32 CFR § 725.9 - Action to grant or deny a request.
(a) The process of determining whether to grant or deny a request is not an adversary proceeding. This part provides guidance for the operation of DON only and is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law against the United States, DOD, or DON.
(b) 32 CFR part 97 and this part apply to testimony by former naval personnel and former civilian employees of DON. A proper request must be made, under § 725.7, to obtain testimony by former personnel regarding official DOD information. However, this part is not intended to place unreasonable restraints upon the post-employment conduct of such personnel. Accordingly, requests for expert or opinion testimony by such personnel will normally be granted unless that testimony would constitute a violation of the U.S. Code (e.g., 18 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), conflict with pertinent regulations (e.g., Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5370.2H), or disclose properly classified or privileged information.
(c) A determination to grant or deny should be made as expeditiously as possible to provide the requester and the court with the matter at issue or with a statement of the reasons for denial. The decisional period should not exceed 10 working days from receipt of a complete request complying with the requirements of § 725.7, absent exceptional or particularly difficult circumstances. The requester should also be informed promptly of the referral of any portion of the request to another authority for determination.
(d) Except as provided in § 725.7(d), a determination to grant or deny shall be in writing.
(e) The determination letter should respond solely to the specific disclosures requested, stating a specific determination on each particular request. When a request is denied in whole or in part, a statement of the reasons for denial should be provided to fully inform a court of the reasons underlying the determination if it is challenged.
(f) A copy of any denial, in whole or in part, of a request, should be forwarded to the cognizant Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General or the Associate General Counsel (Litigation), as appropriate. Such notification is likewise appropriate when the litigation request has been treated under 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a and § 725.5(f). Telephonic notification is particularly appropriate where a judicial challenge or contempt action is anticipated.
(g) In cases in which a subpoena has been received and the requester refuses to pay fees or otherwise comply with the guidance and requirements imposed by this part, or if the determining authority declines to make some or all of the subpoenaed information available, or if the determining authority has had insufficient time to complete its determination as to how to respond to the request, the determining authority must promptly notify the General Litigation Division of the Office of the Judge Advocate General or the Navy Litigation Office of the Office of the General Counsel, which offices will determine, in consultation with the Department of Justice, the appropriate response to be made to the tribunal which issued the subpoena. Because the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require that some objections to subpoenas must be made either within 10 days of service of the subpoena or on or before the time for compliance, whichever first occurs, and because this will require consultation with the Department of Justice, timely notice is essential.