PEO Soldier documents regarding TrackingPoint, Inc.

Runa A. Sandvik filed this request with the U.S. Army, Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier) of the United States of America.
Tracking # 16-12 ; FP-15-00686
Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Runa A. Sandvik

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request copies of contracts, invoices, memoranda, briefs, emails, records and any other documents including communications between the agency and TrackingPoint, Inc., created and/or modified after February 2011.

Background: In January 2014, the U.S. Army purchased six TrackingPoint fire control systems to begin exploring purported key target acquisition and aiming technologies. The address for TrackingPoint, Inc. is 3813 helios way Pflugerville, TX 78660.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. I am a published independent reporter and a current contributor to Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/runasandvik/). I have also had my journalism published on domestic and international blogs.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Runa A. Sandvik

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 28, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Parrish, Samuel G CIV USARMY PEO SOLDIER (US)

Ms. Sandvik:

1. On March 23, 2014, you submitted a FOIA request to PEO Soldier for:

Copies of contracts, invoices, memoranda, briefs, emails, records
and any other documents including communications between the agency and
TrackingPoint, Inc. created and/or modified after February 2011.

As background you noted that in January 2014, the U.S. Army purchased six
TrackingPoint fire control systems to begin exploring "purported key target
acquisition and aiming technologies." You provided TrackingPoint's address.

2. You have requested a fee waiver regarding this FOIA request arguing that
it is in the public interest and you are a published independent reporter.
You also indicated that the requested documents will be made available to
the public free of charge as part of the public information service at
MuckRock.com. However, there are many factors which must be considered in
determining whether disclosure of the information "is in the public interest
because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of
the operations or activities of the government."

3. Under Army Regulation 25-55, para. 6-103, please provide the following
information to assist us with the fee waiver determination:

(1) What is the subject of your request and does the subject matter
of your request involve issues which will significantly contribute to the
public understanding of the operations or activities of the Department of
Defense?

(2) What is the informative value of the information to be disclosed
and the substantive contents of the requested records? How will the
requested records contribute to a meaningful understanding of operations or
activities of the Department of Defense?

(3) Will disclosure inform, or have the potential to inform the
public at large, rather than simply the individual requester or small
segment of interested persons? What is the nature of your research, the
purpose of the requested information, and is placing the documents on
MuckRock.com the sole means of disseminating this information to the public?

(4) Whether the information will basically duplicate what is already
known by the general public or whether it will significantly contribute to
public understanding; and

(5) Whether the request is primarily in the commercial interest of
the requester and, if so, what is the magnitude of a commercial interest.

Failure to adequately describe how the request is in the public interest and
not primarily in the requester's commercial interest, may result in the
requester having to pay for the requested documents as a commercial
requester. In addition, a search for responsive records will not be
initiated until agreement has been reached relative to the category of your
request.

3. This does not constitute a denial of your request, but only an attempt
to determine the category of your request for purposes of fee waivers.

Thank You,

Sam Parrish
PEO Soldier
Director, Operations & Communications
BB: 703-459-8056
samuel.g.parrish.civ@mail.mil

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed
next week." George S. Patton

From: Runa A. Sandvik

Mr. Parrish,

Disclosure of the requested records is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to the public understanding of the operations and activities of the Government:

A. The subject of the requested records concerns the operations and activities of the U.S. Army and broader government. The subject of the requested records concerns identifiable operations and activities of the U.S. Army and broader government, such as the exploration of new aiming technologies.

B. The disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of government operations and activities because the disclosable portions of the requested records will be meaningfully informative about those operations and activities.

C. The disclosure of the requested records will contribute to the increased understanding of a broad audience of persons interested in the subject, rather than merely my own individual understanding. Further, I will have the ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public.

As explained herein in more detail, the audience likely to be interested in the subject is broad, and includes, historians of modern American government, politics, culture, and national security; journalists reporting on American politics, government, national security, and society; civil liberties attorneys; and the general public.

I firmly intend to analyze the requested records in order to facilitate significant expansion of public understanding of government operations. I am well qualified to perform this analysis.

Regarding the fee category and request for a fee waiver:

I am a published independent reporter covering a wide-range of issues, including security, privacy, technology, and open government. I am currently a contributor to Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/runasandvik/), but have also had my journalism published on domestic and international blogs.

I am willing to pay any reasonable expenses associated with this request, however, as the purpose of the requested disclosure is in full conformity with the statutory requirements for a waiver of fees, I formally request such a waiver. I request a waiver of all costs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. §552(a)(4)(A)(iii) (“Documents shall be furnished without any charge ... if disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”). Disclosure in this case meets the statutory criteria, and a fee waiver would fulfill Congress’s legislative intent in amending FOIA. See Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rossotti, 326 F.3d 1309, 1312 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (“Congress amended FOIA to ensure that it be ‘liberally construed in favor of waivers for noncommercial requesters.’”). I incorporate by reference the explanation and attached materials in the above sections which demonstrates why the requested information is in the public interest.

DoD 5400.7-R C6.1.4.1 provides that “documents shall be furnished without charge, or at a charge reduced below fees assessed to the categories of requesters in subsection C6.1.5., below, when the Component determines that waiver or reduction of the fees is in the public interest because furnishing the information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the Department of Defense and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”

Should my request for a fee waiver be denied, I request that I be categorized as a member of the news media for fee purposes pursuant to DoD 5400.7-R C6.1.5.7. According to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii), which codified the ruling of Nat’l Security Archive v. Dep’t of Defense, 880 F.2d 1381 (D.C. Cir. 1989), the term “a representative of the news media” means any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. This is consistent with the definition provided in DoD 5400.7-R C6.1.5.7.1.

