5 CFR 1303.10 - Access to information.

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§ 1303.10 Access to information.

(a) The Office of Management and Budget makes available information pertaining to matters issued, adopted, or promulgated by OMB, that are within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). A public reading area is located in the Executive Office of the President Library, Room G-102, New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, phone (202) 395-5715. Some of these materials are also available from the Executive Office of the President's Publications Office, Room 2200 New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, phone (202) 395-7332. OMB issuances are also available via fax-on-demand at (202) 395-9068, and are available electronically from the OMB homepage at http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/omb. In addition, OMB maintains the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Docket Library, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, phone (202) 395-6880. The Docket Library contains records related to information collections sponsored by the Federal government and reviewed by OIRA under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The Docket Library also maintains records related to proposed Federal agency regulatory actions reviewed by OIRA under Executive Order 12866 “Regulatory Planning and Review”. Telephone logs and materials from meetings with the public attended by the OIRA Administrator are also available in the Docket Library.

(b) The FOIA Officer is responsible for acting on all initial requests. Individuals wishing to file a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) should address their request in writing to the FOIA Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Phone (202) 395-5715. Requests for information shall be as specific as possible.

(c) Upon receipt of any request for information or records, the FOIA Officer will determine within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays and legal public holidays) after the receipt of such request whether it is appropriate to grant the request and will immediately provide written notification to the person making the request. If the request is denied, the written notification to the person making the request shall include the names of the individuals who participated in the determination, the reasons for the denial, and a notice that an appeal may be lodged within the Office of Management and Budget. (Receipt of a request as used herein means the date the request is received in the office of the FOIA Officer.)

(d)Expedited processing.

(1) Requests and appeals will be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever it is determined that they involve:

(i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information;

(iii) The loss of substantial due process rights; or

(iv) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which effect public confidence.

(2) A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of the initial request for records or at any later time.

(3) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. For example, a requester within the category described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section, if not a full-time member of the news media, must establish that he or she is a person whose main professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be his or her sole occupation. A requester within the category (d)(1)(ii) of this section also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request, beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The formality of certification may be waived as a matter of administrative discretion.

(4) Within ten days of its receipt of a request for expedited processing, OMB will decide whether to grant it and will notify the requester of the decision. If a request for expedited treatment is granted, the request will be given priority and will be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision will be acted on expeditiously.

(e) Appeals shall be set forth in writing within 30 days of receipt of a denial and addressed to the FOIA Officer at the address specified in paragraph (b) of this section. The appeal shall include a statement explaining the basis for the appeal. Determinations of appeals will be set forth in writing and signed by the Deputy Director, or his designee, within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). If, on appeal, the denial is in whole or in part upheld, the written determination will also contain a notification of the provisions for judicial review and the names of the persons who participated in the determination.

(f) In unusual circumstances, the time limits prescribed in paragraphs (c) and (e) of this section may be extended for not more than 10 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, or legal public holidays). Extensions may be granted by the FOIA Officer. The extension period may be split between the initial request and the appeal but in no instance may the total period exceed 10 working days. Extensions will be by written notice to the persons making the request and will set forth the reasons for the extension and the date the determination is expected.

(g) With respect to a request for which a written notice under paragraph (f) of this section extends the time limits prescribed under paragraph (c) of this section, the agency shall notify the person making the request if the request cannot be processed within the time limit specified in paragraph (f) of this section and shall provide the person an opportunity to limit the scope of the request so that it may be processed within that time limit or an opportunity to arrange with the agency an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request. Refusal by the person to reasonably modify the request or arrange such an alternative time frame shall be considered as a factor in determining whether exceptional circumstances exist for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(6)(C). When OMB reasonably believes that a requester, or a group of requestors acting in concert, has submitted requests that constitute a single request, involving clearly related matters, OMB may aggregate those requests for purposes of this paragraph. One element to be considered in determining whether a belief would be reasonable is the time period over which the requests have occurred.

(h) As used herein, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular request, the term “unusual circumstances” means:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from establishments that are separated from the office processing the request;

(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request; or

(3) The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency which have a substantial subject matter interest therein.

[ 63 FR 20514, Apr. 27, 1998]

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