44 CFR 8.4 - Mandatory declassification review procedures.
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(a) All information classified by FEMA under E.O. 12356 or predecessor orders shall be subject to a review for declassification if such a review is requested by a United States citizen or permanent resident alien, a Federal agency or a State or local government.
(b) Requests for declassification review shall be submitted to the Security Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC 20472. All requests shall be in writing and reasonably describe the information sought with sufficient clarity to enable the appropriate FEMA component to identify the information sought. Any requests that do not sufficiently identify the information sought shall be returned to the requestor and he or she shall be asked to clarify the request and/or provide additional information.
(c) If within 30 days the requestor does not respond to the agency's request for clarification or additional information, the FEMA Security Division shall notify the requestor that no further action can be taken on the request. If the requestor's response to the agency's request for clarification and/or additional information is inadequate, the Office of Security shall notify him or her that no further action will be taken until such time as the agency is provided with adequate information concerning the request. In addition, the agency's response will set forth the agency's explanation of the deficiencies of the request.
(d) Once a request meets the foregoing requirements for processing, it will be acted upon as follows:
(e) The Director of the Security Division shall designate a FEMA component to conduct the declassification review. This will normally be the originating component. The designated program or staff office shall conduct the review and forward its recommendation(s) to the Security Division. Information no longer requiring protection under E.O. 12356 shall be declassified and released unless withholding is otherwise authorized under applicable law. When information cannot be declassified in its entirety, FEMA will make a reasonable effort to release those declassified portions of the requested information that constitute a coherent segment. If the information may not be released in whole or part, the requestor shall be given a brief statement as to the reason for the denial, a notice of the right to appeal the determination to the Administrator of FEMA and a notice that such an appeal must be filed within sixty (60) calendar days to be considered.
(f) If the request requires the rendering of services for which fees may be charged under 31 U.S.C. 9701, such fees may be imposed in accordance with the provisions of 44 CFR part 5, subpart C.
(g) The following procedures shall be followed when denials of requests for declassification are appealed:
(1) The Administrator shall, within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of the appeal, convene a meeting of the FEMA Information Security Oversight Committee (ISOC). Representation on the FEMA ISOC shall include the Director of the Security Division or his/her representative, a representative of the component that denied the original request, a representative from the Office of Chief Counsel, a representative from the Office of External Affairs and the Chief of Staff or his/her representative.
(2) If the ISOC upholds the appeal in its entirety, the information will be released in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (e) of this section.
(3) If the ISOC denies the appeal, in part or in its entirety, then it will forward the appeal with its recommendation(s) to the Administrator of FEMA, for a final determination. A reply will be forwarded to the requestor enclosing the declassified releasable information if any, and an explanation for denying the request in whole or in part.
(4) Final action on appeals shall be completed within thirty (30) working days of receipt of appeal.
[49 FR 24518, June 14, 1984, as amended at 49 FR 38119, Sept. 27, 1984; 50 FR 40006, Oct. 1, 1985; 51 FR 34605, Sept. 30, 1986]
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