§ 2.4How do I obtain information routinely available to the public?
A great deal of information is available to the public without filing a FOIA request. Examples are Departmental policies, procedures, and organizational descriptions. The following guidance will help you obtain this information. [Note: For copies of records that are not routinely available, you must submit a FOIA request to the DOI office where the records are located. Procedures for requesting records under the FOIA are provided in subpart C of this part.]
(1) General information about DOI or one of its bureaus may be obtained by visiting DOI's home page (see appendix B to this part for a list of Internet addresses) or by contacting the Office of Public Affairs/Communications for the appropriate bureau (see appendix A to this part for a list of DOI contacts). Many documents are made available to the public through DOI's reading rooms. Some documents also may be available in DOI's electronic reading rooms on the Internet.
(2) Information on DOI's FOIA Program and a Reference Guide to assist you in obtaining various types of information are available in DOI's reading rooms, through the FOIA home page, or by contacting the Departmental FOIA Officer.
(3) To obtain information about specific records in DOI, you also may refer to:
(i) The index of documents frequently requested under the FOIA, which is available in DOI's reading rooms, through the FOIA home page, or by contacting one of the bureau FOIA Officers; and
(ii) The index and description of DOI's major information and record locator systems, which are available in DOI's reading rooms, through the FOIA home page, or by contacting one of the bureau FOIA Officers.
(4) Another source of information is DOI's Library, which contains over one million holdings dealing with a broad range of matters pertaining to the Department's mission. You may wish to visit the Library, which is located at the C Street entrance of the Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20240 (see appendix A to this part). The Library is open to the public for on-site reference use from 7:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday (excluding Federal legal public holidays). Additional information regarding the Library's holdings and services may be obtained by visiting its home page (see appendix B to this part).
(b)Published information and rules. Under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1), bureaus are required to publish certain information in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public, such as descriptions of their central and field organizations, functions, procedures, substantive rules, and statements of general policy.
(c)Reading room materials.
(1) Under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), each bureau is responsible for making the information listed in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (v) of this section available for public inspection and copying unless the materials are promptly published and copies offered for sale. Bureaus must make any such records created on or after November 1, 1996, available by the Internet or by other computer telecommunication methods or electronic means as quickly as practicable.
(i) Final opinions rendered in the adjudication of cases.
(ii) Policy statements and interpretations which have been adopted by DOI and are not published in the Federal Register.
(iii) Administrative staff manuals and instructions affecting the public.
(iv) Copies of records that have been or are likely to become the subject of frequent FOIA requests and an index of those documents.
(v) A subject-matter index of its reading room records (see § 2.5).
(2) Bureaus may, at their discretion, make other records available for inspection and copying in reading rooms or via their home pages.
(d)Inspection and copying of reading room materials.
(1) Reading room materials are available for inspection and copying at the locations listed in Appendix A to this part and, in some cases, through the Internet; however, not all records may be available in all locations.
(i) If you need assistance in determining the location and availability of the records you are seeking, contact the appropriate reading room or FOIA Contact listed in appendix A to this part.
(ii) If you file a FOIA request for reading room materials and the information you request is available on the Internet, the FOIA Contact should refer you to the appropriate Web site. If the reading room materials are not available electronically, the FOIA Contact may either send you the materials, or forward your request to the appropriate reading room and provide the name and telephone number of a staff member you may contact. You may, nevertheless, ask the bureau to process your request as any other FOIA request.
(2) A bureau may delete exempt information from some records before making them available for inspection and copying in a reading room. (See § 2.21(c)). You may not appeal a bureau's decision to delete exempt information from a document it places in a public reading room. If you would like access to the entire record, you must submit a FOIA request under the procedures in subpart C of this part. However, this does not guarantee that the entire record will be released. If you submit such a FOIA request and are not satisfied with the response, you may file an appeal as described in § 2.28.
(3) There is no charge to inspect reading room materials. Copying services will be provided at the fees specified in appendix C to this part. However, other fees may apply where a bureau has a statute that specifically requires the bureau to set fees for particular types of records.
(4) If you submit a fee waiver request for information in a reading room, it will be processed under the procedures in § 2.19.
Title 43 published on 2014-10-01
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