29 CFR 1610.9 - Responses: timing.
(a) The EEOC utilizes a multitrack system for responding to FOIA requests. After review, a FOIA request is placed on one of three tracks: the simple track, the complex track, or the expedited track. EEOC distinguishes between simple and complex track requests based on the amount of work and time needed to process the request.
(b) The Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, the District Director, or the District Director's designee shall, within 10 days from receipt of a request, notify the requester in writing of the date EEOC received the request, the expected date of issuance of the determination, the individualized FOIA tracking number assigned to the request, and the telephone number or Internet site where requesters may inquire about the status of their request.
(c) If a FOIA request is submitted to the incorrect EEOC-FOIA office, that office shall forward the misdirected request to the appropriate EEOC-FOIA office within 10 business days. If a misdirected request is forwarded to the correct EEOC-FOIA office more than 10 business days after its receipt by the EEOC, then, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A), the statutory 20 business days to respond to the request is reduced by the number of days in excess of 10 that it took the EEOC to forward the request to the correct EEOC-FOIA office.
(d) Within 20 business days after receipt of the request, the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, the District Director, or the District Director's designee shall either grant or deny the request for agency records, unless additional time is required for one of the following reasons:
(1) It is necessary to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;
(2) It is necessary to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous number of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request; or
(e) When additional time is required for one of the reasons stated in paragraph (d) of this Section, the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, District Director, or the District Director's designee shall, within the statutory 20 business day period, issue to the requester a brief written statement of the reason for the delay and an indication of the date on which it is expected that a determination as to disclosure will be forthcoming. If more than 10 additional business days are needed, the requester shall be notified and provided an opportunity to limit the scope of the request or to arrange for an alternate time frame for processing the request.
(1) A request for records may be eligible for expedited processing if the requester demonstrates a compelling need. For the purposes of this section, compelling need means:
(i) That the failure to obtain the records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or
(ii) That the requester is a representative of the news media as described in § 1610.1(o) and there is an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal government activity.
(2) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. A determination on the request for expedited processing will be made and the requester notified within 10 calendar days. The Legal Counsel or designee, or the Assistant Legal Counsel, FOIA Programs, as appropriate, shall promptly respond to any appeal of the denial of a request for expedited processing.
(g) The Commission may toll the statutory time period to issue its determination on a FOIA request one time during the processing of the request to obtain clarification from the requester. The statutory time period to issue the determination on disclosure is tolled until EEOC receives the information reasonably requested from the requester. The agency may also toll the statutory time period to issue the determination to clarify with the requester issues regarding fees. There is no limit on the number of times the agency may request clarifying fee information from the requester.