDA Office of the General Counsel | General Law and Research Division | 1400 Independence Avenue SW | Room 3311-S | Washington, DC 20250
brooke.geller@ogc.usda.gov | 202-720-9695 (office) | 202-720-5837 (fax)

From: MuckRock.com

Hello,

It has been received. Thank you.

From: McLean, Barbara - FSA, Washington, DC

Control Number 2014-FSA-00415-F

Dear Mr. Smathers:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) request (copy attached) dated, October 30, 2013, to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA received a copy of your request on November 5, 2013; we assigned your request control number 2014-FSA-00415-F. Please reference this number in any future communication with our office about your request.

FSA processes FOIA/PA requests on "first-in, first-out" basis. The actual processing time will depend upon the complexity of the request and whether or not it involves sensitive or voluminous records or extensive searches and/or consultations. FSA also processes FOIA/PA requests on a multi-track basis. This means that simple requests, requiring minimal efforts to respond, are processed in one track, and more voluminous and complex requests are processed in another track. We have placed your request in the complex track.

We have classified your request as an other-use request. Please consult the attached schedule of FOIA/PA fees for an explanation of what this means with respect to your obligation to pay FOIA/PA fees.

If you have any questions about any of the issues discussed in this letter, you may contact Barbara McLean at 202-720-6788; by fax at 202-720-4034; by email at Barbara.McLean@usda.gov<mailto:Barbara.McLean@usda.gov>; or by mail at 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 4070-S, STOP 0506, Washington, DC 20250.

Sincerely,

Kent Politsch
Chief, Public Affairs Staff
Farm Service Agency

Attachments

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Hetrick, Julie - OBPA

Dear Mr. Smathers:

This e-mail is in reply to your Freedom of Information Act request referred to the Office of Budget and Program Analysis, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on November 5, 2013.

Attached is OBPA's response.

Sincerely,
Julie Hetrick

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of Budget and Program Analysis
Freedom of Information Act officer
(202) 720-1269

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Henry Noland FAS FOIA Officer

Via email: 8415‐requests@muckrock.com

Dear Mr. Smathers,

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, forwarded from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) FOIA office to the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and other USDA agencies, for our FOIA Logs for fiscal year (FY) 2013. For tracking purposes FAS FOIA number 7-2014 applies.

A copy of the FAS FOIA log for FY2013 FAS FOIA is attached, totaling four pages; all released in full.

You have the right to appeal this response to your request. Any appeal must be in made in writing to the Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington DC 20250-1004, ATTN: FOIA Appeal, and received within 45 days from the date of this email.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this response please contact me directly via email or by phone.

Sincerely,

Henry Noland
FAS FOIA Officer
(202) 720-0154

From: Morris, Kimberly - RMA

Mr. Smathers,

Attached is the Risk Management Agency's final response to your incoming FOIA requests.

Kimberly

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Wiggins, Samantha

Dear Mr. Smathers: This letter email is in response to your October 21, 2013, Freedom of Information (FOIA) request, tracking number 2014-ASCR-00002-F, which the USDA FOIA Service Center referred to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR) on November 5, 2013.  You are specifically seeking “A log of all FOIA requests made in fiscal year 2013.”
Sincerely,
Samantha Y. Jones, FOIA Specialist Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
Office of Adjudication

From: Department of Agriculture

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Department of Agriculture

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Richardson, Deryl - NRCS,Washington, DC

Greetings:

Attached is NRCS's final response to your FOIA request for our FOIA logs.

If you require a hard copy, please notify me.

Additionally, please notify me that you have received this email.
Best Regards,

[Sig Trans Backround Color]<http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/about/?cid=NRCS143_021450>

Deryl L. Richardson, Jr<mailto:deryl.richardson@wdc.usda.gov> | National FOIA/PA Officer
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
1400 Independence Ave S.W. Washington, DC 20250
Office: (202) 690-4985 | Fax: (202) 720-9030

[Click here to Submit Your FOIA Electronically]<https://efoia-pal.usda.gov/palMain.aspx>

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: McLean, Barbara - FSA, Washington, DC

Control Number 2014-FSA-00415-F

Dear Mr. Smathers:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated November 05, 2013, assigned control number 2014-FSA-00415-F.

