29 CFR 1610.11 - Appeals to the legal counsel from initial denials.
(a)Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determination to the Legal Counsel, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs. Any appeal of a determination issued by a District Director or the District Director's designee must include a copy of the District Director's or the District Director's designee's determination. If a FOIA appeal is misdirected to a District Office, the District Office shall forward the appeal to the Legal Counsel, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, within 10 business days. Examples of adverse determinations are provided in § 1610.10(e). Requesters can submit appeals by mail, by fax to (202) 653-6034, by email to FOIA@eeoc.gov, or online at https://publicportalfoiapal.eeoc.gov/palMain.aspx. The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it 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 Commission 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.”
(b)Adjudication of appeals.
(1) The Legal Counsel or designee, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, will decide all appeals under this section.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(c)Decisions on appeals. The Commission must provide its decision on an appeal in writing. A decision that upholds the Commission's determination in whole or in part must contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision must 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. If the Commission's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the Commission will notify the requester of that determination in writing. The Commission will then further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and will respond directly to the requester.
(d)Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Mediation is a voluntary process. If the Commission 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.
(e)When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of the Commission's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.
(f) No personal appearance, oral argument or hearing will ordinarily be permitted in connection with an appeal to the Legal Counsel or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs.
(g) On appeal, the Legal Counsel or designee, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, may reduce any fees previously assessed.
(h) In the event that the Commission terminates its proceedings on a charge after the District Director or the District Director's designee denies a request, in whole or in part, for the charge file but during consideration of the requester's appeal from that denial, the request may be remanded for redetermination. The requester retains a right to appeal to the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, from the decision on remand.