Title 37


203.8 Responses to requests.

§ 203.8 Responses to requests.

(a) In general. The Office, to the extent practicable, will communicate with requesters having access to the Internet electronically, such as email or web portal.

(b) Acknowledgement of requests. The Office will acknowledge a request in writing and assign it an individualized tracking number if it will take longer than 10 working days to process. The Office will include in the acknowledgement a brief description of the records sought.

(c) Estimated dates of completion and interim responses. Upon request, the Office will provide an estimated date by which the Office expects to provide a response to the requester. If a request involves a voluminous amount of material, or searches in multiple locations, the agency may provide interim responses, releasing the records on a rolling basis.

(d) Grants of requests. Once the Office determines it will grant a request in full or in part, it will notify the requester in writing. The Office will also inform the requester of any fees charged under § 203.11 and will disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees. The Office will inform the requester of the availability of the FOIA Public Liaison to offer assistance.

(e) Adverse determinations. If the Office 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, include decisions that: The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.

(f) Content of denial. The denial shall be signed by the Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education or a designee and shall include:

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

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

(3) When applicable, an estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, such as the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation, although such an estimate is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

(4) A statement that the denial may be appealed under § 203.9, and a description of the appeal requirements; and,

(5) A statement notifying the requester of the assistance available from the Office's FOIA Public Liaison and the dispute resolution services offered by the Office of Government Information Services.

(g) Markings on released documents. Records disclosed in part shall be marked clearly to show the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the information deleted must also be indicated on the record, if technically feasible.

[82 FR 9508, Feb. 7, 2017]