U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 04, 2023
This part is issued in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture in part 1, subpart A of this title and appendix A thereto, implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552). The Secretary's regulations, as implemented by the regulations in this part, govern the availability of records of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to the public.
5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) requires that certain materials be made available for public inspection and copying and that a current index of these materials be published quarterly or otherwise be made available. Members of the public may request access to such materials maintained by ARS at the following office: Information Staff, ARS, REE, USDA, Room 1–2248, Mail Stop 5128, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705–5128; Telephone (301) 504–1640 or (301) 504–1655; TTY-VOICE (301) 504–1743. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Information maintained in our electronic reading room can be accessed at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/foia/#Electronic.
Requests for records of ARS under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3) shall be made in accordance with Subsection 1.5 of this title and submitted to the FOIA Coordinator, Information Staff, ARS, REE, USDA, Mail Stop 5128, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705–5128; Telephone (301) 504–1640 or (301) 504–1655; TTY-VOICE (301) 504–1743; Facsimile (301) 504–1648; e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The FOIA Coordinator is delegated authority to make determinations regarding such requests in accordance with Subsection 1.3(c) of this title.
(a) When ARS has a significant number of requests, the nature of which precludes a determination within 20 working days, the requests may be processed in a multitrack processing system, based on the date of receipt, the amount of work and time involved in processing the request, and whether the request qualifies for expedited processing.
(b) ARS may establish as many processing tracks as appropriate; processing within each track shall be based on a first-in, first-out concept, and rank-ordered by the date of receipt of the request.
(c) A requester whose request does not qualify for the fastest track may be given an opportunity to limit the scope of the request in order to qualify for the fastest track. This multitrack processing system does not lessen agency responsibility to exercise due diligence in processing requests in the most expeditious manner possible.
(d) ARS shall process requests in each track on a “first-in, first-out” basis, unless there are unusual circumstances as set forth in § 1.16 of this title, or the requester is entitled to expedited processing as set forth in § 1.9 of this title.
If the FOIA Coordinator determines that a requested record is exempt from mandatory disclosure and that discretionary release would be improper, the FOIA Coordinator shall give written notice of denial in accordance with § 1.7(a) of this title.