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2011 FOIA Appeals


Pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 2-537 any person denied the right to inspect a public record of a public body (except a record of the Council), may petition the Mayor to review the public record to determine whether it may be withheld from public inspection. The determination must be made in writing with a statement of reasons within 10 business days. These written determinations are otherwise known as Appeal decisions. Below are the decisions for Fiscal Year 2011.   

Note: All files are available as PDFs

Agency/Case Number Summary Exemption/Issue Disposition
MPD 2011-1 Request for photos/mug shots for individuals booked into DC Jail for stated period. Dismissed because DOC, not MPD, is the custodian of the record.   Adequate search Upheld
MPD 2011-2 Request for information related to a collision involving a MPD vehicle and another associated with the “Transformers 3” movie set. Denial reconsidered and records released. Moot Moot
DOH 2011-3 Request all records pertaining to physician disciplinary. Contested withholding of letter to board and “nonpublic” consent order. Except for personal financial information, privacy interest of physician was not outweighed by public interest in disclosure.Nondisclosure provision in order in itself cannot supersede FOIA. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy)   Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part
MPD 2011-4 Request of Form PD-252 and supplement (an internal supplement a public police report). Exemption upheld because and the release of PD-252 would reveal information about the investigation still active. D.C. Official Code §2-534(a)(3)(A)(i) (interference of enforcement proceedings)
Upheld
WASA 2011-5 Request of 9 separate categories of documents relating to a program to reduce or eliminate lead piping in public and private spaces. There is no “pending litigation” exemption as asserted by agency. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4)(Privilege) Reversed and remanded.
MPD 2011-6 Request for records regarding calibrations for mobile radar device or devices deployed on specified date at a certain location. As records are kept electronically and Appellant refused to provide information after then date, not a proper request because the agency cannot conduct search without additional information by the appellant without unreasonable effort. Proper request Upheld
OPC 2011-7 Request information regarding disciplinary actions or investigations with respect to MPD officers, there was a sufficient individual privacy interest in the redacted name of the complainants and open or pending complaints against named officers, not outweighed by the public interest for disclosure. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2), (3)(c) (Privacy);(deliberative process privilege) Upheld
DMPED 2011-8 Request records relating to procurement for the development of real property “Trade secrets” exemption applies to information such as privacy, but remanded to consider redaction. Deliberative process applied as records were predecisional.
D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(1) and (4)(Trade secrets and  commercial or financial information),(privilege), and (deliberative process privilege).
Upheld in part and remanded in part.
UDC 2011-9 Request for certain emails from the University of UDC emails. Based on time to search all UDC accounts search request was unreasonable burdensome. Proper request Upheld
MPD 2011-10 Request denied on the grounds that the materials were the subject of ongoing law enforcement proceedings was reconsidered and agreed to release records Moot Moot
MPD 2011-11 Request of an investigative report and any supporting documentation. There was sufficient privacy interest in redactions to protect the identity of the witnesses and MPD officers, not outweighed by the public interest. Attachment to be produced, subject to redaction for privacy. On reconsideration, audiotape attachment could be withheld as MPD could not redact. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy) Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part.
DC Courts 2011-12 Requesting the review of the denial of a FOIA request of the DC Courts. No jurisdiction Not considered
DC Courts 2011-13 Requesting the review of the denial of a FOIA request of the DC Courts. No jurisdiction Not considered
WASA 2011-14 Reconsideration of 2011-05. Appellant challenges the redaction on three of the requested documents. Prices on pricing summary are exempt commercial information. The crucial inquiry in this case is whether the disclosure of materials would expose an agency’s decision making process the redacted materials such as Evaluation scoring charts, and are exempt under the essence of the deliberative process privilege. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(1)(deliberative process privilege) and (Trade secrets and commercial or financial information) Upheld
DOC 2011-15 Request for mug shots There is a sufficient privacy interest in mug shots, not outweighed by the public interest. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy) Upheld
DDOT 2011-16 Request for records relating to procurement for tree removal competitive bidding and price information found to be exempt commercial information, but certain redactions did not qualify under this exemption. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(1)(Trade secrets and commercial or financial information) Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part.  
EOM 2011-17 Request for emails between EOM special Counsel and Chief of Staff addresses relating to former Mayoral candidate and subsequent government employee. With possible exception, attorney-client privilege does not apply because emails do not relate to furnishing of legal advice. The Law enforcement exemption does not apply because EOM is not a law enforcement agency. However, to the extent records furnished to US Attorney, Congress, Council, or Office of Campaign Finance exemption established as disclosure would interfere with enforcement proceedings. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(A)and (a)(4)(Interference with enforcement proceedings) and (attorney-client privilege) Remanded
DRES 2011-18 Request for 5 years of employment complaints and information concerning race and gender. The agency decision was upheld because the agency only maintains records for two years do not keep records with regard to race and gender. An agency is not required to reorganize its files to satisfy the requester. Adequate search   Upheld
