Processing Notes for Control Number 2016-006 (FOIA)

Remington Nevin filed this request with the Defense Health Agency of the United States of America.
Est. Completion None
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Withdrawn

Communications

From: Remington Nevin

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All processing notes (including email correspondence between staff at DHA and AFHSC/AFHSB) related to DHA's processing of a FOIA request sent to DHA dated August 25, 2015 for "[a]ll requests for analysis (dated from January 1, 1998 through the date of processing of this request) recorded in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) 'request manager' application (or any related tracking system maintained by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center) to specifically include the request tracking number, date of request, requestor, title of request, and the request instructions.", and which was formally assigned Control Number 2016-006 (FOIA) by DHA in a letter by Ms. Nadine Brown dated October 8, 2015, and closed by DHA without return of responsive documents in a letter by Ms. Nadine Brown dated January 26, 2016 which noted "[a]fter a thorough search and review with the program office, it was determined that your request lacks the specificity required. In addition, completing the request would place an administrative burden due to the volume of documents sought. A record has not been described with sufficient particularity to enable the AFHSC to locate it by conducting a reasonable search."

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,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Saenz, Rodolfo P CTR (US)

Good evening Mr. Nevin,

Per our conversation a month or so ago, I am re-processing these cases (3 listed below 006-008) which were erroneously closed (006 which you reference in your email below) or going to be closed based on a 'narrowing' of scope issue. Though the most recent request for responsive FOIA processing docs is the most recent we can lump that response into the new responses to 006-008 I hope to get soon.

In addition, I'm working on getting copies of the documents we had reviewed on the phone (the b5'd report(s) pertaining to Mefloquine drafted between 9/13 and 714, an unredacted copy of the presentation by an AFHSC scientist, minutes and another).

I hope to have a response for you soon regarding some of these items.

Thanks for your patience,

Paul

FOIA-2016-006 10/16/2015 All requests for analysis (dated from January 1, 1998 through the date of processing of this request) recorded in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) request manager application (or any related tracking system maintained by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center) to specifically include the request tracking number, date of request, requestor, title of request, and the request instructions.
FOIA-2016-007 10/16/2015 Any reports since January 1, 2007, including any work product archived in the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS) request manager, and including any official reports or correspondence released to internal DoD or external non-DoD customers, listing the number of serum specimens obtained from the spouses and child beneficiaries of military personnel, stored in the DoD Serum Repository (DoDSR) at the time of the analysis, report, or correspondence, to include any work product, report, or correspondence released to RAND in support of their research published as "Harnessing Full Value from the DoD Serum Repository and the Defense Medical Surveillance System" (2010)
FOIA-2016-008 10/16/2015 All internal AFHSC and external DoD and non-DoD requests for analysis related to use of, or health effects related to use of, the drug mefloquine, received or processed by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), from January 1, 2012 to July 1, 2014, as recorded in the "request manager" or a related tracking system, to include the results of any such analysis produced for AFHSC and external DoD and non-DoD customers as a result of such requests.


Paul Saenz
Senior Analyst, Axiom
Defense Health Headquarters
DHA Privacy and Civil Liberties Office
7700 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 5101
Falls Church, VA  22042
(703) 275-6013

From: Remington Nevin

Dear DHA FOIA Staff,

Please acknowledge receipt of my request for all processing notes for DHA FOIA Control Number 2016-006. This request was sent to your office in an email dated January 26, 2016, and has yet to be formally acknowledged or assigned a DHA control number.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8901 Wisconsin Avenue (Building 27)
Bethesda, MD 20889

Re: Constructive Denial of Unacknowledged FOIA Request Sent January 26, 2016, re: Processing Notes for DHA FOIA 2016-006.

Dear Office of the General Counsel,

This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I am writing to appeal the constructive denial of a request made under the FOIA.

As can be verified at the public website MuckRock (https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/processing-notes-for-control-number-2016-006-foia-23586/), on January 26, 2016, I submitted a FOIA request (the “Request”) to DHA seeking all processing notes (including email correspondence between staff at DHA and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center/Branch (AFHSC/AFHSB) related to DHA's processing of DHA FOIA 2016-006.

Nearly three months have passed since I submitted my Request, and DHA has not provided any documents responsive to my Request, nor has it even acknowledged my by assigning it a formal FOIA control number. Multiple email correspondence with DHA, dated February 25, 2016; March 16, 2016; and April 9, 2016 have also not resulted in a formal acknowledgement of this FOIA request.

The FOIA requires an agency to respond to a request for records within 20 days. [See 5 USC § 552(a)(6)(A)(i)]. Where an agency invokes a need to consult with “two or more components of [an] agency having substantial subject-matter interest” in a request, the FOIA permits a 10-day extension of time to respond. The DHA has not sent me any documentation claiming invocation of this extension.

