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who is/are authorized to receive requests for records submitted in accordance with $1.6(a), and to make determinations regarding whether to grant or deny such requests. Authority to make such determinations includes authority to:

(i) Extend the 10-day administrative deadline for reply pursuant to $1.14;

(ii) Make discretionary releases pursuant to $1.17(b); and

(iii) Make determinations regarding the charging of fees pursuant to appendix A of this subpart;

(4) The title and mailing address of the official of the agency who is authorized to receive appeals submitted in accordance with $1.6(e) and to make determinations regarding whether to grant or deny such appeals. Authority to determine appeals includes authority to:

(1) Extend the 20-day administrative deadline for reply pursuant to $1.14 (to the extent the maximum extension authorized by $1.14(c) was not used with regard to the initial request);

(ii) Make discretionary releases pursuant to $ 1.17(b); and

(iii) Make determinations regarding the charging of fees pursuant to appendix A of this subpart; and

(5) Other information which would be of concern to a person wishing to request records from that agency in accordance with this subpart.

(b) [Reserved]

DC 20250 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;

(3) The person authorized to receive FOIA requests and to determine whether to grant or deny such requests is the FOIA Coordinator, Office of Communications, USDA, Washington, DC 20250;

(4) The official authorized to receive appeals from denials of FOIA requests and to detemine whether to grant or deny such appeals is the Director of Communications, Office of Communications, USDA, Washington, DC 20250.

(b) The organization and functions of the Office of the Secretary and the Office of Communications (OC) is as follows:

(1) The Office of the Secretary provides the overall policy guidance and direction of the activities of the Department of Agriculture. Overall policy statements and announcements are made from this office.

(2) The Office of the Secretary consists of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and other staff members.

(3) In the absence of the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary, responsibility for the operation of the Department of Agriculture is as delegated at part 2, subpart A, of this title.

(4) The Office of Communications provides policy direction, review, and coordination of all information programs of the Department of Agri

lture. The Office of Communications is assigned responsibility for maintaining the flow of information and providing liaison between the Department of Agriculture and the Congress, the mass communication media, State and local governments, and the public.

(5) The Office of Communications is headed by the Director of Communications. In the Director's absence, the Office of Communications is headed by the Deputy Director.

(6) The Office of Communications consists of nine divisions, each headed by a director.

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33978, June 24, 1997]

g 1.4 Implementing regulations for the

Office of the Secretary. (a) For the Office of the Secretary and for the Office of Communications, the information required by $1.3 is as follows:

(1) Records available for public inspection and copying may be obtained in room 536-A, Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, USDA, Washington, DC 20250 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;

(2) Any indexes and supplements which are maintained in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) and $1.5(b) will also be available in Room 536-A, Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building, USDA, Washington,

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33978, June 24, 1997)

$ 1.5 Public access to certain mate

rials.

(a) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), each agency within the Department shall make the following materials available for public inspection and copying (unless they are promptly published and copies offered for sale):

(1) Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;

(2) Those statements of policy and interpretation which have been adopted by the agency and are not published in the FEDERAL REGISTER; and

(3) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.

(b) Each agency of the Department shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current indexes providing identifying information regarding any matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and required by paragraph (a) of this section to be made available or published. Each agency shall publish and make available for distribution copies of such indexes and supplements to such indexes at least quarterly, unless it determines by notice published in the FEDERAL REGISTER that publication would be unnecessary and impracticable. After issuance of such notice, the agency shall provide copies of any index upon request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication.

the Freedom of Information Act, regardless of whether the Freedom of Information Act 18 specifically mentioned. To facilitate processing of a request, the phrase “FOIA REQUEST” should be placed in capital letters on the front of the envelope.

(b) A request must reasonably describe the records to enable agency personnel to locate them with reasonable effort. Where possible, a requester should supply specific information regarding dates, titles, names of individuals, names of offices, and names of agencies or other organizations that may help identify the records. If the request relates to a matter in pending litigation, the court and its location should be identified.

(c) If an agency determines that a request does not reasonably describe the records, the agency shall inform the requester of this fact and extend the requester an opportunity to clarify the request or to confer promptly with knowledgeable agency personnel to attempt to identify the records the requester is seeking. The "date or receipt" in such instances, for purposes of $1.12(a), shall be the date of receipt of the amended or clarified request.

(d) Nothing in this subpart shall be interpreted to preclude an agency from honoring an oral request for information, but, if the requester is dissatisfied with the response, the agency official involved shall advise the requester to submit a written request in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. The "date of receipt" of such a request for purposes of $1.12(a) shall be the date of receipt of the written request. For recordkeeping purposes, an agency responding to an oral request for information may ask the requester to also submit his or her request in writing.

