SF-311 forms (Department of Treasury)

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of Treasury of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2017-02-240
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Copies of all drafted or submitted SF-311 forms (https://www.archives.gov/files/isoo/security-forms/sf311.pdf) for all available years.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, 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 the non-profit Internet Archive, 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 such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived. Per DOJ FOIA guidance, "a requester should be granted a fee waiver if the requested information (1) sheds light on the activities and operations of the government; (2) is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations and activities; and (3) is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." As this FOIA meets all of those requirements (see above), a fee waiver is warranted.

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,

Michael Best

From:

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury has received the information you submitted to the TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov<mailto:TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov> mailbox.

If you are submitting a FOIA request, this courtesy reply does not replace the acknowledgement letter which will include a FOIA case number once your request has been entered into our FOIA Request Tracking System.

If you are seeking the status of a pending FOIA request for which you have a FOIA case number, please call (202) 622-0930 to obtain the status of your request.

Please visit our FOIA Library at http://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Pages/reading_room.aspx.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

From:

Good Afternoon,

Please see the Department of the Treasury's receipt letter pertaining to your recently submitted FOIA request. Please refer to the information provided in the receipt letter when inquiring about your FOIA request

Respectfully,

Katelyn DeLucca
Government Information Specialist
Privacy, Transparancy, Records
Department of the Treasury
Email: TreasFOIA@treasury.gov<mailto:TreasFOIA@treasury.gov>

From:

Good afternoon,

The attached letter from the Department of the Treasury contains information you should review concerning your recently submitted FOIA request.

Thank you,

Cawana

From: Michael Best

Respectfully, I did provide "sufficient detail to enable government employees who are familiar with the subject
area to locate records."

From:

[cid:image001.jpg@01D0A2E1.4C3000A0]

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has received the information you submitted to the TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov<mailto:TREASFOIA@TREASURY.gov> mailbox.

If you are submitting a FOIA request, this courtesy reply does not replace the acknowledgement letter which will include a FOIA case number once your request has been entered into our FOIA Request Tracking System.

If you are seeking the status of a pending FOIA request for which you have a FOIA case number, please call (202) 622-0930 to obtain the status of your request.

Please visit our FOIA Library at http://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Pages/reading_room.aspx.

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

From:

Good afternoon,

Attached is a letter from Department of the Treasury requesting additional information from you regarding your recently submitted FOIA request. Please refer to the information provided in the acknowledgment letter when providing additional information.
Thanks!

From: Michael Best

I'm not sure how my request isn't clear. I am requesting a specific type of form, which is filed a limited number of times and to specific offices. This should be easy for anyone familiar with the matter to formulate a search. Please clarify how it isn't so that I may help you, or proceed with the search.

From:

Good morning Mr. Best,

The program office which maintains the type of records you seek has advised that they need a timeframe for the search in order to process your request. If you provide a timeframe of the search, I can assign your request to the program office for processing.

Thank you,

Cawana

From: Michael Best

All available years, per my original request. You may interpret this to mean "from the inception of the SF-311 form to the date of the processing of the search for this request" if that helps.

From:

Hi Mr. Best,

We have a decentralized FOIA process. The FOIA POC in the program office is new and initially advised me that they needed a timeframe for the records you seek. I have been in communication with them since your email and have a better understanding of the records you seek. I will be assigning the request to the program office for processing. I will be sending you an acknowledgement letter by tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you,

Cawana

From:

Good afternoon,

Attached is information regarding your recently submitted FOIA request. When inquiring about your request, please refer to the information provided in the acknowledgement letter.

Thank you,

Cawana

From:

Good morning,

Attached is an administrative closure letter in response to your recently submitted FOIA request. If contacting our office regarding this request, please reference the information provided in our letter.

Thank you,

Cawana

From:

Good afternoon,

Our office is in receipt of your correspondence dated April 21, 2017 addressed as an appeal. I apologize for any difficulties you may have experienced regarding receiving Treasury's letter of February 28, 2017 advising you that your FOIA request was imperfect; I've attached a copy of the letter for your convenience. Please review the letter, modify your request and submit it via email to TreasFOIA@treasury.gov. We will assign your request a new FOIA number and do our very best to address your request as quickly as possible. As indicated in our letter of February 28, 2017, your request was closed on April 11, 2017.

Thank you,

Cawana Pearson
FOIA Case Manager, FOIA and Transparency
Privacy, Transparency, and Records
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Cawana.pearson@treasury.gov
(202) 622-3503

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