Similarly, the DHA has not asserted that “extraordinary circumstances” exist to justify its refusal to respond to this request within the time period required by the FOIA. Therefore, the DHA response to this request was due on or about February 15, 2016.

The DHA’s failure to response to this request within the time period required by the FOIA serves as a constructive denial of the request, and I am therefore deemed to have exhausted my administrative remedies [See 5 USC § 552(a)(6)(C)]. In light of the foregoing, I can be left with no other impression that DHA is not exercising due diligence in responding to this Request.

I respectfully request that DHA respond to this appeal within 20 business days [see 5 USC § 552(a)(6)(A)(ii)]. If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact me.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8901 Wisconsin Avenue (Building 27)
Bethesda, MD 20889

Dear Office of the General Counsel,

Re: Constructive Denial of Unacknowledged FOIA Request Sent January 26, 2016, re: Processing Notes for DHA FOIA 2016-006

Please acknowledge receipt of my appeal of the constructive denial referenced above, which I sent to your office April 29, 2016. The original request which I claim has been constructively denied on the basis of non-acknowledgement and non-response was dated January 26, 2016.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Defense Health Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Constructive Denial of Unacknowledged FOIA Request Sent January 26, 2016, re: Processing Notes for DHA FOIA 2016-006

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

Thank you for your letter dated July 28, 2016, in which you acknowledge receipt of various appeals under the FOIA.

Although I appreciate your acknowledgement of a number of my outstanding appeals, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in your letter you do not acknowledge receipt of my appeal dated April 29, 2016, in which I appealed the constructive denial of an as-yet unacknowledged FOIA request, first sent January 26, 2016, seeking the processing notes for DHA FOIA 2016-006 .

As can be verified at the public website MuckRock (https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/processing-notes-for-control-number-2016-006-foia-23586/), on January 26, 2016, I submitted a FOIA request (the “Request”) to DHA seeking all processing notes (including email correspondence between staff at DHA and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center/Branch (AFHSC/AFHSB) related to DHA's processing of DHA FOIA 2016-006.

At this time, nearly seven months have passed since I submitted my request, and DHA has not provided any documents responsive to my request, nor has it even acknowledged my request by assigning it a formal FOIA control number. Multiple email correspondence with DHA, dated February 25, 2016; March 16, 2016; and April 9, 2016 have also not resulted in a formal acknowledgement of this FOIA request. On April 29, 2016, as noted above, I submitted an appeal to your office on the basis of constructive denial, and wrote to your office again May 24, 2016 seeking an acknowledgement of receipt of this appeal.

Please acknowledge receipt of this appeal, and advise me at your earliest convenience as to the status of your review and whether any further clarification of the basis for my appeal is needed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

From: Remington Nevin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT APPEAL
Defense Health Agency Office of General Counsel
National Capital Region Medical Directorate
Attn: Mr. Paul T. Cygnarowicz
8955 Wood Road, Building 1, Floor 9
Bethesda, MD 20889-5628

Re: Constructive Denial of Unacknowledged FOIA Request Sent January 26, 2016, re: Processing Notes for DHA FOIA 2016-006

Dear Mr. Cygnarowicz,

Thank you for your letter dated July 28, 2016, in which you acknowledge receipt of various appeals under the FOIA.

Although I appreciate your acknowledgement of a number of my outstanding appeals, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in your letter you do not acknowledge receipt of my appeal dated April 29, 2016, in which I appealed the constructive denial of an as-yet unacknowledged FOIA request, first sent January 26, 2016, seeking the processing notes for DHA FOIA 2016-006 .

As can be verified at the public website MuckRock (https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/processing-notes-for-control-number-2016-006-foia-23586/), on January 26, 2016, I submitted a FOIA request (the “Request”) to DHA seeking all processing notes (including email correspondence between staff at DHA and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center/Branch (AFHSC/AFHSB) related to DHA's processing of DHA FOIA 2016-006.

At this time, nearly seven months have passed since I submitted my request, and DHA has not provided any documents responsive to my request, nor has it even acknowledged my request by assigning it a formal FOIA control number. Multiple email correspondence with DHA, dated February 25, 2016; March 16, 2016; and April 9, 2016 have also not resulted in a formal acknowledgment of this FOIA request. On April 29, 2016, as noted above, I submitted an appeal to your office on the basis of constructive denial and wrote to your office again May 24, 2016 seeking an acknowledgment of receipt of this appeal.

Please acknowledge receipt of this appeal, and advise me at your earliest convenience as to the status of your review and whether any further clarification of the basis for my appeal is needed.

Sincerely,

Dr. Remington Nevin

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