12 CFR 1202.9 - How do I appeal a response denying my FOIA request?
(a) Right of appeal. If FHFA or FHFA-OIG denied your request in whole or in part, you may appeal the denial by writing directly to the FOIA Appeals Officer through electronic mail, mail, delivery service, or facsimile. The electronic mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. For mail or delivery service, the mailing address is: FOIA Appeals Officer, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20024. The facsimile number is: (202) 649-1073. You can help FHFA and FHFA-OIG process your appeal by marking electronic mail, letters, or facsimiles and the subject line, envelope, or facsimile cover sheet with “FOIA Appeal.” For appeals of denials, whether in whole or in part, made by FHFA-OIG, the appeal must be clearly marked by adding “FHFA-OIG” after “FOIA Appeal.” All appeals from denials, in whole or in part, made by FHFA-OIG will be forwarded to the FHFA-OIG FOIA Appeals Officer for processing and direct response. FHFA's “Freedom of Information Act Reference Guide,” which is available on FHFA's Web site, http://www.fhfa.gov, provides additional information to assist you in making your appeal.
(b) Timing, form, content, and receipt of an appeal. Your appeal must be written and submitted within 30 calendar days of the date of the decision by FHFA or FHFA-OIG denying, in whole or in part, your request. Your appeal must include a copy of the initial request, a copy of the letter denying the request in whole or in part, and a statement of the circumstances, reasons, or arguments you believe support disclosure of the requested record(s). FHFA and FHFA-OIG will not consider an improperly addressed appeal to have been received for the purposes of the 20-day time period of paragraph (d) of this section until it is actually received by FHFA.
(c) Extensions of time to appeal. If you need more time to file your appeal, you may request, in writing, an extension of time of no more than 10 calendar days in which to file your appeal, but only if your request is made within the original 30-calendar day time period for filing the appeal. Granting such an extension is in the sole discretion of the FHFA or FHFA-OIG FOIA Appeals Officer.
(d) Final action on appeal. FHFA's or FHFA-OIG's determination on your appeal will be in writing, signed by the FHFA or FHFA-OIG FOIA Appeals Officer, and sent to you within 20 days after the appeal is received, or by the last day of the last extension under paragraph (e) of this section. The determination of an appeal is the final action of FHFA or FHFA-OIG on a FOIA request. A determination may -
(1) Affirm, in whole or in part, the initial denial of the request and may include a brief statement of the reason or reasons for the decision, including each FOIA exemption relied upon;
(2) Reverse, in whole or in part, the denial of a request in whole or in part, and require the request to be processed promptly in accordance with the decision; or
(3) Remand a request to FHFA or FHFA-OIG, as appropriate, for re-processing, stating the time limits for responding to the remanded request.
(e) Notice of delayed determinations on appeal. If FHFA or FHFA-OIG cannot send a determination on your appeal within the 20-day time limit, the designated Appeals Officer will continue to process the appeal and upon expiration of the time limit, will inform you of the reason(s) for the delay and the date on which a determination may be expected. In this notice of delay, the FHFA or FHFA-OIG FOIA Appeals Officer may request that you forebear seeking judicial review until a final determination is made.
(f) Judicial review. If the denial of your request for records is upheld in whole or in part, or if a determination on your appeal has not been sent at the end of the 20-day period in paragraph (d) of this section, or the last extension thereof, you may seek judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4).
(g) Additional Resource. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers non-compulsory, non-binding mediation services to resolve FOIA disputes. If you seek information regarding the OGIS and/or the services it offers, please contact the OGIS directly at Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, Email: email@example.com, Phone: (301) 837-1996, Fax: (301) 837-0348, Toll-free: 1-(877) 684-6448. This information is provided as a public service only. By providing this information, FHFA and FHFA-OIG do not commit to refer disputes to OGIS, or to defer to OGIS' mediation decisions in particular cases.