For those not following the missing, but now found, Forest Service employee contact information (started as a post by Andy Stahl and most recently updated here), Billy Schneider sent this in. While relevant to that thread, it also seemed interesting on its own. Here’s the link he sent and below is an excerpt.
This is a FOIA request related to the USDA Forest Service’s Office of the Chief, Office of Communication, Misconduct Investigation that was launched in 2013 and specifically the report that was produced from the investigation.
We all understand the sensitivity of releasing such reports which contain information protected by privacy laws. However, members of USDA’s legal counsel can, I’m sure, find an appropriate balance between privacy and the public’s right to know.
Regarding a similar misconduct matter, here’s a quote from a DOD IG spokeswoman who explained the balancing act between privacy and the public’s right to know. “Because such investigations involve information that may address the privacy concerns of the subject as well as witnesses and persons interviewed, reports of investigations frequently must be redacted extensively prior to release to the public. It has been the long standing practice of our office to release these reports in response to FOIA requests.”
Note the last line that, “It has been the long standing practice of our office to release these reports in response to FOIA requests.” Things should be no different at USDA.
Quote source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2013/11/07/smokey-bear-says-only-you-can-prevent-government-officials-misconduct/
He’s also requesting a count of veterans employed in the office.