36 CFR 1120.34 - Initial denials of requests.
(a) An initial denial of a request may be issued only for the following reasons:
(1) The record is not under the A&TBCB's control;
(2) The record has been published in the Federal Register or is otherwise published and available for sale;
(3) A statutory provision, provision of this part, or court order requires that the information not be disclosed;
(4) The record is exempt from mandatory disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b) and the responding office has decided not to disclose it under §§ 1120.41 and 1120.42;
(b) Each initial denial of a request shall -
(1) Be written, signed, and dated;
(2) Contain a reference to the Request Identification Number;
(3) Identify the records that are being withheld (individually or, if the denial covers a large number of similar records, by described category); and
(4) State the basis for denial of each record of category of records or any reasonably segregable portion(s) thereof being withheld.
(c) If the issuance of the determination to deny a request was directed by some A&TBCB officer or employee other than the person signing the determination letter, that other person's identity and position must be stated in the determination letter.
(d) Each initial determination which denies, in whole or in part, a request for one or more existing, located A&TBCB records must state that the requestor may appeal the initial denial by sending a written appeal to the address shown in § 1120.23 within 30 days of receipt of the determination. (See § 1120.36.)
(e) A determination is deemed issued on the date the determination letter is placed in A&TBCB mailing channels for first class mailing to the requestor, delivered to the U.S. Postal Service for mailing, or personally delivered to the requestor, whichever date first occurs.
(f) When a request must be denied because the record has not yet been located (although it is believed to be in the A&TBCB's possession), the A&TBCB office responsible for maintaining the record must continue to search diligently until it is located or it appears that the record does not exist or is not in the A&TBCB's possession, and must periodically inform the requestor of the office's progress.