304.8 Appeals.§ 304.8 Appeals.
(a) Appeals of adverse determinations. If you are dissatisfied with the response to your request, you may appeal an adverse determination denying your request, in any respect, to the Chairman of the agency. You must make your appeal in writing, by email or letter, and it must be received by the agency within 90 calendar days of the date of the agency's response denying your request. Your appeal should provide reasons and supporting information as to why the initial determination was incorrect. The appeal should clearly identify the particular determination (including the assigned request number, if known) that you are appealing. For the quickest possible handling of a mail request, you should mark your appeal “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” The Chairman or his or her designee will act on the appeal, except that an appeal ordinarily will not be acted on if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(b) Responses to appeals. The decision on your appeal will be communicated to you by email or letter, ordinarily within 20 working days of receipt of your appeal. A decision affirming an adverse determination in whole or in part will contain a statement of the reason(s) for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemption(s) applied, and will inform you of the FOIA provisions for court review of the decision. The decision will also inform you of the mediation services offered by OGIS as a non-exclusive alternative to FOIA litigation. If the adverse determination is reversed or modified on appeal, in whole or in part, then you will be notified in a written decision and your request will be reprocessed in accordance with that appeal decision.
(c) Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Mediation is a voluntary process. If the agency agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage in the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
(d) When appeal is required. As a general rule, if you wish to seek review by a court of any adverse determination, you must first appeal it in a timely fashion under this section.[82 FR 7633, Jan. 23, 2017]