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GSA Ignores Information Request Deadline

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On Monday, July 20 2012 my American Dream will be irrevocably destroyed unless something drastically changes before then. General Services Administration (GSA) has failed to respond and properly process my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request 218250 for documents that reveal that their agency transferred a large sum of money to their account through Event Emissary without my knowledge or consent. The FOIA was submitted on March 12, 2012 and posted on April 3, 2012. GSA failure to deliver documents has given me no legal recourse to defend actions taken against my small business.

On May 17, 2012 the General Services Administration Internal Resources division stated that they were taking a 10 working day extension under 41 CFR 105-60.404 ( a )(2) and that I should expect a final reply no later than June 11, 2012. The GSA promise of a reply never happened and my appointed investigator no longer responds to any form of communication from me. The financial strains for litigation are too much to continue to fight this battle. For the sake of my family I will have to negotiate a settlement where I lose my farm.

This has left me little faith in our current federal government public servants willingness to comply with statutory obligations created to protect us all. The Constitution is just a piece of paper if we do not believe in following it.


What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.



Code of Federal Regulations

Title 41 - Public Contracts and Property Management
Volume: 3
Date: 1997-07-01
Original Date: 1997-07-01
Title: Section 105-60.404 - Extension of time limits.Context:

Regional Offices-General Services Administration. PART 105 - 60 PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF AGENCY RECORDS AND INFORMATIONAL MATERIALS. Subpart 105 - 60.4-Described Records.

§ 105-60.404

Extension of time limits.

(a) In unusual circumstances, the GSA FOIA Officer or the regional FOIA Officer may extend the time limits prescribed in §§ 105-60.402 and 105-60.403. For purposes of this section, the term “unusual circumstances” means:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;

(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request;

(3) The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject-matter interest therein; or

(4) The need to consult with the submitter of the requested information.

( b ) If necessary, more than one extension of time may be taken. However, the total extension of time shall not exceed 10 workdays with respect to a particular request. The extension may be divided between the initial and appeal stages or within a single stage. GSA will provide a written notice to the requester of any extension of time limits.

The following GSA members were part of the investigation.

Toni Slappy
Eric D. Radwick
GSA Director Daniel Tangherlini
Senator Joe Lieberman

The following did their best to work on my behalf.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Cartwright Moore
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I was not able to sign settlement documents Monday for other reasons that matter greater than this. But, I just received the following email from General Services after I had left my office yesterday afternoon.


Good Afternoon:


Mr. Wilbur, once again thank you very much for your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Again, I want to thank you for your patience, it is greatly appreciated.


Your FOIA is in its final stages of processing. Once this final review is complete and the package is signed off, I will forward to you all requested documents to satisfy your request.


Please excuse our time needed to complete this process. Thank you for your patience.


I responded that I hope I hope it comes sooner than later. I was not able to properly present this information last week in front of council and opposing council.


I am still way in the dark on this matter trying to protect my property and not put it in jeopardy. If opposing council and GSA had been forthcoming with the information, which was the decent and proper thing to do, then I would not have to ask for this information make a public notice of this event.


Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies


SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government


My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.


Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.


Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.


Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperateamong themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.


I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.





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