Information on USAID's democracy programming in Egypt

E Snider filed this request with the United States Agency for International Development of the United States of America.
Tracking #

F-00243-14

Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: erin snider

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All correspondence between the Center for Democracy and Governance in Washington and USAID's Missions in Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan.

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.

Sincerely,

Dr. Erin Snider
Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: (USAID), FOIA Mailbox

Could you please advise of the FOIA Request No. that is associated with
your request? Thank you.

From: erin snider

Hello,

This request has not yet been acknowledged or received a case number.

Thank you.

From: (USAID), FOIA Mailbox

Dear Dr. Snider,

Further clarification will be necessary in order to request possible
responsive documents. The request should reveal identifiers such as the
organization you are seeking correspondence for as well as the time frame
covering. Thank you.

From: erin snider

I am seeking correspondence pertaining to democracy programs funded by USAID between the USAID Missions in Cairo, Amman, and Rabat and USAID's Center for Democracy and Governance in Washington (now called Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance I believe)

Many thanks for your assistance.

Best regards,
Dr. Erin Snider
Princeton University
757 254 5717

From: (USAID), FOIA Mailbox

Could you *please refer to FOIA Case Number this request is associated with*?
Below is the exact description from your email.

This is a follow up to a previous request:
I am seeking correspondence pertaining to democracy programs funded by
USAID between the USAID Missions in Cairo, Amman, and Rabat and USAID's
Center for Democracy and Governance in Washington (now called Bureau for
Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance I believe)

Many thanks for your assistance.

From: MuckRock

No request number has yet been received for this request. The complete chain of correspondence is below.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: erin snider

Hello,

There was a considerable amount of confusion because USAID was not responding to the appropriate inbox or MuckRock tracking number for each one of Dr. Snider's requests. Just as USAID has its tracking system, MuckRock has its own -- each request generates a unique alphanumeric email address, each tied to Dr. Snider's account on the MuckRock website. USAID has been responding to one inbox for all of Dr. Snider's requests, which made it impossible for her to respond within the required time for each.

Please respond to this inbox with respect to Dr. Snider's 19 Feb 2013 request for: "All correspondence between the Center for Democracy and Governance in Washington and USAID's Missions in Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan." This request has yet to be assigned a USAID case number, at least as far as the correspondence we have received indicates.

Do not hesitate to get in contact with MuckRock, and we look forward to working with USAID's FOIA office in the future.

Thank you,

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Could you please provide the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request
number for this case so we can adequately address your concern. Thank you.

From: MuckRock

As has been indicated on at least four separate instances for this particular request, USAID has neither formally acknowledged nor provided a FOIA number for this request. See below for additional information and numerous clarifications as to subject matter.

Respectfully, please conduct the diligence required per your obligations under the FOIA.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch immediately should you require any clarification or assistance in determining whether USAID has begun processing this request.

Thank you.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Dear Dr. Snider

To better assist you, could you please provide the FOIA number that is
associated with this request? Thank you.

From: MuckRock

As has been indicated no fewer than 5 times for this request alone, no tracking number has been provided, nor any formal acknowledgement. Respectfully, USAID is failing to abide by its obligations under FOIA by failing to provide this information.

Thank you.

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 Feb. 19, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Dear Dr. Snider:

To better assist you, could you please provide the FOIA Request Number that
is associated with this case?

Thank you.

From: erin snider

Hello,

Numerous attempts have been made to follow up on this request. Each time, your office has asked for the FOIA request number associated with this case. However, your office never formally acknowledged this request nor did it provide such identifying information (the complete correspondence regarding this request is attached, and it would be useful to refer to it).

The original request was for:

All correspondence between the Center for Democracy and Governance in Washington (now called Bureau for
Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance I believe) and USAID's Missions in Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan.

Please provide formal acknowledgement of this request, as well as any identifying information that your office may need in the future (such as the FOIA request number).

Thank you.

