24 CFR § 2002.15 - Time limitations.

§ 2002.15 Time limitations.

(a) General. Upon receipt of a request for records, the appropriate Assistant Inspector General or an appointed designee will generally make a determination whether to comply with a FOIA request within 20 working days. The Assistant Inspector General or designee will immediately notify the requestor in writing of the determination and the reason(s) for such determination and the right of the person to request assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison. The 20-day period will begin on the day the request is received by the OIG, but in any event not later than 10 working days after the request is received by any component designated to receive FOIA requests, and after any fees or advance payment of fees under § 2002.13 has been made.

(b) Scope of responsive records. In determining which records are responsive to a request, an agency ordinarily will include only records in its possession as of the date that it begins its search. If any other date is used, the agency must inform the requester of that date. A record that is excluded from the requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c) is not considered responsive to a request.

(c) Unusual circumstances. Under unusual circumstances, as specified in this paragraph (c), the OIG may extend the time period for processing a FOIA request. In such circumstances, the OIG will provide the requester with written notice setting forth the unusual circumstances for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be made. This date will not exceed 10 working days beyond the general time established in paragraph (a) of this section. If processing a request would require more than 10 working days beyond the general time limit established in paragraph (a) of this section, the OIG will offer the requester an opportunity to reduce or limit the scope of the request in order to allow the OIG to process it within the extra 10-day working period or arrange an alternative time period within which the FOIA request will be processed. To aid the requester, the OIG shall make available its FOIA Public Liaison, who shall assist in the resolution of any disputes between the requester and the OIG, and notify the requester of the right of the requester to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services. Unusual circumstances mean that there is a need:

(1) To search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;

(2) To search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in a single request (e.g. audit work papers); or

(3) For consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more offices of the Office of Inspector General having a substantial interest in the subject matter of the request.

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