DHS's ICE Group Accused Of Lying To Court About Expense Of Complying With FOI Request
from the but-of-course dept
Having just filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning documents from Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division, you can bet that it caught my attention that ICE is now being accused of lying to a court in claiming massive expenses to comply with a FOIA request for metadata on documents. After some back and forth, a court had ordered ICE to provide the specific data under the FOIA. ICE told the court that it was using a product from a company called Clearwell, but that it ran into technical and monetary hurdles, including having to spend $270,000 in upgrades, and also that it had to suspend security protocols to run the applications.
Apparently, Clearwell’s competitors have been having a field day with this, using the filing by the government to bash Clearwell’s product, so the company put out a blog post that claims ICE was basically lying to the court:
Neither OPLA nor any other part of ICE paid a dime for upgrades or a new server. In reality, its use of the product for this matter is covered under ICE?s existing license, and we provided an extra server and services for free to help them meet a tight deadline. . . .
In 16 working days, Clearwell was used to process a large volume of information and produce nearly 15,000 pages of Opt-Out Records . . . To help ICE meet its deadline, two Clearwell consultants worked onsite during this period ? at absolutely no cost to ICE.
Apparently, it’s not a good idea to use such things as an excuse when the company you’re claiming was the problem has the ability to speak up itself. Of course, my request isn’t for any metadata, so hopefully they can avoid having to spend $270,000 to find the few documents I requested.