43 CFR 2.7 - What do I need to know before filing a FOIA request?

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§ 2.7 What do I need to know before filing a FOIA request?
(a) If the records you are seeking are not routinely available as described in Subpart B of this part, you must submit a FOIA request to the FOIA Contact at the bureau office where you believe the records are maintained (see appendix A to this part). FOIA requests must be submitted in writing (this includes fax and e-mail)—DOI does not accept oral FOIA requests. Before submitting a request, you may find it useful to contact the appropriate bureau FOIA Contact or the Departmental FOIA Officer for additional information concerning DOI's FOIA Program. You may find the Department's Reference Guide, which is available electronically through the FOIA home page and in paper form as well, helpful in making your request.
(b) The FOIA requires that we release records unless they are protected by one of nine exemptions (see appendix E to this part).
(c) The Act does not require a bureau to answer questions that may be asked in a FOIA request.
(1) In order for a record to be considered subject to your FOIA request, it must be in the bureau's possession and control at the time the bureau begins its search for responsive records. There is no obligation for the bureau to create or compile a record to satisfy a FOIA request (for example, by combining or compiling selected items from manual files, preparing a new computer program, calculating proportions, percentages, frequency distributions, trends and comparisons, or creating maps). Normally if a bureau is extracting information from an existing computer database, this would not constitute the creation of a new record. However, a bureau has the option of creating a new record if—
(i) Doing so will provide a more useful response to the requester,
(ii) It is less burdensome than providing the existing records, and
(iii) The newly created record is fully responsive to the request.
(2) The fee in this case will not be more than the fee for the individual records. Fees will be charged consistent with the schedule in appendix C to this part.

Title 43 published on 2013-10-01

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