19 CFR 201.17 - Procedures for requesting access to records.
(a)Requests for records.
(1) A request for any information or record shall be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436 and shall indicate clearly in the request, and if the request is in paper form on the envelope, that it is a “Freedom of Information Act Request.” A written request may be made either (1) in paper form, or (2) electronically by contacting the Commission at http://www.usitc.gov/foia.htm.
(2) Any request shall reasonably describe the requested record to facilitate location of the record. If the request pertains to a record that is part of the Commission's file in an investigation, the request should identify the investigation by number and name. A clear description of the requested record(s) should reduce the time required by the Commission to locate and disclose releasable responsive record(s) and minimize any applicable search and copying charges.
(3) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, requests will be processed in the order in which they are filed.
(4) Requests for transcripts of hearings should be addressed to the official hearing reporter, the name and address of which can be obtained from the Secretary. A copy of such request shall at the same time be forwarded to the Secretary.
(5) Copies of public Commission reports and other publications are available online at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/by_type.htm, or can be requested by calling or writing the Office of the Secretary. Certain Commission publications are sold by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, and are available from that agency at the price set by that agency.
(6) A day-to-day, composite record will be kept by the Secretary of each request with the disposition thereof.
(1) Requests for records under paragraph (a)(1) of this section will be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever it is determined that they involve:
(i) 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;
(ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information;
(iii) The loss of substantial due process rights; or
(iv) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence.
(2) A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of the initial request for records or at any later time.
(3) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. For example, a requester within paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if not a full-time member of the news media, must establish that he or she is a person whose main professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be his or her sole occupation. A requester within paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request, beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The formality of certification may be waived as a matter of administrative discretion.
(4) Within ten calendar days of receipt of a request for expedited processing, the Secretary will decide whether to grant it and will notify the requester of the decision. If a request for expedited treatment is granted, the request will be given priority and will be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision will be acted on expeditiously.
(c)Public reading room. The Commission maintains a public reading room in the Office of the Secretary for access to the records that the FOIA requires to be made regularly available for public inspection and copying. Reading room records created by the Commission on or after November 1, 1996, are available electronically. This includes a current subject-matter index of reading room records, which will indicate which records are available electronically.
(d)Acknowledgment. The Secretary will provide to a requester an acknowledgment of the receipt of a request and an individualized tracking number for each request. The requester may obtain information about the status of the request and/or contact the Commission's FOIA Public Liaison by telephone (202-205-2595) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The FOIA Public Liaison is responsible for assisting in reducing delays, increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes.
(e)First-party requests. The FOIA applies to third-party requests for documents concerning the general activities of the government and of the Commission in particular. When a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence requests access to his or her own records, i.e., makes a first-party request, it is considered a Privacy Act request. Although requests are considered either FOIA requests or Privacy Act requests, the Commission processes first-party requests in accordance with both laws, which provides the greatest degree of lawful access while safeguarding an individual's personal privacy.
(f)Referrals. If the Secretary refers a request or a portion thereof to another agency, the Secretary will notify the requester of the referral and the part of the request that has been referred. If feasible, the Secretary will provide the requester with a point of contact within the receiving agency regarding the referral.
(1) The Secretary shall preserve all correspondence pertaining to requests received as well as copies of all requested records, until disposition or destruction is authorized by a General Records Schedule of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or other NARA-approved records schedule.
(2) Materials that are identified as responsive to a FOIA request will not be disposed of or destroyed while the request or a related appeal or lawsuit is pending. This is true even if they would otherwise be authorized for disposition under a General Records Schedule or other NARA-approved records schedule.