|Submitted||May 4, 2015|
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To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
Any and all letters, memos, notes, reports, and other records sent by the U.S. State Department or anyone acting as a representative of that office or anyone communicating information initially sourced from that office to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) or any representative of that office containing directives, suggestions, or opinions on the number of SIGAR staff in Afghanistan, the work of SIGAR, or the direction the State Department would prefer SIGAR's work take. Special Inspector General John Sopko referred to one aspect of attempted State Department influence over staffing during testimony on April 29, 2015 before the House Subcommittee on National Security, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform [https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/testimony/SIGAR-15-56-TY.pdf], in which he stated:
"Since I was appointed Special Inspector General, I believe SIGAR has conducted highly effective, productive, and independent oversight. Nevertheless, within the past week, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul informed SIGAR that, because of a State Department requirement to 'normalize' or 'rightsize' the Chief of Mission presence in Afghanistan, we must reduce our staff by 40 percent, from 42 to 25 deployed positions, by summer 2016. SIGAR was told that this 40 percent cut is non-negotiable. This arbitrary number was developed without SIGAR’s input, and embassy officials did not provide any explanation for how they determined these cuts."
This request is being made as part of journalistic coverage. The requested documents will be made available to the general public. This request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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.
Beryl C.D. Lipton
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thank you for your help.
This is the final response regarding your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request with the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
(SIGAR). I have attached to this email our response letter and the documents
responsive to your request.
FOIA Office Assistant
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)