Dear FOIA Officer,
On behalf of the Brown Center for Public Policy, Ethics in Business Institute, a/k/a WhistleWatch.org, I respectfully request the Department of State’s (DOS) No FEAR Act Annual Reports to Congress, from 2002 to the present, as required under section 203 of Pub. L. 101-474. Please note that these reports are different than what is required to be posted on OSC’s website, which corresponds with section 301/Title III of the No FEAR Act of 2002.
Fee Waiver Request & Disclosure of the Information in the Public Interest
WhistleWatch.org qualifies for fee waiver because this disclosure meets the four-factored test under 22 CFR 171.17, Waiver or reduction of fees, as follows:
(1) The requested records pertain to the operations of the Federal Government because they show the extent to which discrimination and retaliation occurs in government. Discrimination and retaliation inhibit the free flow of information in the workplace required to address societal problems and arrive at suitable remedies. (2) Disclosure of the records will reveal meaningful information about trends, causal analyses, and resources expended at the DOS as a result of discrimination and retaliation. To the extent that discrimination and retaliation are not reduced year over year, a reasonable conclusion may be derived that DOS is not taking adequate measures to eliminate and prevent civil rights act violations of law. (3) The disclosure will advance the understanding of the general public where retaliation and discrimination toward public employees results in a waste of taxpayer funds. In these economic hard times, it is of utmost import that the general public know of all expenditures, particularly those where a governmental agencies violated anti-discrimination and whistleblower retaliation laws. (4) The contribution to public understanding will be a significant one because, thus far, no one has publicly compiled statistical information relating to the waste of taxpayer funds required to compensate prevailing whistleblowers and/or victims of discrimination, year over year, across all of DOS. The total sum figure will give context and concreteness to the rampant problem of whistleblower retaliation in the federal government.
Moreover, the information pertaining to trend analysis by DOS will show whether DOS is learning any lessons and properly understanding the scope of the problem, whether any individuals were disciplined when named in a lawsuit for whistleblower retaliation and discrimination. The public has a right to know if DOS is complying with anti-discrimination and whistleblower retaliation laws under the No Fear Act.
Lastly, The requested information outlined above is not publicly available, not delivered in reports mandated under Section 203 of the No Fear Act to Congress, and cannot be obtained by any other means than through this FOIA request.
News Media Representative
WhistleWatch is a Not For Profit, Public Benefit 501(c)(3) corporation that engages in advocacy, education, journalism, litigation on behalf of whistleblowers and tax payers. WhistleWatch qualifies as a representative of the news media under 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II) because we disclose the information on government performance and costs in the public interest. Further, Whistlewatch.org converts the information into distinct Internet publications and provides information to the Make It Safe Campaign & Coalition.
The campaign launched primarily by WhistleWatch.org to count up the total cost of discrimination and retaliation in the federal government is the genesis of a theme chosen for this year’s Whistleblower Summit, a conference of prominent whistleblowers and government accountability advocates in the Nation’s capital. One of three themes will be “Count-It-Up—Adding the total costs to American Taxpayers due to discrimination and retaliation.” (See the front page of www.acorn8.com
, (last visited May 16, 2012)). This conference, to be held on May 21-23 in Washington D.C., will be covered by MSNBC Host Dylan Ratigan, Free Speech TV (FSTV), and the PACIFICA Radio Network.
Not in the Commercial Interest
This request is not for commercial interest. The information requested will be disseminated to the public free of charge at www.mspbwatch.net/no-fear
, an affiliate website. Therefore, based on the above, we believe we have met the threshold factors and qualify for a waiver of fees.
My address is:
Special Counsel to WhistleWatch.org