§ 70.1 General provisions.  


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  • (a) This part is organized as follows: Subpart A contains general information about Department of Labor policies and procedures; subpart B sets forth the procedures for obtaining access to records of the Department; subpart C contains the Department's regulations on fees; and subpart D sets forth the procedures for obtaining access to certain public records. Appendix A contains a list of all Department of Labor FOIA components from which records may be obtained.

    (b) This part contains the rules that the Department of Labor follows in processing requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552. The rules in this part should be read together with the text of the FOIA, which provides additional information about access to records maintained by the Department. Additionally, the Department's “Guide to Submitting Requests under the FOIA” and related documents contain helpful information about the specific procedures particular to the Department with respect to making FOIA requests, and descriptions of the types of records maintained by different components of the Department. These references are available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/foia/guide6.html.

    (c) Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are processed under 29 CFR part 71 as well as under this part. Information routinely provided to the public as part of a regular Department activity (for example, press releases issued by the Office of Public Affairs (OPA)) may be provided to the public without following this subpart.

    (d) As set forth in §70.3 of this part, the Department operates its FOIA program with a presumption of openness and withholds records or information under the FOIA only when the Department reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by a FOIA exemption or when disclosure is prohibited by law.

    (e) The Department has a decentralized system for processing requests, with each component handling requests for its own records. Each component has a FOIA Customer Service Center that can assist individuals in locating records and address questions regarding pending FOIA requests. A list of the Department's Customer Service Centers is available at http://www.dol.gov/dol/foia/RequestorServiceCenters.htm.

    (f) The Secretary has designated a Chief FOIA Officer for the Department. Contact information for the Chief FOIA Officer is available on the Department's FOIA Web site, http://www.dol.gov/dol/foia/. The Office of Information Services (OIS), which is located within the Office of the Solicitor, provides Department level guidance and oversight for the Department's FOIA program and supports the statutorily-based responsibilities of the DOL Chief FOIA Officer.

    (g) The Department has a designated FOIA Public Liaison who can assist individuals in locating records of a particular component and with resolving issues relating to the processing of a pending FOIA request. Information concerning the DOL FOIA Public Liaison is available at http://www.dol.gov/sol/foia/liaison.htm. The DOL FOIA Public Liaison is responsible for assisting in reducing delays in FOIA processing, increasing transparency and understanding, providing information concerning the status of requests, and assisting in the resolution of disputes.