13 CFR 102.9 - Administrative appeals.
(a)Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to the FOI/PA Office. The contact information is contained in § 102.3(a)(1). Examples of adverse determinations are provided in § 102.6(e). The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 working days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify the component's determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission, “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
(b)Adjudication of appeals.
(1) The Chief, FOI/PA or designee will act on behalf of the SBA on all appeals under this section.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(3) On receipt of any appeal involving classified information, the FOI/PA Office shall take appropriate action to ensure compliance with Executive Orders 13467 and 13526.
(c)Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal will be made in writing. A decision that upholds a component's determination will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered by OGIS as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If a component's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The component will thereafter, further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester.
(d) Time limit for issuing appeal decision. The statutory time limit for responding to appeals is generally 20 working days after receipt. However, the Appeals Officer may extend the time limit for responding to an appeal provided the circumstances set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(i) are met.
(e)Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Mediation is a voluntary process. If a component agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
(f)When an appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of a component's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.