SF-311 2017 (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)

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

18-10246-F, 18-10244-F

Multi Request SF-311 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Emma Best


To Whom It May Concern:

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

Copies of all drafted, submitted or received SF-311 forms (https://www.archives.gov/files/isoo/security-forms/sf311.pdf) produced in the year prior to the receipt of this FOIA request. SF-311 forms may also be identified as Agency Security Classification Management Program Data.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the Internet Archive and MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media.

Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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,

Emma Best

From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Dear Ms. Best:

This letter acknowledges receipt of your electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) dated June 18, 2018, requesting "copies of all drafted, submitted or received SF-311 forms produced in the year prior to the receipt of this FOIA request" and dated June 25, 2018, requesting "copies of all drafted, submitted or received SF-716 forms produced from January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2017."

The FOIA Service received your requests on June 18, 2018 and June 25, 2018 and assigned them FOIA tracking numbers 18-10246-F and 18-10244-F. Please refer to these numbers when communicating with the VA about these requests.

The records you requested are maintained at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security, and Preparedness. Your requests has been referred to Ms. Tanya Al-Khateeb at the following address:

Department of Veterans of Affairs
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Operations,
Security, and Preparedness
Attention: Tanya Al-Khateeb
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420
Office: (202) 461-6587
Facsimile: (202) 461-0963
Email: vacoospfoia@va.gov<mailto:vacoospfoia@va.gov>

Questions regarding the status of your request should be directed to Ms. Al-Khateeb.

We appreciate your interest in the VA. If you have any further questions concerning this letter, you may contact Ms. Barbara Brown at (202) 632-7382.

Sincerely,

Barbara J. Brown
Government Information Specialist, FOIA Service
Office of Privacy, Quality, Privacy, and Risk (QPR)
Office of Information and Technology (OI&T)

202-632-7382 (Telephone)
202-400-5958 (Mobile)
202-632-7581 (Fax)
Hotline: 1-877-750-3642

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From: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Good morning,

Please contact Ms. Tanya Al-Khateeb, the FOIA Officer on your acknowledgment letter (below) for the status of your request. Thank you.
Regards,

Files