Mefloquine Analyses in DMSS Request Manager

Remington Nevin filed this request with the Defense Health Agency of the United States of America.
Est. Completion July 15, 2016
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Remington Nevin

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All final reports, tables, documents, and request instructions corresponding to the following Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) Request Manager Request IDs: R130345, "Mefloquine Analysis" (completed 6/13/14); R140161, "Mefloquine Analysis - De-identified" (completed 10/16/14); and R150155, "Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments" (completed 2/23/16).

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,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: DHA NCR PCL Mailbox FOIA Requests

Good morning Dr. Nevin,

Ideally, your response should be coming back to you in two weeks or less. Currently we are awaiting the reports to come back to our office. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns, as we are happy to help.

v/r
Ms. Jessie Ludin
Junior Analyst, Axiom Contract Support
Defense Health Headquarters
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office
7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
Falls Church, VA 22042
Main: 703-275-6363

From: Remington Nevin

Ms. Jessie Ludin
Junior Analyst, Axiom Contract Support
Defense Health Headquarters
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office

Dear Ms. Ludin,

May I please request both a formal acknowledgment and an update as to the status of the processing for my request, originally submitted April 22, 2016, for:

"All final reports, tables, documents, and request instructions corresponding to the following Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) Request Manager Request IDs: R130345, "Mefloquine Analysis" (completed 6/13/14); R140161, "Mefloquine Analysis - De-identified" (completed 10/16/14); and R150155, "Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments" (completed 2/23/16)."

I have yet to receive formal documentation assigning this request an internal DHA tracking number.

In recent correspondence from your office dated June 29, 2016, you mentioned that "[i]deally, your response should be coming back to you in two weeks or less. Currently, we are awaiting the reports to come back to our office".

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

Ms. Jessie Ludin
Junior Analyst, Axiom Contract Support
Defense Health Headquarters
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office

Dear Ms. Ludin,

May I please request both a formal acknowledgment and an update as to the status of the processing for my request, originally submitted April 22, 2016, for:

"All final reports, tables, documents, and request instructions corresponding to the following Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) Request Manager Request IDs: R130345, "Mefloquine Analysis" (completed 6/13/14); R140161, "Mefloquine Analysis - De-identified" (completed 10/16/14); and R150155, "Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments" (completed 2/23/16)."

I have yet to receive formal documentation assigning this request an internal DHA tracking number.

In recent correspondence from your office dated June 29, 2016, you mentioned that "[i]deally, your response should be coming back to you in two weeks or less. Currently, we are awaiting the reports to come back to our office".

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: DHA NCR PCL Mailbox FOIA Requests

Good morning Dr. Nevin,

Attached is our response to your FOIA requests regarding Mefloquine Analyses in DMSS Request Manager.
We re-processed the initial ones and then went ahead and joined the more refined 4/22/16 request to this.
We apologize for the delay.
Thanks,

DHA FOIA
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office
7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
Falls Church, VA  22042
(703) 275-6013

From: Remington Nevin

To Whom It May Concern:

Please confirm receipt of the appeal copied below.

Thank you.

__________________________________________________

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Denial of Defense Health Agency FOIA request originally dated April 22, 2016

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I appeal the withholding of data and reports responsive to a properly filed FOIA request, as described below.

1. Background to the Appeal

I am in receipt of correspondence from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) dated September 27, 2016, related to my FOIA request dated April 22, 2016, for “[a]ll final reports, tables, documents, and request instructions corresponding to the following Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) Request Manager Request IDs: R130345, "Mefloquine Analysis" (completed 6/13/14); R140161, "Mefloquine Analysis - De-identified" (completed 10/16/14); and R150155, "Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments" (completed 2/23/16).” As can be verified at the public website Muckrock (see: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/mefloquine-analyses-in-dmss-request-manager-25362/), this request was acknowledged by DHA but was never assigned a formal DHA control number.

