GEO Group - LaSalle Detention Facility - ICE - contracts/MOUs/IGSAs

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2016-ICFO-08104
Status
Completed

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:

All contracts (and their amendments), memorandums of understanding, intergovernmental service agreements, and any agreements of any sort entered into by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for all services, equipment, and activities involving/provided by/contracted for regarding the LaSalle Detention Facility and any facilities associated with it, including but not limited to the Alexandria Transfer Center, through any of the aforementioned agreements regarding the facility.

Responsive materials should include but not be limited to:

• the initial Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal, or equivalent call for contractors
• the responsive materials provided by the winning bidder
• all other vendor responses
• all evaluation material, scorecards, reports, and notes generated in the selection process
• the current contract
• all exhibits
• all amendments
• all invoices/receipts detailing compensation received as a result of any agreements
• all agreements related to the provision of services, such as water, sewage, natural gas, garbage, etc.
• all financial agreements (such as loans or bonds) entered into as a result or in association with any of the aforementioned agreements
• all agreements, invoices, and related materials regarding the use of inmate labor by any entity, including any of this agency's divisions or jurisdictions

This request is being made as part of an ongoing investigation and illumination of the for-profit incarceration practice in the United States. As all representatives of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security must be aware, the incarceration and detention of individuals within privately-owned and privately-operated correctional facilities is now the subject of two pieces of Congressional legislation—H.R. 2470 and S.B. 2054—and has produced a widespread curiosity into their efficiency and efficacy.

For an important discussion to take place on these national, systemic issues, the public must necessarily be better educated. Disclosure of the requested materials would only provide the public with a greater ability to be so in the form of primary documents and the journalistic output created as a result. Since the corporations tasked with the government power of punishments are not themselves subject in whole to the Freedom of Information Act, it is incumbent upon the agencies that employ them to make available relevant materials, particularly those, such as contracts, that transfer tax dollars and disciplinary powers to a private entity.

As part of the effort to “effectively convey information to the public,” the materials provided in response to this request will be part of MuckRock’s ongoing efforts to contextualize this information, as demonstrated in part by recent articles and map-based infographics. (For reference: https://www.muckrock.com/project/the-private-prison-project-8/). This effort has received the open support of public readership, establishing a general interest in the subject matter at hand, and has elicited active interest from other members of the news media. The category of “news media entities” appropriately encompasses the position of the requester’s interest and the operations of MuckRock. All documents will be made available by MuckRock, which, at the least, provides its materials “to the public at large.” In fact, it does so at a rate more impressive and substantial than other entities that may be considered news media entities, like the hypothetical “television or radio stations”; the use of an internet platform guarantees that the news sources provided by MuckRock are easily accessible and guarded against the temporality that limits the effectiveness of dissemination provided by television, radio, and other transient means of broadcast. Further, MuckRock disperses its articles and associated assets without the financial limitations imposed on an audience by the need for “purchase or subscription by the general public” (allowed for in the definition); materials obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and others public records laws and news articles generated as a result are provided by MuckRock without charge.

As a result, the “contribution to public understanding of government operations or activities” and future potential there of may appropriately be considered “significant.”

To reiterate, no commercial interest exists in the submittal of this request. Provision of the requested materials to this requester would likely contribute to a reduction in wasted resources, as a thorough release of materials will limit the need for future reviews.

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,

Beryl C.D. Lipton

From:

