U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 10, 2022

§ 1.9 - Administrative appeals.

(a) Appeals of adverse determinations. If a requester is dissatisfied with a component's response to his or her request, the requester may submit a written appeal of that component's adverse determination denying the request in any respect.

(b) Deadline for submitting an appeal. Requesters must make the appeal in writing. To be considered timely, the appeal must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions transmitted, within 90 calendar days of the date of the adverse determination. Components adjudicating appeals will issue a decision on an appeal, within 20-working days of its date of receipt, plus any extension authorized by § 1.6(d).

(c) Appeals officials. Each component will provide for review of appeals by an official different from the official who made the initial determination(s).

(d) Components' responses to appeals. The decision on an appeal will be made in writing.

(1) If the component grants the appeal in part or in whole, it will inform the requester of any conditions surrounding the granting of the request (e.g., payment of fees). If the component grants only a portion of the appeal, it will treat the portion not granted as a denial.

(2) If the component denies the appeal, either in part or in whole, it will inform the requester of that decision and of the following:

(i) The reasons for denial, including any FOIA exemptions asserted;

(ii) The name and title or position of each official responsible for denial of the appeal;

(iii) The availability of mediation services offered by the OGIS of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation; and

(iv) The right to judicial review of the denial in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B).

(e) Legal sufficiency review of an appeal. If a component makes the determination to deny an appeal in part or whole, that component will send a copy of all records to the Assistant General Counsel, General Law and Research Division, that the Office of the General Counsel (“OGC”) would need to examine to provide a legal sufficiency review of the component's decision.

(1) Frequently, these records will include a copy of the unredacted records requested, a copy of the records marked to indicate information the component proposes to withhold, all correspondence relating to the request, and a proposed determination letter. When the volume of records is so large as to make sending a copy impracticable, the component will enclose an informative summary and representative sample of those records. The component will not deny an appeal until it receives concurrence from the Assistant General Counsel.

(2) With regard to appeals involving records of OIG, the records in question will be referred to the OIG Office of Counsel, which will coordinate all necessary reviews.

(f) Submission of an appeal before judicial review. Before seeking review by a court of a component's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.