15 CFR 2004.8 - What can I do if I am dissatisfied with USTR's response to my FOIA request?

§ 2004.8 What can I do if I am dissatisfied with USTR's response to my FOIA request?

(a)How do I make an appeal? -

(1)What can I appeal? You can appeal any adverse determination in writing to our FOIA Appeals Committee within ninety calendar days after the date of our response. Examples of adverse determinations are provided in § 2004.7(d). You should specify the records that are the subject of your appeal and explain why the Committee should sustain the appeal.

(2)Where do I send my appeal? To avoid mail delivery delays caused by heighted security, we strongly suggest that you email any appeal to FOIA@ustr.eop.gov. Our mailing address is: FOIA Office, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Anacostia Naval Annex, Building 410/Door 123, 250 Murray Lane SW., Washington DC 20509. To make sure that the FOIA Office receives your appeal without delay, you should include the notation “Freedom of Information Act Appeal” and the individualized tracking number in the subject line of your email or on the front of your envelope and also at the beginning of your appeal.

(b)Who will decide your appeal? (1) The FOIA Appeals Committee or designee will act on all appeals under this section.

(2) We ordinarily will not adjudicate an appeal if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

(3) On receipt of any appeal involving classified information, the FOIA Appeals Committee must take appropriate action to ensure compliance with applicable classification rules.

(c)Decisions on appeals. The FOIA Appeals Committee will notify you of its appeal decision in writing within twenty days from the date it receives the appeal. A decision that upholds the FOIA Office's determination in whole or in part will identify the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied, and notify you of your statutory right to seek judicial review. The notice also will inform you of the dispute resolution services offered by OGIS as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If the FOIA Appeals Committee remands or modifies the original response, the FOIA Office will further process the request in accordance with the appeal determination and will respond directly to you.

(d)When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of an adverse determination, you generally first must submit a timely administrative appeal under this section.

[ 81 FR 89846, Dec. 13, 2016, as amended at 82 FR 18985, Apr. 25, 2017]
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