November 12, 2015 BERYL LIPTON MUCKROCK DEPT MR 22193 PO BOX 55819 BOSTON, MA 02205 RE:     ICE FOIA Case Number 2016-ICFO-08104 Dear Ms. LIPTON: This acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated November 01, 2015, and to your request for a waiver of all assessable FOIA fees. Your request was received in this office on November 01, 2015. Specifically, you requested all contracts (and their amendments), memorandums of understanding, intergovernmental service agreements, and any agreements of any sort entered into by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for all services, equipment, and activities involving/provided by/contracted for regarding the LaSalle Detention Facility and any facilities associated with it, including but not limited to the Alexandria Transfer Center, through any of the aforementioned agreements regarding the facility. Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request. Per Section 5.5(a) of the DHS FOIA regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, ICE processes FOIA requests according to their order of receipt. Although ICE’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, the FOIA does permit a 10- day extension of this time period. As your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a thorough and wide-ranging search, ICE will invoke a 10-day extension for your request, as allowed by Title 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If you care to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner. After thoroughly reviewing your letter and request for fee waiver, I have determined that you have not presented a convincing argument that MUCKROCK is entitled to a blanket waiver of applicable fees. The DHS FOIA Regulations at 6 CFR § 5.11(k)(2) set forth six factors to examine in determining whether the applicable legal standard for a fee waiver has been met.  We will consider these factors in our evaluation of your request for a fee waiver: (1) Whether the subject of the requested records concerns “the operations or activities of the government”; (2) Whether the disclosure is “likely to contribute” to an understanding of government operations or activities; (3) Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to the understanding of the public at large, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requestor or a narrow segment of interested persons; (4) Whether the contribution to public understanding of government operations or activities will be "significant"; (5) Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and (6) Whether the magnitude of any identified commercial interest to the requestor is sufficiently large in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is primarily in the commercial interest of the requestor. As a requester, you bear the burden under FOIA of showing that the fee waiver requirements have been met.  Based on my review of your November 01, 2015 letter and for the reasons stated herein, I have determined that your fee waiver request is deficient because your request did not satisfy factors 4, 5, and 6.  Since your request for a fee waiver has failed to satisfy each of the required factors, I am denying your fee waiver request. Provisions of the FOIA allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request.  We shall charge you for records in accordance with the DHS Interim FOIA regulations as they apply to non-commercial requesters.  As a non-commercial requester, you will be charged 10 cents per page for duplication; the first 100 pages are free, as are the first two hours of search time, after which you will pay the per quarter-hour rate ($4.00 for clerical personnel, $7.00 for professional personnel, $10.25 for managerial personnel) of the searcher.  We will construe the submission of your request as an agreement to pay up to $25.00. You will be contacted before any further fees are accrued. You have the right to appeal the determination to deny your fee waiver request. Should you wish to do so, please send your appeal following the procedures outlined in the DHS regulations at 6 Code of Federal Regulations § 5.9 and a copy of this letter to: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Principal Legal Advisor U.S. Department of Homeland Security Freedom of Information Act Office 500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5900 Washington, D.C. 20536-5900 Your appeal must be received within 60 days of the date of this letter.  Your envelope and letter should be marked “FOIA Appeal.”  Copies of the FOIA and DHS regulations are available at www.dhs.gov/foia . ICE has queried the appropriate program offices within ICE for responsive records. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that one of the processors in our office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.
Your request has been assigned reference number 2016-ICFO-08104. Please refer to this identifier in any future correspondence. To check the status of an ICE FOIA/PA request, please visit . Please note that to check the status of a request, you must enter the 2015-ICFO-XXXXX or 2016-ICFO-XXXXX tracking number. You may contact this office at (866) 633-1182. Our mailing address is 500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009, Washington, D.C. 20536-5009. (http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status) http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status
Regards,
ICE FOIA Office
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
Telephone: 1-866-633-1182
Visit our FOIA website at
www.ice.gov/foia

From:

December 14, 2015
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Office
800 North Capitol Street, NW, Room 585
Washington, DC 20536-5009

This is a follow up to a previous request:

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 1, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
---

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently in the queue for an analyst review.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently in the queue for an analyst review.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Good morning,

As per your recent e-mail requesting the status of your ICE FOIA request, please be advised that we are waiting on the appropriate offices to compile the necessary records/documents/information needed to adequately fulfill your FOIA request. After we received said records, your case will be placed in our queue and assigned to an analyst for the final stages of processing, and response back to you. We handle requests on a “first-in, first-out basis”—and thus are not able to provide precise timelines.

We understand that it is taking longer to fulfill your request that either you or our office would prefer. However, please know that we are processing your request as expeditiously as possible. Upon completion of all applicable processes/analysis, all documents that can be released will be made available to you at the earliest possible date. We apologize for the delay you are experiencing and appreciate your continued patience.

Regards,

ICE FOIA Office
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
Telephone: 1-866-633-1182
Visit our FOIA website at www.ice.gov/foia<http://www.ice.gov/foia>

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently in the queue for an analyst review.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently in the queue for an analyst review.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello,

Thank you so much for this message! Please do let me know if there's anything else I can do to aid in the processing of this request or if there is any further information necessary. Please do note that I am interested in materials related to each bullet point of my initial request and if such materials are not to be released, appropriate explanation would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!
Beryl

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently in the queue for an analyst review.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Hello Ms. Lipton,

We have received a response from the program office and your request is being processed by one of our analysts.

Sincerely,
ICE FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently being reviewed by one of our analysts. Please be advised, processing times can vary depending on the volume/scope of the responsive documents received.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently being reviewed by one of our analysts. Please be advised, processing times can vary depending on the volume/scope of the responsive documents received.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently being reviewed by one of our analysts. Please be advised, processing times can vary depending on the volume/scope of the responsive documents received.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From:


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