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  • News: DOS Final Rule on FOIA and the Privacy Act

    [Federal Register Volume 81, Number 66 (Wednesday, April 6, 2016)]
    [Rules and Regulations]
    [Pages 19863-19876]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2016-07900]
    
    
    =======================================================================
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE
    
    22 CFR Part 171
    
    RIN 1400-AD44
    [Public Notice: 9510]
    
    
    Public Access to Information
    
    AGENCY: Department of State.
    
    ACTION: Final rule.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: The Department of State (the Department) finalizes its 
    revisions to its regulations implementing the Freedom of Information 
    Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act. The final rule reflects changes in FOIA 
    and other statutes and consequent changes in the Department's 
    procedures since the last revision of the Department's regulations on 
    this subject.
    
    DATES: This rule is effective on May 6, 2016.
    
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alice Kottmyer, Office of the Legal 
    Adviser, Office of Management, U.S. Department of State, 
    kottmyeram@state.gov, (202) 647-2318.
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On July 28, 2015, the Department published a 
    notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to update its FOIA and Privacy Act 
    rules contained in 22 CFR part 171. See 80 FR 44898, and the discussion 
    therein.
        This rulemaking responds to public comments and finalizes the rule. 
    The rule is finalized as published in the NPRM, except for minor format 
    edits; modifications, as indicated below, in response to public 
    comments; and the addition of one clause to Sec.  171.24(a), which 
    codifies a longstanding provision of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 
    552a(c)(3)), and which was inadvertently omitted from the NPRM. Since 
    Sec.  171.24(a) is substantially the same as 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) in the 
    Privacy Act itself, it need not be published for comment.
    
    Response to Public Comments
    
        The Department would like to thank the members of the public who 
    invested time in reviewing the proposed changes to the FOIA and Privacy 
    Act regulations, and for providing very useful feedback.
    
    First Public Comment
    
        The first commenter expressed concern about the proposal for the 
    Department to charge a fee of 15 cents per page of duplication. The 
    commenter pointed out that present day photocopying and scanning is 
    relatively cheap, and expressed a belief that the Department's lease 
    arrangements reflect a significantly lesser per page cost than 15 
    cents; in addition, he stated that other agencies' costs vary and might 
    be lower, and no evidence was provided on how the Department formulated 
    the fee. He stated that some other agencies have lowered duplication 
    costs in their regulations in the last two years to be in line with 
    actual direct costs.
    
    Department Response
    
        The fee charged for photocopying at the Department is 15 cents per 
    page, which is charged at a standard rate throughout the Department for 
    copying services. This charge is based on the costs calculated by 
    examining paper costs, machinery, and services provided to produce a 
    photocopy. Other agencies and departments charge FOIA duplication fees 
    that range from five cents to twenty cents per page. The Department's 
    duplication fee of fifteen cents per page is in line with what other 
    agencies and departments charge for duplication. For this reason, the 
    Department declines to change the duplication fee as suggested.
    
    [[Page 19864]]
    
    Second Public Comment
    
        This comment expressed the following six points:
        1. In proposed Sec.  171.11, Processing requests, the proposed 
    regulations state that a requester ``shall be considered to have agreed 
    to pay applicable fees up to $25, unless a fee waiver is granted.'' The 
    commenters believe that the Department should follow Department of 
    Justice's regulations and provide that no fees will be assessed if the 
    fees are under $25, which is their approximate cost of collecting fees. 
    Also, they believe the Department should at least limit the presumption 
    to instances in which a fee waiver has not been requested, per the 
    Department of Justice's superseded regulations.
    
    Department Response to Point 1
    
        The Department accepts the Justice Department's estimate that the 
    cost to collect fees is approximately $25.00. The Department agrees to 
    revise Sec.  171.14, ``Fees to be charged,'' to state the current cost 
    of collecting a fee is $25.00; therefore, the Department will process 
    requests without assessing fees up to $25.00. The Department will also 
    revise this section to state that the Department will attempt to notify 
    the requester if fees are estimated to exceed $25.00, including a 
    breakdown of the fees for search, review or duplication, unless the 
    requester has indicated a willingness to pay fees as high as those 
    anticipated.
        2. In proposed Sec.  171.11(f), the commenters are concerned that 
    the appeal of expedited processing is submitted to the Director of IPS, 
    the same Director who is responsible for issuing initial determinations 
    on requests. The regulations should clearly state if the Director is 
    receiving the appeals on behalf of the Appeal Review Panel.
    
    Department Response to Point 2
    
        The Department's Appeals Review Panel does not review appeals from 
    denials of expedited processing. See 22 CFR 171.13(a). For this reason, 
    the Department will not revise Sec.  171.11(f) as suggested. The 
    Department will revise Sec.  171.11(a) to state that the Division 
    Chief, Requester Liaison Division, in the Office of Information 
    Programs and Services, will issue all initial decisions on whether a 
    request is valid or perfected, and whether to grant or deny requests 
    for a fee waiver and for expedited processing.
        3. The acknowledgement letter in subsection (i) should include the 
    receipt date, to assist requesters with determining an agency's 
    statutory response deadline.
    
