|Submitted||Feb. 3, 2015|
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 Val Verde Correctional Facility [http://www.geogroup.com/maps/locationdetails/33]
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.
Beryl C.D. Lipton
February 19, 2015 BERYL LIPTON MUCKROCK NEWS DEPT MR 15125 MUCKROCK NEWS PO BOX 55819 BOSTON, MA 02205-5891 RE: ICE FOIA Case Number 2015-ICFO-69596 Dear Mr. LIPTON: This acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), dated February 02, 2015, and to your request for a waiver of all assessable FOIA fees. Your request was received in this office on February 02, 2015. Specifically, you requested all contracts (and their amendments) and memorandums of understanding entered into by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for services and activities related to the Val Verde Correctional 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 NEWS DEPT MR 15125 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 February 02, 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 commercial requesters. As a commercial requester, you will be charged 10 cents per page for duplication, and for search and review time at the per quarter-hour rate ($4.00 for clerical personnel, $7.00 for professional personnel, $10.25 for managerial personnel) of the searcher and reviewer. 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-69596. Please refer to this identifier in any future correspondence. You may contact this office at (866) 633-1182.
ICE FOIA Office
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
Visit our FOIA website at