My FOIA Request

Written by Scott

Topics: Archives, Uncategorized

So today I am sending my official Freedom of Information Act request for information regarding the White House “snitch” email reporting site. By federal law, response must be made within 20 days…though it’s not exactly clear when that 20 days begins. (Our federal laws not being clear?! Who’d have thought…)

Below is the letter sent, with my email addy redacted so that spam bots don’t send even more…Response will be posted as I receive.

Office of Administration
FOIA Officer
725 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20503

Dear FOIA Officer:

The White House website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/ is quoted as follows:

“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

This is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request authorized by 5 U.S.C. § 552, as amended by Public Law No. 110-175, 121 Stat. 2524.
PLEASE confirm receipt of this request via email to s——s@gmail.com.

1. Supply the statutory authority, guidelines for implementation, policy or any Presidential Executive Order covering the flag@whitehouse.gov request on the White House website.
2. On 8/5/2009, at approximately 9:20pm PDT, I sent an email to the flag@whitehouse.gov email address from my personal account listed above. Please supply the name, business contact information, and title/position of the people who read, copied, fordwarded, or otherwise had contact with my email.
3. Please supply the name, business contact information, and title/position of the people in charge of going through these emails, as well as the staffing organizational chart of the people going through these emails.
4. How many such emails have been received at flag@whitehouse.gov?
5. From what budget is this activity paid for and the dollar amounts?
6. Supply any record that lays out policy or directives for all activities from the time these emails are received, replied to, archived or placed in a database.
7. What, if any, database(s) are these emails or their sender’s addresses saved to?
8. If the people assigned to go through these emails, are employed by an outside agency, I also request a list of what agency they are employed by, as well as the contractual amount you are paying the outside agency.
9. I request a twelve (12) random samples (properly redacted) of the emails addressed to flag@whitehouse.gov and any reply the White House may have sent or what was done with said emails.

I understand there may be costs associated with making copies of the documents and records I have requested. I am willing to pay those reasonable costs. If possible, however, I am more than happy to receive this information via email at the above email address.

Respectfully,

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Rachelle says:

    So as I have told you many times, you are way smarter than me, but I love reading your blog because you educate me on so many things. This being one of them. Will you explain to me in laymen terms what you are doing here? I am confused. I read the first one when you emailed the White House, but still didnt' get it. Please help me.. 🙂

  2. Scott says:

    Hey…don't sell yourself short!The FOIA was enacted to allow requests for information by people, and barring things like national security, classified information, etc, the government must release the information requested. In a nutshell…So what I am doing is requesting the information listed as it relates to this whole flag@whitehouse.gov issue.To summarize even further: I'm a troublemaker…but they made the rules. 😉

  3. Luke says:

    Scott, I'm so glad you did this! And I really look forward to the answer. I blogged about this situation a couple times and stated that I hoped they would talk about some of the things you're asking about.Glad you're going after the information that we all would do better knowing [smile]. ~Luke