(e) If a request for records or a fee waiver, made under this subpart, is denied, the requester shall have the right to appeal the denial. Requesters also may appeal agency determinations of a requester's status for purposes of fee levels under section 5 of appendix A of this subpart. All appeals must be in writing and addressed to the official designated in regulations promulgated by the agency which denied the request. To facilitate processing of an appeal, the phrase “FOIA APPEAL”

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33978, June 24, 1997)

§ 1.6 Requests for records.

(a) Any person who wishes to inspect or obtain copies of any record of any agency of the Department shall submit a request in writing and address the request to the official designated in regulations promulgated by the agency. The requester may ask for a fee waiver. To inspect or obtain copies of records of the Office of the Secretary or the Office of Communications, requesters should submit their requests to the Director of Communications, Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. All such requests for records shall be deemed to have been made pursuant to

should be placed in capital letters on the front of the envelope.

(f) Requests that are not addressed to a specific agency in USDA, or which pertain to more than one USDA agency, or which are sent to the wrong agency of USDA, should be forwarded to the Department's central processing unit for FOIA in the Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.

(8) The central processing unit will determine which agency or agencies should process the request, and, where necessary, refer the request to the appropriate agency or agencies. The central processing unit in the Office of Communications will also, where necessary, notify the requester of the referral and of the name of each agency to which the request has been referred.

(h) Each agency shall develop and maintain a record of all written and oral requests and appeals received in that agency. The record shall include the name of the requester; a brief summary of the information requested; whether the request or appeal was granted, denied, or partially denied; the exemption from mandatory disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b) upon which any denial was based; and the amount of any fees associated with the request or appeal.

within 10 days of its date of receipt (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays), plus any extension authorized under $1.14. If the agency determines to grant the request, it shall inform the requester of any conditions surrounding the granting of the request (e.g., payment of fees) and the approximate date upon which compliance will be effected. If the agency grants only a portion of the request, it shall treat the portion not granted as a denial. If the agency determines to deny the request in part or in whole, it shall immediately inform the requester of that decision and of the following:

(1) The reasons for the denial;

(2) The name and title or position of each person responsible for denial of the request;

(3) The requester's right to appeal such denial and the title and address of the official to whom such appeal is to be addressed; and

(4) The requirement that such appeal be made within 45 days of the date of the denial.

(b) In the event the records requested contain some portions which are exempt from mandatory disclosure and others which are not, the official responding to the request shall ensure that all reasonably segregable nonexempt portions are disclosed, and that all exempt portions are identified according to the specific exemption or exemptions which are applicable.

(c) If the reason for not fulfilling a request is that the records requested are in the custody of another agency outside USDA, the agency shall inform the requester of this fact and shall forward the request to that agency or Department for processing in accordance with its regulations. If the agency has no knowledge of requested records or if no records exist, the agency shall notify the requester of that fact.

(d) 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(ii) provides that each agency in the Department to which an appeal of a denial is submitted in accordance with $1.6(e) shall inform the requester of its determination concerning that appeal within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays), plus any extension authorized by $ 1.14, of its date of receipt. If the agency determines to

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33978, June 24, 1997)

8 1.7 Aggregating requests.

When an agency reasonably believes that a requester, or a group of requesters acting in concert, is attempting to break a request down into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of fees, the agency may aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly. One element which may be considered in determining whether such a belief would be reasonable is the time period in which the requests have occurred.

8 1.8 Agency response to requests for

records. (a) 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A)(i) provides that each agency of the Department to which a request for records or a fee waiver is submitted in accordance with $1.6(a) shall inform the requester of its determination concerning that request

should notify requesters of the anticipated fees. The notification shall offer the requester the opportunity to confer with agency personnel to reform the request to meet the requester's needs at a lower fee. In appropriate cases, an advance deposit in accordance with section 8 of appendix A of this subpart may be required.

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33979, June 24, 1997)

1.9 Search services,

grant the appeal, it shall inform the requester of any conditions surrounding the granting of the request (e.g., payment of fees) and the approximate date upon which compliance will be effected. If the agency grants only a portion of the appeal, it shall treat the portion not granted as a denial. If it determines to deny the appeal either in part or in whole, it shall inform the requester of that decision and of the following:

(1) The reasons for denial;

(2) The name and title or position of each person responsible for denial of the appeal; and

(3) The right to judicial review of the denial in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4).

