Re: Request for records concerning international Social Security agreement, otherwise known as totalization agreement, between United States and Mexico.
Disposition: Granting in part and denying in part defendant's second renewed motion for summary judgment; granting in part and denying in part plaintiff's cross motion for partial summary judgment; denying plaintiff's second motion for in camera review
- Exemption 5, Deliberative Process Privilege: The court finds that certain documents are not withholdable under the deliberative process privilege. The court explains that, "[t]here is perhaps no more final expression of agency policy than signing a major international agreement on behalf of the United States of America," and, "[t]herefore, the Agreement is an expression of final agency policy for the purposes of the FOIA." The court further explains that, "[t]he key to determining whether a document is pre-decisional is not necessarily in what stage of implementation, or on whose desk, the policy currently rests–because a final policy may never be acted upon –but instead is more simply focused on whether the document 'was generated before the adoption of an agency policy.'" The court also instructs defendant, "to conduct another segregability review" because "defendant now has clear guidance under which to conduct its segregability review."