    Department Response to Point 3
    
        The Department will revise Sec.  171.11(e), ``Receipt of request'', 
    to include a subsection that states that upon receipt IPS will send an 
    acknowledgement letter to the requester that will identify the date of 
    receipt of the request in the proper component, as identified in Sec.  
    171.11(a), and the case tracking number. Subsection (i) sets forth the 
    information that is available to a requester by contacting the FOIA 
    Requester Service Center.
        4. The Department's proposed consultation procedures in subsection 
    (m) are limited to agencies only. They do not account for consultations 
    that may be required with the Office of the White House Counsel. The 
    commenters believe the regulations should address its FOIA-related 
    consultations with the Office of White House Counsel.
    
    Department Response to Point 4
    
        Section 171.11(m) ``Referrals and Consultations'' states that the 
    Department will refer documents created by another agency to that 
    agency for a release determination. In practice, the implementation of 
    this section turns on the identity of the originator of a document and 
    not on whether the originator works in an agency or department or other 
    governmental entity. The Department will revise subsection (m) as 
    follows: ``If the Department determines that Department records 
    retrieved as responsive to the request are of interest to another 
    agency or Federal government office, it may consult with the other 
    agency or office before responding to the request.''
        5. Business information. The Department should specify a minimum 
    number of days that submitters will have to provide comments and to 
    file a ``reverse-FOIA'' lawsuit, respectively. This is preferred over a 
    ``reasonable period of time''. The commenters recognize that 
    circumstances might warrant providing one submitter with more time than 
    another. They believe five business days would be considered a 
    ``reasonable period of time,'' as Executive Order 12600 requires.
    
    Department Response to Point 5
    
        The Department declines to revise this subsection as suggested, 
    because providing some flexibility to submitters in seeking input in 
    response to a notice issued under this subsection ensures the best 
    outcome for the requesters, the submitters, and the Department.
        6. In Sec.  171.16, Waiver or reduction of fees, the commenters are 
    concerned with the Department responding to fee waiver appeals within 
    ``30 working days'' from the date of receipt. Unless unusual 
    circumstances exist, an agency must make a determination on a fee 
    waiver appeal within 20 working days. Furthermore, they ask for 
    clarification on who will adjudicate the fee waiver appeals, as it is 
    presumably not the ``Director of IPS'' who issues fee determinations.
    
    Department Response to Point 6
    
        The Department will revise Sec.  171.16(e) to state that the 
    Department must respond to an appeal of a denial of a fee waiver or fee 
    reduction request within 20 working days. The Department's Appeals 
    Review Panel does not review appeals from a denial of a fee waiver. See 
    22 CFR 171.13(a). The Department will revise Sec.  171.16 (e) to state 
    that the Division Chief of the Requester Liaison Division in IPS will 
    issue all initial decisions on whether to grant or deny requests for a 
    fee waiver and that appeals should be directed to the Director of IPS.
    
    Third Public Comment
    
        The third public comment was submitted by the National Archives and 
    Records Administration's Office of Government Information Services 
    (OGIS). OGIS suggested adding to the end of Sec.  171.13(d) the 
    following or similar language: ``If the requester elects to engage in 
    the mediation services offered by the Office of Government Information 
    Services of the National Archives and Records Administration, the 
    Department of State must actively engage as a partner to the mediation 
    process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.''
    
    Department Response
    
        The Department understands the importance of resolving disputes 
    between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies, and will revise this 
    subsection as follows: ``When the Department of State engages in the 
    mediation services offered by OGIS, it will work in good faith as a 
    partner to the mediation process in an attempt to resolve the dispute. 
    The Department reserves its right to decide on a case-by-case basis 
    whether to enter into formal mediation offered by OGIS.''
    
    Fourth Public Comment
    
        This comment, from Cause of Action, suggests that the Department 
    revise its definition of a representative of the news media, following 
    an opinion of the District of Columbia Circuit Court in Cause of Action 
    v. Federal Trade Commission. While the Department's proposed rule 
    states that those requesting news media status ``make
    
    [[Page 19865]]
    
    their products available to the general public,'' Cause of Action 
    requests that the Department include a non-exhaustive list of the 
    methods an agency must consider when analyzing this element of the 
    test, including: ``newsletters, press releases, press contacts, a Web 
    site, and planned reports.''
        Furthermore, Cause of Action raised concern over the ``middleman 
    standard'' not being included in the Department's regulatory 
    definition. Cause of Action stated that the D.C. Circuit Court 
    ``disagreed with the suggestion that a public interest advocacy 
    organization cannot satisfy the statute's distribution criterion 
    because it is `more like a middleman for dissemination to the media 
    than a representative of the media itself '. . . There is no indication 
    that Congress meant to distinguish between those who reach their 
    ultimate audiences directly and those who partner with others to do 
    so.'' Cause of Action believes that the final rule should draw a 
    distinction between those that market FOIA information for their direct 
    economic benefit and the Court's direction that ``public interest 
    advocacy organizations'' can ``partner with others'' to disseminate 
    their distinct works.
    
