21 CFR 20.44 - Expedited processing.
(a) The Food and Drug Administration will provide expedited processing of a request for records when the requester demonstrates a compelling need, or in other cases as determined by the agency. A compelling need exists when:
(1) A failure to obtain requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or
(2) With respect to a request made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, there is a demonstrated urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity.
(b) A request for expedited processing made under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be made by the specific individual who is subject to an imminent threat, or by a family member, medical or health care professional, or other authorized representative of the individual, and must demonstrate a reasonable basis for concluding that failure to obtain the requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose a specific and identifiable imminent threat to the life or safety of the individual.
(c) A request for expedited processing made under paragraph (a)(2) of this section must demonstrate that:
(1) The requester is primarily engaged in disseminating information to the general public and not merely to a narrow interest group;
(2) There is an urgent need for the requested information and that it has a particular value that will be lost if not obtained and disseminated quickly; however, a news media publication or broadcast deadline alone does not qualify as an urgent need, nor does a request for historical information; and
(3) The request for records specifically concerns identifiable operations or activities of the Federal Government.
(d) All requests for expedited processing shall be filed in writing as provided by § 20.40. Each such request shall include information that demonstrates a reasonable basis for concluding that a compelling need exists within the meaning of paragraph (a) of this section and a certification that the information provided in the request is true and correct to the best of the requester's knowledge and belief. Any statements made in support of a request for expedited processing are subject to the False Reports to the Government Act ( 18 U.S.C. 1001).
(e) The Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs (or delegatee) will determine whether to grant a request for expedited processing within 10 days of receipt by the Division of Freedom of Information of all information required to make a decision.
(f) If the agency grants a request for expedited processing, the agency shall process the request as soon as practicable.
(g) If the agency denies a request for expedited processing, the agency shall process the request with other nonexpedited requests.
(h) If the agency denies a request for expedited processing, the requester may appeal the agency's decision by writing to the official identified in the denial letter.