(e) If, in compliance with the request, a charge is to be made in accordance with section 8 of appendix A of this subpart, agencies shall inform the requester of the fee amount and of the basis for the charge. Each agency may, in accordance with section 8 of appendix A of this subpart, require payment of the entire fee, or a portion of the fee, or full payment of a delinquent fee plus any applicable interest, before it provides the requested records. If a requester refuses to remit payment in advance, an agency may refuse to process the request with written notice to that effect forwarded to the requester. The “date of receipt" of a request for which advance payment has been required shall be the date that payment is received.

(f) In the event compliance with the request involves inspection of records by the requester rather than providing copies of the records, the agency response shall include the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the person to be contacted to arrange a mutually convenient time for such inspection.

(g) Whenever duplication fees, or search fees for unsuccessful searches (see section 4(1) of appendix A of this subpart), are anticipated to exceed $25.00, and the requester has not indicated, in advance, a willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated, agencies shall notify the requester of the amount of the anticipated fee. If an extensive and therefore costly successful search is anticipated, agencies also

(a) Search services are services of agency personnel-clerical or supervisory/professional salary level-used in trying to find the records sought by the requester. Search services include time spent examining records for the purpose of finding information which is within the scope of the request. Search services also include services to transport personnel to places of record storage, or records to the location of personnel for the purpose of the search, if such services are reasonably necessary.

(b) Search services do not include the time spent locating a record if the record is in its normal location in a file or other facility or the review of records to determine whether the records are exempt.

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33979, June 24, 1997]

8 1.10 Review services.

(a) Review services are services by agency personnel-clerical or supervisory/professional-in examining records located in response to a request that is for a commercial use (as specified in section 6 of appendix A of this subpart) to determine whether any portion of any record located is permitted to be withheld.

(b) Review services include processing any records for disclosure, e.g., doing all that is necessary to excise exempt portions and otherwise prepare records for release.

(c) Review services do not include the time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

[52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33979, June 24, 1997)

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(b) (Reserved]

(52 FR 49386, Dec. 31, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 33979, June 24, 1997)

8 1.12 Date of receipt of requests or ap

peals. (a) The date of receipt of a request or appeal, which contains the phrase “FOIA REQUEST" or “FOIA APPEAL" and is addressed in accordance with applicable agency regulations, shall be the date it is received in the office responsible for the administrative processing of FOIA requests or appeals.

(b) The date of receipt of a request or appeal which is hand-delivered to the address specified in agency regulations shall be the date of such hand-delivery.

(c) The date of receipt of a request or appeal which does not comply with paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section shall be the date it is received by the official designated in agency regulations to make the applicable determination.

g 1.11 Handling information from

private business. (a) The USDA is responsible for making the final determination with regard to the disclosure or nondisclosure of information submitted by a business. When, in the course of responding to an FOIA request, an agency cannot readily determine whether the information obtained from a person is privileged or confidential business information, the policy of USDA is to obtain and consider the views of the submitter of the information and to provide the submitter an opportunity to object to any decision to disclose the information. If a request (including a subpoena duces tecum as described in $1.215) is received in USDA for information which has been submitted by a business, all agencies of the Department shall:

(1) Provide the business information submitter with prompt notification of a request for that information (unless it is readily determined by the agency that the information requested should not be disclosed or, on the other hand, that the information is not exempt by law from disclosure);

(2) Notify the requester of the need to inform the submitter of a request for submitted business information;

(3) Afford business information submitters time in which to object to the disclosure of any specified portion of the information. The submitter must explain fully all grounds upon which disclosure is opposed. For example, if the submitter maintains that disclosure is likely to cause substantial harm to its competitive position, the submitter must explain item-by-item why disclosure would cause such harm. Information provided by a business submitter pursuant to this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under FOIA;

(4) Provide business information submitters with notice of any determination to disclose such records prior to the disclosure date, in order that the matter may be considered for possible judicial intervention, and

(5) Notify business information submitters promptly of all instances in which FOIA requesters bring suit seeking to compel disclosure of submitted information.

8 1.13 Appeals.

(a) Each agency shall provide for review of appeals by an official different from the official or officials designated to make initial denials.

(b) Each agency, upon a determination that it wishes to deny an appeal, shall send a copy of the records requested and of all correspondence relating to the request to the Assistant General Counsel, Research and Operations Division, Office of the General Counsel. When the volume of records is so large as to make sending a copy impracticable, the agency shall enclose an informative summary of those records. The agency shall not deny an appeal until it receives concurrence from the Assistant General Counsel, General Law Division, Office of the General Counsel.

(c) The Assistant General Counsel, General Law Division, Office of the General Counsel, shall promptly review the matter (including necessary consultation with the Department of Justice and coordination with the Office of Communications) and render all necessary assistance to enable the agency

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