Records relating to ethics pledge (Department of Agriculture)

Nick Surgey filed this request with the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2017-OCIO-04029-F
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Nick Surgey

To Whom It May Concern:

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

To Whom It May Concern:

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

1. Copies of the signed ethics pledges required under the Executive Order issued by President Trump on January 28, 2017 titled “Ethics Commitments By Executive Branch Appointees,” for all political appointees hired since January 20, 2017.

2. Copies of any written waivers relating to the ethics pledge required under the Executive Order issued by President Trump on January 28, 2017 titled “Ethics Commitments By Executive Branch Appointees.” Please provide any waivers signed from January 20, 2017 up and until the date that you provide a response to this request.

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 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,

Nick Surgey

From: Jordan, Christine - OCIO

Good morning, Mr. Surgey.

This e-mail acknowledges receipt of the May 3, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department FOIA Office (DFO). The DFO received your request on May 3rd.

The DFO is under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and serves as the focal point for USDA's FOIA program. The DFO provides coordination and ensures agency-wide compliance with the FOIA. Additionally, the DFO processes requests and appeals on behalf of the Office of the Secretary and Departmental Management's ("DM") components. For a complete listing of DM's components, please visit http://www.dm.usda.gov/agencies.htm.

The FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), requires USDA to make a determination in response to a FOIA request within 20 business days from its date of receipt. In unusual circumstances, the Federal agency time limit may be extended by 10 business days as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a wide-ranging search, including searches with components and possible consultations with components that have a substantial interest in the determination of this request, USDA will invoke a 10 business day extension for determination of your request. You have the option to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive documents.

Provisions of the FOIA allow USDA to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. For purposes of fee assessment, you have been categorized as a media requester, pursuant to 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section (5)(c). You have requested a few waiver. However, your classification as a media requester renders your fee waiver request moot since the only fees that would apply to you are duplication costs beyond the first 100 pages. Since you requested that your response be delivered electronically, duplication costs are not anticipated.

A search will be initiated by the DFO for records responsive to your request. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that a FOIA Analyst in this office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.

Your request has been assigned FOIA Case No. 2017-OCIO-04029-F. Please refer to this case number in any future correspondence. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact me at (202) 772-9091 or electronically at Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov> or USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov>. For additional information regarding USDA FOIA regulations and process, please refer to the information available on-line at www.dm.usda.gov/foia<http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia>.

The DFO Team appreciates the opportunity to assist you in this matter.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Department FOIA Office
Patriot Plaza III, 355 E Street, SW
Washington DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Jordan, Christine - OCIO

Good afternoon, Mr. Surgey.

Please find attached the Final Response Letter and corresponding Responsive Records associated with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted recently to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A copy of your incoming request also is attached for your reference.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Department FOIA Office
Patriot Plaza III, 355 E Street, SW
Washington DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

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