    Department Response
    
        The regulation states that the examples provided regarding who may 
    qualify for news media status are not all-inclusive; therefore, the 
    Department does not believe that providing another non all-inclusive 
    list would help shed light on the process the Department employs.
        The Department agrees that this information may be helpful for 
    requesters to understand how IPS analyzes a request for representative 
    in the news media status. For this reason, the Department will add this 
    information to its public FOIA Web site.
        In the second comment (regarding the ``middleman standard''), the 
    Office of Management and Budget (``OMB'') has policy-making 
    responsibility for issuing fee guidance. For this reason, the 
    Department defers to OMB with regard to this suggestion.
    
    Regulatory Findings
    
    Administrative Procedure Act
    
        The Department published this rule under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 
    553, with a 60-day public comment period.
    
    Regulatory Flexibility Act
    
        The Department of State, in accordance with the Regulatory 
    Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), has reviewed this regulation and, by 
    approving it, certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
    economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    
    Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995
    
        This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local, and 
    tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 
    million or more in any year, and it will not significantly or uniquely 
    affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary 
    under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.
    
    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996
    
        This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule 
    will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or 
    more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse 
    effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, 
    innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to 
    compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.
    
    Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform
    
        The Department has reviewed this regulation in light of Executive 
    Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish 
    clear legal standards, and reduce burden.
    
    Executive Orders 12372 and 13132--Federalism
    
        This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
    States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
    States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
    various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive 
    Order 13132, it is determined that this rule does not have sufficient 
    federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the 
    preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations 
    implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental 
    consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this 
    regulation.
    
    Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
    Governments
    
        The Department has determined that this rulemaking will not have 
    tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance 
    costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. 
    Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to 
    this rulemaking.
    
    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563--Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
    Review
    
        The Department has considered this rule in light of these Executive 
    Orders and affirms that this regulation is consistent with the guidance 
    therein. The benefits of this rulemaking for the public include, but 
    are not limited to, providing an up-to-date procedure for requesting 
    information from the Department. The Department is aware of no cost to 
    the public from this rulemaking.
    
    Paperwork Reduction Act
    
        This rule does not impose or revise any reporting or recordkeeping 
    requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 
    35.
    
    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 171
    
        Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information, 
    Privacy.
    
        For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 22 CFR part 171 is 
    revised to read as follows:
    
    PART 171--PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION
    
    Subpart A--General Policy and Procedures
    Sec.
    171.1 General provisions.
    171.2 Types of records maintained.
    171.3 Records available on the Department's Web site.
    171.4 Requests for information--types and how made.
    171.5 Archival records.
    Subpart B--Freedom of Information Act Provisions
    171.10 Purpose and scope.
    171.11 Processing requests.
    171.12 Business information.
    171.13 Appeal of denial of request for records.
    171.14 Fees to be charged.
    171.15 Miscellaneous fee provisions.
    171.16 Waiver or reduction of fees.
    171.17 Resolving disputes.
    171.18 Preservation of records.
    Subpart C--Privacy Act Provisions
    171.20 Purpose and scope.
    171.21 Definitions.
    171.22 Request for access to records.
    171.23 Request to amend or correct records.
    171.24 Request for an accounting of record disclosures.
    171.25 Appeals from denials of PA amendment requests.
    171.26 Exemptions.
    
    [[Page 19866]]
    
    Subpart D--Process To Request Public Financial Disclosure Reports
    171.30 Purpose and scope.
    171.31 Requests.
    
        Authority:  22 U.S.C. 2651a; 5 U.S.C. 552, 552a; E.O. 12600 (52 
    FR 23781); Pub. L. 95-521, 92 Stat. 1824 (codified as amended at 5 
    U.S.C. app. 101-505); 5 CFR part 2634.
    
    Subpart A--General Policy and Procedures
    
    
    Sec.  171.1  General provisions.
    
        (a) This subpart contains the rules that the Department of State 
    and the Foreign Service Grievance Board (FSGB), an independent body, 
    follow in processing requests for records under the Freedom of 
    Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended, and the Privacy Act 
    of 1974 (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended. Records of the Department 
    shall be made available to the public upon request made in compliance 
    with the access procedures established in this part, except for any 
    records exempt by law from disclosure. Regulations at 22 CFR 172.1 
    through 172.9 govern, inter alia, the service of subpoenas, court 
    orders, and other demands or requests for official Department 
    information or action, as well as the Department's response to demands 
    or requests for official Department information or action in connection 
    with legal proceedings in the United States to which the Department is 
    not a party.
        (b) Definitions. (1) For purposes of subparts A, B, and D of this 
    part, record means information regardless of its physical form or 
    characteristics--including information created, stored, and retrievable 
    by electronic means--that is created or obtained by the Department and 
    under the control of the Department at the time of the request, 
    including information maintained for the Department by an entity under 
    Government contract for records management purposes. It does not 
    include records that are not already in existence and that would have 
    to be created specifically to respond to a request. Information 
    available in electronic form shall be searched and compiled in response 
    to a request unless such search and compilation would significantly 
    interfere with the operation of the Department's automated information 
    systems.
        (2) For purposes of subparts A, B, C, and D of this part, 
    Department means the United States Department of State, including its 
    field offices and Foreign Service posts abroad.
    
