Subject: Freedom of Information Act Request: Overseas News Agency (FBI)

Runa Sandvik filed this request with the National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access of the United States of America.
Tracking #

RD 67208

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Runa Sandvik

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All briefs, emails, records, and any other documents on, about, mentioning, or concerning the Overseas News Agency (ONA). ONA was launched by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in the 1940s.

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,

Runa Sandvik

From:

This is an automated reply to inform you that the National Archives and Records Administration received your email.

We have received your request and will respond within 20 working days. Please note that submitting duplicate requests will increase wait times.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 301-837-3190. You can also visit our web page at www.archives.gov/research/foia.

Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Thank you.

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

Dear Runa Sandvik:

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
received by this office on March 22, 2022 for records in the custody of the
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Your request has been
assigned FOIA Tracking Number *RD 67208*.

We are continuing to work on logging in FOIA requests in the order they are
received. Once your request reaches the front of the initial response
queue, a staff member will conduct a search of our index of accessioned FBI
case files in order to identify and pull potentially responsive responsive
record(s), and provide you with a more substantive response detailing the
results of the search and the estimated completion date for your request.

If you have not already done so, we recommend that you submit a FOIA
request to the FBI for case files pertaining to your request. The FBI has
the most comprehensive and up to date case file index, and will be able to
provide you with the case file number(s) of potentially responsive files to
your request if they transferred all of the files to NARA. The FBI can be
contacted at* https://efoia.fbi.gov/ <https://efoia.fbi.gov/>*. You can
then forward those case file numbers (ex: 100-HQ-156987) to our office to
facilitate our search.

Our small staff will continue to work diligently to process each request as
quickly as possible, but please be aware that we are operating at
significantly reduced staffing levels onsite and it is taking longer than
usual. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your
understanding and patience.

If you have any questions concerning this action, or to notify this office
of a change in your contact information, please email
specialaccess_foia@nara.gov or call 301-837-3190. All communications
concerning this request should reference your FOIA Tracking Number* RD
67208*.

Sincerely,

Ashney Randle
Government Information Specialist
Special Access & FOIA Program (RF)
National Archives at College Park

From:

This is an automated reply to inform you that the National Archives and Records Administration received your email.

We have received your request and will respond within 20 working days. Please note that submitting duplicate requests will increase wait times.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 301-837-3190. You can also visit our web page at www.archives.gov/research/foia.

Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Thank you.

From:

This is an automated reply to inform you that the National Archives and Records Administration received your email.

We have received your request and will respond within 20 working days. Please note that submitting duplicate requests will increase wait times.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 301-837-3190. You can also visit our web page at www.archives.gov/research/foia.

Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Thank you.

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

Dear Runa Sandvik:

At this time, we do not have any additional details regarding your request.
Please note that we are continuing to work on logging in FOIA requests in
the order they are received. Once your request reaches the front of the
initial response queue, a staff member will search for the record(s) and
provide you with a substantive response detailing the results of the search
(such as subject, date range, page count) and the estimated completion date
for your request.

Sincerely,
Brigitte Flynn
Special Access & FOIA Program

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

Dear Runa Sandvik:

This email is in response to your inquiry for a status update on your
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request under tracking number *RD 67208*,
which was received in our office on March 22, 2022.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has created many unprecedented
challenges in our work. The majority of the records that our customers
request requires our staff to be on-site to search for and review
microfilm, microfiche, or original textual records. Even as we expand our
reopening, operations may be temporarily curtailed due to limited staffing
and/or deteriorating local health conditions.

Due to limitations on staff in our facility over the course of the
pandemic, the backlog of FOIA requests in our office has significantly
expanded, and we are continuing to work on logging in and providing initial
responses to the FOIA requests we received over the past 25 months.

I want to assure you that we are aware of your request and it is in our
queue waiting for a search to be conducted. At this time, there are an
estimated 92 cases ahead of yours waiting for our office to conduct a
search of our index of accessioned FBI case files. As our office was not
provided any FBI case file numbers in your initial request, we have to
consult our index of accessioned FBI case files to see if we have
potentially responsive records as part of our search. As soon as your
request reaches the front of this queue, a staff member will conduct a
search for the record(s) and provide you with a response stating the
results of the search and the estimated completion date for the review of
record(s) as required under FOIA.

