OGE -- Offshore holdings

David Sirota filed this request with the Office of Government Ethics of the United States of America.


From: David Sirota

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All personal financial disclosure forms (OGE Form 278e) that include any of the following keywords: "Cayman," "offshore," "Bermuda," "Hong Kong," "Bahamas," "Europe" or "ltd." I hereby request such personal financial disclosure forms from 11/1/16 to the present.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

I am requesting a waiver of all fees under 5 U.S.C. Section 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The information I seek is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. This request is not a commercial request -- it is being made by an award-winning media organization.

I believe I meet the criteria for a fee waiver recognized by the U.S. Justice Department - and by the federal courts, See Project on Military Procurement v. Department of the Navy, 710 F. Supp. 362 363, 365 (D.C.D. 1989).

My request concerns the operations or activities of government because the records relate to the enforcement of antitrust law at a time when there is significant public debate about consolidation, market power, and regulations. The records that are responsive to this request will spotlight the way the government shapes antitrust policy and will also show the ways enforcement is shaped by corporate representatives seeking to influence public policy.

Also, the information sought has informative value, or potential for contribution to public understanding. Please note the decision in Elizabeth Eudey v. Central Intelligence Agency, 478 F. Supp. 1175 1176 (D.C.D. 1979) (even a single document has the potential for contributing to public understanding). As the senior editor for investigations at Newsweek/IBT, I plan to disseminate this information to the public at large through publication in Newsweek and at International Business Times. Those award-winning publications get millions of visitors per month.

In addition, the release of this information will have a significant impact on public understanding because it will illustrate how antitrust enforcement decisions are influenced and made by public officials. Antitrust enforcement matters affect tens of millions of Americans in their daily lives, and these documents will show how those matters are perceived by public officials and influenced by outside interests.

In your deliberations, please take note of the following cases: Campbell v. U.S. Department of Justice, 334 U.S. App. D.C. (1998)(administrative and seemingly repetitious information is not exempt from fee-waiver consideration); Project on Military Procurement (agencies cannot reject a fee waiver based on the assumption that the information sought is covered by a FOIA exemption; and Landmark Legal Foundation v. Internal Revenue Service, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21722 (D.C.D. 1998)(the fact that the information will soon be turned over to a public body does not exempt the material from fee-waiver consideration).

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.


David Sirota
(646) 867-7100


Good morning,

Copies of public financial disclosure reports (OGE Form 278es and 278-Ts) are not available under FOIA, pursuant to FOIA Exemption 3, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(3) as material specifically exempted from disclosure by another statute. Instead, the Ethics in Government Act (5 U.S.C. app. § 105) and OGE regulations provide for a special access provision for public financial disclosure reports. Requesters are required to use the OGE Form 201 to access OGE Form 278s: https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%20Forms/CFB7B3F7AB6CCFFF85257EA7004DD17F?opendocument

For individuals who are required to have their reports certified by OGE, you may use OGE's online system to access reports:

· Officials occupying positions for which the pay is set at Levels 1 and 2 of the Executive Schedule: https://extapps2.oge.gov/201/Presiden.nsf/PAS%20Index?OpenView.

· Other PAS officials: https://extapps2.oge.gov/201/Presiden.nsf/201+Request?OpenForm.

For all other reports, you must submit a Form 201 request to the employing agency.

Because of the special access provision, we have not logged this in as a FOIA request. If you prefer a more formal FOIA determination letter, please let us know.

Thank you.


There are no files associated with this request.