On January 18, Chairman Grundmann of the Merit Systems Protection Board granted my appeal in a FOIA request that asked for interpretations pertaining to 5 U.S.C. 1204(a)(3). That statute governs the MSPB’s duty to report to Congress and the President “whether the public interest in a civil service free of prohibited personnel practices is adequately protected.” The FOIA request asked for any interpretations or other documents interpreting that phrase.
Now, we find out, there was no such interpretation, at least not one that can be made public.
Here’s the FOIA appeal grant:
Here’s the DOJ brief that relied on the interpretation I sought:
This raises the question: why are DOJ lawyers making legal arguments based on documents that either don’t exist or are secret?
P.S. the 1980 MSPB annual report can be found here: http://mspbwatch.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/mspb-annual-report-1980.pdf
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- MSPB Chair Susan Tsui Grundmann’s pledge to issue report to the President and the Congress (Nov. 17, 2011)
- Odd legal argument by DOJ examined, possibly refuted by FOIA request (Dec. 6, 2011)
- Appeal of an MSPB FOIA determination (Dec. 18, 2011)