38 CFR § 1.551 - Definitions.

§ 1.551 Definitions.

As used in §§ 1.550 through 1.562, the following definitions apply:

Agency means any executive department, military department, government corporation, government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Federal government, or independent regulatory entity.

Appeal means a requester's written disagreement with an adverse determination under the FOIA.

Beneficiary means a veteran or other individual who has received benefits (including medical benefits) or has applied for benefits pursuant to title 38, United States Code.

Benefits records means an individual's records, which pertain to programs under any of the benefits laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Business day means the time during which typical Federal government offices are open for normal business. It does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal legal public holidays. The term “day” means business day unless otherwise specified.

Business information means confidential or privileged commercial or financial information obtained by VA from a submitter that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

Component means each distinct VA entity, including Administrations, staff offices, services, or facilities.

Expedited processing means giving a FOIA request priority for processing ahead of other pending requests because VA has determined that the requester has shown an exceptional need or urgency for the records as provided in these regulations.

Fees. For fees and fee-related definitions, see § 1.561.

FOIA Officer means the individual within a VA component whose responsibilities include addressing and granting or denying requests for records under the FOIA.

FOIA Public Liaison means a supervisory agency FOIA official who assists in the resolution of any disputes between the requester and the agency.

Perfected request means a written FOIA request that meets the requirements set forth in § 1.554 of this part and for which there are no remaining issues about the payment of applicable fees or any other matter that requires resolution prior to processing.

Reading room means space made available, as needed, in VA components where records are available for review pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). Ordinarily, the VA component providing a public reading room space will be the component that maintains the record.

Record means a document, a portion of a document, and information contained within a document, and can include information derived from a document or a database. Such documents may be maintained in paper, electronic, and other forms, but do not include objects, such as tissue slides, blood samples, or computer hardware.

Request means a written demand for records under the FOIA as described § 1.554(a). The term request includes any action emanating from the initial demand for records, including any subsequent action related to the request.

Requester means, generally, any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or foreign or state or local government, which has made a demand to access an agency record.

Submitter means any person or entity (including corporations, state, local and tribal governments and foreign governments) from whom VA obtains trade secrets or confidential commercial or financial information either directly or indirectly.

VA means the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA Central Office (VACO) means the headquarters of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The mailing address is 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420.

Written or in writing means communications such as letters, photocopies of letters, electronic mail, and facsimiles (faxes), and does not include any form of oral communication.

[76 FR 51892, Aug. 19, 2011, as amended at 84 FR 12125, Apr. 1, 2019]