    
    Sec.  171.2  Types of records maintained.
    
        Most of the records maintained by the Department pertain to the 
    formulation and execution of U.S. foreign policy. The Department also 
    maintains certain records that pertain to individuals, such as 
    applications for U.S. passports, applications for visas to enter the 
    United States, records on consular assistance given abroad by U.S. 
    Foreign Service posts to U.S citizens and legal permanent residents, 
    and records on Department employees. Further information on the types 
    of records maintained by the Department may be obtained by reviewing 
    the Department's records disposition schedules, which are available on 
    the Department's Web site at www.foia.state.gov.
    
    
    Sec.  171.3  Records available on the Department's Web site.
    
        Information that is required to be published in the Federal 
    Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1) is regularly updated by the 
    Department and found on its public Web site: www.state.gov. Records 
    that are required by the FOIA to be made available for public 
    inspection and copying under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) also are available on 
    the Department's public Web site. Included on the Department's FOIA 
    home page, www.foia.state.gov, are links to other sites where 
    Department information may be available, links to the Department's PA 
    systems of records, and the Department's records disposition schedules. 
    Also available on the FOIA Web site are certain records released by the 
    Department pursuant to requests under the FOIA and compilations of 
    records reviewed and released in certain special projects. In addition, 
    see 22 CFR part 173 regarding materials disseminated abroad by the 
    Department.
    
    
    Sec.  171.4  Requests for information--types and how made.
    
        (a) Requests for records made in accordance with subparts A, B, and 
    C of this part must be made in writing and may be made by mail 
    addressed to the Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS), 
    U.S. Department of State, State Annex 2 (SA-2), 515 22nd Street, NW., 
    Washington, DC 20522-8100, or by fax to (202) 261-8579, or through the 
    Department's FOIA Web site (www.foia.state.gov). PA requests may be 
    made by mail or fax only. IPS does not accept requests submitted by 
    email.
        (1) Requests for passport records that are covered under PA System 
    of Records Notice 26, including passport records issued from 1925 to 
    present, should be mailed to U.S. Department of State, Law Enforcement 
    Liaison Division, CA/PPT/S/L/LE, 44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1227, 
    Sterling, VA 20166. Further guidance on obtaining passport records is 
    available on the Department's Web site: travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/services/obtain-copies-of-passport-records.html.
        (2) Requests for records of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) 
    may be submitted to U.S. Department of State, Office of Inspector 
    General, Office of General Counsel, Washington, DC 20520-0308, ATTN: 
    FOIA officer. In addition, FOIA requests seeking OIG records may be 
    submitted via email to oigfoia@state.gov, which is preferred. PA 
    requests are accepted by mail only. Guidance is available on the OIG's 
    Web site: oig.state.gov/foia/index.htm.
        (3) All other requests for other Department records must be 
    submitted to the Office of Information Programs and Services by one of 
    the means noted above. The Office of Information Programs and Services, 
    the Law Enforcement Liaison Division of the Office of Passport 
    Services, and the OIG are the only Department components authorized to 
    accept FOIA requests submitted to the Department.
        (4) Providing the specific citation to the statute under which a 
    requester is requesting information will facilitate the processing of 
    the request by the Department. The Department automatically processes 
    requests for information maintained in a PA system of records under 
    both the FOIA and the PA to provide the requester with the greatest 
    degree of access to the requester. Such information may be withheld 
    only if it is exempt from access under both laws; if the information is 
    exempt under only one of the laws, it must be released.
        (b) Although no particular format is required, a request must 
    reasonably describe the Department records that are sought. To the 
    extent that requests are specific and include all pertinent details 
    about the requested information, it will be easier for the Department 
    to locate responsive records. For FOIA requests, such details include 
    the subject, timeframe, names of any individuals involved, a contract 
    number (if applicable), and reasons why the requester believes the 
    Department may have records on the subject of the request.
        (c) While every effort is made to guarantee the greatest possible 
    access to all requesters regardless of the statute(s) under which the 
    information is requested, the following guidance is provided for the 
    benefit of requesters:
        (1) The Freedom of Information Act applies to requests for records 
    concerning the general activities of government and of the Department 
    in particular (see subpart B of this part).
    
