[nfbmi-talk] another foia request with impact on blind and other pwd

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Mon Apr 26 02:00:41 UTC 2010

Michigan FOIA Request MRS RSA Monitoring Report and MRS Response to RSA




April 26, 2010


Paul Joseph Harcz, Jr.

1365 E. Mt. Morris Rd.

Mt. Morris, MI  48458


E-mail: joeharcz at comcast.net


Melvin Farmer

Department of Energy Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG)

State of Michigan


(Via e-mail: farmerm at michigan.gov)


Dear Mr. Farmer:



I am writing today to request the RSA “monitoring” report referenced in the September 18, 2009 Michigan Rehabilitation Council meeting minutes, under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, referenced here:



“Report of the Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth - Michigan Rehabilitation Services, (DELEG-MRS) State Director: Jay Shamsiddeen

RSA Monitoring Report – MRS received the report yesterday.  MRC, Missile, and Michigan Protection and Advocacy have not yet received the report.  The MRS Executive Team spent the afternoon going through the report, which was conservative with praise, but critical with concerns.  Ten findings required corrective action – IPE, MRC appointments conflict, CSNA, residency requirements, IL appointment issue and five budget issues.  MRS has until October 18th to respond to the draft and send in comments/rebuttal; the bureau will be reviewing the report and including MRC in this process.  While RSA indicates they reserve the right to sanction MRS financially, if MRS indicates good faith effort, RSA will take this into consideration.  This is the most negative report from RSA that MRS has ever received.  RSA will consider the rebuttal response once submitted, finalize report, and give MRS steps for a corrective action plan.  There could be financial sanctions or MRS could be put on notice as an ‘at-risk’ bureau.  MRS did not see positives in the report, which RSA had for them during the monitoring visit in April.”




Clearly Michigan Rehabilitation Services has this critical federal document including its director. This report will impact the lives of thousands of Michigander’s with disabilities both in the vocational rehabilitation context and in independent living and thus is of very weighty public concern. Moreover, I can assist the DELEG FOIA office immensely in locating this document for clearly the MRS Director has it as does other MRS staff on their computers in the Victor Office Building. I request the Word document format it is already in or the equivalent format if that format is accessible to me being blind.


I request that it simply be sent to me as an attachment to my e-mail address listed above. Since there is no real cost in either locating this document or in sending it to me in this manner taking but a few simple keystrokes I do explicitly request that there is no fee for this request.


In addition I also ask for MRS’ “rebuttal” or its response to RSA again referenced in the quote above as surely they’ve met the deadline referenced and surely they have that document as well.


If you Mr. Farmer claim that this agency has no such document as you’ve inadvertently done in the past to the President of the National Federation of the blind of Michigan *(when he actually asked for the equivalent document for the Michigan Commission for the Blind) then I would think you would have some explaining to do to both the District Court, and the United States Department of education, Rehabilitation Services Administration. Which in very large part along with other federal entities funds your job.


Now, the Director of MRS has been very candid here in these minutes which is something I appreciate. I will forward the documents in question widely to various organizations and individuals with disabilities along with several media outlets as a service to the State of Michigan and, of course its citizens with disabilities. This will be done with no renumeration to myself, again it will be serving only the public interest.


I’m certain that you agree that our relationships, funding, and obligations with the federal government should be open to the public as the letter and spirit of the Michigan FOIA not only suggests but demands.


I await your prompt response, and remission of these requested documents.


Again, I am legally blind and request pursuant to collateral obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that all correspondences in this regard are made via simple e-mail as my computer “talks”.


I will accept no print information and any sent to me in this or any other FOIA request will 

result in formal ADA/504 complaints to the United States Department of Justice and to the Office of Civil Rights at the United States Department of Labor.




Very Truly Yours,


Paul Joseph Harcz, Jr.


Cc: Michael Cox, Attorney General, State of Michigan

Cc: several media outlets

Cc: National Federation of the Blind of Michigan

Cc: Michigan ADAPT

Cc: several Centers for Independent Living

Cc: Michigan SILC

Cc: Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc.




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