39 CFR 265.8 - Administrative appeals.
(a)Requirements for making an appeal. Requesters may appeal adverse decisions rendered by the Postal Inspection Service or any Postal Service component by mail to the General Counsel, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20260; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the date of the response; or within a reasonable time if the appeal is from a failure of the custodian to act. The General Counsel may, in his or her discretion, consider late appeals. In the event of the denial of a request or of other action or failure to act on the part of a custodian from which no appeal is taken, the General Counsel may, if he or she considers that there is doubt as to the correctness of the custodian's action or failure to act, review the action or failure to act as though an appeal pursuant to this section had been taken. A letter of appeal should include, as applicable:
(1) A copy of the request, of any notification of denial or other action, and of any other related correspondence;
(2) The FOIA tracking number assigned to the request;
(3) A statement of the action, or failure to act, from which the appeal is taken;
(4) A statement identifying the specific redactions to responsive records that the requester is challenging;
(5) A statement of the relief sought; and
(6) A statement of the reasons why the requester believes the action or failure to act is erroneous.
(b)Adjudication of appeals.
(1) The decision of the General Counsel or his or her designee constitutes the final decision of the Postal Service on the issue being appealed. The General Counsel will give prompt consideration to an appeal for expedited processing of a request. All other decisions normally will be made within 20 working days from the time of the receipt by the General Counsel. The 20-day response period may be extended by the General Counsel, or his or her designee, for a period not to exceed an additional 10 working days when reasonably necessary to permit the proper consideration of an appeal, under one or more of the unusual circumstances set forth in paragraph (a)(5) of this section. The aggregate number of additional working days utilized, however, may not exceed 10 working days.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(3) On receipt of any appeal, the General Counsel, or his or her designee, must take appropriate action to ensure compliance with applicable classification rules.
(c)Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in writing. A decision that upholds a component's determination in whole or in part will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If a custodian's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The component will further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester. If not prohibited by or under law, the General Counsel, or his designee may direct the disclosure of a record even though its disclosure is not required by law or regulation.
(d)When appeal is required. Before seeking judicial review of a component's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.
(e)Appeal procedures for the Office of the Inspector General. The appeal procedures for the Office of the Inspector General are described in 39 CFR 230.5.