5 CFR 2411.10 - Appeal from denial of request.
(a) Authority/General Counsel/Panel/IG. (1) Whenever any request for records is denied, a written appeal may be filed within thirty (30) days after the requester receives notification that the request has been denied or after the requester receives any records being made available, in the event of partial denial.
(i) If the denial was made by a Regional Director or by the Freedom of Information Officer of the General Counsel, the appeal shall be filed with the General Counsel in Washington, DC.
(ii) If the denial was made by the Executive Director of the Panel, the appeal shall be filed with the Chairman of the Panel.
(iii) If the denial was made by the Solicitor or the IG, the appeal shall be filed with the Chairman of the Authority in Washington, DC.
(2) The Chairman of the Authority, the Chairman of the Panel or the General Counsel, as appropriate, shall, within twenty (20) working days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the time of receipt of the appeal, except as provided in § 2411.11, make a determination on the appeal and respond in writing to the requester, determining whether, or the extent to which, the request shall be granted.
(i) If the determination is to grant the request and the request is expected to involve an assessed fee in excess of $250.00, the determination shall specify or estimate the fee involved and shall require prepayment of any charges due in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a) of § 2411.13 before the records are made available.
(ii) Whenever possible, the determination relating to a request for records that involves a fee of less than $250.00 shall be accompanied by the requested records when there is no history of the requester having previously failed to pay fees in a timely manner. Where this is not possible, the records shall be forwarded as soon as possible thereafter, consistent with other obligations of the Authority, the Panel, the General Counsel or IG.
(b) If on appeal the denial of the request for records is upheld in whole or in part by the Chairman of the Authority, the General Counsel, or the Chairman of the Panel, as appropriate, the person making the request shall be notified of the reasons for the determination, the name and title or position of the person responsible for the denial, and the provisions for judicial review of that determination under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4). Even though no appeal is filed from a denial in whole or in part of a request for records by the person making the request, the Chairman of the Authority, the General Counsel or the Chairman of the Panel, as appropriate, may, without regard to the time limit for filing of an appeal, sua sponte initiate consideration of a denial under this appeal procedure by written notification to the person making the request. In such event the time limit for making the determination shall commence with the issuance of such notification.