2. Description of Records

The DHA response notes that DHA is “withholding” certain “DMSS reports” “in full”, including those identified by the internal AFHSC report identifiers R130345 and R150155. As confirmed by information released to me in DHA FOIA 2016-006, report R130345 is titled “Mefloquine Analysis” and was completed on June 13, 2014, and report R150155 is titled “Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments” and was completed February 23, 2016. These reports are therefore clearly responsive to my request. However, according to the DHA response, for this report, the DHA claims “The DHA has determined that the requested records are exempt from release under exemption (b)(5)”, and claims these are “internal records that are deliberative in nature and part of the decision-making process, containing opinions and recommendations”.

The DHA response also notes that for “[f]or R14016, instructions were drawn up for this retrospective cohort study. However, the data that would have been pulled for this request was never pulled. Essentially, the instructions for this report were open and closed without a data pull”.

3. Basis for Appeal

My request dated April 22, 2016, was very clearly for “[a]ll final… request instructions corresponding to… R140161”. Although no final report may have been produced for this request, the “request instructions” which “were open and closed without a data pull” are clearly responsive to my request. These have been improperly withheld from me.

Additionally, as described more fully elsewhere (see https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/reports-related-to-mefloquine-12509/), and in recent appeals, the content of report R130345 is information that was intended to be broadly shared with external customers outside of DHA and AFHSC/AFHSB. As a final work product shared with external non-DHA and non-AFHSB customers, the information in this report is not subject to exemption under (b)(5) as it is not “opinions and recommendations”, but instead is objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis. The production of such objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis on behalf of external customers is a primary function of AFHSB.

Furthermore, based solely on the title of R150155, “Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments”, it is clear that the content of this report is intended specifically for external use and is not “opinions and recommendations”, but instead is objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis intended specifically to address external “journal reviewer comments”.

4. Summary

DHA has withheld information responsive to my request. I hereby request a full, unredacted copy of the instructions to request R140161, as well as full, unredacted copies of all documents related to requests R130345 and R150155. Given the significant delays I have encountered already in receiving these documents, I would request that these be provided as quickly as possible.

I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

To Whom It May Concern:

Please confirm receipt of the appeal copied below.

Thank you.

__________________________________________________

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Denial of Defense Health Agency FOIA request originally dated April 22, 2016

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I appeal the withholding of data and reports responsive to a properly filed FOIA request, as described below.

1. Background to the Appeal

I am in receipt of correspondence from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) dated September 27, 2016, related to my FOIA request dated April 22, 2016, for “[a]ll final reports, tables, documents, and request instructions corresponding to the following Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) Request Manager Request IDs: R130345, "Mefloquine Analysis" (completed 6/13/14); R140161, "Mefloquine Analysis - De-identified" (completed 10/16/14); and R150155, "Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments" (completed 2/23/16).” As can be verified at the public website Muckrock (see: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/mefloquine-analyses-in-dmss-request-manager-25362/), this request was acknowledged by DHA but was never assigned a formal DHA control number.

2. Description of Records

The DHA response notes that DHA is “withholding” certain “DMSS reports” “in full”, including those identified by the internal AFHSC report identifiers R130345 and R150155. As confirmed by information released to me in DHA FOIA 2016-006, report R130345 is titled “Mefloquine Analysis” and was completed on June 13, 2014, and report R150155 is titled “Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments” and was completed February 23, 2016. These reports are therefore clearly responsive to my request. However, according to the DHA response, for this report, the DHA claims “The DHA has determined that the requested records are exempt from release under exemption (b)(5)”, and claims these are “internal records that are deliberative in nature and part of the decision-making process, containing opinions and recommendations”.

The DHA response also notes that for “[f]or R14016, instructions were drawn up for this retrospective cohort study. However, the data that would have been pulled for this request was never pulled. Essentially, the instructions for this report were open and closed without a data pull”.

3. Basis for Appeal

My request dated April 22, 2016, was very clearly for “[a]ll final… request instructions corresponding to… R140161”. Although no final report may have been produced for this request, the “request instructions” which “were open and closed without a data pull” are clearly responsive to my request. These have been improperly withheld from me.

