(a)How made and addressed. You may make a request for records of the Department by writing directly to the Department component that maintains those records. For additional information about the FOIA, you may refer directly to the statute. If you are making a request for records about yourself, see § 5.21(d) for additional requirements. If you are making a request for records about another individual, either a written authorization signed by that individual permitting disclosure of those records to you or proof that that individual is deceased (for example, a copy of a death certificate or an obituary) must be submitted. Your request should be sent to the component's FOIA office at the address listed in appendix A to part 5. In most cases, your FOIA request should be sent to a component's central FOIA office. (The functions of each component are summarized elsewhere in this title and in the description of the Department and its components in the “United States Government Manual,” which is issued annually and is available in most libraries, as well as for sale from the Government Printing Office's Superintendent of Documents. This manual also can be accessed electronically at the Government Printing Office's World Wide Web site (which can be found at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs).) If you cannot determine where within the Department to send your request, you may send it to the Departmental Disclosure Officer, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528. That office will forward your request to the component(s) it believes most likely to have the records that you want. Your request will be considered received as of the date it is received by the proper component's FOIA office. For the quickest possible handling, you should mark both your request letter and the envelope “Freedom of Information Act Request.”
(b)Description of records sought. You must describe the records that you seek in enough detail to enable Department personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, your request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the record. If known, you should include any file designations or descriptions for the records that you want. As a general rule, the more specific you are about the records or type of records that you want, the more likely the Department will be able to locate those records in response to your request. If a component determines that your request does not reasonably describe records, it shall tell you either what additional information is needed or why your request is otherwise insufficient. The component also shall give you an opportunity to discuss your request so that you may modify it to meet the requirements of this section. If your request does not reasonably describe the records you seek, the agency's response to your request may be delayed.
(c)Agreement to pay fees. If you make a FOIA request, it shall be considered a firm commitment by you to pay all applicable fees charged under § 5.11 up to $ 25.00, unless you seek a waiver of fees. In making your FOIA request, please indicate whether you are willing to pay for the request or desire a waiver. The component responsible for responding to your request ordinarily will confirm this commitment in an acknowledgement letter. When making a request, you may specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount. If you are seeking a waiver of fees you must provide a justification for your fee waiver request in accordance with the requirements of § 5.11(k). If your request for a fee waiver is denied, the component will notify you of that decision and will request an agreement from you to pay fees up to $25, or a greater or lesser amount specified by you. Your request shall not be considered received and further work shall not be done on it until you agree to pay fees. If you do not provide a firm commitment to pay the anticipated fee within the time period specified by the component, the request will be administratively closed.
Title 6 published on 2013-01-01
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This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.