Master Location Register (MLR)

Emma Best filed this request with the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking # NARA-NGC-2017-000304
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

A copy of the The Master Location Register (MLR).

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, 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 the non-profit Internet Archive, 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 such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore 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,

Michael Best

From: foia@nara.gov

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28118a806)
* Tracking Number: NARA-NGC-2017-000304
* Requester Name: Michael Best
* Date Submitted: 02/22/2017
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: A copy of the The Master Location Register (MLR).

From: foia@nara.gov

8601 Adelphi Road Room 3110
College Park, MD 20740-6001

March 17, 2017 Michael Best
MuckRock
DEPT MR 33610
411A Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request NGC17-196
Dear Mr. Best:
This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated February 22, 2017, and received in our office on the same day, via FOIA@nara.gov. Your request was assigned FOIAonline tracking number NARA-NGC-2017-000304, and the above internal tracking number. In your request you stated that you were seeking, “A copy of The Master Location Register (MLR).”
The Master Location Register (MLR) was a former database used to manage our physical holdings, it is no longer a supported database in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The MLR had been used to maintain location and descriptive information, but was replaced by the Holdings Maintenance System (HMS). Therefore, NARA no longer will release any data from static (not updated) copies of the MLR that may be maintained in various offices. The data contained in the MLR was used to initially populate HMS, but is no longer accurate. Any remaining copies of the MLR that might exist in NARA offices are being denied, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(5), this FOIA exemption protects communications that are deliberative in nature and the disclosure of which would reveal inter-agency and intra-agency discussions.
This completes the processing of your FOIA request.
Additionally, the National Archives Catalog is the public discovery system containing intellectual descriptive information about our holdings. HMS (the Holdings Management System) is an integrated technology platform designed to support the physical management of permanent, hard-copy archival records in the custody of Records Services (R), Legislative Archives, Presidential Libraries, and Museum Services (L), and National Declassification Center (ANDC). HMS is an internal staff system that documents accessioning and processing of archival records.
If you are not satisfied with our action on this request, you have the right to file an administrative appeal within ninety (90) calendar days from the date of this letter via regular U.S. mail or email. By filing an appeal, you preserve your rights under FOIA and give the agency a chance to review and reconsider your request and the agency’s decision. If you submit your appeal in writing, please address it to the Deputy Archivist of the United States (ND), National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740. Both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” If you submit your appeal by e-mail please send it to FOIA@nara.gov, also addressed to the Deputy Archivist of the United States. Please be sure to explain why you believe this response does not meet the requirements of the FOIA. All correspondence should reference your case tracking number NGC17-196 and FOIAonline Tracking Number NARA-NGC-2017-000304.
If you would like to discuss our response before filing an appeal to attempt to resolve your dispute without going through the appeals process, you may contact our FOIA Public Liaison, Gary M. Stern, for assistance at:
Gary M. Stern General Counsel and Chief FOIA Officer
8601 Adelphi Road, Suite 3110
College Park, MD 20740-6002
301-837-1750
garym.stern@nara.gov

If you are unable to resolve your FOIA dispute through our FOIA Public Liaison, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the Federal FOIA Ombudsman’s office, offers mediation services to help resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies. The contact information for OGIS is:
Office of Government Information Services National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road–OGIS
College Park, MD 20740-6001
ogis@nara.gov
ogis.archives.gov
202-741-5770
1-877-684-6448

Sincerely,
Wanda Williams Deputy FOIA Officer
National Archives and Records Administration
Office of General Counsel
(301) 837-0773
wanda.williams@nara.gov

From: MuckRock

FOIA Officer
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 3110
College Park, MD 20740

April 7, 2017

I am appealing the b(5) exemption, as the index was not deliberative or subject to b(5). Similarly, the fact that " it is no longer a supported database in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)" is irrelevant to my FOIA request. Further, NARA admitted that the b(5) exemption was NOT the cause of the withhold but rather that it was because "it is no longer a supported database in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The MLR had been used to maintain location and descriptive information, but was replaced by the Holdings Maintenance System (HMS)." This, written by NARA and presented well before any b(5) exemption is claimed, shows that the b(5) exemption is not appropriate nor claimed in good faith.
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On March 17, 2017:
8601 Adelphi Road Room 3110
College Park, MD 20740-6001

