Visitor logs at USDA

Alex Kotch filed this request with the USDA Office of the Secretary of the United States of America.
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From: Alex Kotch

To Whom It May Concern:

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

I am requesting the full visitor logs of the USDA from April 24, 2017 to the present. These records include the identities of the visitors, whom they met with at the USDA, and all other available information about the nature of the meetings and what was discussed during the meetings.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. I am requesting a full fee waiver.

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,

Alex Kotch

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Good morning, Mr. Kotch.

Will you please give me a call in reference to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request below? Thank you very much.
Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Departmental FOIA Office
Room 4105
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington DC 20250
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

From: Alex Kotch

Just called you and left a voicemail. I'm at 919-602-6179. Thanks.

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Good afternoon, Mr. Kotch.

In accordance with our telephone conversation earlier this afternoon, I have provided you access to the U.S. Department of Agriculture visitor logs from January 2017 through December 2, 2017. As we discussed, the older set of logs, from January 1, 2017 - August 20, 2017 reflect visitors to both the Whitten and South Buildings. The more recent logs, from August 20, 2017 - December 2, 2017, are for the Whitten Building only since it is the main HQ building for senior agency officials.

Per our agreement, the agency is deeming your current request, dated March 25, 2018, withdrawn. You have agreed to review the logs described above and make a determination about additional visitor logs you might be interested in receiving.

Please by reply e-mail, acknowledge access to the visitor logs from 2017 and confirm our agreement as described. The Departmental FOIA Office thanks you for your assistance.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Departmental FOIA Office
Room 4105
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington DC 20250
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Mr. Kotch -

Making sure you saw this. Awaiting a response. Thanks.

Christine

From: Alex Kotch

Hi,

Yes, I have access to the U.S. Department of Agriculture visitor logs from January 2017 through December 2, 2017. Instead of withdrawing my request, can I modify it to request visitor logs for the Whitten Building only (main HQ) from Dec. 1, 2017 to the present? Those logs for the previous months were helpful, but I'd like to see all available logs.

Thank you,
Alex

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Alex,

That's not what you agreed to. I provided you the logs instead of working on other requests. I prioritized getting them to you in exchange for your agreed-upon withdrawal. I operated in good faith. Will you?

Christine

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Alex,

I will use your email below as the basis for your FOIA request for Whitten Building Visitor Logs from Dec. 1, 2017 to the present. There is no need to send another email.

Thank you.

Christine

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Good afternoon, Mr. Kotch.

This e-mail formally acknowledges receipt of the April 3, 2018, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Departmental FOIA Office (DFO). Your request was received for processing on April 3rd.

The DFO is under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and serves as the focal point for USDA's FOIA program. The DFO provides coordination and ensures agency-wide compliance with the FOIA. Additionally, the DFO processes requests and appeals on behalf of the Office of the Secretary and Departmental Administration's ("DA") components (formerly referred to as Departmental Management). For a complete listing of DA's components, please visit http://www.dm.usda.gov/agencies.htm.

The FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), requires USDA to make a determination in response to a FOIA request within 20 business days from its date of receipt. In unusual circumstances, the Federal agency time limit may be extended by 10 business days as stated in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a wide-ranging search, including searches with components and possible consultations with components that have a substantial interest in the determination of this request, USDA will invoke a 10 business day extension for determination of your request. You have the option to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive documents.

Provisions of the FOIA allow USDA to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. You have requested a fee waiver. Your request for a fee waiver is currently under consideration.

Meanwhile, for purposes of fee assessment, you have been categorized as an "all other" requester, pursuant to 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section (5)(d). For your review and information, a copy of the USDA FOIA Fee Schedule is enclosed. In accordance with 7 CFR Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 1 Section 6(a)(4), your fees shall be waived where the amount of the fee is $25.00 or less. If your fee waiver is denied, you will be contacted before any fees over $25.00 are accrued.

A search will be initiated by the DFO for records responsive to your request. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that a FOIA Analyst in this office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.

Your request has been assigned FOIA Case No. 2018-DA-03351-F. Please refer to this case number in any future correspondence. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact me at (202) 772-9091 or electronically at Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:Christine.Jordan@ocio.usda.gov> or USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov<mailto:USDAFOIA@ocio.usda.gov>. For additional information regarding USDA FOIA regulations and process, please refer to the information available on-line at www.dm.usda.gov/foia<http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia>.

The DFO Team appreciates the opportunity to assist you in this matter.

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

Good afternoon, Mr. Kotch.

Please find attached the Final Response Letter and corresponding Responsive Records associated with a follow-up Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Departmental FOIA Office.

Best,
Christine Jordan, Esq.
Program Manager-FOIA
USDA/OCIO Contractor
Departmental FOIA Office
Room 4105
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington DC 20250
Telephone: (202) 772-9091

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Alex Kotch

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Alex Kotch

From: USDA Office of the Secretary

You’re welcome, Mr. Kotch!

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