32 CFR 701.4 - Responsibility and authority.
(a) The Head, DON PA/FOIA Policy Branch [CNO (N09B30)] has been delegated the responsibility for managing the DON's FOIA program, which includes setting FOIA policy and administering, supervising, and overseeing the execution of the 5 U.S.C. 552 and Department of Defense Directives 5400.7 and 5400.7-R series, Department of Defense Freedom of Information Act Program (see 32 CFR part 286).
(1) As principal DON FOIA policy official, CNO (N09B30) issues SECNAV Instruction 5720.42; oversees the administration of the DON FOIA program; issues and disseminates FOIA policy; oversees the Navy FOIA website; represents the DON at all meetings, symposiums, and conferences that address FOIA matters; writes the Navy's FOIA Handbook; serves on FOIA boards and committees; serves as principal policy advisor and oversight official on all FOIA matters; prepares the DON Annual FOIA Report for submission to the Attorney General; reviews all FOIA appeals to determine trends that impact on the DON; reviews all FOIA litigation matters involving the DON and apprises the Director, Freedom of Information and Security Review, DoD of same; responds to depositions and litigation regarding DON FOIA policy Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5820.8A, Release of Information for Litigation Purposes and Testimony by DON Personnel; reviews/analyzes all proposed FOIA legislation to determine its impact on the DON; develops a Navy-wide FOIA training program and serves as training oversight manager; conducts staff assistance visits/reviews within the DON to ensure compliance with 5 U.S.C. 552 and this part; reviews all SECNAV and Operations Navy instructions/forms that address FOIA; and oversees the processing of FOIA requests received by SECNAV and Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), to ensure responses are complete, timely, and accurate. Additionally, N09B30 works closely with other DoD and DON officials to ensure they are aware of highly visible and/or sensitive FOIA requests being processed by the DON.
(2) SECNAV has delegated Initial Denial Authority (IDA) to N09B30 for requests at the Secretariat and OPNAV level.
(b) The Commandant of the Marine Corps is delegated responsibility for administering and supervising the execution of this instruction within the Marine Corps. To accomplish this task, the Director of Administrative Resource Management (Code ARAD) serves as the FOIA Coordinator for Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, and assists CNO (N09B30) in promoting the Department of the Navy FOIA Program by issuing a Marine Corps FOIA Handbook; utilizing the Marine Corps FOIA website to disseminate FOIA information; consolidating its activities Annual FOIA Reports and submitting it to CNO (N09B30); maintaining a current list of Marine Corps FOIA coordinators, etc.
(c) The DON Chief Information Officer (DONCIO) is responsible for preparing and making publicly available upon request an index of all DON major information systems and a description of major information and record locator systems maintained by the Department of the Navy as required by 5 U.S.C. 552 and DoD 5400.7-R, “DoD Freedom of Information Act Program.”
(d) FOIA coordinators will:
(1) Implement and administer a local FOIA program under this instruction; serve as principal point of contact on FOIA matters; issue a command/activity instruction that implements SECNAVINST 5740.42F by reference and highlights only those areas unique to the command/activity (i.e., designate the command/activity's FOIA Coordinator and IDA; address internal FOIA processing procedures; and address command/activity level FOIA reporting requirements); receive and track FOIA requests to ensure responses are made in compliance with 5 U.S.C. 552 and DoD Directives 5400.7 and 5400.7-R and this part; provide general awareness training to command/activity personnel on the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552 and this instruction; collect and compile FOIA statistics and submit a consolidated Annual FOIA Report to Echelon 2 FOIA coordinator for consolidation; provide guidance on how to process FOIA requests; and provide guidance on the scope of FOIA exemptions.
(2) Additionally, CMC (ARAD) and Echelon 2 FOIA coordinators will:
(i) Ensure that reading room materials are placed in the activity's electronic reading room and that the activity's website is linked to the Navy FOIA website and the activity's reading room is linked to the Navy's FOIA reading room lobby. Documents placed in the reading room shall also be indexed as a Government Information Locator Service (GILS) record, as this will serve as an index of available records.
(ii) Review proposed legislation and policy recommendations that impact the FOIA and provide comments to CNO (N09B30).
(iii) Review SECNAVINST 5720.42F and provide recommended changes/comments to CNO (N09B30).
(iv) Routinely conduct random staff assistance visits/reviews/self-evaluations within the command and lower echelon commands to ensure compliance with FOIA.
(v) Collect and compile command and feeder reports for the Annual FOIA Report and provide a consolidated report to CNO (N09B30).
(vi) Maintain a listing of their subordinate activities' FOIA coordinators to include full name, address, and telephone (office and fax) and place on their website.
