32 CFR § 286.9 - Responses to requests.

§ 286.9 Responses to requests.

(a)In general. DoD FOIA RSCs will, to the extent practicable, communicate with requesters having access to the Internet using electronic means, such as email or web portal.

(b)Acknowledgments of requests. DoD Components will acknowledge requests in writing and assign individualized tracking numbers. DoD Components will include these tracking numbers and any tracking numbers used by FOIA requesters in all correspondence.

(c)Estimated dates of completion and interim responses. Upon request, the DoD Component will provide an estimated date by which the DoD Component expects to provide a response to the requester. If a request involves a voluminous amount of material or searches in multiple locations, the DoD Component may provide interim responses, releasing the records on a rolling basis.

(d)Grants of requests. Once a DoD Component makes a determination to grant a request in full or in part, it shall notify the requester in writing. The DoD Component also shall inform the requester:

(1) Of any fees charged under § 286.12; and

(2) That they may contact the DoD Component FOIA Public Liaison for further assistance.

(e)Adverse determinations of requests. A DoD Component making an adverse determination denying a request in any respect will notify the requester of that determination in writing. Adverse determinations, or denials of requests, include decisions that the requested record is exempt, in whole or in part; the request does not reasonably describe the records sought; the information requested is not a record subject to the FOIA; the requested record does not exist, cannot be located, or has been destroyed; or the requested record is not readily reproducible in the form or format sought by the requester. Adverse determinations also include denials involving fees or fee waiver matters or denials of requests for expedited processing.

(f)Content of denial. The denial will include:

(1) The name and title or position of the IDA;

(2) A brief statement of the reasons for the denial, including any FOIA exemption applied by the DoD Component in denying the request;

(3) An estimate of the volume of any records or information withheld, such as the number of pages or some other reasonable form of estimation, although such an estimate is not required if the volume is otherwise indicated by deletions marked on records that are disclosed in part or if providing an estimate would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption;

(4) For any information denied under Exemption 1, the applicable section or sections of the appropriate Executive order on classification that establishing continued classification of the information;

(5) For any information denied under Exemption 3, the specific statute relied upon to deny the information along with a short description of the statute;

(6) A statement that the requester must appeal no later than 90 days after the date of the denial and along with instructions on how to appeal to the DoD Component appellate authority. The instructions will include the appellate authority's duty title, the mailing address for the appeal, and instructions on how the requester can appeal electronically; and

(7) A statement advising the requester of their right to seek dispute resolution services from the DoD Component FOIA Public Liaison or OGIS.

(g)Markings on released documents. Records disclosed in part will be marked clearly to show the amount of information deleted and the exemption under which the deletion was made unless doing so would harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption. The location of the information deleted also will be indicated on the record, if technically feasible.

(h)Use of record exclusions.

(1) In the event that a DoD Component identifies records that may be subject to exclusion from the requirements of the FOIA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(c), the DoD Component should confer with the Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, which will confer with the Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (OIP), to obtain approval to apply the exclusion.

(2) A DoD Component invoking an exclusion shall maintain an administrative record of the process of invocation and approval of the exclusion by OIP.