    [[Page 19867]]
    
        (2) The Privacy Act applies to requests from U.S. citizens or legal 
    permanent resident aliens for records that pertain to them that are 
    maintained by the Department in a system of records retrievable by the 
    individual's name or personal identifier (see subpart C of this part).
        (d) As a general matter, information access requests are processed 
    in the order in which they are received. However, if the request is 
    specific and the search can be narrowed, it may be processed more 
    quickly. Additionally, FOIA requests granted expedited processing will 
    be placed in the expedited processing queue (see Sec.  171.11(f) for 
    more information). Multi-tracking of FOIA requests is also used to 
    manage requests (see Sec.  171.11(h)).
    
    
    Sec.  171.5  Archival records.
    
        The Department ordinarily transfers records designated as 
    historically significant to the National Archives when they are 25 
    years old. Accordingly, requests for some Department records 25 years 
    old or older should be submitted to the National Archives by mail 
    addressed to Special Access and FOIA Staff (NWCTF), 8601 Adelphi Road, 
    Room 5500, College Park, MD 20740; by fax to (301) 837-1864; or by 
    email to www.foia.state.gov, has additional information regarding archival 
    records.
    
    Subpart B--Freedom of Information Act Provisions
    
    
    Sec.  171.10  Purpose and scope.
    
        This subpart contains the rules that the Department follows under 
    the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended. The 
    rules should be read together with the FOIA, which provides additional 
    information about access to records and contains the specific 
    exemptions that are applicable to withholding information, the Uniform 
    Freedom of Information Fee Schedule and Guidelines published by the 
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB Guidelines), and information 
    located at www.foia.state.gov. The Department processes records 
    maintained in a Privacy Act (PA) system of records that are determined 
    to be exempt from disclosure under the PA under the FOIA as well. As a 
    result, requests that seek such records are also subject to this 
    subpart.
    
    
    Sec.  171.11  Processing requests.
    
        (a) In general. (1) Subject to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, 
    the Director of the Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) 
    is responsible for initial action on all FOIA requests for Department 
    records with two exceptions: Requests submitted directly to the Office 
    of Inspector General (OIG), which receives and processes requests for 
    OIG records; and the Office of Passport Services in the Bureau of 
    Consular Affairs (PPT), which receives and processes requests for 
    passport records (see Sec.  171.4(a)). Once received by IPS, all 
    requests for records coming under the jurisdiction of the following 
    bureaus or offices are processed by those bureaus, although IPS may 
    provide review and coordination support to these bureaus/offices in 
    some situations: the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Office of Visa 
    Services, Office of Passport Services (except for information 
    identified in Sec.  171.4(a)), and Office of Overseas Citizens 
    Services; the Bureau of Diplomatic Security; the Bureau of Human 
    Resources; the Office of Medical Services; and the Foreign Service 
    Grievance Board (FSGB). Additionally, the FSGB, as an independent body, 
    processes all FOIA requests seeking access to its records and responds 
    directly to requesters.
        (2) The Division Chief, Requester Liaison Division, in the Office 
    of Information Programs and Services, shall issue all initial decisions 
    on whether a request is valid or perfected, and whether to grant or 
    deny requests for a fee waiver or for expedited processing.
        Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of this 
    section:
        (1) Control means the Department's legal authority over a record, 
    taking into account the ability of the Department to use and dispose of 
    the record, the intent of the record's creator to retain or relinquish 
    control over the record, the extent to which Department personnel have 
    read or relied upon the record, and the degree to which the record has 
    been integrated into the Department's record-keeping systems or files.
        (2) Urgently needed information. The information has a particular 
    value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly. Ordinarily this 
    means a breaking news story of general public interest. Information of 
    historical interest only or information sought for litigation or 
    commercial activities would not generally qualify, nor would a news 
    media publication or broadcast deadline unrelated to the breaking 
    nature of the story.
        (3) Actual or alleged Federal government activity. The information 
    concerns actual or alleged actions taken or contemplated by the 
    government of the United States, or by one of its components or 
    agencies, including the Congress.
        (4) Unusual circumstances means:
        (i) The need to search for and collect the requested records from 
    Foreign Service posts or Department offices other than IPS;
        (ii) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a 
    voluminous amount of distinct records; or
        (iii) The need to consult with another agency or other agencies 
    that has/have a substantial interest in the records, or among two or 
    more Department components that have a substantial subject-matter 
    interest therein. In the majority of requests received by the 
    Department unusual circumstances exist due to the need to search in 
    multiple bureaus/offices/posts located around the globe.
        (c) Form of request and response. A requester may ask for any 
    information he or she believes the Department has in its possession or 
    control. The requester must describe the records sought in sufficient 
    detail to enable Department personnel to locate them with a reasonable 
    amount of effort. The more specific the information the requester 
    furnishes, the more likely that Department personnel will be able to 
    locate responsive records if they exist. Any records provided in 
    response to a request shall be provided in the form or format requested 
    if the records are readily reproducible in that form or format.
        (d) Agreement to pay fees. By making a FOIA request, the requester 
    shall be considered to have agreed to pay all applicable fees up to 
    $25, unless a fee waiver is granted. IPS will confirm this agreement in 
    an acknowledgement letter. When making a request, the requester may 
    specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount. If the 
    Department determines that costs and fees will exceed the amount agreed 
    to by the requester, the Department shall inform the requester of 
    estimated fees and process up to the amount of the original agreement, 
    unless a new agreement is made.
        (e) Receipt of request. The Department is in receipt of a request 
    when it reaches IPS, OIG, or PPT, depending on which office is the 
    intended recipient. At that time, the Department shall send an 
    acknowledgement letter to the requester that identifies the date of 
    receipt of the request in the proper component (IPS, OIG, or PPT), and 
    the case tracking number. The Department (IPS, OIG, or PPT) has 20 
    working days in which to determine whether to comply with a perfected 
    request. Regardless of which of the three offices authorized to receive
    
