Scott Gottlieb emails

Alexander Rony filed this request with the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2017-3853

Due April 21, 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Alexander Rony

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request former FDA employee Scott Gottlieb's emails containing the following case-insensitive keywords:

genetic; genetically; modified; engineered; phthalates; bentgrass; AquAdvantage; salmon; labeling; natural; antibiotic; antibiotics; rBGH; bovine; growth; hormone; hormones; rBST; pesticide; pesticides; glyphosate; neonicotinoid; neonicotinoids; Monsanto; Roundup; Bayer; Dow; DuPont; Syngenta; and ChemChina.

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,

Alexander Rony

From: Food and Drug Administration

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Kotler, Sarah

Dear Mr. Roney,

I am writing to you regarding your request for Scott Gottlieb's email. Please call me at your earliest convenience to discuss.

Thanks,

Sarah B. Kotler, J.D.
Director
Office of the Executive Secretariat
Division of Freedom of Information
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Tel: 301-796-8976
Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov<mailto:Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov>

[cid:image001.png@01D1C57E.DFA022A0]<http://www.fda.gov/>

[cid:image002.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0]<https://www.facebook.com/FDA> [cid:image003.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <https://twitter.com/US_FDA> [cid:image004.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.youtube.com/user/USFoodandDrugAdmin> [cid:image005.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdaphotos/> [cid:image006.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds/default.htm>

From: Alexander Rony

Dear Director Kotler,

Thank you for discussing my request with me over the phone today. According to our conversation, it is my understanding that the only email records pertaining to Scott Gottlieb that were maintained by the FDA were emails to or from broad distribution lists. As I am concerned more with direct correspondence with Mr. Gottlieb's professional email address, you may exclude those broad distribution emails from this request. If there is a way for Information Management and Technology to retrieve deleted emails during that time frame, I would appreciate it for Mr. Gottlieb's email account.

I am also aware that official correspondence that went through the Office of the Commissioner was archived starting in 2005. Please amend my request to include these records that were sent from or to or referenced Scott Gottlieb.

Thank you,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Kotler, Sarah

Dear Mr. Rony,

The only records we can recover from Mr. Gottlieb were the ones I described to you during our call. Therefore, with respect to your current request, we have no responsive records (appeal rights below). We will log your email below as a request for any official OC correspondence.

You have the right to appeal this determination. By filing an appeal, you preserve your rights under FOIA and give the agency a chance to review and reconsider your request and the agency's decision.

Your appeal must be mailed within 90 days from the date of this response, to:

Ms. Catherine Teti

Deputy Agency Chief FOIA Officer

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs

Room 729H

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, DC 20201

Please clearly mark both the envelope and your letter "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

If you would like to discuss our response before filing an appeal to attempt to resolve your dispute without going through the appeals process, please contact me at 301-796-8976 or Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov. You may also contact the FDA FOIA Public Liaison for assistance at:

Office of the Executive Secretariat

US Food & Drug Administration

5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1050

Rockville, MD 20857

E-mail: FDAFOIA@fda.hhs.gov<mailto:FDAFOIA@fda.hhs.gov>

If you are unable to resolve your FOIA dispute through our FOIA Public Liaison, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the Federal FOIA Ombudsman's office, offers mediation services to help resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies. The contact information for OGIS is:

Office of Government Information Services
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Telephone: 202-741-5770

Toll-Free: 1-877-684-6448

E-mail: ogis@nara.gov<mailto:ogis@nara.gov>

Fax: 202-741-5769

Sincerely,

Sarah B. Kotler, J.D.
Director
Office of the Executive Secretariat
Division of Freedom of Information
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Tel: 301-796-8976
Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov<mailto:Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov>

[cid:image001.png@01D1C57E.DFA022A0]<http://www.fda.gov/>

[cid:image002.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0]<https://www.facebook.com/FDA> [cid:image003.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <https://twitter.com/US_FDA> [cid:image004.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.youtube.com/user/USFoodandDrugAdmin> [cid:image005.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdaphotos/> [cid:image006.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds/default.htm>

From: Department of Health and Human Services

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Kotler, Sarah

Dear Requester,

I am writing in response to your request for correspondence to/from Scott Gottlieb. Your request has been referred to the FOIA Office of the Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services. That office will respond to your request. Contact information is available at:

https://www.hhs.gov/foia/contacts/index.html

Please contact me directly if you have any questions at 301-796-8976 or Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov. You may also contact the FDA FOIA Public Liaison, Office of the Executive Secretariat, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1050, Rockville, MD 20857; email: FDAFOIA@fda.hhs.gov<mailto:FDAFOIA@fda.hhs.gov>.

