A response from the U.S. Justice Department to a Freedom of Information Act appeal has not been received in the time frame specified by U.S. Code, prompting an inquiry letter being sent today by Gun Rights Examiner. The original FOIA request, sent in February, requested documentation pertaining to a Justice Department briefing given to Sen. Chuck Grassley about Project Gunrunner/Operation Fast and Furious .
Because much of the requested information was not included in the response, an appeal was filed in April. It is now the last day of August and the appeal request is still outstanding with no disposition, and despite a requirement to “make a determination with respect to any appeal within twenty days…after the receipt of such appeal.”
A follow-up letter is being sent today via certified mail to inquire as to the status of the appeal, and to determine why a timely response has not been provided:
August 31, 2011
Supervisory Administrative Specialist
Office of information Policy
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave. Suite 11050
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
In re: AP-2011-01833
Dear Ms. Jones,
On May 5, 2011 you responded to my appeal of a Freedom of Information Act request.
“We will notify you of the decision on your appeal as soon as we can,” you wrote.
As per 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(ii):
“Each agency, upon any request for records made under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, shall…make a determination with respect to any appeal within twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt of such appeal. If on appeal the denial of the request for records is in whole or in part upheld, the agency shall notify the person making such request of the provisions for judicial review of that determination under paragraph (4) of this subsection.”
Ms. Jones, I have received no notification one way or another. Is that due to an oversight, was your response lost in the mail, or has not responding to my appeal been directed, and if so, by whom?
Please give this matter your immediate attention.
Readers interested in more detail can consult the following articles documenting the FOIA and subsequent attempts to simply get what was originally asked for:
- FOIA request filed with ATF over Grassley ‘Gunwalker’ briefing
- FOIA preliminary response for Grassley briefing docs
- ATF to grant ‘Project Gunwalker’ FOIA inquiry ‘in part’
- ATF FOIA response
- Gun Rights Examiner files appeal to ATF’s Grassley briefing response
- DOJ to decide on Gun Rights Examiner FOIA appeal
- A Journalist’s Guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’ Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four and Part Five for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner.
Note to newcomers to this story: “Project Gunrunner” is the name ATF assigned to its Southwest Border Initiative to interdict gun smuggling to Mexico. “Project Gunwalker” is the name I assigned to the scandal after allegations by agents that monitored guns were allowed to fall into criminal hands on both sides of the border through a surveillance process termed “walking” surfaced.
Help wanted–inquire within
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