    [[Page 19868]]
    
    FOIA requests receives the request (whether IPS, OIG, or PPT), the 
    Department shall have no more than 10 working days to direct a request 
    to the appropriate office (whether IPS, OIG, or PPT), at which time the 
    20-day limit for responding to the request will commence. The 20-day 
    period shall not be tolled by the Department except:
        (1) The Department may make one request to the requester for 
    clarifying information and toll the 20-day period while waiting for the 
    requester's response; or
        (2) If necessary to clarify with the requester issues regarding 
    fees. In either case, the Department's receipt of the information from 
    the requester ends the tolling period.
        (f) Expedited processing. Requests shall receive expedited 
    processing when a requester demonstrates that a ``compelling need'' for 
    the information exists. A ``compelling need'' is deemed to exist where 
    the requester can demonstrate one of the following:
        (1) Failure to obtain requested information on an expedited basis 
    could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or 
    physical safety of an individual.
        (2) The information is urgently needed by an individual primarily 
    engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public 
    concerning actual or alleged Federal government activity. Requesters 
    must demonstrate that their primary activity involves publishing or 
    otherwise disseminating information to the public in general, not just 
    to a particular segment or group.
        (3) Failure to release the information would impair substantial due 
    process rights or harm substantial humanitarian interests.
        (4) A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of 
    the initial request for records or at any later time. The request for 
    expedited processing shall set forth with specificity the facts on 
    which the request is based. A notice of the determination whether to 
    grant expedited processing shall be provided to the requester within 10 
    calendar days of the date of the receipt of the request in the 
    appropriate office (whether IPS, OIG, or PPT). A denial of a request 
    for expedited processing may be appealed to the Director of IPS within 
    30 calendar days of the date of the Department's letter denying the 
    request. A decision in writing on the appeal will be issued within 10 
    calendar days of the receipt of the appeal. See Sec.  171.4 for contact 
    information.
        (g) Time limits. The statutory time limit for responding to a FOIA 
    request or to an appeal from a denial of a FOIA request is 20 working 
    days. Whenever the statutory time limit for processing a request cannot 
    be met because of ``unusual circumstances'' as defined in the FOIA, and 
    the Department extends the time limit on that basis, the Department 
    shall, before expiration of the 20-day period to respond, notify the 
    requester in writing of the unusual circumstances involved and of the 
    date by which processing of the request can be expected to be 
    completed. See Sec.  171.11(b)(4). Where the extension exceeds 10 
    working days, the Department shall, as described by the FOIA, provide 
    the requester with an opportunity to modify the request or arrange an 
    alternative time period for processing. The Department shall make 
    available its designated FOIA contact and its FOIA Public Liaison for 
    this purpose.
        (h) Multi-track processing. The Department uses three processing 
    tracks by distinguishing between simple and more complex requests based 
    on the amount of work and/or time needed to process the request. The 
    Department also uses a processing track for requests in which the 
    Department has granted expedited processing. The Department may provide 
    requesters in a slower track an opportunity to limit the scope of their 
    request in order to qualify for faster processing.
        (i) Tracking requests. Requesters may contact IPS using the 
    individualized tracking number provided to the requester in the 
    acknowledgment letter, and the Department will provide, at a minimum, 
    information indicating the date on which the agency received the 
    request and an estimated date for completion.
        (j) Cut-off date. In determining which records are responsive to a 
    request, the Department ordinarily will include only records in its 
    possession as of the date of initiation of the search for responsive 
    records, unless the requester has specified an earlier cut-off date.
        (k) Electronic records. Information maintained in electronic form 
    shall be searched and compiled in response to a request unless such 
    search and compilation would significantly interfere with the operation 
    of the Department's automated information systems.
        (l) Segregation of records. The Department will release any 
    reasonably segregable portion of a record after redaction of the exempt 
    portions. The amount of information redacted and the exemption under 
    which the redaction is made shall be indicated on the released portion 
    of the record unless including that indication would harm an interest 
    protected by the exemption. If technically feasible, the amount of 
    information redacted and the exemption under which the redaction is 
    made shall be indicated at the place in the record where the redaction 
    was made.
        (m) Referrals and consultations. (1) If the Department determines 
    that records retrieved as responsive to the request were created by 
    another agency, it ordinarily will refer the records to the originating 
    agency for direct response to the requester. If the Department 
    determines that Department records retrieved as responsive to the 
    request are of interest to another agency or Federal government office, 
    it may consult with the other agency or office before responding to the 
    request.
        (2) Whenever the Department refers any part of the responsibility 
    for responding to a request to another agency, it shall document the 
    referral, maintain a copy of the record that it refers, and notify the 
    requester of the referral.
        (3) Agreements regarding consultations and referrals. The 
    Department may make agreements with other agencies to eliminate the 
    need for consultations or referrals for particular types of records.
        (4) The Department will make efforts to handle referrals and 
    consultations according to the date that the referring agency initially 
    received the FOIA request.
        (5) The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where 
    disclosure of the identity of the agency to which the referral would be 
    made could harm an interest protected by an applicable exemption, such 
    as the exemptions that protect personal privacy or national security 
    interests. In such instances, the Department will coordinate with the 
    originating agency to seek its views on the disclosability of the 
    record(s).
        (n) Requests for information about individuals to be processed 
    under the FOIA--(1) First-party requests. A first-party request is one 
    that seeks access to information pertaining to the person making the 
    request.
        (2) Verification of personal identity. To protect the personal 
    information found in its files, the Department recommends that first-
    party requesters provide the following information so that the 
    Department can ensure that records are disclosed only to the proper 
    persons: the requester's full name, current address, citizenship or 
    legal permanent resident alien status, and date and place of birth 
    (city, state, and country). A first-party request should be signed, and 
    the requester's signature should be either notarized or made under 
    penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746 as a substitute for 
    notarization.
    
