32 CFR § 2402.4 - Procedure for requesting records.

§ 2402.4 Procedure for requesting records.

(a) Format of requests.

(1) In general. Requests for information must be made in writing and may be delivered by mail, fax, or electronic mail, as specified in § 2402.2(c). All requests must be made in English. Requests for information must specify the preferred form or format (including electronic formats) of the response. When requesters do not specify the preferred form or format of the response, OSTP shall produce printed copies of responsive records.

(2) Electronic format records.

(i) OSTP shall provide the responsive record or records in the form or format requested if the record or records are readily reproducible by OSTP in that form or format. OSTP shall make reasonable efforts to maintain its records in forms or formats that are reproducible for the purpose of disclosure. For purposes of this paragraph, the term readily reproducible means, with respect to electronic format, a record or records that can be downloaded or transferred intact to a floppy disk, computer disk (CD), tape, or other electronic medium using equipment currently in use by the office or offices processing the request. Even though some records may initially be readily reproducible, the need to segregate exempt from nonexempt records may cause the releasable material to be not readily reproducible.

(ii) In responding to a request for records, OSTP shall make reasonable efforts to search for the records in electronic form or format, except where such efforts would significantly interfere with the operation of the agency's automated information system(s). For purposes of this paragraph, the term “search” means to locate, manually or by automated means, agency records for the purpose of identifying those records that are responsive to a request.

(iii) Searches for records maintained in electronic form or format may require the application of codes, queries, or other minor forms of programming to retrieve the requested records.

(b) Contents. A request must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable OSTP personnel to locate the records with a reasonable amount of effort. OSTP will regard a request for a specific category of records as fulfilling the requirements of this paragraph if it enables responsive records to be identified by a technique or process that is not unreasonably burdensome or disruptive to OSTP operations. Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, number, title or name, author, recipient, and subject matter of the record. If OSTP determines that a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, it will either provide notice of any additional information needed or otherwise state why the request is insufficient. OSTP will offer a requester reasonable opportunity to reformulate the request so that it meets the requirements of this section.

(c) Date of receipt. A request that complies with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section is deemed a “perfected request.” A perfected request is deemed received on the actual date it is received by OSTP. A request that does not comply with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section is deemed received when sufficient information to perfect the request is actually received by OSTP. For requests that are expected to result in fees exceeding $250, the request shall not be deemed to have been received until OSTP has received full payment or satisfactory assurance of full payment as provided under § 2402.8.