1st Response to FOI Request: Belfast Project Documents (DOJ-OIA)

FOI Request: Belfast Project Documents (DOJ-OIA)

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Enforcement Operations
Criminal Division
Washington, D.C. 20530
July 1, 2014

Mr. Dustin Slaughter
MuckRock News
Dept. MR 12221
Post Office Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205

Dear Mr. Slaughter:
Re: CRM-300452623 KWC:CPS

The Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act request dated June 1 8, 2014, in which you requested access to records concerning the Belfast Project. Your request has been assigned file number CRM-300452623. You should refer to this number in any future correspondence with this Office.

The records you seek require a search in another section of the Criminal Division, and so your request presents “unusual circumstances” under the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(6)(B)(i)- (iii), Because of these unusual circumstances, we need to extend the twenty day time limit to respond to your request beyond the ten additional days provided by the statute. The time needed to complete our processing of your request will necessarily depend on the complexity of our records search and on the volume and complexity of any records located. In an effort to facilitate our records search, you may wish to narrow the scope of your request to limit the number of potentially responsive records or agree to an alternative time frame for processing, should records be located; or you may wish to await the completion of our records search to discuss either of these options.

You have requested expedited processing of your request pursuant to the Department’s standard permitting expedition for requests involving “[an] urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information.” See C.F.R. 16.5(d)(ii) (2013).

Based on the information you have provided, I have determined that your request for expedited processing under this standard should be denied. This Office cannot identify a particular urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity beyond the public’s right to know about government activities generally.

We have not yet made a decision on your request for preferred requester fee status or your request for a fee waiver. We will do so after we determine whether fees will be assessed for this request.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss reformulation or an alternative time frame for the processing of your request, you may contact me by telephone at (202) 616-0307, or you may write to me at the Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, Suite 1127, Keeney Building, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001. Thank you for your interest in the Criminal Division.


Kenneth Courter
Acting Chief