Request for documents of the Executive Office, OFC, IOC-2, and Regional OCDETF Co-Located Strike Forces

T. McElwee filed this request with the Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces of the United States of America.
Due Nov. 19, 2019
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: T. McElwee

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Copies of the most recent governing documents and/or stock form types from the Executive Office for Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, the OCDETF Fusion Center (OFC), International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2), and regional OCDETF Co-Located Strike Forces. This includes the following

OCDETF Documents and Forms, including:
• Instructions and templates (either blank/specimen copy or boilerplate/example format) for the filling of OCDETF forms, including the Investigation Initiation Form, Indictment/Information Form; Disposition and Sentencing Report, OCDETF Interim Report, OCDETF Final Report, and the OCDETF Management Information System
• Instructions and templates for verification of said forms by the OCDETF District Coordination Group, the OCDETF Regional, Coordination Group, and the OCDETF Executive Office
• Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) Unit documents including Duties and Responsibilities, CPOT Briefing Book
• Forms and guidance to agencies for making nominations to the CPOT list.

OFC Documents and Forms, including:
• The OFC's governing documents including its Charter, Concept of Operations, Standard Operating Policy and Procedures, Strategic Plan, and all its executed Memoranda of Understanding with federal agencies
• Published instructions or solicitation of federal partners regarding OFC products, including Target Profiles, Cases and Contacts, Proactive Asset Targeting Team, and Initial Case Review (in blank/specimen or boilerplate/example format)
• Forms OFC-1 and OFC-2 (either blank/specimen copy or boilerplate example format)
• Documents governing the use of "Compass" database, such as the Compass Account Management document
• Documents governing the use of the "Merlin" network, including Merlin Rules of Behavior
• Documents governing formulation of Performance Plan and tracking of Performance Indicators

IOC-2 Documents, including:
• The IOC-2's governing documents including its Charter, Concept of Operations, Standard Operating Policy and Procedures, Strategic Plan, and all its executed Memoranda of Understanding with federal agencies
• Published guidance to federal partners regarding the IOC-2 and its resources

Regional OCDETF documents and forms, including:
• Instructions to partners regarding the Regional Priority Organization Target (RPOT) list
• The most general guidance of the Executive Office regarding the establishment and operations of Regional OCDETF Co-Located Strike Forces

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,

T. McElwee

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

In reference to your FOIA request, please see the attached acknowledgment.

Thank you for your inquiry.

OCDETF FOIA Office

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Mr. McElwee,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Although we cannot provide an ETA at this time, we are currently processing your request.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to process your request.

OCDETF FOIA OFFICE

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Thank you for your inquiry.

Please be advised that due to necessary operational changes as a result of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Therefore, there may be some additional delay in the processing of your request. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Additionally, please also be advised that your request has been assigned to the complex track due to the amount of records requested and the number of Offices required to perform a search. You may wish to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive records; or you may wish to await the completion of our records search.

For further assistance or to discuss any aspect of your request, you may contact our FOIA Public Liaison by responding to this email.

Thank you.
OCDETF FOIA Staff

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

OCDETF’s search is complete and the results are under review. Unfortunately, due to necessary operational changes as a result of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, we cannot yet comment on a timeframe. Once we resume full operations, we will be in a better position to provide an estimate. If you would like to narrow the scope of your request to potentially reduce processing time, please let us know.

Again, we apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience during this time.

Thank you.
OCDETF FOIA Staff

From: T. McElwee

To whom it may concern at OCDETF FOIA Staff:

Re: FOIA-OC 02020-0005

In riposte to the FOIA Staffer's last response on the above-captioned FOIL request, I wish to state that I am against reduction in scope, as this FOIL was an exhaustive list of the office's mostly opaque records.

I do, however, wish to explicitly grant permission to the FOIA staff to a "rolling release" method (commonly used at FBI and other DOJ agencies), wherein records are released in some logical order as they are approved for release. I believe this will allow the FOIA Staff to demonstrate good faith effort.

