22 CFR 706.31 - How do I request copies of or access to OPIC records that are not otherwise available to the public?

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§ 706.31 How do I request copies of or access to OPIC records that are not otherwise available to the public?
(a) Submitting a request. To request records that are not otherwise available to the public, submit a written request to OPIC's FOIA Office either by mail, by hand delivery, by facsimile transmission to (202) 408-0297, or by electronic mail to FOIA@opic.gov. You must state that you are requested records under the FOIA. Your request is considered received by OPIC upon actual receipt by OPIC's FOIA Office.
(b) Format. Although FOIA requests do not need to follow a specific format, you must include the following information:
(1) You must reasonably describe the records you seek. This means that you must provide enough detail to enable OPIC personnel, using reasonable efforts, to locate the records. Whenever possible, your request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter. Any request that does not reasonably describe the records sought will not be considered received by OPIC until the request is clarified. If your request does not reasonably describe the records you seek, OPIC will make reasonable efforts to contact you and tell you what additional information you need to provide in order to clarify your request. You then will have an opportunity to modify your request to meet the requirements of this section. Any time you spend clarifying your request (discussing your request with OPIC and preparing a revised request) is excluded from the 20 working-day period (or any extension of this period) that OPIC has to respond to your request.
(2) You must state the format (e.g., paper, computer disk, etc.) in which you would like OPIC to provide the requested records. If you do not state a preference, you will receive any released records in the format most convenient to OPIC.
(3) You must include your mailing address and telephone number. You may also provide your electronic mail address, which will allow OPIC to contact you quickly to discuss your request and, in some instances, to respond to your request electronically.
(4) You must state your willingness to pay fees under this Part or, alternately, your willingness to pay fees up to a specified limit. If you believe that you qualify for a partial or total fee waiver under § 706.35(a), you should request a waiver and provide justification as required by § 706.35(b). If your request does not contain a statement of your willingness to pay fees or a request for a fee waiver, OPIC will advise you of the requirements of this paragraph. If you fail to respond within ten working days of such notification, OPIC will stop processing your request.
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§ 706.31 Responses to requests.

(a) Acknowledgments of requests. If a request will take longer than ten days to process, OPIC will send the requester an acknowledgment letter that assigns the request an individualized tracking number.

(b) Grants of requests. OPIC will notify the requester in writing if it makes a determination to grant a request in full or in part. The notice will inform the requester of any fees charged under § 706.22. OPIC will disclose the requested records to the requester promptly upon payment of any applicable fees.

(c) Adverse determinations of requests. OPIC will notify the requester in writing if it makes an adverse determination denying a request in any respect. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include decisions that: the requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.

(d) Content of denial letter. The denial letter will be signed by the person responsible for the denial, and will include:

(1) The name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial;

(2) A brief statement of the reasons for the denial, including any FOIA exemptions applied;

(3) An estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, for example, by providing the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation. This estimation is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part, or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

(4) A brief description of the types of information withheld and the reasons for doing so. A description and explanation are not required if providing it would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

(5) A statement that the denial may be appealed under Section 706.33(a) of this subpart, and a description of the requirements set forth therein; and

(6) Notice of any fees charged under § 706.22.

(e) Markings on released documents. Where technically feasible, OPIC will mark withholdings made on released documents at the place where the withholding has been made and will include the exemption applied. Markings on released documents must be clearly visible to the requester.

(f) Referrals to other government agencies. If you request a record in OPIC's possession that was created or classified by another Federal agency, OPIC will promptly refer your request to that agency for direct response to you unless OPIC can determine by examining the record or by informal consultation with the originating agency that the record may be released in whole or part. OPIC will notify you of any such referral.

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