Do not place names of FOIA coordinators who are overseas, routinely deployable or in sensitive units on the website. Instead just list “FOIA Coordinator”
(vii) Notify CNO (N09B30) of any change of name, address, office code and zip code, telephone and facsimile number, and/or e-mail address of Echelon 2 FOIA Coordinators.
(viii) Conduct overview training to ensure all personnel are knowledgeable of the FOIA and its requirements. See § 701.12.
(ix) Work closely with the activity webmaster to ensure that information placed on the activity's website does not violate references in paragraphs (a), (c) and (f).
(e) Initial Denial Authorities (IDAs). The following officials are delegated to serve as Initial Denial Authorities, on behalf of SECNAV (see § 701.30 for definition):
(1) Under Secretary of the Navy; Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy; Assistant Secretaries of the Navy (ASNs) and their principal deputy assistants; Assistant for Administration (SECNAV); Director, Administrative Division (SECNAV); Special Assistant for Legal and Legislative Affairs (SECNAV); Director, Office of Program Appraisal (SECNAV); DONCIO; Director, Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (SECNAV); Chief of Information (CHINFO); Director, Navy International Programs Office; Chief of Legislative Affairs; CNO; Vice CNO; Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NOON); Director, Navy Staff (N09B); Head, DON PA/FOIA Policy Branch (N09B30); Director of Naval Intelligence (N2); Director of Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control (N6); Director of Navy Test & Evaluation & Technology Requirements (N091); Surgeon General of the Navy (N093); Director of Naval Reserve (N095); Oceanographer of the Navy (N096); Director of Religious Ministries/Chief of Chaplains of the Navy (N097); all Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations; Chief of Naval Personnel; Director, Strategic Systems Programs; Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; Director, Office of Naval Intelligence; Naval Inspector General; Auditor General of the Navy; Commanders of the Naval Systems Commands; Chief of Naval Education and Training; Commander, Naval Reserve Force; Chief of Naval Research; Director, Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Deputy Commander, Naval Legal Service Command; Commander, Navy Personnel Command; Director, Naval Center of Cost Analysis; Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; Director, Naval Historical Center; heads of DON staff offices, boards, and councils; Program Executive Officers; and all general officers.
(2) Within the Marine Corps: CMC and his Assistant, Chief of Staff, Deputy Chiefs of Staff; Director, Personnel Management Division; Fiscal Director of the Marine Corps; Counsel for the Commandant; Director of Intelligence; Director, Command, Communications and Computer Systems Division; Legislative Assistant to the Commandant; Director, Judge Advocate Division; Inspector General of the Marine Corps; Director, Manpower, Plans, and Policy Division; Head, Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts Section, HQMC; Director of Public Affairs; Director of Marine Corps History and Museums; Director, Personnel Procurement Division; Director, Morale Support Division; Director, Human Resources Division; Director of Headquarters Support; commanding generals; directors, Marine Corps districts; commanding officers, not in the administrative chain of command of a commanding general or district director. For each official listed above, the deputy or principal assistant is also authorized denial authority.
(3) JAG and his Deputy and the DON General Counsel (DONGC) and his deputies are excluded from this grant of authorization, since SECNAV has delegated them to serve as his appellate authorities. However, they are authorized to designate IDA responsibilities to other senior officers/ officials within JAG and DONGC. DONGC has delegated IDA responsibilities to the Assistant General Counsels and the Associate General Counsel (Litigation).
(4) For the shore establishment and operating forces: All officers authorized by Article 22, Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) or designated in section 0120, Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGINST 5800.7C) to convene general courts-martial.
(5) IDAs must balance their decision to centralize denials for the purpose of promoting uniform decisions against decentralizing denials to respond to requests within the FOIA time limits. Accordingly, the IDAs listed in paragraphs (e)(1) through (4) are authorized to delegate initial denial authority to subordinate activities for the purpose of streamlining FOIA processing. They may also delegate authority to a specific staff member, assistant, or individuals acting during their absence if this serves the purpose of streamlining and/or complying with the time limits of FOIA.
Such delegations shall be limited to comply with DoD Directive 5400.7, “DoD Freedom of Information Act Program”.
(6) Delegations of IDA authority should be reflected in the activity's supplementing FOIA instruction or by letter, with a copy to CNO (N09B30) or CMC (ARAD), as appropriate.
(f) Release authorities. Release authorities are authorized to grant requests on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of the Navy for agency records under their possession and control for which no FOIA exemption applies; to respond to requesters concerning refinement of their requests; to provide fee estimates; and to offer appeal rights for adequacy of search or fee estimates to the requester.
(g) Appellate authorities are addressed in § 701.12.