24 CFR § 2002.7 - OIG processing of requests, multi-tracking, and expedited processing.

§ 2002.7 OIG processing of requests, multi-tracking, and expedited processing.

(a) Tracking number. FOIA requests will be logged in the order that they are received and be assigned a tracking number, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section. A requester should use the tracking number to identify his or her request when contacting the FOIA office for any reason. An acknowledgement of receipt of the request, with the assigned tracking number, will be sent to the requester by the FOIA office.

(b) Multi-track processing -

(1) Types of tracks. For requests that do not qualify for expedited processing, the OIG places each request in one of two tracks, simple or complex, based on the amount of work and time involved in processing the request. In doing so, the OIG will consider whether the request involves the processing of voluminous documents or responsive documents from more than one organizational unit. Within each track, the OIG processes requests in the order in which they are received.

(2) Unusual circumstances. Requests for audit work papers are considered complex requests and generally qualify as an unusual circumstance under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(iii), taking longer than 20 working days to process. Requests for “all” specified records over a span of time, if they are accepted as reasonably describing a specific group of records, are considered complex requests and usually qualify as an unusual circumstance under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B)(iii), taking longer than 20 working days to process. Requesters who make requests qualifying as unusual circumstances will be offered an opportunity to narrow the scope of their request or arrange for an alternative time period.

(3) Misdirected requests. For requests that have been sent to the wrong office, the OIG will assign the request within each track using the earlier of either:

(i) The date on which the request was referred to the appropriate office; or

(ii) The end of the 10 working-day period in which the request should have been referred to the appropriate office.

(c) Expedited processing.

(1) The OIG may take your request or appeal out of normal order if the OIG determines that you have a compelling need for the records or in other cases as determined by the OIG. Any requester may ask for expedited processing at any time. If expedited processing is requested, the OIG will notify the requester within 10 working days whether it will grant expedited processing.

(2) The OIG will grant requests for expedited processing if it finds a compelling need under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(E). Evidence of a compelling need by a person making a request for expedited processing must be made in a statement certified by such person to be true and correct to the best of such person's knowledge and belief. A compelling need exists if:

(i) Your failure to obtain the requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) You are primarily engaged in disseminating information and there is an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity; or

(iii) Your failure to obtain the requested records on an expedited basis could result in the loss of substantial due process rights.

(3) If the OIG grants the request for expedited processing, the OIG will give the request priority and will process it as soon as practicable.

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