    [[Page 19869]]
    
        (3) Third-party requests. A third-party request is one that seeks 
    access to information pertaining to a third party (i.e., an individual 
    other than the person submitting the request). A third-party requester 
    who is the legal representative of another person covered under the PA, 
    and submits all requirements under subpart C of this part, will be 
    treated as a first-party requester.
        (i) A third-party requester may receive greater access to requested 
    information by submitting information about the subject of the request 
    that is set forth in paragraph (n)(1) of this section, and providing 
    proof that that third party is deceased or the third party's 
    authorization to the Department to release information about him- or 
    herself to the requester. The third-party authorization: should take 
    one of the following forms:
        (ii) A signed and notarized authorization by the third party; or
        (iii) A declaration by the third party made in compliance with the 
    requirements set forth in 28 U.S.C. 1746 authorizing disclosure 
    pertaining to the third party to the requester. The third-party 
    authorization or declaration should be dated within six months of the 
    date of the request. In addition, the Department's Certification of 
    Identity form, DS-4240, can be used to provide authorization from a 
    third party.
        (iv) Please note that if a requester is seeking information about a 
    third party and the information is located in a PA system of records, 
    the requester should review subpart C of this part. By providing 
    verification of identity and authorization under that subpart, the 
    third party is treated as a first party for processing purposes. 
    Without providing the required information listed in that subpart, the 
    request will still be processed under the FOIA procedures in subpart B 
    of this part.
        (4) Requests for visa information. According to the Immigration and 
    Nationality Act, 222(f) (8 U.S.C. 1202(f)), the records of the 
    Department of State and of diplomatic and consular offices of the 
    United States pertaining to the issuance or refusal of visas or permits 
    to enter the United States shall be considered confidential and shall 
    be used only for the formulation, amendment, administration, or 
    enforcement of the immigration, nationality, and other laws of the 
    United States. Other information found in the visa file, such as 
    information submitted as part of the application and information not 
    falling within section 222(f) or another FOIA exemption may be 
    provided. In order to provide more information to requesters seeking 
    visa records, the following information should be provided with the 
    FOIA request for both the petitioner and the beneficiary: full name, as 
    well as any aliases used; current address; date and place of birth 
    (including city, state, and country); the type of visa (immigrant or 
    non-immigrant); the country and Foreign Service post where the visa 
    application was made; when the visa application was made; and whether 
    the visa application was granted or denied; and if denied, on what 
    grounds. Providing additional information regarding the records sought 
    will assist the Department in properly identifying the responsive 
    records and in processing the request. In order to gain maximum access 
    to any visa records that exist, attorneys or other legal 
    representatives requesting visa information on behalf of a represented 
    individual should submit a statement signed by both the petitioner and 
    the beneficiary authorizing release of the requested visa information 
    to the representative. Alternatively, the Department's form, DS-4240, 
    may be used to certify the identity of the requester and to provide 
    authorization from the petitioner and the beneficiary to release the 
    requested information to the legal representative. Forms created by 
    other Federal agencies will not be accepted.
        (5) Requests for passport records. All passport records requests 
    must meet the requirements found in Sec.  171.22(d). If the PA 
    requirements are not met, the requests will be processed under this 
    subpart and access may be limited.
    
