Political appointee - list and resumes (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

Nick Surgey filed this request with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States of America.
Tracking #




From: Nick Surgey

To Whom It May Concern:

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

1. A list of any and all political appointments at the agency appointed from January 20, 2017 until the date of your final response to this request.

2. Copies of resumes for any and all political appointees hired since January 20, 2017 until the date of your final response to this request. These records are likely in the possession of the Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO).

Please provide these records as available on a rolling basis.

This request is being filed jointly by Nick Surgey of the Center for Media and Democracy, and Lee Fang of the Intercept/First Look Media.

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 Intercept is a publication of First Look Media. Launched in 2013, First Look Media is a multi-platform media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to arts, culture, media and entertainment. First Look Media produces and distributes content in a wide range of forms including feature films, short-form video, podcasts, interactive media and long-form journalism, for its own digital properties and with partners. The Intercept, which covers a range of issues, including political corruption, civil liberties, and mass surveillance, has won a number of journalism awards – including the prestigious National Magazine Award.

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.


Nick Surgey

From: Brown, Barbara (VACO FOIA)

Dear Mr. Surgey,

This is to acknowledge your May 30, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requesting 1) a list of all political appointments at the agency appointed from 1/20/2017 until the date of your final response and 2) copies of resumes for any and all political appointees hired since 1/20/2017 until the date of your final response.

The FOIA Service received your request on May 30, 2017, and assigned it tracking number 17-10339-F. Please refer to this number when communicating with the VA about this request.

The records you seek are not located in this office. The records would be maintained by the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Management. Your request has been referred to Ms. Jean Hayes at the following address:

Department of Veterans of Affairs
Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary for
Human Resources Management
Attention: Ms. Jean Hayes
810 Vermont Avenue (054A)
Washington, DC 20420
Phone: (202) 461-7863
Facsimile: (202) 273-7871

Questions regarding the status of your request should be directed to Ms. Hayes.

If you have any further questions concerning this letter, you may contact Ms. Barbara Brown at (202) 632-7382.


Barbara J. Brown
Government Information Specialist
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Privacy and Records Management
VA FOIA Service (005R1C)

202-632-7382 (Telephone)
202-400-5958 (Mobile)
202-632-7581 (Fax)
Hotline: 1-877-750-3642

Confidentiality Notice -- This email message, including all of the attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and contains confidential information. Unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not use, disclose, copy or disseminate this information. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender immediately by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message, including attachments.

From: Brown, Barbara (VACO FOIA)

Good morning,

Because we do not have the records in our office, once we transfer the FOIA request to the appropriate office and POC, we no longer are involved in the processing. Please contact Jean Hayes at the number listed in the acknowledgment email. In addition, her email address is jean.hayes@va.gov<mailto:jean.hayes@va.gov>. I hope that this is helpful to you. Thank you.


Good Afternoon,

Attached is the agency initial decision letter along with requested
information for the FOIA information you requested.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kimberly Dori

Policy Program Manager & FOIA Officer

Corporate Senior Executive Management Office

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20420

Office: (202) 461-7812

Cell: (202) 820-1276