13 CFR § 102.6 - Responses to requests.

§ 102.6 Responses to requests.

(a)In general. Components should, to the extent practicable, communicate with requesters having access to the Internet using electronic means, such as email or web portal.

(b)Acknowledgments of requests. A component shall acknowledge the request in writing and assign it an individualized tracking number. Components shall include in the acknowledgment a brief description of the records sought to allow requesters to more easily keep track of their requests.

(c)Estimated dates of completion and interim responses. Upon request, components shall provide an estimated date by which they expect to provide a response to the requester. If a request involves a voluminous amount of material, or searches in multiple locations, the SBA or component may provide interim responses, releasing the records on a rolling basis.

(d)Grants of requests. Once a component determines it will grant a request in full or in part, it will notify the requester in writing. The component shall inform the requester of any fees charged under § 102.8 and shall disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees. The component must inform the requester of the availability of its FOIA Public Liaison to offer assistance.

(e)Adverse determinations of requests. A component making an adverse determination denying a request in any respect shall notify the requester of that determination in writing. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters, denials of requests for expedited processing, and decisions where:

(1) The requested record is exempt, in whole or in part;

(2) The request does not reasonably describe the records sought;

(3) The information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA;

(4) The requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or

(5) The requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester.

(f)Content of denial. The denial must be signed by the head of the component or designee and must include:

(1) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial;

(2) A brief statement of the reasons for the denial, including any FOIA exemption applied by the component in denying the request;

(3) An estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, such as the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation, although such an estimate is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

(4) A statement that the denial may be appealed under § 102.9, and a description of the appeal requirements; and

(5) A statement notifying the requester of the assistance available from the component's FOIA Public Liaison or designee, and the dispute resolution services offered by OGIS.

(g)Markings on released documents. Records disclosed in part must be marked clearly to show the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption.