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Judicial Watch • 2013 AMS 00086 a Appeal Response

2013 AMS 00086 a Appeal Response

2013 AMS 00086 a Appeal Response

Page 1: 2013 AMS 00086 a Appeal Response

Category:General

Number of Pages:5

Date Created:June 25, 2013

Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014

Tags:00086, AMS, 2013, appeal, response


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Agricultural 	1400 Independence Avenue, SW. 
USDA 
Marketing 	Room 3071-S STOP 0201 
Washington, 20250-0201
Service reply, please refer  
FOIA Appeal 2013-AMS-00086-A  
Lisette Garcia, .D.  
Judicial Watch  
425 Third Street, S.W.  
Suite 800  JUN 2013  
Washington, 20024  

Dear Ms. Garcia: 
This response your letter March 11, 2013, which you appeal the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) response your Freedom Information Act (FOIA) request dated May 18, 2012, sent the U.S. Department Agriculture's Chief FOIA Officer, Trina Poter. Your request was subsequently referred various USDA agencies, including AMS, e-mail June 2012. Your original request sought the following information: 
All contracts and expense records related training services provided Samuel Betances his firm, Souder, Betances Associates, 
Chicago, Ill.; 
All communications related training and services provided Samuel 
Betances his firm, Souder, Betances Associates, Chicago, Ill.; 	All records and email from the offices Secretary Thomas Vilsack, Under Secretary Edward Avalos, Administrator Greg Parham, and Deputy Administrator Joanne Munno regarding the above-referenced training and services. reponse your original request, 2012-AMS-02647-F, AMS provided pages records partially responsive items and above December 13, 2012, and 
additional pages responsive items and February 2013. Both releases were 
made without redactions. our February 2013 response letter, informed you that AMS had records responsive item your request, and that such records 
existed, the appropriate point contact seek them was through Mr. Greg Bridges, 
Office the Chief Information Officer's (OCIO) FOIA Service Center. 
After reviewing your original request along with AMS's initial response and conducting another search Agency records, have determined that your appeal will granted. The additional search Agency records determined that Souder, Betances Associates had provided Cultural Transformation training employees AMS's Cotton and Tobacco (CT) Programs Memphis, Tennessee, August 30, 2011, addition the training that was provided AMS Headquarters employees Washington, D.C. June 28, 2011. Additional responsive records were also identified pertaining the June 28, 2011 training session. 

Attached this response compact disk (CD) which contains files Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) which consists the items listed Table follows: 

File number  Record description  Number pa2es  Redactions  E-mail communication, including e-mail attachments, and contracting documents, pertaining CT Programs efforts secure the services Souder, Betances Associates provide Cultural Transformation training Memphis, August 30, 2011 pages released their entirety; page released part pursuant FOIA exemption roster attendees the training held for CT Programs August 30, 2011. (Roster includes CT employees who attended training Washington, June 28, 2011, and CT employees who attended training APHIS facility Raleigh, June 22, 2011.)  Released full  E-mail communication, including e-mail attachments, CT staff, registering attendees for the training Memphis August 30, 2011. (E-mails reflect that CT employees were registered for training session provided APHIS facility Raleigh, NC, June 22, 2011, for under APHIS contract.) pages released their entirety; page released part pursuant FOIA exemption (b)(6)2 E-mail correspondence between one CT Released full 
attendee the August 30, 2011 training 
and Souder, Betances Associates  Original contract and modified contract  Released full  
for CT training August 30, 2012  Invoice from Souder, Betances  Released full  

Associates for CT training August 30, 2011  Printout AMS' payment for the Souder, Betances training provided CT August 30, 2011  Released full  Additional contracting documents pertaining Souder, Betances  Released full  

Associates' training provided AMS 
Headquarters employees Washington, 
D.C. June 28, 2011 One page this file contains mobile telephone number, redacted pursuant FOIA exemption (b)(6). This exemption, U.S.C.552(b)(6), protects information the release which would constitute clearly unwarranted violation personal privacy. One page this file contains mobile telephone number, redacted pursuant FOIA exemption (b)(6). 

Please note that file #11 contains certain contracting documents that were previously provided our first records release response your request. These records are provided this release way preserving their integrity e-mail attachments. Other e-mail attachments contain additional documents already produced, produced elsewhere this release, preserve the integrity the e-mail communications. Finally, 83-page slide presentation which was provided previously our second records release, provided again here preserve its integrity attachment the registration confirmation e-mails. 
Your appeal refers additional records such individual employee registration forms, taxi vouchers, etc., which you believe would responsive your initial FOIA request, the extent they are the possession AMS. After conducting additional searches for this information, was determined that certain records you listed not exist. These additional items are listed your appeal and are summarized Table follows: Three pages this file contain mobile telephone numbers, redacted pursuant FOIA exemption (b)(6).  Taxi vouchers for Dr. Betances and/or staff  Air, hotel and other invoices/receipts for Dr. Betances and/or staff  E-mail notifying USDA  
security staff the events  Audio and video recordings  

system, and e-mail confirmations sent 
automatically all 109 employees who were 
required fulfill the training. For CT 
employees, registration for the training was 
conducted via e-mail (please see Table item 
For the June 28, 2011 training, payment all 
travel expenditures was handled the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 
For the August 30, 2011 training, Souder, 
Betances Associates provided AMS with 
invoice (please see Table item 6). 
For the June 28, 2011 training, payment all 
travel expenditures was handled the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 
For the August 30, 2011 training, Souder, 
Betances Associates provided AMS with 
invoice (please see Table item 6). 
Searches produced such records; believed 
USDA Security was notified 
AMS did not create request, and never 
possessed audio video recordings the 
trainings Souder, Betances Associates. ensure that comprehensive search all potentially responsive AMS communication was conducted, additional search internal agency e-mail archives was performed, using parameters designed elicit records pertaining the Souder, Betances Associates trainings. This search failed elicit any additional responsive records. 
Further, wish address your concern about our use Executive Order 12600 refer certain documents for review their submitter advance their release under the FOIA. Executive Order 12600, issued June 23, 1987, appears 23781, CFR, 1987 Comp., 235. 
This ,Executive Order requires pre-disclosure notification business submitters for records 
4which potentially contain confidential commercial information.This procedure important means safeguarding trade secrets, proprietary information, and intellectual property. The records forwarded Souder, Betances Associates for pre-disclosure review consisted slide presentation and other copyrighted materials which believe are not normally distributed the general public persons other than paying participants the firm's training programs. you are dissatisfied with this decision you have the right judicial review appropriate United States District Court accordance with U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B). Prior seeking judicial review, you may contact the Office Government Information Services (OGIS). OGIS was created within the National Archives and Records Administration when the OPEN Government (a) "Confidential commercial information" means records provided the government submitter that arguably contain material exempt from release under Exemption the Freedom Information Act, U.S.C. 552(b)(4), because disclosure could reasonably expected cause substantial competitive harm the submitter. 
(b) "Submitter" means any person entity who provides confidential commercial information the government. The term "submitter" includes, but not limited to, corporations, state governments, and foreign governments. 

Act 2007 amended FOIA. OGIS provides mediation FOIA disputes between appellants and federal agencies. Participation mediation does not affect your right judicial review. 
Contact information for OGIS can found at: 

Sincerely, 

_?O 

Rex Barnes Associate Administrator 
Enclosure



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