Thursday, July 13, 2017

Alaska Ag......The Appeal Results

On July 12th, an email appeared from the DOA. This date is at the deadline allowed for response, although snail mail had been checked daily-just in case.

There were five attachments to the email, pdf files.

Four contained multiple pages in response to the administrative appeal.

There are over 100 documents in total, which will take some time to sort through, collate and arrive at a conclusion.

The takeaway here is this:

The DOA *knew* exactly what I was asking for on the first FOIA Open Records Request.  It was denied...."no such documents exist"

They still knew when they denied the second, more detailed FOIA Open Records Request.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out at whose direction those two denials were issued, does it?  Dear Director, naturally. Or whoever over there is pulling his strings.  This is how they exert power, and pick who wins and loses.

I got results when I followed statute, appealed in writing, making sure that a paper trail included DNR Commissioner Andy Mack, and DNR Deputy Commissioner Ed Fogels. I also included the relevant federal regulations, something that DOA *had* to have known to operate MMM&S.  I'd encourage everyone who was ever denied a FOIA request, to follow the same procedure. Especially if what you are asking for does not include personal information, and you are confident that the DOA does have the information you seek.

That said-

The contents are chronologically jumbled, the "kill reports" are a handwritten mess, and if this serves as "record keeping" for the DOA....well, let's just say it nicely "they have serious issues there". Curiously, some of the information was evidently housed at the Plant Materials Center, according to fax headers printed on the documents. No nice and tidy Excel spreadsheet here, of course. Nope, if you are attempting to make a determination about proceeding with livestock production, and need this basic background information (for decision making, for financing or business plan purposes) just shoot me an email, and avoid the stonewalling and excuses at DOA....I'll happily share.

Edited to add: The pdf files themselves.

DOA Appeal letter
Kill Report 1
Kill Report 2
Kill Report 3
Kill Report 4


Anonymous said...

LOL - you got what you asked for! What did you think - they were going to type it up for you into a nice neat little package???

suvalley said...

^^ Do check out the pdf files added to this post ^^

Reach your own conclusion as to the contents, if you can manage it. I am all for ag, all for folks growing food here, always have been.

But we all have every right to expect better from our government, and it's well paid public servants.

Anderson.john118 said...

I think In some ways you missed the point. While the information received was horribly documented. The bigger issue is how long it took to get this information and how many times they attempted to say they didn't even have it.
It took an official appeal to get what was pretty clearly asked for in the beginning.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any point was missed. There was miscommunication on both sides. Suvalley asked for something using a term the DoA didn't use. The DoA should have asked for clarification. They didn't. Who knows what happened behind the scenes with the DOA. But it was fairly clear on all the documents posted here, that you attempting to "set-up" to the DoA. You really didn't want to data for anything purposeful and aren't going to do anything useful with it. Your only intent is to flaunt it to the public at how screwed up the DoA is. But, you really didn't prove anything except that you're adept and taking bits and pieces of information from the internet and pasting them together in order to support your agenda.

I have reviewed the a majority of the PDF files. They gave you what you asked for - copies of everything and their reports. In a FOIA request - you usually get specific documents and the government agency is not required to (nor should they be) consolidate it and make it pretty. You got what you asked for and you should be happy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

^ Looks like the DOA Trolls are out in force. This blog author could always make a move from the DOA playbook and limit who can comment by making this a "closed group" ala the new Alaska Groan Facebook page. But that would be a pretty chickens!t move wouldn't it? And besides, sounds like this blog author doesn't have to worry about commenters, because she clearly doesn't have a stockpile of corruption to hide (unlike DOA and its state-paid public information censorship goons).

suvalley said...

Everyone is free to question my motives for the FOIA. The truth is so simple, some simple minds have a hard time accepting it.

I genuinely wanted to know if livestock production is truly on the upswing here. If so, this is a *good thing* for our state!

The only place to get reliable statistics is the DOA. Custom exempt and home butchering would not be included and I think we'd all be pretty confident in saying that whatever those numbers might be, they're significantly less than whatever MMM&S did the last year in state hands.

Imagine, a sector of agricultural growth, in a period of recession. It's amazing and all participants (consumers and producers both!) should be commended.

Could they have provided the information in a better form? Of course. They did not. I am sure that anyone who needs this type of data for a business plan, for financing, for research, will also be disappointed at their record keeping skills.

Once more, remember that they denied the FOIA twice. The second time after being supplied with a better description of the data being sought. How many residents have to go to Administrative Appeal? Or is this just Dear Director taking a swipe at a critic of the CBC of Ag?

You decide.

Anonymous said...

To be clear...'DOA Trolls' = Division of Ag staff? Does that mean there are DOT and DEC "Trolls" using the "anonomous" label and not getting enough followers or attention to call them out?

Fair question and time someone asks it. Let's turn this mudslinging into productive growth for Alaska Agriculture instead of unfounded accusations.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...have you ever looked at the $ waste in EVERY other department #DECorHSSorDOTorDOCorDEED. What is their public response rate compared to # of staff? You do realize the # of 'paid public servants' for agriculture is next to nothing compared to other states...and according to this lame blog site they are not meeting your expectations. Wish there were as many haters (all 4 of you anonymous people...2 out of state friends and 2 fake profiles), for the departments/divisions that need the drama.

Anderson.john118 said...

What's unfounded? Lots of issues are well documented and have been proven. Just keep sticking your head in the sand. Or that Palmer soil.

Anonymous said...

Arthur Keys over seen each piece of paper you received! After hearing about this thru office gossip I shook my head in disbelief. Sorry you did not receive what you requested it really upsets me that this happens at the very place I work, I see now why Arthur has a special lock on his door.

suvalley said...

The number of paid public servants is a result of the Director's staffing decisions. Letting experienced staff go, to then replace with a person who needs oodles of expensive training is just one example of "waste". Especially when the "job" they're learning to do, is already done by another state department. (No slam at the newcomer, it's just the facts)

And if Dear Director did spend his time overseeing the production of the FOIA request records, that is another monumental waste. It is a clerical task, not executive.

Anderson.john118 said...

And don't forget the foia requests take up less then 1% of all monthly man hours the division does.