If you have not already done so, we recommend that you also submit a FOIA
request to the FBI as well for case file numbers. The FBI has the most
comprehensive and up to date index of FBI case files, and they would be
able to inform you if the file(s) pertaining to your request are still in
their custody, were destroyed, or transferred to the National Archives. If
the FBI confirms that they transferred those files to NARA, they will
provide you with a list of potentially responsive FBI Case file numbers
(ex: 100-HQ-1234567) and you can submit those numbers to us to facilitate
our search. The FBI can be contacted at *https://efoia.fbi.gov/#home
<https://efoia.fbi.gov/#home>*.

*Please note, we will not respond to requests for status updates more than
once every six months.*
We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Sincerely,

Ashney Randle
Government Information Specialist
Special Access & FOIA Program (RF)
National Archives at College Park

From:

This is an automated reply to inform you that the National Archives and Records Administration received your email.

We have received your request and will respond within 20 working days. Please note that submitting duplicate requests will increase wait times.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 301-837-3190. You can also visit our web page at www.archives.gov/research/foia.

Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Thank you.

From:

This is an automated reply to inform you that the National Archives and Records Administration received your email.

We have received your request and will respond within 20 working days. Please note that submitting duplicate requests will increase wait times.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 301-837-3190. You can also visit our web page at www.archives.gov/research/foia.

Notice to NARA Researchers and FOIA Requesters

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of our staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference or FOIA request or appeal. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

Thank you.

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

Dear Runa Sandvik:

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request
received by this office on March 22, 2022 for records in the custody of the
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Your request was
assigned FOIA Tracking Number RD 67208.

We have also forwarded your request to our Textual Reference Branch which
will conduct a search for responsive records, and reply directly to you. If
you would like to follow up directly, the contact information is:

National Archives and Records Administration

Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2R)

8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2400

College Park, MD 20740-6001

Phone: 301-837-3091

Fax: 301-837-1752

Email: archives2reference@nara.gov

You requested access to “all briefs, emails, records, and any other
documents on, about, mentioning, or concerning the Overseas News Agency
(ONA). ONA was launched by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in the 1940s.”

We conducted a search of FBI indexes transferred to the National Archives
for Overseas News Agency and have identified FBI case file 100-HQ-2059 as
responsive to your request.

My initial assessment is that Overseas News Agency (ONA) is the subject of
the records, compiled as part of a Domestic Security investigation, created
between August 1940 and May 1955, and consisting of an estimated 2,000
pages.

These records require review for information protected from release under
the FOIA: https://www.archives.gov/foia/foia-guide#determine.

The estimated total page count for your request is 2,000 pages. Requests
between 701 and 3,000 pages are assigned to our second-tier processing
queue. To give you an indication of our existing second-tier backlog, we
are currently processing requests received in June 2014.

Once we notify you that processing is complete, you may either visit our
College Park, MD facility to view the file at no cost, or order a
reproduction. Our current fee for reproductions is 80 cents per page, so we
estimate the total cost will be $1,600.

If you are willing to narrow your request for a potentially faster
processing time, please contact us to discuss narrowing options.

You must notify this office of changes to your contact information. If
communication is returned as undeliverable and no return address is
provided, your case will be administratively closed. To change your contact
information or to track the status of your request, please email
specialaccess_foia@nara.gov or call 301-837-3190. Please include your FOIA
tracking number in all communications concerning this request.

If you are not satisfied with our action on this request and would like the
opportunity to discuss our response, you may contact our FOIA Public
Liaison for assistance:

Accessioned Executive Branch Records – Washington, DC Area

FOIA Requester Service Center: 301-837-3190

FOIA Public Liaison: Rebecca Calcagno

8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500

College Park, MD 20740-6001

dc.foia.liaison@nara.gov

301-837-3190

If you have other questions regarding your request, please contact me
directly.

Sincerely,

Daniel Dancis, Archivist

Special Access and FOIA Program (RF)

National Archives and Records Administration

8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500

College Park, MD 20740

(301) 837-0588

daniel.dancis@nara.gov

https://www.archives.gov/research/foia

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

Dear Runa Sandvik:

This is in response to your March 22, 2022, Freedom of Information Act
request (R 22-52589) about records relating to the Overseas News Agency
during the 1940s. It was referred to this office by the Special Access and
FOIA Program. We received your request on July 18, 2022

Your request consists of a stated topic rather than describing specific
documents, and therefore is not reasonably specific enough for us to be in
a position to easily locate documents responsive to your request. At a
minimum, you need to identify the agency or agencies you believe created
and maintained records relating to your topic. In the future, when
submitting your request, we suggest a separate inquiry regarding each
agency of interest. This will result in the most efficient response to
your inquiries. For this request, we do have some suggestions that will
help you get started.

