2016 IGAP 00017 Lowry Natalie Final Appeal Response

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fattf?t?ti OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE May11,2016 Ms. Natalie Lowry Via e?mail: RE: FOIA No. 2016-IGAP-00017 Dear Ms. L
owry: This responds to your April 17, 2016 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for an itemized report of the money spent by the OIG as part of the investigation and prosecution of Brian W. Hendricks by the OIG and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan W. Bounds. Our analyst explained that the records responsive to your request are part of an ongoing investigation and thus exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 As explained below, I af?rm the analyst?s decision to withhold the records. Exemption allows withholding of records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes when their release could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings. Congress has given agencies broad discretion as to what constitutes a reasonable expectation of interference. Manna v. DOJ, 51 F.3d 1158, 1164 n.5 (3d Cir. 1995) (stating that Congress amended the FOIA statute to "relax significantly the standard for demonstrating interference"). In order to use this exemption, the OIG need only show that the records are related to an ongoing law enforcement action and their disclosure could potentially interfere with the law enforcement proceedings. Wichiacz v. U. 8. Dept of inferior, 938 F. Supp. 325, 331 (ED. Va. 1996) (holding that "the government may justify nondisclosure in a generic fashion?), aff'd, 114 F.3d 11?8 (4th Cir. 1997). In this case, itemizing any associated costs could reveal investigative techniques or otherwise undermine and interfere with an ongoing investigation and prosecution. As our analyst explained, this exemption will be inapplicable once the investigation is formally closed. Therefore, you may wish to make another FOIA request in the future when we can review available documents and issue a formal determination on their merits. Even when this investigation is completed, portions of the final report, including any attachments, exhibits andi'or evidence, may continue to be withheld pursuant to recognized FOIA exemptions. Inasmuch as my decision does not constitute a full grant of access to the withheld material, FOIA requires that I inform you of your right to judicial review. Such review is available to you in the United States District Court for the judicial district in which you reside or have your principal place of business, the district in which the records are located, or in the District of Columbia. As part of the 2007 FOIA amendments, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) was created to offer mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Using services does not affect your right to pursue litigation. You may contact OGIS in any of the following ways: Office of Government Information Services National Archives and Records Administration 8601 Adelphi Road College Park, MD 20740-6001 E-mail: ogis@nara.gov Telephone: 202-741-5770 or 1?877-684-6448 Facsimile: 2023416769 Sincerely, Ronald Cummings Attorney for Gladis C. Griffith Freedom of Information Act Appeals Officer cc: FOIA Analyst
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