List of histories (Department of the Interior)

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of the Interior of the United States of America.
Tracking #

OS-2018-01305

Multi Request List of histories
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Emma Best


To Whom It May Concern:

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

Lists, indices or other records that describe or enumerate any historical studies produced or commissioned by the agency's historical staff or various offices/subdivisions. These documents will be used, among other things, to identify individual histories that are of interest to the public, which will then be requested in a separate FOIA request.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the Internet Archive and MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media.

Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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,

Emma Best

From: Department of the Interior

Dear Ms. Best,

Please find the attached acknowledgment letter for FOIA request
OS-2018-01305.
Thanks,
Michelle

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Department of the Interior

Attn: Emma Best

Dear Ms. Best -

Thank you for submitting your June 18, 2018 request asking for "Lists,
indices or other records that describe or enumerate any historical studies
produced or commissioned by the agency's historical staff or various
offices/subdivisions." The FOIA office for the Interior Department's
Office of the Secretary forwarded your request to me here at the Department
of the Interior Library earlier today.

We would very much like to help you find the information that you need but
would like to talk to you more about your specific search requirements and
parameters. The Department of the Interior Library holds thousands of
publicly-released print historical reports and studies issued by the
Department and its bureaus/agencies over the past 150 years. The vast
majority of these are not available digitally but are physically available
in our Library collection. Our Library is open to the public (Monday
through Friday from 7:45 am to 5:00 pm except federal holidays), so any
researcher is welcome to visit our Library to peruse through and make
copies from these publications. Our Library catalog is also available to
the public at https://library.doi.gov/uhtbin/webcat, allowing you search
for listings of these publications in our collection by title, author,
subject and keyword.

With regards to official Interior Department records, most official records
of the Department (including those materials not disseminated for the
public) should be housed at the National Archives and Records
Administration. The National Archives can best be contacted by phone at
(866) 272-6272. The DOI Library is not given any copies of official
records not intended for public distribution.

Please give me a call and we can discuss your search and ways to go about
finding the materials you need in more detail. Thanks again.

George

George Franchois
Director - U.S. Dept. of the Interior Library
Office of the Secretary - Office of Facilities and Administrative Services
(OFAS)
1849 C Street, NW, Room 1151, MS 1151
Washington, DC 20240
E-Mail: George_Franchois@ios.doi.gov
Phone: (202) 208-3796
Fax: (202) 208-6773
Library URL: http://www.doi.gov/library
OFAS URL: http://www.doi.gov/ofas

From: Emma Best

I would prefer not to call, as I only communicate about FOIA requests in writing. Thank you for confirming that the catalog (index/list) exists. Please provide a copy of it in response to the FOIA. I look forward to the list of thousands of histories that you indicated are available.

From: Department of the Interior

Dear Ms. Best,

Please find attached the final response letter for FOIA request
OS-2018-01305.
Thanks,
Emily

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

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