43 CFR 2.7 - What do I need to know before filing a FOIA request?

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§ 2.7 What do I need to know before filing a FOIA request?
(a) If the records you are seeking are not routinely available as described in Subpart B of this part, you must submit a FOIA request to the FOIA Contact at the bureau office where you believe the records are maintained (see appendix A to this part). FOIA requests must be submitted in writing (this includes fax and e-mail)—DOI does not accept oral FOIA requests. Before submitting a request, you may find it useful to contact the appropriate bureau FOIA Contact or the Departmental FOIA Officer for additional information concerning DOI's FOIA Program. You may find the Department's Reference Guide, which is available electronically through the FOIA home page and in paper form as well, helpful in making your request.
(b) The FOIA requires that we release records unless they are protected by one of nine exemptions (see appendix E to this part).
(c) The Act does not require a bureau to answer questions that may be asked in a FOIA request.
(1) In order for a record to be considered subject to your FOIA request, it must be in the bureau's possession and control at the time the bureau begins its search for responsive records. There is no obligation for the bureau to create or compile a record to satisfy a FOIA request (for example, by combining or compiling selected items from manual files, preparing a new computer program, calculating proportions, percentages, frequency distributions, trends and comparisons, or creating maps). Normally if a bureau is extracting information from an existing computer database, this would not constitute the creation of a new record. However, a bureau has the option of creating a new record if—
(i) Doing so will provide a more useful response to the requester,
(ii) It is less burdensome than providing the existing records, and
(iii) The newly created record is fully responsive to the request.
(2) The fee in this case will not be more than the fee for the individual records. Fees will be charged consistent with the schedule in appendix C to this part.
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§ 2.7 What information should you include about your fee category?

(a) A request should indicate your fee category (that is, whether you are a commercial-use requester, news media, educational or noncommercial scientific institution, or other requester as described in §§ 2.38 and 2.39 of this part).

(b) If you submit a FOIA request on behalf of another person or organization (for example, if you are an attorney submitting a request on behalf of a client), the bureau will determine the fee category by considering the underlying requester's identity and intended use of the information.

(c) If your fee category is unclear, the bureau may ask you for additional information (see § 2.51 of this part).

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

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