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Judicial Watch • JW v State

JW v State

JW v State

Page 1: JW v State

Category:

Number of Pages:6

Date Created:August 1, 2017

Date Uploaded to the Library:October 12, 2017

Tags:Migration, refugees, discussions, settlement, Refugee, Stein, evidence, bureau, search, responsive, State Department, plaintiff, request, records, travel, department, FOIA


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PROVIDED PLAINTIFF PART SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PURSUANT FED. RULE EVIDENCE 408
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT COLUMBIA
JUDICIAL WATCH, INC.,
Plaintiff,
DEPARTMENT STATE,
Defendant.
Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-00157-ABJ
DECLARATION ERIC STEIN
Pursuant U.S.C. 1746, Eric Stein, declare and state follows: the Director the Office Information Programs and Services IPS
the United States Department State State the Department and have served this
capacity since January 22, 2017. From March 21, 2016, October 15, 2016, served the
Acting Co-Director IPS, and from October 16, 2016, January 21, 2017, served the
Acting Director IPS. the State official immediately responsible for responding
requests for records under the Freedom Information Act (the FOIA U.S.C. 552, the
Privacy Act 1974, U.S.C. 552a, and other applicable records access provisions. Prior
serving this capacity, from April 2013, worked directly for State Deputy Assistant
Secretary DAS for Global Information Services GIS and served senior advisor and
deputy the DAS all issues related GIS offices and programs, which includes IPS.
the IPS Director, have original classification authority and authorized classify and
declassify national security information. make the following statements based upon
personal knowledge, which turn based upon information furnished the course
PROVIDED PLAINTIFF PART SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PURSUANT FED. RULE EVIDENCE 408 official duties. familiar with the efforts Department personnel process the subject
request, and charge coordinating the agency search and recovery efforts with respect that request.
The core responsibilities IPS include: (1) responding records access requests
made the public (including under the FOIA, the Privacy Act, and the mandatory
declassification review requirements the Executive Order governing classified national
security information), members Congress, other government agencies, and those made
pursuant judicial process such subpoenas, court orders, and discovery requests; (2) records
management; (3) privacy protection; (4) national security classification management and
declassification review; (5) corporate records archives management; (6) research; (7) operation
and management the Department library; and (8) technology applications that support these
activities.
This declaration explains the Department search for records responsive
Plaintiff FOIA request. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING PLAINTIFF REQUEST letter dated February 2016 (Exhibit 1), Judicial Watch, Inc. Plaintiff
submitted FOIA request seeking:
Any and all records reflecting the number Refugee Travel Loans furnished
the State Department Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
the International Organization for Migration (IOM) per year; the number travel
loans that are defaulted upon per year; and the amount money written off per
defaulted loan.
The time frame for the request was identified 2010 the present. letter dated March 17, 2016 (Exhibit 2), the Department acknowledged receipt Plaintiff request and assigned Case Control Number F-2016-01161.
Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Dep State
No. 1:17-cv-00157-ABJ
DRAFT Stein Declaration
PROVIDED PLAINTIFF PART SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PURSUANT FED. RULE EVIDENCE 408
After careful review Plaintiff request, the Department determined that
would not possess any responsive records because the Department does not furnish refugee
settlement loans. does, however, provide U.S. Government funds the International
Organization for Migration IOM for the purpose domestic refugee resettlement.
Accordingly, the Department was prepared issue final determination that records existed
that were responsive Plaintiff request. Before doing so, however, the Department, through
counsel, explained its position and offered clarify rephrase the request that search
could conducted. proposing clarify rephrase the request, the Department did not
conduct initial search determine whether the reformulated request would likely locate
responsive records. result those discussions, the parties agreed reformulate the request follows:
Any and all records reflecting the number Refugee Travel Loans furnished
using USG funds per year; the number such travel loans that are defaulted upon
per year; and the amount money written off per defaulted loan. letter dated May 24, 2017 (Exhibit 3), the IPS informed Plaintiff that the
