|Submitted||June 22, 2016|
MuckRock users can file, duplicate, track, and share public records requests like this one. Learn more.
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
-- Copies of all internal affairs reports since Jan. 1, 2010 regarding National Park Service rangers or other sworn personnel stationed in the state of Massachusetts.
I ask that all fees be waived as I am a reporter employed by the Lowell Sun and I intend to use the requested records to publish articles in the public interest and not for any commercial purpose.
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.
United States Department of the Interior
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, Colorado 80225-0287
June 29, 2016
Department MR 26379
411A Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
Dear Mr. Feathers:
Reference: Office of Professional Responsibility
Subject: Response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request NPS-2016-00726
This letter is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated June 22, 2016, in which you requested copies of all internal affairs reports since Jan. 1, 2010 regarding National Park Service rangers or other sworn personnel stationed in the state of Massachusetts.
Upon further review, your request is denied in full. We are withholding 9 reports, totaling approximately 995 pages of responsive material, in full under Exemptions 2, 6, and 7(C).
Exemption 2 of the FOIA allows us to withhold related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the National Park Service. Internal personnel rules and practices concern the conditions of employment in federal agencies and include such matters as hiring, firing, work rules and discipline, compensation and benefits, which the agency maintains for its own use. In this case the information being withheld consists of records relating solely to internal, personnel investigations of NPS employees.
Exemption 6 allows us to withhold information from personnel and similar files that if released would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, while Exemption 7(C) allows us to withhold information from law enforcement files that could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
The information being withheld relates to an individual(s) other than yourself. The information being withheld consists of Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigative reports. We have determined that the individuals to whom this information pertains have a substantial privacy interest in withholding it. You have provided no information demonstrating a relevant public interest under the FOIA in the disclosure of this personal information. Additionally, we have determined that the disclosure of this information would shed little or no light on the performance of the agency’s statutory duties. Because the harm to personal privacy is greater than whatever public interest might be served by disclosure, we have determined that the release of the information that is being withheld would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of the privacy of these individuals and we are therefore withholding it under Exemptions 6 and 7(C).
Additionally, in accordance with the NPS Law Enforcement Reference Manual (RM-9) the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) reports you have requested are considered an extension of an employee’s official personnel file (OPF), which are maintained in a privacy act system of records (OPM/GOVT-1). Therefore, although some or all of the information being withheld may be known to you through other means, we are obligated under both the Privacy Act and FOIA to withhold that information.
Pursuant to regulation, 43 CFR 2.24(b) the following person is responsible for this denial:
NPS FOIA Officer
Additionally the following attorney was consulted during the preparation of this response:
Jason Waanders, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the Solicitor
U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
You have the right to appeal this denial of your request. You may file an appeal by writing to:
Freedom of Information Act Appeals Officer
Office of the Solicitor
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20240
Your appeal must be received no later than 30 workdays after the date of this final response. The appeal should be marked, both on the envelope and the face of the appeal letter, with the legend "FREEDOM OF INFORMATION APPEAL." Your appeal should be accompanied by a copy of your original request and copies of all correspondence between yourself and the National Park Service related to this request, along with any information you have which leads you to believe the records are available, including where they might be found, if the location is known to you. Please note, appeals received after 5 p.m. EST will be considered to have been received as of the following day.
Also as part of the 2007 OPEN Government Act FOIA amendments, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) was created to offer mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a nonexclusive alternative to litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue litigation.
You may contact OGIS in any of the following ways:
Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Additionally, because the National Park Service creates and maintains law enforcement records, we are required by the Department of Justice to provide the following information, even though it may or may not apply to your specific request. Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. 552(c) (2006 & Supp. IV 2010). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that we are required to give all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any further questions or concerns. I can be reached at the address above or by phone at 303-969-2959. I can also be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
Ms. Charis Wilson, Ph.D., CRM
NPS FOIA Officer
12795 W. Alameda Parkway
PO Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225-0287
"What we find changes who we become." - Peter Morville
"The historian works with records...there is no substitute for records: no records, no history." - Paraphrasing Langlois & Seignobos (1903)
"Let us be guardians, not gardeners" - Unknown, From 1963 Living Wilderness editorial - Attributed to Adolph Murie
There are no files associated with this request.