BCMR/BCNR Reading Room is down

Jason Perry

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It is a requirement that there is a "reading room" for BCMR/BCNR decisions. Via statute, the boards shall report the following:

"(i) Each board established under this section shall make available to the public each calendar quarter, on an Internet website of the military department concerned or the Department of Homeland Security, as applicable, that is available to the public the following:
(1) The number of claims considered by such board during the calendar quarter preceding the calendar quarter in which such information is made available, including cases in which a mental health condition of the former member, including post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, is alleged to have contributed, whether in whole or part, to the original characterization of the discharge or release of the former member.
(2) The number of claims submitted during the calendar quarter preceding the calendar quarter in which such information is made available that relate to service by a former member during a war or contingency operation, catalogued by each war or contingency operation.
(3) The number of military records corrected pursuant to the consideration described in paragraph (1) to upgrade the characterization of discharge or release of former members.
(4) The number and disposition of claims decided during the calendar quarter preceding the calendar quarter in which such information is made available in which sexual assault is alleged to have contributed, whether in whole or in part, to the original characterization of the discharge or release of the former member."

Additionally, federal statute requires:

"(2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection in an electronic format--
(A) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;
(B) those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency and are not published in the Federal Register;
(C) administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
(D) copies of all records, regardless of form or format--
(i) that have been released to any person under paragraph (3); and
(ii)
(I) that because of the nature of their subject matter, the agency determines have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records; or
(II) that have been requested 3 or more times;....."

5 USCS § 552


The Air Force is the executive agency for posting BCMR/PDBR decisions. Right now, the site is down as to providing information about cases ("for quality assurance" reasons).

https://boards.law.af.mil/
 
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GUNS'N'STUFF

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Here is a May 13, 2019 response I received from them, it was off and on the month prior:

The Army, Navy/Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard Review Boards decisional documents normally published in the Department of Defense Reading Room have temporarily been removed to conduct a quality assurance review. We will update this webpage when we have a better estimates of when the decisional documents will again be available. In the meantime, if you wish to request specific decisional documents, please use the following links to contact the appropriate military department.



Army:

BCMR/DRB - email: [email protected]



Navy/Marine Corps:

BCNR - BOARD FOR CORRECTION OF NAVAL RECORDS

NDRB - Council of Review Boards (CORB)



Air Force:

BCMR - email: [email protected]

DRB - email: [email protected]

PDBR - email: [email protected]



Coast Guard:

BCMR - email: [email protected]

DRB - email: [email protected]



Webmaster

FYI: I tried to find out what exactly detailed "quality assurance review", was not given an answer and referred to BCMR generically.

Hmmmmmm.
 
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Manmumar

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Registered Member
It’s been previously proffered that cases that offend the current political narrative get cleansed from the site. I once had to request a specific case, but could only do so because I had the case number that I saved in an email archive from years prior.

I find it hard to believe that AFBCMR is taking data integrity so serious as to warrant taking down the site or that there is a widespread issue with computing incompetence.

Problem is that no one cares about the site except researchers and aggrieved service members. Better advocacy for enforcement of this law and transparency are what we’re after.
 

Manmumar

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
3867

This is what I get when I try to visit the website on my Safari browser. I'd like others to report their issues of site downtime or missing cases on this thread. I'm hoping that everyone can do this by Friday as I have a piece of correspondence to my Congressman to get out the door and I plan to include this issue.
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

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It’s been previously proffered that cases that offend the current political narrative get cleansed from the site. I once had to request a specific case, but could only do so because I had the case number that I saved in an email archive from years prior.

I find it hard to believe that AFBCMR is taking data integrity so serious as to warrant taking down the site or that there is a widespread issue with computing incompetence.

Problem is that no one cares about the site except researchers and aggrieved service members. Better advocacy for enforcement of this law and transparency are what we’re after.
While that may be true, it astonishes me because if the purview falls under federal circuit the court records become public records and depending on the court the more arguments raised the more is transcribed and that would trump any logic from the BCMR from just redacting sections which I don't think they redact or cleanse any decisions, they just don't post them which is a violation. You start reading court decisions on BCMR records you will find yourself reading into way more details about things than necessary, like the other day I was reading about some sailor and how he acquired gonorrhea in full details while on liberty in Vietnam. Anyways, that is my logic. Yes, the redaction thing would compromise itself and the whole validity that they properly effectuated a decision, and people would be raising alarms that it was not fair and just (attorneys, veterans law groups, veteran advocates, researchers, etc.). So, its a toss-up. It will be interesting to see you guys post-up later about your Congressional responses here.
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

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As I was saying:

§ 723.11 Miscellaneous provisions.
(a)Expenses. No expenses of any nature whatsoever voluntarily incurred by the applicant, counsel, witnesses, or by any other person in the applicant's behalf, will be paid by the Government.

(b)Indexing of decisions.

(1) Documents sent to each applicant and counsel in accordance with § 723.3(e)(5) and § 723.8(a)(4), together with the record of the votes of Board members and all other statements of findings, conclusions and recommendations made on final determination of an application by the Board or the Secretary will be indexed and promptly made available for public inspection and copying at the Armed Forces Discharge Review/Correction Boards Reading Room located on the Concourse of the Pentagon Building in Room 2E123, Washington, DC.

(2) All documents made available for public inspection and copying shall be indexed in a usable and concise form so as to enable the public to identify those cases similar in issue together with the circumstances under and/or reasons for which the Board and/or Secretary have granted or denied relief. The index shall be published quarterly and shall be available for public inspection and distribution by sale at the Reading Room located on the Concourse of the Pentagon Building in Room 2E123, Washington, DC. Inquiries concerning the index or the Reading Room may be addressed to the Chief, Micromation Branch/Armed Forces Discharge Review/Correction Boards Reading Room, Crystal Mall 4, 1941 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202.

(3) To the extent necessary to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, identifying details of the applicant and other persons will be deleted from the documents made available for public inspection and copying. Names, addresses, social security numbers and military service numbers must be deleted. Deletions of other information which is privileged or classified may be made only if a written statement of the basis for such deletion is made available for public inspection.
 

Manmumar

PEB Forum Regular Member
Registered Member
Are you saying that because it’s available in person that the website is for convenience and is not a statutory requirement?
 

GUNS'N'STUFF

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PEB Forum Veteran
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Are you saying that because it’s available in person that the website is for convenience and is not a statutory requirement?
I was more so agreeing with your prior post.


"It’s been previously proffered that cases that offend the current political narrative get cleansed from the site. I once had to request a specific case, but could only do so because I had the case number that I saved in an email archive from years prior. I find it hard to believe that AFBCMR is taking data integrity so serious as to warrant taking down the site or that there is a widespread issue with computing incompetence. Problem is that no one cares about the site except researchers and aggrieved service members. Better advocacy for enforcement of this law and transparency are what we’re after. "
 
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