GAO Firefighting Waste, etc

Jimmy Tobias filed this request with the Government Accountability Office of the United States of America.
Tracking #




From: Jimmy Tobias

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Documents related to any tips, investigations and/or reports on waste, abuse, and/or fraud in federal wildland firefighting programs, including public-private partnerships and contracts with private parties.

I am a reporter for The Guardian and other outlets.

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.


Jimmy Tobias

From: Government Accountability Office


Dear Mr. Tobias:

We have received your request and are processing it in accordance with our regulations concerning the availability of GAO records to the public, contained in 4 C.F.R. Part 81. If you have any questions regarding the status of your request, please call or email me and reference the "PRI" case number at the top of this e-mail.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen E. Chappell
Government Information Specialist,
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Audit Policy & Quality Assurance
441 G Street, NW, Room 5F13
Washington, DC 20548
(202) 512-2513

'It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine

From: Government Accountability Office


Mr. Jimmy Tobias
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 119613
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

Dear Mr. Tobias:

On behalf of the Chief Quality Officer, this email responds to your September 28, 2021, request for documents related to the federal wildland firefighting programs.

Your letter refers to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. As an agency responsible to the Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is not subject to FOIA. However, GAO's disclosure policy follows the spirit of the act consistent with GAO's duties and functions as an agency with primary responsibility to the Congress. Attached for your information is a copy of our regulations concerning the availability of GAO records to the public, which are contained in 4 C.F.R. Part 81

Please be advised that we just started work concerning a review of wildfire contracting, however, the work is ongoing. In order to avoid disruption of work in progress, it is GAO's policy not to provide records that are part of ongoing reviews or other current projects, see 4 C.F.R. § 81.5(c). We estimate that the work for this engagement will be completed in the summer of 2022 and the report will be issued at that time. The report will be posted on our website at<>, if you want to receive an alert when the report is published, subscribe to our RSS Feeds<> or E-mail Updates<>. After you have had the opportunity to review the report and wish to obtain background information pertaining to the issued report, submit a new request to<>. Also, here's the link to a report, we issued on FEMA wildfire response, however it does not pertain to federal lands; but may be of interest to you.

Additionally, we asked our FraudNet office to conduct a search for records pertaining to your request. Attached are copies of responsive records, we made redactions on the basis of 4 C.F.R. § 81.6(f), which exempts from release records the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; 4 C.F.R. § 81.6(m), which states that unsolicited records containing information submitted by any person to GAO in confidence (i.e., GAO FraudNet) is exempt from release; and 4 C.F.R. § 81.6(j), records protected under the deliberative process privilege.

In accordance with 4 C.F.R. § 81.4(d), further consideration of the request-to the extent that it has been denied-may be obtained by an appeal letter to the Comptroller General of the United States at 441 G Street, NW; Washington, DC 20548, setting forth the basis for your belief that the partial denial of your request is unwarranted.

Sincerely yours,

Patricia Stokes
Supervisor, Disclosure Information Specialist
U.S. Government Accountability Office
Audit Policy & Quality Assurance
441 G Street, NW, Room 5044
Washington, DC 20548
(202) 512-9951