Request for Communications

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

18-04831-F,

18-04831-F, 18-04857-F

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Bryant Sewell

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All records reflecting communication (including emails and telephone logs) between Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy, David James "DJ" Gribbin and any of the following employees: Jim Sullivan (jim.sullivan@va.gov); Katherine Troupe Hendricks (katherine.troupehendricks@va.gov); Michael Greenan (michael.greenan@va.gov); Margot Boyd (margot.boyd@va.gov); Brett Sims (brett.sims@va.gov). Please restrict this search to Feb 1, 2017 through May 1, 2017.

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,

Bryant Sewell

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good morning Mr. Sewell;

The VACO FOIA Service received your electronic FOIA request dated
February 5, 2018, in which you are requesting records reflecting communications
with certain VA employees and David James Gribbin. .

I have attached a copy of the Department of Veterans Affairs'
acknowledgment letter. The attached letter provides you with the referral
and contact information for the referring offices.

This concludes the FOIA Service's response to your request.

Thank you and have a great day.

Joan L. Haynesworth (Contractor)
FOIA Analyst, VACO FOIA Service
Quality, Privacy, and Risk (QPR)
Office of Information and Technology (OI&T)
Cell/Office: (202) 632-8466 / Fax: (202) 632-7581
vacofoiaservice@va.gov<mailto:vacofoiaservice@va.gov>
FOIA Service Hotline: 1-877-750-3642

Please take a moment and let us know how we did by completing a quick evaluation: Got a minute? Rate Our Service!<https://vaww.vashare.oit.va.gov/sites/QPR/Lists/QPR%20Customer%20Satisifaction%20Evaluation/Item/newifs.aspx>

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QPR's Mission Statement:
"To instill and promote a culture of quality, privacy and risk management in collaboration with our business partners to enable a better Veteran experience."

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good Afternoon Mr. Sewell,

Attached you will find all information requested pertaining to FOIA 18-0431-F.

Best Regards,

Michelle Collins-Wesley
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Budget
810 Vermont Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20420
VA CORE VALUES: Integrity Commitment Advocacy Respect Excellence
VA CORE CHARACTERISTICS: Trustworthy │ Accessible │ Quality │ Innovative │ Agile │ Integrated

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From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dear Mr. Sewall,

Let me begin be apologizing. I accidently responded to another email from your organization that was erroneously routed to me thinking that I was responding to you. Attached is the original email that was meant to go to you. This email is a final response to your Freedom of Information Act Request dated 2-5-2018, FOIA tracking # 18-0431-F in which you requested "all records reflecting communication (including emails and telephone logs) between Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure, David James "DJ" Gribbin and any of the following employees: Jim Sullivan, Katherine Troupe Hendricks, Michael Greenan, Margot Boyd, Brett Sims between 2-1-2017 through 5-1-2017."

My colleague Michelle Collins-Wesley processed the portion of the request that related to Katherine Troupe Hendricks and I am processing the portions relating to Jim Sullivan, Michael Greenan, Margot Boyd and Brett Sims emails between 2-1-2017 through 5-1-2017. I apologize for the delay I had to wait on records that had been archived.

After a search for records it was found that there were no telephone logs for this part of the request. Attached please find the responsive records consisting of 11 emails totaling 26 pages as well as one attachment consisting of 10 pages. These documents have been partially redacted under FOIA exemption 6. I will have to send the documents in several emails due to file size.

FOIA Exemption 6 permits VA to withhold a document or information contained within a document if disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of living individual's personal privacy. Stated another way, VA may withhold information under FOIA Exemption 6 where disclosure of the information, either by itself of conjunction with other information available to either the public of 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. Specifically, the information I am withholding under FOIA Exemption (b)(6) contains the names, email addresses and addresses of individuals.

The coverage of FOIA Exemption 6 is absolute unless the FOIA requester can demonstrate a countervailing public interest in the requested information by demonstrating that the individuals are in a position to provide the requested information to members of the general public and that the information requested contributes significantly to the public's understanding of the activities of the Federal government. Additionally, the requester must demonstrate how the public's need to understand the information significantly outweighs the privacy interest of the person to whom the information pertains. Upon consideration of the materials provided, I have not been able to identify a countervailing public interest of sufficient magnitude to outweigh the privacy interest in this case. The individuals associated with this information have a personal privacy interest in information that outweighs any public interest served by disclosure of their identities under FOIA. Consequently, I am partially denying your request for this information under FOIA Exemption 6. 5. U.S.C. § 552 (b)(6),

Additionally, I am withholding 16 emails consisting 38 pages and 3 attachments totaling 12 pages under FOIA exemption 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(5), which protects the decision making process of Government agencies. It protects advisory opinions, recommendations, and deliberations. Information contained within a document that is "pre-decisional" is protected if there is an identifiable deliberative process, and the agency generated the information as part of the agency decision making process.

Your request was processed by the undersigned. You may appeal the determination made in this response to:

General Counsel (024)
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20420

If you should choose to make an appeal, your appeal must be postmarked no later than sixty (60) calendar days after the date of the adverse determination. It must clearly identify the determination being appealed and must include any assigned request number.

The appeal should include:

1. The name of the FOIA Officer

2. The address of the component

3. The date of the component's determination, if any

4. The precise subject matter of the appeal

Thank you,

Kelli Emery
FOIA Officer
Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044)
Investment and Enterprise Development Service (044C)
Telephone: 202-590-8793
FAX: 202-273-9374
kelli.emery@va.gov<mailto:kelli.emery@va.gov>

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dear Mr. Sewall,

Attached please find the remainder of documents released for FOIA 18-0431-F.

Kelli Emery
Project Manager
Office of Asset Enterprise Management (044)
Investment and Enterprise Development Service (044C)
Telephone: 202-590-8793
FAX: 202-273-9374
kelli.emery@va.gov<mailto:kelli.emery@va.gov>

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