22 CFR 212.11 - Appeal procedures.
USAID must inform the requester of the reasons for the denial and the requester's right to appeal the denial to the FOIA Appeals Officer whenever a FOIA request is denied.
(a)What a requester can appeal. A requester may appeal the withholding of a document or denial of a fee waiver request. A requester may contest the type or amount of fees that were charged, or may appeal any other type of adverse determination under the FOIA. A requester may also appeal because USAID failed to conduct an adequate search for the documents requested. However, a requester may not file an administrative appeal for the lack of a timely response. A requester may administratively appeal any portion denied when their request is granted in part and denied in part.
(b)Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to USAID. The requester must make the appeal in writing. To be considered timely, the appeal must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify the Agency'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.”
(c)Adjudication of appeals.
(1) The Director of the Bureau for Management Services or designee will conduct de novo review and make the final determination on the appeals.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(d)Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in writing. A decision that upholds the Agency'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 the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. Mediation is a voluntary process. If USAID 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. If the Agency's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The Agency will thereafter further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester.
(e)When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of the Agency's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.
(f)Where to file an appeal. An appeal may be filed by sending a letter to: FOIA Appeals Officer, Bureau for Management Director, Office of Management Services, U.S. Agency for International Development Room 2.12-010, RRB, Washington, DC 20523-4601. There is no charge for filing an administrative appeal.