Department had completed the search the records the Bureau Population, Refugees, and
Migration and located responsive records.
II. THE SEARCH PROCESS
When the Department receives FOIA request, IPS evaluates the request
determine which offices, overseas posts, other records systems within the Department may
reasonably expected contain the records requested. This determination based the
description the records requested and requires familiarity with the holdings the
Department records systems, applicable records disposition schedules, and the substantive and
functional mandates numerous Department offices and Foreign Service posts and missions.
Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Dep State
No. 1:17-cv-00157-ABJ
DRAFT Stein Declaration
PROVIDED PLAINTIFF PART SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PURSUANT FED. RULE EVIDENCE 408
Factors such the nature, scope, and complexity the request itself and whether the requester
has identified places where she believes records are likely located are also relevant.
Upon evaluation Plaintiff request, IPS determined that the only Department
component reasonably likely maintain responsive records was the Bureau Population,
Refugees and Migration PRM was not only cited specifically the original request, but also the only component directly involved with refugee travel loans and IOM also cited
the initial request. description PRM and its record systems, and how they were searched,
provided below.
10.
When conducting search response FOIA request, IPS relies the
knowledge and expertise the employees each bureau/office/post determine the files and
locations reasonably likely house responsive records and the best means locating such
records, those employees are the best position know how their files are organized.
Additionally, for any searches electronic records, those employees are also the best position determine which search terms would yield potentially responsive records given system.
11.
IPS concluded that other offices records systems were reasonably likely
maintain documents responsive Plaintiffs request, and that PRM searched all files likely
contain relevant documents.
The Bureau Population, Refugees, and Migration
12.
The Bureau Population, Refugees, and Migration provides aid and sustainable
solutions for refugees, victims conflict, and stateless people around the world, through
repatriation, local integration, and resettlement the United States. PRM also promotes the
United States population and migration policies. The Director the Office the Comptroller
determined that the only PRM component reasonably likely maintain responsive records was
Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Dep State
No. 1:17-cv-00157-ABJ
DRAFT Stein Declaration
PROVIDED PLAINTIFF PART SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PURSUANT FED. RULE EVIDENCE 408
the Office the Comptroller PRM/C PRM/C responsible for the overall financial
management worldwide the Bureau program appropriations for migration, refugee
assistance, protection and admissions activities, including contributions and other funding
arrangements with United Nations and other international organizations, and the preparation
and execution grants and cooperative agreements with U.S. and foreign nongovernmental
organizations NGOs and behalf other Federal agencies. PRM/C also manages and
coordinates with IOM the refugee transportation loan program.
13.
The PRM/C Office Director, who was knowledgeable both the FOIA request
and PRM records systems, conducted search PRM/C electronic shared drive collection folders stored local network)using search terms loan, default, Promissory, IOM
travel loan. This search was not limited date. The Office Director also conducted search his email records, dating back January 2010, the date range specified Plaintiff FOIA
request, using the search terms Graham, Brian grah. This search was structured
retrieve any communications from Brian Graham, who PRM sole contact IOM for
the refugee travel loan program and would the only person with whom responsive
communications were likely have taken place.
14.
The Department search did not retrieve any records reflecting the number
refugee travel loans furnished per year using U.S. Government funds, the number such travel
loans defaulted annually, nor the amount money written off per defaulted loan.1
The Department searches did retrieve some records reflecting IOM general reporting refugee travel loans,
but none this reporting contained the specific information sought Plaintiff request.
Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Dep State
No. 1:17-cv-00157-ABJ
DRAFT Stein Declaration
PROVIDED PLAINTIFF PART SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS PURSUANT FED. RULE EVIDENCE 408
III. CONCLUSION
15. summary, the Department conducted thorough search all Department
locations reasonably likely contain documents responsive Plaintiff modified request.
responsive records were found result these searches.
Judicial Watch, Inc. U.S. Dep State
No. 1:17-cv-00157-ABJ
DRAFT Stein Declaration