HHS OIG Shelters Investigations

Andrew Free filed this request with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2019-1135, 2020-00013-A-OS2

2019-1135

Due Aug. 7, 2019
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Andrew Free

To Whom It May Concern:

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

1. All records of complaints, whether substantiated or unsubstantiated, received or created by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General on or after January 1, 2017.
2. All records of closed, substantiated HHS-OIG investigations regarding unaccompanied minor child shelter, custody, or care arising from complaints involving misconduct occurring on or after January 1, 2017.

I respectfully request expedited processing of this request based on the ongoing, widespread reports of abuse of migrant children in federal custody, and the exponential expansion in migrant child detention (on an average daily population basis) since January 2017.

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,

Andrew Free

From: Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

Request Number: OIG-19-1135-KS
Date Received: 7/10/2019

This will acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request received by this office on the above date. Your request has been assigned a case number based on its receipt in this office and is being processed as expeditiously as possible. The actual processing time will depend on the complexity of your request and whether sensitive records, voluminous records, extensive search, and/or consultation with other HHS components or other executive branch agencies are involved. There may be a charge for these records and, in some cases, the charges may be substantial.

The FOIA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) FOI regulations allow agencies to recover part of the costs of processing FOIA requests. The FOIA and the HHS FOIA regulations are available at the following web addresses: https://www.justice.gov/oip/doj-guide-freedom-information-act-0 and http://www.hhs.gov/foia/45cfr5.html.

If you have any questions, please call (202) 619-2541, or write to us at:

Freedom of Information Division
Office of Inspector General
Room 1062, Cohen Building
330 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC 20201

Please refer to the request number above when corresponding.

Robin R. Brooks
Director
Freedom of Information

Please check that the following information is correct:

FREE, ANDREW
Dept MR 76961 411A Highland Av
Somerville, MA 02144

From: Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

This is an interim response to the July 10, 2019, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), seeking copies of records of complaints, whether substantiated or unsubstantiated, received or created by the HHS OIG on or after January 1, 2017 and all records of closed, substantiated HHS OIG investigations regarding unaccompanied minor child shelter, custody, or care arising from complaints involving misconduct occurring on or after January 1, 2017. You also requested expedited processing.

The results of our review of your request for expedited processing, as documented in this letter, confirms your request for expedited processing does not meet the requirements under the FOIA and cannot be granted. Our review indicates that you have not clearly demonstrated a "compelling need." You have not clearly articulated an imminent threat to the life or physical threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or, that an "urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal activity" exists. Therefore, this FOIA request did not meet the criterion for expedited processing.

If you are not satisfied with my decision on this request, you may administratively appeal this denial of a fee waiver. Your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted within 90 days from the date of this letter, Deputy Agency Chief FOIA Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, FOI/Privacy Act Division, Suite 729H, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201. Clearly mark both the envelope and your letter "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

Sincerely,

FOR: // Kenneth Shaw, July 11, 2019//
Robin R. Brooks
Director
Freedom of Information

From: Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

Please see attached.

Sandra Servin-Solis
Government Information Specialist

From: Andrew Free

I hereby appeal the decision in its entirety. A record of complaints and request for underlying documents is not properly subject to the GLOMAR response provided. It appears that the FOIA office may have mistakenly only searched for complaints related to someone named "Rembert Reynolds," who is apparently a South Carolina physician. My request contained no such name.

I further appeal the determination that ANY responsive records will be withheld in full, without any attempt at reasonable segregation.

This response is patently in violation of the FOIA and the officer who sent it should be referred to the Office of Special Counsel for engaging in arbitrary and capricious, baseless FOIA obstruction.

From: Department of Health and Human Services

Dear Andrew Free: This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, dated: August 16, 2019. We've received and have begun processing your request. Please review the attached documents for more details and next steps. Thank you, Mary Jones

From: Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

Good Morning Andrew Free: Apologies, but please disregard the email you received yesterday evening. We have attached updated documents acknowledging receipt of your appeal request dated: August 16, 2019. The newly attached documents will outline additional details and next steps . Thank you, Mary Jones

From: Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General


From: Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General

RE: 2020-00471-FOIA-OS Andrew Free
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 76961 411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516 Dear Andrew Free: This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, dated: July 15, 2019.    We received your request on January 27, 2020 and have begun processing your request.

Sincerely,
Jacqueline Trent
FOIA Specialist
Main Office Line:  202-690-7453

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