March 17, 2017 Michael Best
MuckRock
DEPT MR 33610
411A Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request NGC17-196
Dear Mr. Best:
This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated February 22, 2017, and received in our office on the same day, via FOIA@nara.gov. Your request was assigned FOIAonline tracking number NARA-NGC-2017-000304, and the above internal tracking number. In your request you stated that you were seeking, “A copy of The Master Location Register (MLR).”
The Master Location Register (MLR) was a former database used to manage our physical holdings, it is no longer a supported database in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The MLR had been used to maintain location and descriptive information, but was replaced by the Holdings Maintenance System (HMS). Therefore, NARA no longer will release any data from static (not updated) copies of the MLR that may be maintained in various offices. The data contained in the MLR was used to initially populate HMS, but is no longer accurate. Any remaining copies of the MLR that might exist in NARA offices are being denied, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552(b)(5), this FOIA exemption protects communications that are deliberative in nature and the disclosure of which would reveal inter-agency and intra-agency discussions.
This completes the processing of your FOIA request.
Additionally, the National Archives Catalog is the public discovery system containing intellectual descriptive information about our holdings. HMS (the Holdings Management System) is an integrated technology platform designed to support the physical management of permanent, hard-copy archival records in the custody of Records Services (R), Legislative Archives, Presidential Libraries, and Museum Services (L), and National Declassification Center (ANDC). HMS is an internal staff system that documents accessioning and processing of archival records.
If you are not satisfied with our action on this request, you have the right to file an administrative appeal within ninety (90) calendar days from the date of this letter via regular U.S. mail or email. By filing an appeal, you preserve your rights under FOIA and give the agency a chance to review and reconsider your request and the agency’s decision. If you submit your appeal in writing, please address it to the Deputy Archivist of the United States (ND), National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740. Both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” If you submit your appeal by e-mail please send it to FOIA@nara.gov, also addressed to the Deputy Archivist of the United States. Please be sure to explain why you believe this response does not meet the requirements of the FOIA. All correspondence should reference your case tracking number NGC17-196 and FOIAonline Tracking Number NARA-NGC-2017-000304.
If you would like to discuss our response before filing an appeal to attempt to resolve your dispute without going through the appeals process, you may contact our FOIA Public Liaison, Gary M. Stern, for assistance at:
Gary M. Stern General Counsel and Chief FOIA Officer
8601 Adelphi Road, Suite 3110
College Park, MD 20740-6002
301-837-1750
garym.stern@nara.gov

If you are unable to resolve your FOIA dispute through our FOIA Public Liaison, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the Federal FOIA Ombudsman’s office, offers mediation services to help resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies. The contact information for OGIS is:
Office of Government Information Services National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road–OGIS
College Park, MD 20740-6001
ogis@nara.gov
ogis.archives.gov
202-741-5770
1-877-684-6448

Sincerely,
Wanda Williams Deputy FOIA Officer
National Archives and Records Administration
Office of General Counsel
(301) 837-0773
wanda.williams@nara.gov
---

On Feb. 22, 2017:
This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28118a806)
* Tracking Number: NARA-NGC-2017-000304
* Requester Name: Michael Best
* Date Submitted: 02/22/2017
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: A copy of the The Master Location Register (MLR).

---

On Feb. 20, 2017:
To Whom It May Concern:

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

A copy of the The Master Location Register (MLR).

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, 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 the non-profit Internet Archive, 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 such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore 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,

Michael Best

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Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 33610
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
------

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the b(5) exemption, as the index was not deliberative or subject to b(5). Similarly, the fact that " it is no longer a supported database in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)" is irrelevant to my FOIA request. Further, NARA admitted that the b(5) exemption was NOT the cause of the withhold but rather that it was because "it is no longer a supported database in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The MLR had been used to maintain location and descriptive information, but was replaced by the Holdings Maintenance System (HMS)." This, written by NARA and presented well before any b(5) exemption is claimed, shows that the b(5) exemption is not appropriate nor claimed in good faith.

From: Jodi Foor

April 10, 2017

Sent via Email

Mr. Michael Best

DEPT MR 33610

411A Highland Avenue

Somervielle, MA 02144-2516

*Re: Appeal NGC17-196; NARA Appeal No. NGC17-048A*

Dear Mr. Best,

This is to advise you that your administrative appeal, dated April 7, 2017,
in which you appeal the determinations made by Ms. Wanda Williams was
received by this office on behalf of the Deputy Archivist of the United
States on April 10, 2017. Your appeal has been assigned number
NGC17-048A.

The Deputy Archivist of the United States has the responsibility to
adjudicate such appeals. In an attempt to afford each appellant equal and
impartial treatment, we have adopted a general practice of assigning
appeals in the approximate order of receipt. As stated above, your appeal
has been assigned number NGC17-048A. Please provide this number in any
future correspondence to this office regarding this matter. Please note,
if you provide an e-mail address or another electronic means of
communication with your appeal, this office may respond to you
electronically even if you submitted your appeal via regular U.S. Postal
Service.

We will notify you of the decision on your appeal as soon as we can. If
you have any questions about the status of your appeal, you may contact me
at the number and/or email below. If you have submitted your appeal
through the *FOIAonline* electronic portal, you may also obtain an update
on the status of your appeal by logging into your *FOIAonline* account.

Sincerely,

Jodi L. Foor

Deputy Freedom of Information Act Officer/Archivist

National Archives and Records Administration

Office of General Counsel

College Park, MD

301-837-2099

Jodi.Foor@nara.gov

Files

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