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Update post: The Liars, the Snitch, and the magic red tape

Today, on checking the CDC's Freedom of Information Act Request Service Center, I discovered that the site (previously out of order) is working again. I eagerly typed in my numbers, hoping for an update. Remember, the request is for information that had to be compiled in order to do the calculations needed to arrive at the conclusions stated in their NISVS reports, including the overall report, and the more targeted reports.

The reply I received when I clicked on the submit button: "Pending program search."

The site explains "Pending program search" as meaning that "program staff are still conducting the search" for the requested information.


In 2010 the CDC commissioned that survey. The organization that did the survey interviewed thousands of people and recorded the results, calculated percentages from those results in order to report on both the experience and perpetration of partner and sexual violence by gender and sexuality... but apparently, in 2013, neither the organization nor the CDC has readily available statistics on respondent's answers by gender and sexuality, as my request, received on February 4, has now been in their hands for 4 months, and they're still searching for those stats.


So, I'm sending the following letter via registered mail, addressed to both of the individuals listed on the FOIA request service center's sidebar:

Katherine Norris or Bruno Viana

I've been trying to get information on the status of my FOIA request, reference number #13-00308-FOIA,  for numbers from the CDC's 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. Unfortunately, the site to which the letter I received from the CDC's office for handling FOIA requests referred me did not function at all for several weeks, and I was unable to obtain any update through that page until recently. On entering my numbers, I get a reply that the information is being searched, but that doesn't tell me much. I've tried contacting your agency by phone, but nobody ever answers, and when I leave messages, they don't get returned. I assume that there are folks requesting a lot of other information from the CDC, probably for more conventional health related reasons, and I suspect that, due to the different nature of my request, my messages may be getting lost among more urgent requests. This is why I am contacting you in this manner.

I'm requesting  just a quick note on the status of my FOIA request, with information as to whether the information is available, if there is a time frame yet on delivering it, and at what cost to me, or whether I have qualified for a reduction or waver of fees. Even if that information has not yet been determined, I would appreciate a quick note to let me know that, as well. I can be reached via postal service to my home address;

(my address)

or I can be reached via email at (my email address), or by phone at (my phone number.)

Again, even if the information I have requested has not been gathered, it would still be helpful to me to have an answer on the cost, if that has been decided.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

(my name)

My hope is that I will shortly receive a reply with an update to at least let me know if receiving the requested numbers will be expensive, and if so, how expensive. Better would be if I could get some kind of estimate as to when I can expect the information, but I'll take what I can get.

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