My Freedom of Information Act Requests

The following is the documentation trail of my request to the Navy through August 14, 1997.

The Law as cited on the Electronic Privacy Information Center website

Step by step guide provided by the American Civil Liberties Union


My first letter

May 22, 1997
 
Commander Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Department of the Navy Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
1400 Farragut Ave
Bremerton, WA 98314-5000
 
Ref: Freedom of Information Request
Workers Compensation Claim
File Number: 140320904
 
Dear Sir,
 
This is a Freedom of Information Request for information I need for my workers' compensation claim, File Number 140320904.
 
I request the total number of diagnosed cases of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and other leukemias that occurred to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard employees from 1988 through 1993. OSHA regulations require that these records be kept. I request the dates of each reported case of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia during this period. I request a summary of all cases of leukemia by type and date reported for this period. I request the name of the shop or office of the affected employees. The scope of my request is for all employees of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for the period of January 1988 through December 1993. I believe the Naval Hospital OSHA Office maintains this information.
 
Very truly yours,
 
Robert F. Farmer

Navy first response

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
COUNSEL FOR THE
NORTHWEST AREA NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND
PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD
1400 FARRAGUT AVENUE
BREMERTON, WASHINGTON 98314-5001
 
5720
Ser 1130/F97-041
June 27, 1997
 
Dear Mr. Farmer:
 
Your Freedom of Information Act request of May 22, 1997, was received in this office May 27, 1997.
 
Your request for diagnosed cases of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and other leukemias occurring in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard employees from 1988 through 1993 is under the cognizance of the Naval Hospital Bremerton. Accordingly, we have referred your letter to that office for action and direct response to you. If you have any questions, please call me at (360) 476-6597.
 
Sincerely,
 
PENELOPE BARROW
FOIA/Privacy Act Coordinator

Navy second response

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
NAVAL HOSPITAL
BOONE ROAD
BREMERTON, WASHINGTON 98312-1898
 
5720
Ser 00Al4/01569
4 Jun 97
 
Dear Mr. Farmer:
This responds to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of May 22, 1997. It was forwarded by the Office of Counsel, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) and received at Naval Hospital, Bremerton on May 27, 1997. It is my understanding that you seek all information Naval Hospital, Bremerton may be maintaining regarding the total number of diagnosed cases of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and other leukemias that occurred to PSNS employees from 1988 to 1993.
 
A search of our records has failed to disclose information responsive to your request. Since FOIA does not require agencies to create or compile a record not already in existence to satisfy a FOIA request, no further action is deemed appropriate and your request is returned.
 
If you believe an adequate search for responsive records was not accomplished, you may file an appeal with the Judge Advocate General, Navy Department, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandra, VA 22332-2400. The appeal must be received in that office within 60 calendar days from the date of this letter to be considered.
 
The enclosed copy of this letter should be attached along with a statement as to why you believe an adequate search has not been conducted. It is recommended that the letter of appeal and the envelope bear the notation "Freedom of Information Act Appeal".
Please contact me or my assistant, Nancy Allpress, at (360) 478-9644 if you have any questions. The fees associated with the processing of your request have been waived.
 
Sincerely,
 
MONIQUE A. S. ALLEN
Lieutenant, JAGC, U.S. Naval Reserve
Command Judge Advocate
By direction of the
Commanding Officer

My request for reconsideration

June 29, 1997
 
Department of the Navy
Naval Hospital
Boone Road
Bremerton, Washington
98312-1898
 
Monique A. S. Allen
Lieutenant, JAGC, U.S. Naval Reserve
Command Judge Advocate
 
Ref: Letter of denial
5720
Ser 00Al4/01569
4 Jun 97
Dear Monique A. S. Allen
 
I request your reconsideration of the denial of my FOIA request in accordance with the following regulations:
3134 Leukemias
lymphoid, myeloid
monocyctic, Di Guglielmo's disease
erythremic myelosis, Heilmeyer-Schoner disease
I will be satisfied by being allowed to personally review the log and summary of all recordable occupational injuries and illnesses to extract the data requested in my original FOIA request.
 
Very truly yours,
 
Robert F. Farmer

Navy third response

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
NAVAL HOSPITAL
BOONE ROAD
BREMERTON, WASHINGTON 98312-1898
 
5720
Ser 00A14/01683
10 Jul 97
 
Dear Mr. Farmer:
This responds to your letter of June 29, 1997 that was received at Naval Hospital, Bremerton on July 2, 1997. In your letter you ask that I reconsider your previous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
 
In my letter of June 4, 1997, I stated that a search of our records failed to disclose information responsive to your request. You were advised at that time to file an appeal with the Judge Advocate General of the Navy if you felt an adequate search by this command had not been accomplished.
 
You now indicate that you will be satisfied by being allowed to review the log and summary of all recordable occupational injuries and illnesses to extract the data requested in your original FOIA request.
 
I regret any inconvenience this may cause, however, it is Code 106 of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) that maintains an Occupational Injury/Illness data base. Accordingly, we are referring your request back to the Office of Counsel, PSNS for action and direct response to you.
 