As the legislative history of FOIA reveals, “It is critical that the phrase ‘representative of the news media’ be broadly interpreted if the act is to work as expected. . . . In fact, any person or organization which regularly publishes or disseminates information to the public . . . should qualify for waivers as a ‘representative of the news media.’” 132 Cong. Rec. S14298 (daily ed. Sept. 30, 1986) (emphasis in original quotation); and 2) “A request by a reporter or other person affiliated with a newspaper, magazine, television or radio station, or other entity that is in the business of publishing or otherwise disseminating information to the public qualifies under this provision.” 132 Cong. Rec. H9463 (Oct. 8, 1986) (emphasis in original quotation)). Therefore, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and relevant case law, I, Runa A. Sandvik, should be considered a representative of the news media.

I have the intent and ability to disseminate this significant expansion of public understanding of government operations. The public interest far outweighs any commercial interest of my own in the requested release. Accordingly, my fee waiver request amply satisfies the rules of DoD 5400.7-R C6.1.4.1. Legislative history and judicial authority emphatically support this determination. For these reasons, and based upon their extensive elaboration above, I request a full waiver of fees be granted. I will appeal any denial of my request for a waiver administratively and to the courts if necessary.

Sincerely,

Runa A. Sandvik

From: U.S. Army, Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier)

The request has been forwarded from one agency to another agency or department for further review or follow up.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 28, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #FP-15-00686.

Thank you for your help.

From: Coleman, Thomas W CIV USARMY PEO SOLDIER (US)

To whom it may concern,

In accordance with the attached memorandum, your FOIA case was referred to Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.

A hard copy was mailed to the address listed at the bottom of this e-mail string in mid November 2014.
Thanks,

Tom

Tom Coleman

Chief, Operations

Program Executive Office Soldier

Off: (703) 704-0722

BB: (703) 944-9389

NIPR: thomas.w.coleman.civ@mail.mil

SIPR: thomas.w.coleman.civ@mail.smil.mil

From: Miller, Kimberly A CIV USARMY ARDEC (US)

Ms. Sandvik,

Your request dated Apr 28, 2014 concerning TrackingPoint, Inc. has been referred to this office for processing and assigned #16-12.

You were advised by Program Executive Office Soldier that your request was referred to me for processing on Nov 11, 2014 but I did not receive the referral. A copy was provided to me this past Fri, Oct 30th.

I'm sorry for the delay and have asked Project Manager Soldier Weapons to conduct a search for the requested information. A response will be provided to you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Kim Miller
Paralegal Specialist/FOIA Officer
U.S. Army ARDEC
Legal Office, Bldg 3
Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000

From: Miller, Kimberly A CIV USARMY ARDEC (US)

CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED

I’m sorry, I haven’t received a response from the Project Manager’s office yet. I have sent a couple of reminders and will keep working on getting a response.

Happy Holidays,

Kim

From: Miller, Kimberly A CIV USARMY ARDEC (US)

I'm sorry for the delay. I still haven't received a response from the program office. I'll have to contact a higher level office.

Sincerely,

Kim

From: Miller, Kimberly A CIV USARMY ARDEC (US)

Ms. Sandvik,

Attached is a partial response to your request.

Sincerely,

Kim Miller
Paralegal Specialist/FOIA Officer
U.S. Army ARDEC
Legal Office, Bldg 3
Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000

From: Gordon, Pamela

February 26, 2016
Ms. Sandvik,
Your request, dated April 28, 2014 has just been received at DLA Troop Support, FOIA number DSCP-16-PFOI-00367. Please confirm within 5 days that you are still interested in pursuing your request or we will administratively close it.  Should you choose to continue we anticipate that due to the complexity of your request our response may exceed 20 days. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.
Pamela Gordon
FOIA Specialist
215-737-3283
pamela.gordon@dla.mil

From: Runa A. Sandvik

Hi Pamela,

Yes, I am still interested in pursuing this request.

Thanks,

Runa

From: Gordon, Pamela S CIV (US)

Ms. Sandvik,

Kindly forward a copy of your request so that I may ensure that we are addressing your request appropriately. Please provide the names of any contracting officers you may have to aid in our search. Additionally, you must include your physical address and please include a phone number as well.

Pamela Gordon
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office
215 737 3283

From: Runa A. Sandvik

Hi,

Please see below for a copy of my 2014 request.

The address to use is:

MuckRock
DEPT MR 11429
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

The phone number for the MuckRock office is (617) 299-1832.

Thanks,

Runa

-- copy --

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request copies of contracts, invoices, memoranda, briefs, emails, records and any other documents including communications between the agency and TrackingPoint, Inc., created and/or modified after February 2011.

Background: In January 2014, the U.S. Army purchased six TrackingPoint fire control systems to begin exploring purported key target acquisition and aiming technologies. The address for TrackingPoint, Inc. is 3813 helios way Pflugerville, TX 78660.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. I am a published independent reporter and a current contributor to Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/sites/runasandvik/). I have also had my journalism published on domestic and international blogs.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Runa A. Sandvik

-- copy --

From: Gordon, Pamela S CIV (US)

Runa,

Your response was sent by US mail last Thursday.

Pamela Gordon
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office
215 737 3283

From: Gordon, Pamela S CIV (US)

Attached is a copy of our response mailed to you on March 22, 2016

Pamela Gordon
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office
215 737 3283

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