FOIA and Mandatory Declassification
Review Requests Referred to the Central Intelligence Agency by Other
Central Intelligence Agency - Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV - Submitted 4-29-2010, 8-5-2010,
10-7-2010, Part I Closed 5-18-2010, Part II Closed 9-22-2010,
Part III Closed 9-30-2010
Parts I-III - The CIA maintains that it can neither confirm nor deny
the existence or nonexistence (called a Glomar response) of any
requests that have been referred to it from other agencies because that
information is classified. These requests are part of an effort to
have this practice overturned in light of the fact that other agencies
freely provide this information to requesters upon request.
Part IV - Mandatory Declassification Review request for the
Referral memos for five specified FOIA requests pertaining to
National Archives and Records Administration - Part IPart II - Submitted 5-3-2010, 9-22-2010, Part I Closed
Agency initially provided complete FOIA and MDR logs without
indicating which requests were referred. After consultation with
NSC, agency agreed to process a more limited request, leading to the
In 2009 the FBI released to the James Madison Project a draft version of some of its written responses
to questions posed in a House Judiciary
Committee hearing. The FBI response to Question 25,
which addressed inaccurate FBI declarations to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court, was "The response to this inquiry
is classified and is, therefore, provided separately." Therefore,
JMP filed a request for the classified response, which it subsequently
transferred to NSC.
Received documents. Visit the Document Vault to
Mandatory Declassification Review request for materials previously
requested by the James Madison Project. The CIA
originally closed the JMP request after determining that the records
sought were "operational files."
Part I - Agency responded that FOIA analysts could not ascertain
which records were being sought.
Agency maintains that NSC does not have the right to appeal its
Part V - Personal experience has suggested that one of the CIA's
most often-cited reasons for refusing to process a FOIA request on the
grounds that it "fails to reasonably describe the records sought" is if
the request letter uses the words "related to," "relating to," or
"pertaining to." CIA FOIA case logs from 2007-2008 use the words
"related to" to describe the 25 FOIA requests for which correspondence
was requested. We currently hypothesize that these correspondence
records will show that most or all of these 25 requests were treated in
the same manner.
Part VI - Based on the records received from Part II, we submitted a
request for subsequent requests submitted by these same requesters, in
hopes that their efforts to meet the CIA's "reasonable description"
requirements will provide guidance for other requesters seeking to avoid
Received documents. Visit the
Document Vault to review.
Agency responded "no records found" due to the fact that the
office in charge of creating and maintaining the views letters does
not keep track of them once they are written. Instead, the
letters are inserted into files regarding particular legislation with
no record of which files contain views letters.
The Black Vault has obtained and posted a Records Management Overview training video that is
very informative about FBI records management practices, and the video
repeatedly and prominently touts this website as the ultimate source for
information on this subject, leading to this request.
Received documents (but only 99 pages to
date). Visit the Document Vault to review.