Whistleblower Office — Lee Martin, Director

Taylor Amarel filed this request with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America.
Tracking #

F18113-0042

Due May 18, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Taylor Amarel

To Whom It May Concern:

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

I would like to obtain all emails sent to, from, or copied to Lee Martin, Director, from January 1, 2016 to Present Day containing at least one of the following non-case-sensitive key-strings: "EB-5", "Norberg", "SEC", "Delay", or "backlog".

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,

Taylor Amarel

From: Taylor Amarel

To Whom It May Concern:

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

I would like to obtain all emails sent to, from, or copied to Lee Martin, Director, from January 1, 2016 to Present Day containing at least one of the following non-case-sensitive key-strings: "EB-5", "Norberg", "SEC", "Delay", or "backlog".

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,

Taylor Amarel

From: Internal Revenue Service

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Internal Revenue Service

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Taylor Amarel

Thank you for the update, these records are very important to the public given the ongoing national discussion regarding whistleblowers. Thank you for your continued attention to this matter.

From: Internal Revenue Service

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Internal Revenue Service

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Taylor Amarel

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information Act request, copied below, and originally submitted on April 21, 2018. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response. You had assigned it reference number #F18113-0042.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Taylor Amarel

Hi,

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

Sincerely,
Taylor Amarel

From: Taylor Amarel

Hello,

Thank you for the assistance on this request. Unfortunately, there are many things that are redacted when they shouldn't be.

For example:

1.) Lee Martin routinely provides policy information and comments on IRS policy to third parties, including: Eric Havian. Eric Havian is not a member of the IRS or government and is in fact an employee at Constantine | Cannon. It is generally not acceptable for redactions to be made for information that is already disclosed to other members of the public. In this situation, the responses of Lee Martin to non-government employees or entities should be made available. Otherwise, the IRS is giving a single person an advantage and specialized knowledge of IRS workings, which is not publicly available to others. Furthermore, the FOIA exemptions can not be applied in this situation because the information has already been disclosed to others, thus the IRS has already made an effective determination that exemptions to this information do not apply.

2.) If possible, and for redactions that are non-unredacted during this appeal, I request you prepare a table that provide more details on the topic of the content being redacted so I can further evaluate if a specific exemption applies. It would be enormously helpful to have more information on why each redaction is applied, except for personal information redactions, such as emails, which are marked as (b)(6) and can be clearly understood why they are redacted.

However, redactions made in other emails such as the April 25, 2018 email at 9:07 PM, the January 8, 2016 email at 8:16:48 AM, the email on January 8, 2016 at 8:14:38 AM, and the April 11, 2018 email at 11:44AM, as well as others are not clear and there is no way for the public to know why these were redacted, especially because as mentioned in point 1 above, this information is being relayed to other members of the public.

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