Prescription Drug Larcenies- Syracuse VA

Vaughn Golden filed this request with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration of the United States of America.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Vaughn Golden

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All VA police reports involving the larceny, theft, or similar misconduct of scheduled prescription medications from the Syracuse VA Medical Center between the dates 01/01/2014 and present.

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,

Vaughn Golden

From: Laub, Kerstin

September 1, 2017

Vaugh Golden FOIA Request No.: 17-090097-F
requests@muckrock.com

Dear Mr. Golden:

This letter is the initial agency decision on your May 31, 2017, request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, for a copy of all VA police reports involving larceny, theft, or similar misconduct of scheduled prescription medications from the Syracuse VA Medical Center between the dates January 1, 2014 and present. Your FOIA request was received by the VHA FOIA Office on June 1, 2017 and referred to the Syracuse VA Medical Center FOIA Officer. Your request was received in my office on June 6, 2017.

The VA Medical Center conducted a search and from that search provided the enclosed Uniform Offense Report (police report) that is responsive to your request. However, all information compiled for law enforcement purposes which, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy have been withheld under FOIA Exemption 7C, [5 U.S,C. § 552 (b)(7)(C)].

FOIA Exemption 7C, [5 U.S,C. § 552 (b)(7)(C)] permits VA to withhold a document or information in a document if the Agency compiled the document for a law enforcement purpose and if disclosure of the information could be reasonable expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of a living individual's personal privacy. Stated another way, VA may withhold information under exemption 7 (C) where there is a reasonable likelihood that disclosure of the information, either by itself or in conjunction with other information available to either the public or the FOIA requester, could result in an unwarranted invasion of an individual's person privacy without contributing significantly to the public's understanding of the activities of the federal government. This exemption continues to apply to information after completion or cessation of the law enforcement activity in which the information was gathered. Specifically, the names, social security numbers, dates of birth, ages, home addresses, and driver's license numbers of the individuals included in these reports have been withheld under this exemption.

In addition, I am withholding the names , social security numbers, dates of birth, ages, home addresses, and driver's license numbers of the individuals included in these reports which, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individual's personal privacy, under FOIA Exemption 6, [5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6)].

FOIA Exemption 6 permits VA to withhold information within a document if disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of a living individual's personal privacy. Stated another way, VA may withhold information under Exemption 6 where disclosure of the information, either by itself or in conjunction with other information available to either the public or the FOIA requester, would result in an unwarranted invasion of an individual's personal privacy without contributing significantly to the public's understanding of the activities of the federal government.

The individuals associated with this information have a personal privacy interest in it. Further, I have not been able to identify a countervailing public interest of sufficient magnitude to outweigh the privacy interest in this case. I cannot identify how the release of this information will contribute significantly to the public's understanding of the operations and administration of VHA.

If you disagree with my determination to withhold the information under FOIA Exemption 6, please be advised you may appeal to:

Office of the General Counsel (024)

Department of Veterans Affairs

810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20420

Email: ogcfoiaappeals@va.gov<mailto:ogcfoiaappeals@va.gov>

If you should choose to file an appeal, your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted no later than ninety (90) calendar days from the date of this letter. Please include a copy of this letter with your written appeal and clearly state why you disagree with the determinations set forth in this response.

In addition to filing an appeal with the Office of General Counsel regarding my determination, you may also seek assistance and/or dispute resolution services regarding your FOIA request from VHA's FOIA Public Liaison and or Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) as provided below:

VHA FOIA Public Liaison:
Email Address: vhafoia2@va.gov<mailto:vhafoia2@va.gov>
Phone Number: (877) 461-5038

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
Email: ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov>
Fax: (202) 741-5769
Mailing address: Office of Government Information Services
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Thank you for your interest in VA. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at (315) 425-4400, extension 52001.
Sincerely,

Kerstin H. Laub, RHIA, CPC
Privacy/FOIA Officer
Records Manager
Syracuse VA Medical Center
(315) 425-4400, x 52001

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