Sincerely,
 
MONIQUE A. S. ALLEN
Lieutenant, JAGC, U.S. Naval Reserve
Command Judge Advocate
 
By direction of the Commanding Officer

Navy fourth response

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
COUNSEL FOR THE
NORTHWEST AREA NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND
PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD
1400 FARRAGUT AVENUE
BREMERTON, WASHINGTON 98314-5001
 
5720
Ser 1130/F97-048
 
July 18,1997
 
Dear Mr. Farmer:
 
This responds to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of June 29,1997, received in this office July 3,1997, in which you seek the log and summary of all recordable occupational injuries and illnesses in order to extract the data requested in your original FOIA request. In your original letter of June 4, you requested information regarding the total number of diagnosed cases of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia and other leukemias that occurred to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Shipyard) employees from 1988 to 1993.
 
Pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations, 29 C.F.R.1904.6, occupational injury and illness records must be maintained for five years following the end of the year to which they relate. Therefore, records previous to 1992 are no longer available. Records from 1992 and 1993 were searched by the Environment, Safety and Health Offfice of the Shipyard.
 
The Shipyard's log of occupational injuries and illnesses does not specify or list leukemias, Iymphoid, myeloid, monolytic, erythemic myelosis, or other such diseases by name. It identifies such illnesses as body system disorders which makes them difficult to differentiate by review of the log. The hard copy record for each illness/condition for 1992 and 1993 was reviewed to ensure a thorough search for records responsive to your request. There were no records for the disorders listed above.
 
If you believe an adequate search for responsive records was not accomplished, you may file an appeal with the General Counsel of the Navy, 2211 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22244-5103. The appeal must be received in that office within 60 calendar days from the date of this letter to be considered. The enclosed copy of this letter should be attached along with a statement as to why you believe an adequate search has not been conducted. It is recommended that the letter of appeal and the envelope both bear the notation "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."
 
The fees associated with the processing of this request are minimal and have been waived.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your request, please call me at (360) 476-6597.
 
Sincerely,
 
PENELOPE BARROW
FOIA Coordinator

Appeal to General Counsel of the Navy

August 14, 1997
 
General Counsel of the Navy
2211 Jefferson Davis Highway,
Arlington, VA 22244-5103
 
Ref:
FOIA Appeal
Letter of denial
5720
Ser 1130/F97-048
 
July 18,1997
 
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
COUNSEL FOR THE
NORTHWEST AREA NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND
PUGET SOUND NAVAL SHIPYARD
1400 FARRAGUT AVENUE
BREMERTON, WASHINGTON 98314-5001
 
Dear Sir or Madam:
 
I appeal the denial of my FOIA request in accordance with the following:
3134 Leukemias
lymphoid, myeloid
monocyctic, Di Guglielmo's disease
erythremic myelosis, Heilmeyer-Schoner disease
 
I have been working with Albert E. McFarland . We submitted nearly identical FOIA requests and received nearly identical letters of response from the Navy. We have the same illness. His appeal is dated July 30, 1997. I request that you protect all documents and data held by the Department of Navy or the Department of Labor relative to our requests and claims in accordance with all applicable regulations and laws.
 
Sincerely,
 
Robert F. Farmer

 

Reply from the General Counsel of the Navy

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20350-1000
 
SEP 18 1997
 
CERTIFIED MAIL -- RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED
Mr. Robert E. Farmer
 
Bremerton, WA 98310
 
Dear Mr. Farmer:

This letter is the final administrative adjudication of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeal of August 14, 1997 from a letter of July 18, 1997 from the Northwest Area Naval Sea Systems Command, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNSY), Bremerton, Washington.

Your appeal raises the issue of whether PSNSY conducted an adequate search for records of the total number of diagnosed cases of chronic myelogenous leukemia and other leukemias that occurred to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard employees from January 1988 through December 1993.

Upon review, I conclude that PSNSY's search for responsive documents meets the standard of reasonableness as set forth in Oglesby v. Department of Army, 79 F.3d 1172,1185-7 (D.C. Cir. 1996). The search was made by a competent safety and occupational health professional, responsible for the Shipyard's injury/illness record-keeping who reviewed the hard copy of each record on the printed list from the Shipyard's injury and illness base. The Shipyard maintains a log of occupational injuries and illnesses as body system disorders, which is in compliance with 29 CFR 1904.2, although it does not specifically list leukemias, lymphoid, myeloid, monlytic, erythemic myelosis or other such diseases by name. Employers are not required to use the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification Manual developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Accordingly, this letter constitutes final denial of your appeal by the designated appellate authority for this matter, the Deputy General Counsel of the Navy. Judicial review of this action may be sought as described in 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(4)(B)-(G).

Sincerely,

Eugene P. Angrist
Deputy General Counsel

Where do I go from here?


I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Bob Farmer
Email -  robert.farmer@comcast.net
Homepage - http://oc.itgo.com

Last Updated on 08/05/04


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