From: Smith, Pamela

Dear Ms. Erin  Snider,
Attached is an acknowledgement letter assigning the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) number to your request.  You will be notified shortly of the assigned Government Information Specialist that will be processing this FOIA request.  If you have questions, please contact us on 202 712-0960 or by e-mail at
foia@usaid.gov. (mailto:foia@usaid.gov)
Pamela A. Smith
USAID
Bureau for Management
Office of Management Services
Information and Records Division
M"oving Development Forward

  • USAID FOIA Request No. F-00243-14 (Acknowledgement Letter)

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Dear Ms. Snider:

This acknowledges receipt of your February 19, 2013 Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) request to the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) and received in this office on June 5, 2014.

Please pardon the delayed acknowledgement. As recognized via phone and by
email from me to you dated December 2, 2013, there was an issue with the
incoming requests from MuckRock and the corresponding USAID tracking
numbers. At that time, we asked that you canvas your requests and ensure
there was no oversight; that all of your requests received a USAID tracking
number. We received no response regarding this request. Then, by email on
June 4, 2014, you contacted our office and advised that you had not
received a tracking number for your February 19, 2013 request (MuckRock
Tracking No. requests@muckrock.com) for:

“All correspondence between the Center for Democracy and Governance in
Washington (now called Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian
Assistance [you] believe) and USAID’s Missions in Egypt, Morocco, and
Jordan.”

USAID is unable to conduct a search for the information you seek. A
requester must reasonably describe agency records. The description of
agency records should be sufficient for an agency employee familiar with
the subject area to locate the record(s) with a reasonable amount of
effort. A description that includes as much information as possible, such
as the subject matter, format, approximate date and, where pertinent, the
name of the country or person involved, will facilitate the search for the
requested record. The FOIA was not intended to reduce government agency
staff to researchers or full-time investigators on behalf of FOIA
requesters.

Please provide the following to assist us with a reasonable search for
responsive records:

1. Date range
2. For email requests, ensure you include the names of the targeted
USAID employees. If you do not know the individuals by name, we ask for
the titles of the individuals you seek.
3. Email addresses of possible non-USAID senders and/or recipients.
4. Keywords (search terms and/or criteria) for what you seek
5. Please utilize our public website to assist with constructing your
FOIA request. USAID is constantly posting information online for the
public in regards to its programs. In particular, please visit the Center
of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance:
http://www.usaid.gov/who-we-are/organization/bureaus/bureau-democracy-conflict-and-humanitarian-assistance/center

In your future submissions from MuckRock, we recommend including a blurb to
contact you directly by phone for a scope clarification and not to reply to
MuckRock's email. We also recommend searching for funding information via
usaspending.gov and grants.

Please resubmit your request containing a reasonable description of the
records you are seeking. *Your request has been placed on hold pending
your response. Please provide the requested information within 10 days
from the date of this email. You may send that correspondence to
foia@usaid.gov <foia@usaid.gov>, and please reference the USAID FOIA
request number cited above. If we do not receive a response from you
within the specified time frame, we will consider the non-response a
withdrawal of your FOIA request and no further action will be taken on it.*

Lastly, *you also requested a fee waiver*. We have reviewed your request
thoroughly and determined that you have not presented a convincing argument
for a blanket waiver of fees. Accordingly, you have been placed in the
“all others” fee category. As such, you will be charged for search (first
two (2) hours free and $32.16 per hour thereafter), no fee for review, and
for duplication (first 100 pages free and $0.20 per page thereafter).
Should fees exceed $100, we will notify you in writing before we continue
processing this request.

You may appeal this fee waiver denial. You must submit your appeal in
writing and it must be received within 30 days from the date of this
letter. To be considered an official appeal, your letter must be addressed
as follows:

Director, Office of Management Services

U.S. Agency for International Development

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Room 2.12-010, Ronald Reagan Building

Washington, D.C. 20523

Both the appeal and the envelope should be plainly marked "FOIA APPEAL –
fee waiver" and include your assigned FOIA number F-00243-14 so that we may
identify your case promptly.

This is not a denial of your request. Upon receipt of a reasonable
description of agency records within 10 days of this correspondence, you
will be advised of the status of your request.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter, please feel
free to contact this office at foia@usaid.gov or by phone on (202) 712-0960.

Thank you for your interest in USAID.

Sincerely,

Alecia S. Sillah
Team Lead, Government Information Specialist
Bureau for Management
Office of Management Services
Information and Records Division

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  • USAID FOIA Request No. F-00243-14 (Acknowledgement Letter)