DDOT 2011-19 Request for records related to the safety and condition of Canal Road within a certain time frame. With exceptions, records exempt under the deliberative process privilege because both predecisional and deliberative. Older exemption records released as a matter of discretion as not impairing public interest. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4)-deliberative process privilege   Upheld in part  and reversed and remand in part.
MPD 2011-20 Request for information regarding disciplinary records for a named MPD detective. There is a sufficient interest for individuals including government employees privacy in investigations based on allegations of wrongdoing, not outweighed by public interest.    D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(C)-(privacy) Upheld
DOC 2011-21 Request for answers to two questions. An agency has no duty to either answer questions unrelated to document requests or to create documents.    Proper request Upheld
OCFO 2011-22 Request for a computer run for information regarding the contract of another agency. While agency interpreted request as being for documents in the possession of another agency request was for contact information and disclosure was ordered. Adequate search Reversed and Remanded
EOM 2011-23 Request for answers to questions. An agency has no duty to answer questions unrelated to document request or to create documents. Proper request Upheld
DMH 2011-24 Request of names, job title, identification number, date of hire, and grade and step of employees terminated in a reduction in force and also for the individuals that were rehired. This is a sufficient privacy interest in the disclosure of the termination of employment, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure.       D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy) Upheld
OCFO 2011-25 Request for cap rate study prepared for the agency. Adequate search found where agency identified and searched all likely locations and types of records. Adequate search Upheld
DCPS 2011-26 Request for records related to its food service management contract with Chartwells-Thompson. Conclusory statements are insufficient to justify the assertion of exemption. The agency search was adequate as to one part of the request. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(1)-(Trade secrets and commercial or financial information); Adequate search Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part.
MPD 2011-27 Request for the final signed report for the threat assessment investigation conducted regarding Appellant and all emails and other documents relating to the investigation. Agency reconsidered its assertion of exemption regarding withheld threat assessment Adequate search found for other records. Adequate search Upheld in part and moot in part
OUC 2011-28 Request of copies of a complaint or report, including the audio of a certain 911 call An adequate search was found as the agency made two separate searches and still was unable to retrieve information.      Adequate search Upheld
DMPED 2011-29 Request for records related to the certain grants issued in Fiscal Year 2010. The agency justified assertion of the deliberative process and attorney client privileges for certain documents. Withholding of records based on provision of same information in other records provided is improper. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4) (deliberative process privilege,
attorney client privilege)
Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part
DDOT 2011-30 Request for the payroll records for all workers for the 11th Street Bridge Project, without personal identifying information other than zip codes, not including names and street addresses. This is an insufficient privacy interest in disclosure of zip codes without other identifying information and redaction not upheld.
D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2) and (3)(C)- (privacy)
Reversed and remanded
DCHR 2011-31 First request, sought information for all DC government employees as of stated date. The portion of request seeking date of opening and closing of the vacancy announcements, job descriptions and vacancy announcements. Second request sought the most current listing of DC government employees. Therefore, required a search which is unreasonably burdensome. The agency satisfied the request by providing a hyperlink to its website.   Proper request  
DDOT and OUC 2011-32 Request for emails of two specified government employees with certain words in the subject line. There was a sufficient privacy interest as the subject of the emails were personal, nongovernmental communications and not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2) (privacy) Upheld
OPC 2011-33 Request for information regarding disciplinary actions or investigations for two named MPD officers. There is a sufficient privacy interest in allegations of wrongdoing, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2) (privacy) Upheld
Auditor 2011-34 Request for the Fiscal Year 2010 final spending reports and the Fiscal Year 2011 budgets for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 5A, 5B, 5C. Requested records are required by law to be provided by ANC. Agency reconsidered and provided records. D.C. Official Code § 1-309.13 Upheld, then moot on reconsideration
MPD 2011-35 Request of 9 categories of records relating to the implementation of the Disorderly Conduct Amendment Act of 2010 and its mirror emergency counterpart. Upon the review of the appeal, the agency released the information. Moot Moot
DCHR 2011-36 Multiple requests for the selection certificate relating to a vacancy announcement the name and qualifications of a reviewing government official, reasons why Appellant did not meet basic qualifications for certain positions, and results of desk audit. As to the selection certificate, there is sufficient privacy interest in identity of reviewing, non-decisional individual and in information regarding candidates on selection certificates which is to be provided, not outweighed by public interest in disclosure. As to the qualification of Appellant, agency has no duty to answer the questions unrelated to document requests or create documents. Agency shall search for results of desk audit an adequate search not established.  