In response to your request we located fifty (50) pages and one Excel spreadsheet. With respect to these records, we are releasing eight (8) pages in full and withholding forty-two (42) pages in part pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b)(3) and (b)(6) of the FOIA. Please note that the Excel spreadsheet is also withheld in part pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b)(6) of the FOIA

Exemption 3 protects information included in FSA’s records specifically exempted from disclosure by another Federal Statute. Pursuant to exemption 3, four (4) pages have been withheld in part in conjunction with exemption 6.

The records you have requested include information that FSA has obtained from (an) agricultural producer(s) or (a) landowner(s) that concerns their farming or agricultural operation - including production and marketing of agricultural commodities and livestock, farming practices, conservation practices, or the land itself. The type of information withheld includes the amount of acreage and type of crop. This information is required to be provided to FSA in order for the agricultural producers (and/or) landowners shown on these records to participate in FSA’s farm programs.

Pursuant to exemption 6, forty-two pages have been withheld in part; portions of the Excel spreadsheet have also been withheld under exemption 6.

Specifically, exemption 6 protects personnel and medical files and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. The courts have held that the phrase “similar files” involves all information that applies to a particular person. When disclosure of information about particular individuals is requested, the courts have decided that it is necessary for us to determine whether release of the information would constitute a clearly “unwarranted” invasion of the individuals’ privacy. To make this determination, we are required to perform a “balancing test.” This means that we must weigh the individual’s right to privacy against the public's right to disclosure. In this instance, we have determined that the disclosure of this information would shed little or no light on the performance of the agency's statutory duties and that, on balance; the public interest to be served by its disclosure does not outweigh the privacy interest of the individuals in question, in withholding it. The records withheld under this exemption include names of claimants, names of individuals associated with complaints, names of farm loan borrowers and unsuccessful farm program applicants, TEIN number, home phone numbers, personal email addresses, and other related information of a personal nature.

Attached is the electronic Responsive Records from KCASB FOIA/PA for the FSA-534 data request file for FY 2013.

File Layout - 2013 Freedom of Information Request Log

Field Comment

1. Date Request Received (mm/dd/yyyy) Date Request Received, Transferred To, or Accepted By MSD FOIA/PA
2. Log Number FOIA/PA Control Number
3. Name of Requestor Name of Requestor and Business where applicable
4. FOIA or PA Type of Request - FOIA or Privacy Act
5. Description of Request **Describes exactly what was requested not what was released
6. Date of Final Response Final Delivery or Correspondence Date
7. Cost to Process Request Cost for Government and Contract Staff to process.
8. Days to Complete Work days to complete from Date of Perfection
9. Fees Collected Fees collected from Requestor
10.Fees Waived or Reduced See √
11.Granted in Full See √
12. Partial Denial See √
13. No Responsive Records See √
14. DENIAL BY 5 U.S.C. 552 (a.) AND 552 (b.) (Check √ applicable)
15. Pending and # of Days See √ and # of Days

Note: The FSA-534s are a point in time snapshot of the FOIA request process. The administrative tracking information changes as the request moves through the FOIA process. Blank columns indicated either no appropriate information received/no information available at this time (e.g., request is still pending perfection, pending completion, pending receipt of payment, etc.).

Note: ** = The statements represent each FOIA request as actually received from the requestor. The statements do not express or imply an actual release / deny determination nor do they indicate the actual content of the information that will be / has been provided to the requestor. Initial requests are often subject to modification due to direct clarification with the requestor and/or actual release / deny determinations.

If you believe our decision to withhold this information is incorrect, you may appeal it within forty-five (45) days of the date of this letter. In so doing, please provide us with a brief explanation of why you believe this decision is in error. Please include a copy of your initial request letter in your appeal package, and clearly mark both your letter and its envelope with the words “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” Mail your appeal package to the following address:

Administrator
United States Department of Agriculture
Farm Service Agency, Stop Code 0570
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-0570

Because the attached documents were previously located, reviewed and released to another requester, there is no charge for the processing of this request.

If you have any questions about any of the issues discussed in this letter, you may contact Barbara McLean at 202-720-6788; by fax at 202-720-4034; by email at Barbara.McLean@usda.gov<mailto:Barbara.McLean@usda.gov>; or by mail at 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 4070-S, STOP 0506, Washington, DC 20250.

Sincerely,

Kent Politsch
Chief, Public Affairs
Farm Service Agency

Attachments

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

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