Title 11

SECTION 9405.7

9405.7 Requests for records.

§ 9405.7 Requests for records.

(a) Requests for copies of Commission records under the FOIA shall be made in writing and addressed to the Chief FOIA Officer, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 1335 East-West Highway, Suite 4300, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The request shall reasonably describe the records sought with sufficient specificity with respect to names, dates, and subject matter to permit the records to be located. A requester will be promptly advised if the records cannot be located on the basis of the description given and that further identifying information must be provided before the request can be satisfied.

(b) Requests for Commission records and copies thereof shall specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) of the response. The Commission shall accommodate requesters as to form or format if the record is readily available in that form or format. When requesters do not specify the form or format of the response, the Commission shall respond in the form or format in which the document is most accessible to the Commission. In the interest of efficiency and economy, the Commission's preference is to furnish records to requesters in electronic format, whenever possible.

(c) The Commission shall determine within 20 working days after receipt of a request, or 20 working days after an appeal is granted, whether to comply with such request, unless in unusual circumstances the time is extended. The 20-day period shall commence on the date on which the request was first received by the appropriate component of the Commission, but in any event, not later than 10 days after the request is first received by the component of the Commission designated to receive requests under this part. The 20-day period shall not be tolled by the Commission except -

(1) The Commission may make one request of the requester for information and toll the 20-day period while it is awaiting such information that it has reasonably requested from the requester.

(2) If it is necessary to clarify with the requester issues regarding fee assessment.

(3) Under paragraphs (c)(1) or (2) of this section, the Commission's receipt of the requester's response to the Commission's request for information or clarification ends the tolling period.

(d) In the event the time is extended under paragraph (c) of this section, the requester shall be notified of the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be made. An extension may be made if it is -

(1) Necessary to locate records or transfer them from physically separate facilities; or

(2) Necessary to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a large quantity of separate and distinct records that are the subject of a single request; or

(3) Necessary for consultation with another agency that has a substantial interest in the determination of the request.

(e) If the Commission determines that an extension of time is necessary to respond to a request satisfying the unusual circumstances specified in paragraph (c) of this section, the Commission shall so notify the requester and give the requester an opportunity to limit the scope of the request so that it may be processed within the time limit prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section or arrange with the Commission an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request.

(f) The Commission may aggregate and process as a single request requests by the same requester, or a group of requesters acting in concert, if the Commission reasonably believes that the requests actually constitute a single request that would otherwise satisfy the unusual circumstances specified in paragraph (c) of this section, and the requests involve clearly related matters.

(g) The Commission will process requests under the FOIA based on the order they are received.

(h) The Commission shall consider requests for the expedited processing of requests in cases where the requester demonstrates a compelling need for such processing.

(1) The term “compelling need” means, with respect to a request made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal government activity.

(2) Requesters for expedited processing must include in their requests a statement setting forth the basis for the claim that a “compelling need” exists for the requested information, certified by the requester to be true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.

(3) The Commission shall determine whether to grant a request for expedited processing and notify the requester of such determination within 10 days of receipt of the request. Denials of requests for expedited processing may be appealed as set forth in § 9405.8. The Commission shall expeditiously determine any such appeal. As soon as practicable, the Commission shall process the documents responsive to a request for which expedited processing is granted.

(i) Any person denied access to records by the Commission shall be notified immediately of the denial, including the reasons for the decision and notified of his or her right to appeal the adverse determination to the Commission.

(j) The date of receipt of a request under this part shall be the date on which the Chief FOIA Officer actually receives the request.

(k) Each request received by the Chief FOIA Officer will be assigned an individualized tracking number. Requesters may call (866) 747-1471 and, using the tracking number, obtain information about the request, including the date on which the Commission originally received the request and an estimated date on which the Commission will complete action on the request.

[73 FR 54257, Sept. 18, 2008, as amended at 75 FR 49814, Aug. 16, 2010; 83 FR 53802, Oct. 25, 2018]