D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(6)- exempt from disclosure by statue; establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld.
-and-
D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2) and (3)(C)(privacy);

Adequate search

Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part.
DHCF 2011-37 Request for the number of abortions paid by the city under DC Medicaid beginning in 2009 and the date, certain, and the cost of each procedure. Appellant did not request identifying information as to patients there was a sufficient privacy interest as the agency identified a link between the location of abortion providers and the identity of patients. Although there is a substantial public interest in indicating what services the government provides and the possible effect not to provide them, it does not outweigh the emotional and physical risks to attachment to disclosure.   D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(personal privacy) Upheld
DHCA 2011-38 Request for documents relating to the Highland Dwelling Redevelopment and Modernization Project. Although all records had not been provided to Appellant on date of Appeal, based on representation of agency, it was determined that Agency made a good faith search and has provided and will provide the balance of all responsive records.   Adequate search Upheld
OSSE 2011-39 Request for records relating to school suspensions. The agency provided the records to the Appellant after filing the appeal.   Moot Moot
DYRS 2011-40 Request for records involving placement of youths. The requested records are juvenile social records exempt from disclosure by a statute.

D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(6)-(exempt from disclosure by statute)

(D.C. Official Code § 2-1515.06-records pertaining to youths)

Upheld
DCRA 2011-41 Request for all correspondence between the Office of the Zoning Administrator and a specific individual. The request was not unduly burdensome because the agency only needed to search the records of approximately 12 employees for a 4 ½ month period. Proper request Reversed and remanded
OP 2011-42 Request for the records related to Georgetown University’s 2010-2011 Campus Plan and Office of Planning’s May 5th, 2011 report thereon. While Appellant relied upon public interest in disclosure to overcome assertion of the deliberative process privilege, disclosure would likely stifle future honest and frank discussions. They are predecisional and they reflect alternative proposals, recommendations, suggestions, ideas, and personal opinion. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4) (deliberative process privilege)   Upheld
MPD 2011-43 Request records prepared by a specific MPD Sergeant. An adequate search was found as the agency stated that it had conducted four separate searches.   Adequate search Upheld
OSSE 2011-44 Request for records regarding a grant and grant, reports, emails of a specific programs. As search was not completed, agency ordered to complete the search and produce records or report results of search to Appellant.     Adequate search Remanded
DDOT 2011-45 Request records related to contracts of a certain project, including all payment applications from the general contractor.  On appeal, Appellant sought the quantity detail for each contract line-item.  While line-item prices would be exempt from disclosure, where quantity, line-item price and total payment were all redacted, by providing the quantity detail the Appellant would not reveal the pricing structure of the general contractor.   D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(1)-(Trade secrets and commercial or financial information) Reversed and Remanded
DDOT 2011-46 Request for documents from a certain period to relating to trees which were ordered or purchased for planting, replacement, or restoration of greenery on public space pursuant to the jurisdiction of the agency. An adequate search not established where agency did not explain the manner in which the search was conducted. Adequate search Reverse and Remanded
FEMS 2011-47 Request for records for a fire, relating to arson investigations, cause of the fire, alarms, and reports. Interference with enforcement proceedings established where, the agency stated that the records are a part of an investigation that is ongoing and may lead to criminal prosecution.     D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(A) (interference with enforcement proceedings) Upheld
DDOT 2011-49 Request of a traffic plan and associated documents submitted to DDOT by a developer. Agency provided all responsive records after the filing of Appeal. Failure to respond Moot
OCFO 2011-50 Request for records regarding specified contracts. Pre-award evaluation/scoring of contract proposals are exempt under deliberative process privilege Records sought are both predecisional, here prior to the decision to award the contract and deliberative here reflecting the thoughts, opinions, analyses, recommendations of persons for the use of the ultimate decision maker. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4) (deliberative process privilege) Upheld
EOM 2011-51 Request for records for 2006 through 2010, denying the requests for evoking or granting, real property tax exemptions for schools or educational institutions interpretative legal guidance to employees and all documents of OTR with respect to new requests for, or previously granted real property. Other than internal records discussing the granting of tax exemptions (for which OCFO was required to identify and provide a detailed index) and the redactions of any statement of taxpayer income and expenses on applications, the agency could not or did not claimed exemptions for pending litigation, there is no pending litigation exemption) attorney-client privileges, (general interpretative, not particularized, legal advice), deliberative process privilege, work product privilege (no records created in anticipation of litigation), and interference with enforcement proceedings or disclosure of investigative techniques.

