§ 51-8.8 Administrative Appeals.  

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  • (a) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to the Committee's Chief FOIA Officer. The contact information for the FOIA Officer is available at the Committee's website, at https://www.abilityone.gov/laws,__regulations__and__policy/foia.html. Appeals can be submitted through email or the web portal accessible on the FOIA web page. Examples of adverse determinations are provided in §51-8.6(d). The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it must be postmarked, or in the case of electronic submissions, transmitted, within 90 calendar days after the date of the response. The appeal should clearly identify the Committee's determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope, or subject line of the electronic transmission, “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”

    (b) Adjudication of appeals. (1) The Committee Executive Director or designee will act on behalf of the Committee on all appeals under this section.

    (2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.

    (3) On receipt of any appeal involving classified information, the Committee's Chief FOIA Officer shall take appropriate action to ensure compliance with

    (c) Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in writing. A decision that upholds a Committee determination will contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision will provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If a Committee's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that determination in writing. The Committee will thereafter further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and respond directly to the requester.

    (d) Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Mediation is a voluntary process. If the Committee agrees to participate in the mediation services provided by the Office of Government Information Services, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

    (e) When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of a Committee's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.