Title 1


304.6 Responses to requests.

§ 304.6 Responses to requests.

(a) Acknowledgments of requests. On receipt of a request, if the agency cannot provide the requested information within two working days, then an acknowledgment letter or email message will be sent to the requester that will confirm the requester's agreement to pay fees under § 304.3(d) and will provide a request tracking number for further reference. Requesters may use this tracking number to determine the status of their request - including the date of its receipt and the estimated date on which action on it will be completed - by calling the agency's FOIA Public Liaison at (202) 480-2080. In some cases, the agency may seek further information or clarification from the requester.

(b) Grants of requests. Ordinarily, the agency will have 20 working days from when a request is received to determine whether to grant or deny the request. Once the agency makes such a determination, it will immediately notify the requester in writing. The agency will inform the requester in the notice of any fee charged under § 304.9 and will disclose records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fee. The agency will also inform the requester of the availability of its FOIA Public Liaison to offer assistance.

(c) Adverse determinations of requests. Whenever the agency makes an adverse determination denying a request in any respect, it will notify the requester of that determination in writing. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, consist of: A determination to withhold any requested record in whole or in part; a determination that a requested record does not exist or cannot be located; a determination that a record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester; a determination that what has been requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; a determination on any disputed fee matter, including a denial of a request for a fee waiver; and a denial of a request for expedited treatment. The denial letter will include:

(1) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial;

(2) A brief statement of the reason(s) for the denial, including any FOIA exemption(s) applied by the agency in denying the request;

(3) An estimate of the volume of records or information withheld, in number of pages or in some other reasonable form of estimation. This estimate does not need to be provided if the volume is otherwise indicated through deletions on records disclosed in part, or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption; and

(4) An indication on the released portion of a record of each exemption applied, at the place at which it was applied, if technically feasible.

(5) A statement that the denial may be appealed under § 304.8(a) and a description of the requirements of § 304.8(a).

(6) A statement notifying the requester of the assistance available from the agency's FOIA Public Liaison and the dispute resolution services offered by OGIS.

(d) Markings on released documents. Records disclosed in part will be marked or annotated to show the amount of information deleted, unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the information deleted also will be indicated on the record, if technically feasible.

[82 FR 7633, Jan. 23, 2017]