D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(A)(E)(interference with enforcement proceedings disclosure of investigatory techniques);

D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4) (deliberative process privilege)(work product privilege); (attorney-client privilege);

Pending litigation exemption

Remanded
DCPS 2011-52 Request for records from DCPS related to lesbian/bisexual/transgender students and teachers. The agency responded to Appellant after the filing of the Appeal. Failure to respond Moot
DDOT 2011-53 Request for records related to an accident at the specified intersection. Records are predecisional, submitted in contemplation of an agency policy to be adopted are exempt under deliberative privileges. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4) (deliberative process privilege) Upheld
MPD 2011-54 Request for emails on a date certain between two MPD assistant Chiefs relating to an Internal Affairs Division investigation and referencing appellant. There was a sufficient privacy interest in the personal observations and reflections of government employees, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure.   D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(3) (privacy) Upheld
MPD 2011-55 Request for all records related to the administrative closure of the investigation of a 1999 homicide. Because decision to prosecute is still pending, disclosure would provide critical information that would impede or compromise such prosecution.   D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(A) (interference with enforcement proceedings) Upheld
DCHR 2011-56 Request for resumes of Excepted Service appointees hired or appointed by administration of Mayor Gray between January 2, 2011 and April 30, 2011. The agency reconsidered its position and provided the records. Moot Moot
MPD 2011-57 Request for a list of homicide files that been destroyed since 2001 and the names of the persons who authorized the destruction and the authorization letters. The Agency provided records, but indicated it was conducting an additional search. The agency was ordered to complete the additional search. Adequate search Remanded
DHCF 2011-58 Request for records relating to the DC Medicaid pharmacy paid claims data file for all calendar year quarters beginning in 2010. The Appellant stated that it received some but not all of the data it had received in the past. The agency implemented a new computer system that would incur substantial cost to provide the entire equivalent past data. The agency is only required to make an adequate search and not required to create or maintain records. Adequate search
-and-
not required to create or maintain records
Upheld
DOC 2011-59 Request for records relating to an alleged sexual assault on Appellant while she was in the custody of the agency. The agency stated that they had no responsive records under the appellants name but later found records under a pseudonym and records were made available to appellant. Adequate search Upheld
MPD 2011-60 Request for copies of the tapes of any telephone calls made to the District’s emergency telephone system (911) calls in response to traffic accident all calls are not public records which must be disclosed. There is a sufficient privacy interest in identity of a witness, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure.  MPD does not have technical measures to redact the audiotape. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy) Upheld
MPD 2011-61 Request for tape of 911 calls. There is a sufficient interest in the identity and statements of a witness, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure. MPD does not have the technical means to redact the audiotape.   D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy) Upheld
OAG 2011-62 Request for documents related to a certain Councilmember, including his bank records. The agency was not able to demonstrate that the disclosure would interfere with enforcement proceedings. Upon reconsideration by the declaration of an investigator from the US Attorney’s office established such interference. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(A)(interference with enforcement proceedings) Reversed and remarked decision and remanded; Upheld on reconsideration
DMPED 2011-63 Request for records related to selection of and /or payment to developers, consultants, appraisers, and appraisals and appraisal reviews, for the Skyland Shopping Center redevelopment project.  Payments made and the mere Description of work performed for the District’s litigation involving Skyland properties is not exempt from disclosure under the attorney-client privilege, deliberative process privilege, or work product privilege. There is no basis for withholding appraisals or other records under FOIA because the records have been provided in litigation.  An agency may redact non responsive information.    D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(4) –(deliberative due process, attorney client privilege; work-product privilege) Uphold in part, reversed and remanded in part.
MPD 2011-64 Request for records relating to License Plate Reader systems employed by MPD, including Id tags and location data captured by the LPRS units, whose withholding is challenged.  There is a sufficient privacy interest in the tags and location data.  The disclosure does not outweigh the individual privacy interest as in disclosure.  The disclosure of the requested records, ie., the individual tags and the date and location of the images will not enable the Appellant to analyze further executive agency policy.   D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(3)(C) (privacy) Upheld
OSSE 2011-65 Request of audit standards, policies, and procedures including memoranda and other documents in effect or developed during a time certain. The agency responded after filing of the Appeal. Moot Moot
OSSE 2011-66 Request for emails from a certain individual. The agency extended the time to respond and the filing of the Appeal was untimely.   Failure to respond Dismissed
OSSE 2011-67 Request fpr emails from a certain individual search but found no responsive records.  The agency designed an adequate search but misspelled a search term, so a new search was ordered. Adequate search Remanded
OSSE 2011-68/72 Request for records related to the resignation of a certain individual. There is a sufficient privacy interest in the personal information, including personnel records, of an employee, not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure.  However, because the resignation of the individual has already been revealed his letter can be produced, with redactions for personal information. D.C. Official Code § 2-534(a)(2)(privacy) Upheld in part and reversed and remanded in part.  
OSSE 2011-69 Request for emails from a certain individual. The agency was ordered to provide responsive records. Failure to respond Remanded
OSSE 2011-70 Request for records relating to the resignation of a certain individual. The agency responded after the filing of the Appeal. Failure to respond Moot
OSSE 2011-71 Request for emails for certain individuals. The agency designed an adequate search but misspelled a search term, so a new search was ordered. Adequate Search Agency must conduct a new search