14 CFR 1206.400 - Information Centers.
(a) The FOIA office will normally process requests in the order in which they are received in each of the processing tracks.
(b) FOIA offices use three queues for multi-track processing depending on the complexity of the request. Once it has been determined the request meets the criteria in accordance with subpart C of this part, the FOIA office will place the request in one of the following tracks:
(1) Simple - A request that can be processed within 20 working days.
(2) Complex - A request that will take over 20 working days to process. (A complex request will generally require coordination with more than one office and a legal 10 working day extension for unusual circumstances (see § 1206.403) may be taken either up front or during the first 20 days of processing the request.)
(3) Expedited processing - A request for expedited processing will be processed in this track if the requester can show exceptional need or urgency that their request should be processed out of turn in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Requests and appeals will be processed on an expedited basis whenever it is determined that they involve one or more of the following:
(1) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;
(2) Circumstances in which there is an urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged Federal Government activity if the FOIA request is made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information;
(i) In most situations, a person primarily engaged in disseminating information will be a representative of the news media and therefore, will qualify as a person primarily engaged in disseminating information.
(ii) To substantiate paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the requested information must be the type of information which has particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly; this ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest. Information of historical interest only or information sought for litigation or commercial activities would not qualify, nor would a news media deadline unrelated to breaking news; or
(3) The loss of substantial due process rights.
(d) A request for expedited processing must contain a statement that:
(1) Explains in detail how the request meets one or more of the criteria in paragraph (c) of this section; and
(2) Certifies that the explanation is true and correct to the best of the requester's knowledge and belief.
(3) If the request is made referencing paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the requester must substantiate the public interest.
(e) A request for expedited processing may be made at any time. Requests must be submitted to the FOIA office responsible for processing the requested records.
(f) The FOIA office must notify the requester of its decision to grant or deny expedited processing within 10 calendar days from the date of receipt.
(g) If expedited processing is granted, the request will be processed on a first-in, first-out basis in that queue.
(h) If expedited processing is denied, the FOIA office will notify the requester and provide information on appealing this decision in accordance with Subpart G of this part and place the request in the appropriate processing queue.
(i) If the FOIA office processing the request does not provide notification of either granting or denying the request for expedited processing within 10 calendar days from the date of receipt, the requester may file an appeal for non-response in accordance with subpart G of this part.