ICE contracts/MOUs re: North Georgia Detention Center

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 2015-ICFO-88466
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) and memorandums of understanding entered into by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for services and activities related to the North Georgia Detention Center (https://www.ice.gov/detention-facility/north-georgia-detention-center). Responsive materials should include but not be limited to:

• all agreements with local governments, private operators, or other entities
• all Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal, or equivalent call for contractors
• the responsive materials provided by the winning bidder
• other bidder responses
• the current contract
• all exhibits
• all amendments

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The documents being requested are a vital component of an ongoing journalistic investigation of public-private corrections partnerships, a critical element in the current discussion of our criminal justice system. The materials will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com and will by analyzed and contextualized by a representative of the news media/press. This request is made in the process of news gathering and is 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,

Beryl C.D. Lipton

From: ICE

July 21, 2015 Beryl Lipton MuckRock News DEPT MR 15077 PO Box 55819 Boston, MA 02205-5819 RE:     ICE FOIA Case Number 2015-ICFO-88466 Dear Ms. Lipton: This acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated July 10, 2015, and to your request for a waiver of all assessable FOIA fees. Your request was received in this office on July 21, 2015. Specifically, you requested all contracts (and their amendments) and memorandums of understanding entered into by ICE for services and activities related to the North Georgia Detention Center. Responsive materials should include but not be limited to: • all agreements with local governments, private operators, or other entities • all Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal, or equivalent call for contractors • the responsive materials provided by the winning bidder • other bidder responses • the current contract • all exhibits • all amendments. 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 News 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 July 10, 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 3, 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 5009 Washington, D.C. 20536-5009 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 2015-ICFO-88466. 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 2014-ICFO-XXXXX or 2015-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: 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 July 10, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

Your request is currently in the queue for analyst review.

Sincerely,
ICE/FOIA

From: ICE

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