USAID processing notes -- media requester category

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the United States Agency for International Development of the United States of America.
Tracking # F-00206-14
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Processing notes for F-00190-12, including but not limited to internal communications regarding the appropriate fee category for the requester.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

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.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Smith, Pamela

Dear Mr. Shawn  Musgrave,
Attached is an acknowledgement letter assigning the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) number to your request.  You will be notified shortly of the assigned Government Information Specialist that will be processing this FOIA request.  If you have questions, please contact us on 202 712-0960 or by e-mail at
foia@usaid.gov. (mailto:foia@usaid.gov)
Pamela A. Smith
USAID
Bureau for Management
Office of Management Services
Information and Records Division
M"oving Development Forward¿

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This acknowledges receipt of your April 2, 2014 Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request to the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID). We received your request in this office on April 3, 2014.
Specifically, you requested "[p]rocessing notes for F-00190-12, including
but not limited to internal communications regarding the appropriate fee
category for the requester."

You have been placed in the "all others" fee category. As such, you will
be charged for search (first two (2) hours free and $32.16 per hour
thereafter), no fee for review, and for duplication (first 100 pages free
and $0.20 per page thereafter). Should fees exceed this $100, we will
notify you in writing before we continue processing this request.

Your request has been assigned to Antionette (Toni) Robertson. You may
contact Toni by phone on (202) 712-0859 or by email at anrobertson@usaid.gov,
and reference F-00206-14 in your correspondence. If additional information
is required to assist USAID search for responsive records, the Government
Information Specialist assigned to your request will contact you.

Thank you for your interest in USAID.

Sincerely,

Alecia S. Sillah
Team Lead, Government Information Specialist
Bureau for Management
Office of Management Services
Information and Records Division

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

As it pertains to your fee waiver request for FOIA F-00206-14, it has been
denied. We have reviewed your response thoroughly and determined that you
have not presented a convincing argument for a blanket waiver of fees.
Accordingly, you have been placed in the "all others" fee category. As
such, you will be charged for search (first two (2) hours free and $32.16
per hour thereafter), no fee for review, and for duplication (first 100
pages free and $0.20 per page thereafter). Should fees exceed $100, we
will notify you in writing before we continue processing this request.

You may appeal this fee waiver denial. You must submit your appeal in
writing and it must be received within 30 days from the date of this
letter. To be considered an official appeal, your letter must be addressed
as follows:

Director, Office of Management Services

U.S. Agency for International Development

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Room 2.12-010, Ronald Reagan Building

Washington, D.C. 20523

Both the appeal and the envelope should be plainly marked "FOIA APPEAL -
fee waiver" and include your assigned FOIA number F-00206-14 so that we may
identify your case promptly.

Your request has been assigned to Antionette (Toni) Robertson. You may
contact Toni by phone on (202) 712-0859 or by email at anrobertson@usaid.gov,
and reference F-00206-14 in your correspondence. If additional information
is required to assist USAID search for responsive records, the Government
Information Specialist assigned to your request will contact you.

Thank you for your continued patience and interest in USAID.

Sincerely,

Alecia S. Sillah
Team Lead, Government Information Specialist
Bureau for Management
Office of Management Services
Information and Records Division

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

I would like to request reconsideration of my fee category -- please let me know if this requires a formal appeal, or if the below indication of publication history is sufficient.

I am a journalist and editor of MuckRock (MuckRock.com), an online outlet that publishes original news content. All of MuckRock's content reports off of documents received via public records requests or focuses on FOIA itself. Below are a number of the dozens of articles I have written for MuckRock, including some on this topic of media category for FOIA requesters:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/apr/01/april-fools-air-force-ap-nbc-not-journalists/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/mar/28/mbta-says-it-has-no-projection-docs-late-night-ser/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2013/oct/25/librarian-rebukes-nun-over-comic-books/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2013/oct/03/foia-shutdown-which-agencies-have-put-their-public/

In addition to my capacity as editor of MuckRock, I am also a freelance journalist whose work has been published in such online and print outlets as the Boston Globe, VICE/Motherboard, The Phoenix, The Progressive and Dig Boston. Here are clips of previous articles that I have written for some of these publications:

betaboston.com/news/2014/03/05/a-vast-hidden-surveillance-network-runs-across-america-powered-by-the-repo-industry/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/08/big-brother-better-police-work-new-technology-automatically-runs-license-plates-everyone/1qoAoFfgp31UnXZT2CsFSK/story.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/10/25/mass-libraries-strikingly-free-censorship/GV3LPCJO4kdzCb3a9HE6HJ/story.html

https://www.motherboard.vice.com/blog/the-nypd-is-foia-proof

http://www.thephoenix.com/boston/news/153301-fung-wahtf/

http://www.digboston.com/boston-news-opinions/2013/10/news-to-us-cambridge-blocks-big-brother/

In light of my extensive publication on FOIA, transparency and government operations, I assert that I am appropriately categorized as a news media requester for this FOIA request.

Thank you for your help!

-Shawn

From: FOIA Mailbox (USAID)

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

Thank you for providing this information. You do not need to submit a
formal appeal for reconsideration of your fee status as a member of the
media. We've reviewed your justification. Accordingly, you have been
placed in the "news media" category. As such, you will not be charged for
search and review; however, you will be charged for duplication (first 100
pages free and $0.20 per page thereafter). Should fees exceed $50, we will
notify you in writing before we continue processing this request.

Thank you for your interest in USAID.

Sincerely,

Alecia S. Sillah
Team Lead, Government Information Specialist
Bureau for Management
Office of Management Services
Information and Records Division

From: Antionette Robertson

Dear Mr. Musgrave:

This is the final response to your April 2, 2014 Freedom of Information Act
request to the United States Agency for International Development. Attached
are the responsive documents.

If you have any questions concerning this release, please feel free to
contact me.
--

Antionette (Toni) Robertson
Government Information Specialist (FOIA)
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
M/MS/IRD, Rm. 2.07-077C, Washington, DC 20523
Direct: 202 712-0859 / Fax: 202 216-3070
anrobertson@usaid.gov

From: Antionette Robertson

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

I apologize for omitting the final response and have attached letter for
your records.
--

Antionette (Toni) Robertson
Government Information Specialist (FOIA)
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
M/MS/IRD, Rm. 2.07-077C, Washington, DC 20523
Direct: 202 712-0859 / Fax: 202 216-3070
anrobertson@usaid.gov

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