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CREW: Department of Education: Regarding For-Profit Education: 5/10/2011 - FOIA Response

CREW: Department of Education: Regarding For-Profit Education: 5/10/2011 - FOIA Response

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Published by CREW
On July 23, 2010, CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Education seeking records of communications between Education officials and individuals and entities prominent in the for-profit education industry and individuals who may have publically criticized the industry for personal financial gain. Recent news reports document the efforts of several individuals to garner support for tighter regulation of the for-profit education industry by the Department of Education while at the same time concealing that they stand to reap personal financial gain from more restrictive regulations. Education just proposed new regulations for the industry and CREW seeks to learn, in part, to what extent Education may have been influenced by the efforts of individuals and entities with undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
On July 23, 2010, CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Education seeking records of communications between Education officials and individuals and entities prominent in the for-profit education industry and individuals who may have publically criticized the industry for personal financial gain. Recent news reports document the efforts of several individuals to garner support for tighter regulation of the for-profit education industry by the Department of Education while at the same time concealing that they stand to reap personal financial gain from more restrictive regulations. Education just proposed new regulations for the industry and CREW seeks to learn, in part, to what extent Education may have been influenced by the efforts of individuals and entities with undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

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Published by: CREW on May 11, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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04/06/2012

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UNITED
STATES
DEPARTMENTOFEDUCATION
OFFICEOFMANAGEMENTRegulatoryInformationManagementServicesMay10,2011
ViaOvernightMail
Ms.AnneWeismann CitizensforResponsiveEthicsinWashington 1400EyeSt.,N.W. Suite450WashingtonDC20005
RE:FOIARequestNo.lO-01704-F
DearMs.Weismann: ThislettersupplementstheDepartment'sfinalresponsetoyourletterdatedJuly23,2010,requesting accesstoDepartmentrecordspursuanttotheFreedomofInformationAct(FOIA),5U.S.C.§552on beh
alf
of
CitizensforResponsibilityandEthicsinWashington(CREW).Yourrequestwasforwarded tothefollowingofficestosearchfordocumentsthatmayberesponsivetoyourrequest:Office
of
theSecretary(OS),FederalStudentAid(FSA),OfficeofLegislativeandCongressionalAffairs(OLCA), Office
of
PostsecondaryEducation(OPE),OfficeoftheGeneralCounsel(OGC),Officeof CommunicationsandOutreach(OCO),Office
of
theUndersecretary(OUS),Office
of
theDeputy Secretary(ODS),andOfficeofPlanning,EvaluationandPolicy(OPEPD). Youaskedfor:anyandallrecordsoforreflectingcommunicationsfromApril20,2009,tothe presentto,from,and/orbetweenofficialsatEducationregardingfor-profiteducationandany andall
of
thefollowing: 1.Mr.StevenEisman; 2.Anyorallindividualsidentifiedasofficers,directors,oremployeesof FrontPointPartners,LLC; 3.Anyorallindividualsidentifiedasofficers,directors,oremployees
of
MorganStanleyInvestmentManagement,Inc. 4.DeputyUndersecretary
of
EducationRobertShireman; 5.Ms.PaulineAbernathy; 6.Anyorallindividualsidentifiedasofficers,directors,oremployees
of
theInstituteforCollegeAccessandSuccess; 7.Mr.BarmakNassirian; 8.Anyorallindividualsidentifiedasofficers,directors,oremployeesofthe AmericanAssociationofCollegiateRegistrarsandAdmissionsOfficers; 9.Mr.ManuelP.Asensio; lO.Anyorallindividualsidentifiedas
of
ficers,directors,oremployees
of
TheAllianceforEconomicStability; 11.Ms.JohnetteMcConnellEarly.
 
FOIARequest
No.1
0-01704Page2BylettersdatedNovember23,2010,December3,2010,December22
,2
010,April15,2011, April22,1011,andApril28,2011,youreceived2,264pages
of
documentsresponsivetothis request.Withthisletter,youreceive97pages
of
documentsresponsivetothisrequest,all
of
whichmayhavebeenprovidedpreviously.Eleven
of
these97pageswerepreviouslyreleased withredactionsthathavenowbeenremoved.These97pagesinclude56redactedpages.Fifty five
of
theseredactedpageswerepreviouslyreleasedwithdifferentredactions.Theseredactions weremadeaccordingtotheFOIAexemptionsspecifiedbelow: Recordsorportions
of
recordsrelatingtopre-decisionalinternalcommunicationshave beenwithheldpursuantto5U.S
.c.
§552(b)(5)
of
theFOIAandDepartmentalregulation 34CFR§5.73(a).Theseprovisionsrequireustowithholdthegovernment'sdeliberative processprivilege,interalia,protectingrecords
of
pre-decisionalinternalcommunications reflectingtheviewsorrecommendations
of
agencyemployeesinconnectionwiththe governmentpolicyorlegalmattersthatarebothpre-decisionalanddeliberativeinnature. Recordsorportionsofrecordsrelatingtopersonalinformationisexemptpursuantto5 U.S.C.§552(b)(6)
of
theFOIAandDepartmentalregulation34CFR§5.71(a). Disclosure
of
thisinformationwouldconstituteaclearlyunwarrantedinvasion
of
personalprivacy. TheDepartmenthasalsoredactedinformationcontainedonsome
of
thepagesreleasedherethatisnot responsivetoyourrequest
( ~
,
internalcommunicationsthatareunrelatedtocommunicationswith externalentities). Provisions
of
theFOIAallowustorecoverthecostspertainingtoyourrequest.TheDepartmenthas concludedthatyoufallwithinthecategory
of
"commercialuserequester".However,theDepartment hasprovidedyouwiththisinformationatnocharge.TheDepartment'srelease
of
thisinformationatnocostdoesnotconstitutethegrant
of
afeewaiver,anddoesnot
inf
erorimplythatyouwillbegranteda feewaiverforfuturerequestsmadeunderFOIAtotheDepartment.Becausewewereabletolocateand processthesedocumentsatminimalcosts,theyareprovidedtoyouatnocost. YouhavetherighttoappealtheFOIAexemptiondecisionbywritingtotheaddressbelow,30 daysfromthedate
of
thisletter.Yourappealshouldbeaccompaniedbyacopy
of
yourinitialletter
of
requestandthisdenialletter,andshouldcontainanyevidenceorargumentyouwishthe Departmenttoconsiderinmakinganadministrativedeterminationonyourappeal.
AppealAddress:
U.S.Department
of
EducationOffice
of
Management400MarylandAvenue,SW,LBJ2W3ll ATTN:AppealsOffice Washington,DC20202-4500 Or,youmaycompletetheonlineFOIAappealform,locatedat: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/foiaappealforml.html.
400MARYLANDAVE.,S.W.,WASHINGTON,DC20202-4500 www.ed.gov
OurmissionistoensureequalaccesstoeducationandtopromoteeducationalexcellencethroughouttheNation.

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