T. McElwee

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Good afternoon,

I apologize for the failure to respond to your earlier e-mail and for the delay in responding to this e-mail. My name is Matt Fay and I am the new Chief Counsel for OCDETF and am temporarily serving as the FOIA point of contact until we hire a full time attorney who will be responsible for a number of records management related matters, including FOIA. My direct e-mail is listed above, but I have full access to this e-mail as well.

We are continuing to identify documents and to conduct the necessary interagency consultation regarding the release of the items you have requested. We will conduct a “rolling release” of documents as you have requested and will release any document we can as soon as they are deemed ready for release. However, although OCDETF is an independent component of DOJ, our interagency make-up requires us to consult with numerous other agencies before we can respond to most FOIA requests, including yours.

Responding to your FOIA request is one of my priorities and I will be virtually meeting with the staff processing this request along with the new attorney advisor assigned to the OCDETF Fusion Center within the next week. I will provide you with an update no later than Friday, March 12th.

Thank you for your patience.
Regards,

Matt Fay

Matt Fay
Chief Counsel
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces
U.S. Department of Justice

From: T. McElwee

Mr. Fay,

Thank you for your considerate reply. I look forward to the Office's production and learning more about the OCDETF's role in the Department.

Again, thank you.

-T. McElwee

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Good morning,

Here is the update I promised in my last e-mail. Unfortunately, we do not have any records ready for release but I continue to work with the records specialist conducting the search and we last virtually met about this request this week. I hope to have a formal, initial response to at least some of the records contained in this request shortly and I will provide another update no later than Wednesday, March 31st.

Thank you.

Matt Fay

Matt Fay
Chief Counsel
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces
U.S. Department of Justice

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Good evening,

Since my last update, OCDETF’s government records specialists have identified over 70 documents (totaling more than 1200 pages) that may be responsive to your request. We are reviewing them to determine if they are releaseable and will conduct a rolling release of documents if we can.

Thank you for your continued patience and I will provide another update no later than the end of the work day on Friday, 30 April.

Matt

From: T. McElwee

Good evening Mr. Fay,

That is outstanding work, counsel. My compliments to the specialists. I look forward to the rolling release.

-TM

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Good afternoon,

Here is the update I promised on March 31st.

We have not identified any additional documents. We are in the process of reviewing the documents that we did identify. We have not identified any record that can be released. We understand that you have requested a “rolling release” and we will continue to try to identify records which can be produced.

Please be advised that due to necessary operational changes as a result of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there may be some delay in the processing of your request. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c) (2018). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.

If we are unable to release any records prior to Friday, May 28th, I will provide another update at that time.

Matt

Matt Fay
Chief Counsel
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces
U.S. Department of Justice

From: Department Of Justice, Executive Office For Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces

Good afternoon,

We process continue the process of reviewing the identified documents that we mentioned below. We have not identified any record that can be released. We understand that you have requested a “rolling release” and we will continue to try to identify records which can be produced. Furthermore, we have not identified any additional documents.

Please note – I have resigned my position at OCDETF and will be leaving government service this week. OCDETF is recruiting a Chief Counsel, but has not identified my relief. However, OCDETF has made an offer to another person to serve as the attorney advisor in charge of FOIA/Privacy Act/Records Management matters, but this person is not expected to start work until later this summer. I have identified your FOIA request as a priority for the person who will be handling FOIA matters in the interim. Until a permanent FOIA coordinator is announced, please direct all further questions to OCDETF’s general FOIA email address which is on the Cc line.

Please be advised that due to necessary operational changes as a result of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there may be some delay in the processing of your request. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c) (2018). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.

Matt Fay
Chief Counsel
Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces
U.S. Department of Justice

From: T. McElwee

Matt, et al.,

Best wishes on the next chapter on your life.

I will try to stay posted on the OCDETF's succession process and plan accordingly.

-TM

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