OGE guidance to EPA on "Administratively Determined" positions

Nick Surgey filed this request with the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking #

EPA-HQ-2017-007554

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Nick Surgey

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records in the possession of the Ethics Office within the EPA Office of General Counsel (OGC). Please provide a copy of any written guidance provided by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Administratively Determined (“AD”) appointees under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) This should include but is not limited to any guidance about the application of the requirement to sign an ethics pledge (As required by executive order issued by the President on January 28, 2017) for these appointees. “Guidance” here should be considered a broad term to include any advice or instructions provided to the EPA on this subject.

The Center for Media and Democracy is entitled to a fee waiver because it is a news media organization, and because this request for records concerns activities or operations of the government. Disclosure of the requested records will likely increase public understanding of government operations since CMD has the ability and the intention, through the means described below, to effectively convey information contained within the requested records to a broad public audience. Founded in 1993, CMD’s investigative research and reporting has appeared in local and national publications such as the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. CMD documents key facts in order to reveal the impact of policies on ordinary people, and has received various awards for its investigative reporting. In addition to using the information from this FOIA request to generate news stories, CMD would distribute information obtained and inform the public at large through various online platforms. CMD publishes information and investigative findings on a near daily basis through CMD’s reporting websites, PRWatch and ExposedbyCMD.

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,

Nick Surgey

From: foia_hq@epa.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=090004d281322391)
* Tracking Number: EPA-HQ-2017-007554
* Requester Name: Nick Surgey
* Date Submitted: 05/19/2017
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: Requesting a copy of any written guidance provided by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Administratively Determined (“AD”) appointees under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

From: Williams.Lashawn@epa.gov

Your request for Fee Waiver for the FOIA request EPA-HQ-2017-007554 has been determined to be not applicable as the request is not billable. Additional details for this request are as follows:
* Request Created on: 05/19/2017
* Fee Waiver Disposition Reason: N/A
* Request Long Description: Requesting a copy of any written guidance provided by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Administratively Determined (“AD”) appointees under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

From: Williams.Lashawn@epa.gov

05/24/2017 04:05 PM FOIA Request: EPA-HQ-2017-007554

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Hi Nick,

I understand that you’ve asked for an update for FOIA request no. EPA-HQ-2017-007554. I don’t have anything new to share since we last spoke two months ago. As you’ll recall, since the Ethics office has so many FOIAs, we are using eDiscovery services to do a centralized search and collection of certain ethics related documents. We are still in the process of reviewing the thousands of documents produced from this search, which include records responsive to your requests. Hopefully I can give you a better timeline soon and include more information about the interim productions of documents. We will continue to diligently process your requests and I will update you periodically on our review and production. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Thanks,
Shannon

Shannon Griffo
Ethics Attorney
Office of General Counsel, Ethics
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(202) 564-7061
Griffo.Shannon@epa.gov

From: Environmental Protection Agency

Hi Nick,

Thank you for reaching out again and asking for an update regarding your FOIA Request. I’m happy to report that the Ethics Office is making progress on reviewing and releasing the documents you’ve requested, especially now that our General Counsel has been confirmed. We should have much better information to provide you later this month or next. Again, I thank you for your patience as our office continues to receive and respond to an unprecedented number of FOIA requests. I hope to be in touch very soon with an updated timeline for the completion of processing your request.

Thanks again,
Shannon

Shannon Griffo
Ethics Attorney
Office of General Counsel, Ethics
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(202) 564-7061
Griffo.Shannon@epa.gov

From: Environmental Protection Agency

EPA-HQ-2017-007554 has been processed with the following final disposition: Partial grant/partial denial.
Records were released to the public as a result of this request. You may retrieve these records immediately using the following link: View Records.Over the next 2 hours, these records are also being added to FOIAonline's search pages, further enabling you to retrieve these documents associated with your FOIA request at any time. (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d281322391)

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