43 CFR § 2.5 - How should you describe the records you seek?

§ 2.5 How should you describe the records you seek?

(a) You must reasonably describe the records sought. A reasonable description contains sufficient detail to enable bureau personnel familiar with the subject matter of the request to locate the records with a reasonable amount of effort.

(b) You should include as much detail as possible about the specific records or types of records that you are seeking. This will assist the bureau in identifying the requested records (for example, time frames involved or specific personnel who may have the requested records). For example, whenever possible, identify:

(1) The date, title or name, author, recipient, and subject of any particular records you seek;

(2) The office that created the records you seek;

(3) The timeframe for which you are seeking records; and

(4) Any other information that will assist the bureau in locating the records.

(c) The bureau's FOIA Requester Center can assist you in formulating or reformulating a request in an effort to better identify the records you seek.

(d) If the bureau determines that your request does not reasonably describe the records sought, the bureau will inform you what additional information you need to provide in order to reasonably describe the records that you seek so the requested records can be located with a reasonable amount of effort. The bureau will also notify you that it will not be able to comply with your request unless the additional information it has requested is received from you in writing within 20 workdays after the bureau has requested it and that you may appeal its determination. If you receive this type of notification, you may wish to discuss it with the bureau's designated FOIA contact or its FOIA Public Liaison (see § 2.66 of this part). If the bureau does not receive your written response containing the additional information within 20 workdays after the bureau has requested it, the bureau will presume that you are no longer interested in the records and will close the file on the request.

[77 FR 76902, Dec. 31, 2012; 78 FR 6216, Jan. 30, 2013, as amended at 81 FR 11127, Mar. 3, 2016; 84 FR 61826, Nov. 14, 2019]

The following state regulations pages link to this page.