Sincerely,

Sarah B. Kotler, J.D.
Director
Office of the Executive Secretariat
Division of Freedom of Information
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Tel: 301-796-8976
Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov<mailto:Sarah.Kotler@fda.hhs.gov>

[cid:image001.png@01D1C57E.DFA022A0]<http://www.fda.gov/>

[cid:image002.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0]<https://www.facebook.com/FDA> [cid:image003.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <https://twitter.com/US_FDA> [cid:image004.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.youtube.com/user/USFoodandDrugAdmin> [cid:image005.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdaphotos/> [cid:image006.jpg@01D1C57E.DFA022A0] <http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds/default.htm>

From: HHS

RE: 2017-00731-FOIA-OS
Dear Mr. Rony:
This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, dated: March 24, 2017, concerning former FDA employee Scott Gottlieb's emails.
We received your request on May 09, 2017, and have begun processing your request.  Please see attached for additional information.
Sincerely,
Natasha Taylor
Government Information Specialist
Main Office Line:  202-690-7453

From: Alexander Rony

Dear Mr. Marquis and Ms. Taylor,

Thank you for your May 9 acknowledgment letter of my FOIA request (number 2017-00731-FOIA-OS). In it, you stated, "If your request seeks a waiver or reduction of the fees that we would customarily charge for furnishing agency records and your request does not contain sufficient information to enable us to determine whether a waiver or reduction of fees is warranted, you should provide such information to this office within 10 working days of receipt of this letter.

I respectfully request that you waive all fees in connection with this request as provided by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The Sierra Club is a national environmental nonprofit with no commercial interest in obtaining the requested information. Instead, our organization intends to analyze and disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public can be better informed and meaningfully participate in the proper oversight of food and drugs.

The subject matter of the requested records is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government by disclosing the views of the new head of the Food and Drug Administration on certain topics that are expected to come before the government.

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise in the subject area, specifically the development of policies designed to safeguard public health, reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in food, and encourage a sustainable agricultural economy. Our supporters have filed hundreds of thousands of public comments to agencies related to these issues.

The Sierra Club also has the ability and intention to disseminate the information it receives through this request. The information may be shared through emails to an audience of hundreds of thousands of people, Facebook and Twitter posts reaching thousands of individuals, articles on our website, and analysis provided to the media.

In addition to being granted a public interest fee waiver, I ask that I be properly categorized as a media use requester. My professional duties at the Sierra Club include composing mass communications to our followers, analyzing FOIA responses, and coordinating with press secretaries. Here are three such examples that resulted from my work:

https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/04/hiring-freeze-prevented-epa-filling-hundreds-jobs
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/13/politics/epa-hiring-freeze/index.html
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4480/over-700000-people-tell-government-to-block-seed-mergers

I hope this is enough information for you to grant me a public interest fee waiver and media requester status, but please let me know if you need more details.

Sincerely,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Taylor, Natasha (OS/ASPA)

Good morning,

Your request is in for management’s approval. A final response should be forthcoming very soon. I apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you and best regards.

Sincerely,

Natasha Taylor
Government Information Specialist
FOIA/PA Division
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Hubert H. Humphrey (HHH) Building, Room 745G.5
200 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: (202) 691-2067
Fax: (202) 690-8320

From: Alexander Rony

Dear Ms. Taylor, is there an update regarding Freedom of Information Request #2017-3853? On August 11, 2017, you wrote, "Your request is in for management’s approval. A final response should be forthcoming very soon." I have not received another communication since then through my FOIA service (MuckRock).

Thank you,
Alexander

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