U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 07, 2022

§ 11.32 - Initial requests for records.

(a) Requests for NAD records should be in writing and addressed to the NAD official having custody of the records desired as indicated in § 11.22(d). Addresses are found in Appendix A of this subpart. In his or her petition, the requester may ask for a fee waiver if there is likely to be a charge for the requested information. The criteria for waiver of fees are found in section 6 of appendix A, subpart A of part 1 of this title. All requests for records shall be deemed to have been made pursuant to FOIA, regardless of whether FOIA is specifically mentioned. To facilitate processing of a request, the phrase “FOIA REQUEST” should be placed in capital letters on the front of the envelope.

(b) A request must reasonably describe records to enable NAD personnel to locate them with reasonable effort. Where possible, a requester should supply specific information, such as dates, titles, appellant name or appeal number, that may help identify the records. If the request relates to a matter in pending litigation, the court and its location should be identified.

(c) If NAD determines that a request does not reasonably describe the records, it shall inform the requester of this fact and extend the requester an opportunity to clarify the request or to confer promptly with knowledgeable NAD personnel to attempt to identify the records he or she is seeking. The “date of receipt” in such instances, for purposes of § 1.12(a) of this title, shall be the date of receipt of the amended or clarified request.

(d) Nothing in this subpart shall be interpreted to preclude NAD from honoring an oral request for information, but if the requester is dissatisfied with the response, the NAD official involved shall advise the requester to submit a written request in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. The “date of receipt” of such a request for purposes of § 1.12(a) of this title shall be the date of receipt of the written request. For recordkeeping purposes, the NAD official responding to an oral request for information may ask the requester to also submit his or her request in writing.

(e) If a request for records or a fee waiver under this subpart is denied, the person making the request shall have the right to appeal the denial. Requesters also may appeal NAD decisions regarding a requester's status for purposes of fee levels under section 5 of Appendix A, subpart A of part 1 of this title. All appeals must be in writing and addressed to the official designated in § 11.33. To facilitate processing of an appeal, the phrase “FOIA APPEAL” should be placed in capital letters on the front of the envelope.

(f) NAD shall develop and maintain a record of all written and oral FOIA requests and FOIA appeals received by NAD, which shall include, in addition to any other information, the name of the requester, brief summary of the information requested, an indication of whether the request or appeal was denied or partially denied, the FOIA exemption(s) cited as the basis for any denials, and the amount of fees associated with the request or appeal.