The primary source for documentation on U.S. foreign policy and events in
various countries is the Department of State central files, part of RG 59:
General Records of the Department of State. More detail is at:
https://www.archives.gov/research/foreign-policy/state-dept/rg-59-central-files.

From 1910 to 1963, the Department’s central file is arranged according to a
pre-determined decimal subject classification scheme known as the CENTRAL
DECIMAL FILE. The file is broken into the following segments: 1910-29,
1930-39, 1940-44, 1945-49, 1950-54, 1955-59, 1960-63.

We searched the NAME CARD INDEX to the 1940-44 and 1945-49 segments of the
files. We located numerous references to the Overseas News Agency. The
corollary documents are scattered throughout the files. We regret that we
cannot undertake the extensive research necessary to identify the exact
documents in which you are interested. We are staffed to assist
researchers with their work, but not to undertake substantive research for
them.

The records noted above have been open for public viewing in our research
rooms for decades so there was no need to submit a re Freedom of
Information Act request to gain access.

We will be pleased to make the index and related files available in our
research rooms should you have an opportunity to visit the National
Archives. You could also hire a researcher to conduct research on your
behalf. A list of private researchers who are familiar with National
Archives facilities is available on our web site at
https://www.archives.gov/research/hire-help/index.html.

The Textual Research Rooms at the National Archives in College Park, MD
(Archives 2) are now using Eventbrite to schedule research appointments for
the Textual Research Room and the Microfilm Reading Room.

We are scheduling visits no more than three months in advance as we are
closely monitoring local public health metrics due to the COVID-19
pandemic. Research room hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Visit the Textual Research Room Appointments page if you are interested in
accessing textual records. Visit the Microfilm Reading Room Appointments
page if you are interested in viewing microfilm.

● Navigate to Upcoming Events and click on the desired date

● Click Register and complete the registration process

*If tickets for a particular room do not appear during registration,
appointments for that day are sold out. We recommend checking back in the
event of cancellations.

Please complete the online Researcher Orientation as well as the online
researcher registration form before scheduling an appointment on Eventbrite.

If you hire a researcher, they will need to make an appointment through
Eventbrite.

Attached is the Archives II Textual Records On-Site Service Plan
information on making appointments. The Plan is designed to provide
information that will help structure a visit, briefly outlining the
appointment process from the time of first request to the exit inspection.
It also provides details about requesting records, types of consultation
services, and reproduction equipment options. The Plan is designed to help
researchers make the most of their time in the Textual Research Room at
College Park, MD.

This concludes the processing of your request.

You have the right to file an administrative appeal in writing via regular
U.S. mail or email. Your appeal should be received within ninety (90)
calendar days from the date of this letter and it should explain why you
believe this response does not meet the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act. Please address it to the Deputy Archivist of the United
States (ND), National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi
Road, College Park, Maryland 20740. Both the letter and the envelope
should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” You may also
submit your appeal to FOIA@nara.gov also addressed to the Deputy Archivist.
All correspondence should reference your internal case tracking number
noted above.

In addition to your right to file an administrative appeal with the Deputy
Archivist, you may seek assistance from our FOIA Public Liaison, Rebecca
Calcagno. Contact information for the FOIA Public Liaison at the National
Archives, Washington DC area is as follows:

Accessioned Executive Branch Agency Records - Washington, DC Area

FOIA Public Liaison: Rebecca Calcagno

8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500

College Park, MD 20740-6001

Telephone: 301-837-3190

Email: DC.foia.liaison@nara.gov

You may also contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS),
the Federal FOIA Ombudsman’s office, for assistance. OGIS 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

Phone: 202-741-5770 or 1-877-684-6448

Email: ogis@nara.gov

Sincerely,

DAVID A. LANGBART

Research Services

National Archives at College Park, MD

david.langbart@nara.gov

www.archives.gov

RR2RR 22-52589

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