Additionally, as described more fully elsewhere (see https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/reports-related-to-mefloquine-12509/), and in recent appeals, the content of report R130345 is information that was intended to be broadly shared with external customers outside of DHA and AFHSC/AFHSB. As a final work product shared with external non-DHA and non-AFHSB customers, the information in this report is not subject to exemption under (b)(5) as it is not “opinions and recommendations”, but instead is objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis. The production of such objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis on behalf of external customers is a primary function of AFHSB.

Furthermore, based solely on the title of R150155, “Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments”, it is clear that the content of this report is intended specifically for external use and is not “opinions and recommendations”, but instead is objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis intended specifically to address external “journal reviewer comments”.

4. Summary

DHA has withheld information responsive to my request. I hereby request a full, unredacted copy of the instructions to request R140161, as well as full, unredacted copies of all documents related to requests R130345 and R150155. Given the significant delays I have encountered already in receiving these documents, I would request that these be provided as quickly as possible.

I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

To Whom It May Concern:

Please confirm receipt of the appeal copied below.

Thank you.

__________________________________________________

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Denial of Defense Health Agency FOIA request originally dated April 22, 2016

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I appeal the withholding of data and reports responsive to a properly filed FOIA request, as described below.

1. Background to the Appeal

I am in receipt of correspondence from the Defense Health Agency (DHA) dated September 27, 2016, related to my FOIA request dated April 22, 2016, for “[a]ll final reports, tables, documents, and request instructions corresponding to the following Army Medical Surveillance Activity (AMSA)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC)/Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch (AFHSB) Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) Request Manager Request IDs: R130345, "Mefloquine Analysis" (completed 6/13/14); R140161, "Mefloquine Analysis - De-identified" (completed 10/16/14); and R150155, "Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments" (completed 2/23/16).” As can be verified at the public website Muckrock (see: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/mefloquine-analyses-in-dmss-request-manager-25362/), this request was acknowledged by DHA but was never assigned a formal DHA control number.

2. Description of Records

The DHA response notes that DHA is “withholding” certain “DMSS reports” “in full”, including those identified by the internal AFHSC report identifiers R130345 and R150155. As confirmed by information released to me in DHA FOIA 2016-006, report R130345 is titled “Mefloquine Analysis” and was completed on June 13, 2014, and report R150155 is titled “Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments” and was completed February 23, 2016. These reports are therefore clearly responsive to my request. However, according to the DHA response, for this report, the DHA claims “The DHA has determined that the requested records are exempt from release under exemption (b)(5)”, and claims these are “internal records that are deliberative in nature and part of the decision-making process, containing opinions and recommendations”.

The DHA response also notes that for “[f]or R14016, instructions were drawn up for this retrospective cohort study. However, the data that would have been pulled for this request was never pulled. Essentially, the instructions for this report were open and closed without a data pull”.

3. Basis for Appeal

My request dated April 22, 2016, was very clearly for “[a]ll final… request instructions corresponding to… R140161”. Although no final report may have been produced for this request, the “request instructions” which “were open and closed without a data pull” are clearly responsive to my request. These have been improperly withheld from me.

Additionally, as described more fully elsewhere (see https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/reports-related-to-mefloquine-12509/), and in recent appeals, the content of report R130345 is information that was intended to be broadly shared with external customers outside of DHA and AFHSC/AFHSB. As a final work product shared with external non-DHA and non-AFHSB customers, the information in this report is not subject to exemption under (b)(5) as it is not “opinions and recommendations”, but instead is objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis. The production of such objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis on behalf of external customers is a primary function of AFHSB.

Furthermore, based solely on the title of R150155, “Mefloquine Analysis - additional analysis for journal reviewer comments”, it is clear that the content of this report is intended specifically for external use and is not “opinions and recommendations”, but instead is objective, fact-based epidemiological analysis intended specifically to address external “journal reviewer comments”.

4. Summary

DHA has withheld information responsive to my request. I hereby request a full, unredacted copy of the instructions to request R140161, as well as full, unredacted copies of all documents related to requests R130345 and R150155. Given the significant delays I have encountered already in receiving these documents, I would request that these be provided as quickly as possible.

I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

Files

pages

Close