    
    Sec.  171.12  Business information.
    
        (a) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of 
    this section:
        (1) Business information means commercial or financial or 
    proprietary intellectual information obtained by the Department from a 
    submitter that may be exempt from disclosure as privileged or 
    confidential under Exemption 4 of the FOIA.
        (2) Submitter means any person or entity from which the Department 
    obtains business information, directly or indirectly. The term includes 
    corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships; state, local, and 
    tribal governments; foreign governments, NGOs and educational 
    institutions.
        (b) Designation of business information. A submitter of information 
    must use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, 
    either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, 
    any portions of its submission that it considers exempt from disclosure 
    under FOIA Exemption 4. These designations will expire ten years after 
    the date of the submission unless the submitter requests, and provides 
    justification for, a longer designation period.
        (c) Notice to submitters. The Department shall provide a submitter 
    with prompt written notice of a FOIA request that seeks its business 
    information, or of an administrative appeal of a denial of such a 
    request, whenever required under paragraph (d) of this section, except 
    as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, in order to give the 
    submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure of any specified 
    portion of that information under paragraph (f) of this section. The 
    notice shall either describe the information requested or include 
    copies of the requested records or record portions containing the 
    business information.
        (d) When notice is required. Notice shall be given to a submitter 
    whenever:
        (1) The information has been designated in good faith by the 
    submitter as information considered exempt from disclosure under 
    Exemption 4; or
        (2) The Department has reason to believe that the information may 
    be exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4, but has not yet determined 
    whether the information is protected from disclosure under that 
    exemption or any other applicable exemption.
        (e) When notice is not required. The notice requirements of 
    paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply if:
        (1) The Department determines that the information is exempt from 
    disclosure;
        (2) The information lawfully has been published or has been 
    officially made available to the public;
        (3) Disclosure of the information is required by statute (other 
    than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the 
    requirements of Executive Order 12600; or
        (4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (b) of 
    this section appears obviously frivolous, except that, in such a case, 
    the Department shall, within a reasonable time prior to a specified 
    disclosure date, give the submitter written notice of any final 
    decision to disclose the information.
        (f) Opportunity to object to disclosure. The Department will allow 
    a submitter a reasonable time to respond to the notice described in 
    paragraph (c) of this section and will specify that time period in the 
    notice. If a submitter has any objections to disclosure, it should 
    provide the component a detailed written statement that specifies all 
    grounds for withholding the particular
    
    [[Page 19870]]
    
    information under any exemption of the FOIA. In order to rely on 
    Exemption 4 as basis for nondisclosure, the submitter must explain why 
    the information constitutes a trade secret or commercial or financial 
    information that is privileged or confidential. In the event that a 
    submitter fails to respond to the notice within the time specified in 
    it, the submitter will be considered to have no objection to disclosure 
    of the information. Information provided by a submitter under this 
    paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.
        (g) Notice of intent to disclose. The Department shall consider a 
    submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure in 
    deciding whether to disclose business information. Whenever the 
    Department decides to disclose business information over the objection 
    of a submitter, it shall give the submitter written notice, which shall 
    include:
        (1) A statement of the reason(s) why each of the submitter's 
    disclosure objections was not sustained;
        (2) A description of the business information to be disclosed; and
        (3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time 
    subsequent to the notice.
        (h) Notice of lawsuit. Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking 
    to compel the disclosure of business information, the Department shall 
    promptly notify the submitter.
        (i) Notice to requester. Whenever the Department provides a 
    submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under 
    paragraph (f) of this section, the Department shall also notify the 
    requester. Whenever the Department notifies a submitter of its intent 
    to disclose requested business information under paragraph (g) of this 
    section, the Department shall also notify the requester. Whenever a 
    submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of business 
    information, the Department shall notify the requester.
    
    
    Sec.  171.13  Appeal of denial of request for records.
    
        (a) Any denial, in whole or in part, of a request for Department 
    records under the FOIA may be administratively appealed to the Appeals 
    Review Panel of the Department. This appeal right includes the right to 
    appeal the determination that no records responsive to the request 
    exist in Department files. Appeals must be postmarked within 60 
    calendar days of the date of the Department's denial letter and sent 
    to: Appeals Officer, Appeals Review Panel, Office of Information 
    Programs and Services, at the address set forth in Sec.  171.4, or 
    faxed to (202) 261-8571. The time limit for a response to an appeal is 
    20 working days, which may be extended in unusual circumstances, as 
    defined in Sec.  171.11(b). The time limit begins to run on the day the 
    appeal is received by IPS. Appeals from denials of requests for 
    expedited processing and for a fee reduction or waiver must be 
    postmarked within 30 calendar days of the date of the Department's 
    denial letter. See Sec. Sec.  171.11(f)(4) (expedited processing 
    appeals) and 171.16(e) (fee reduction/waiver appeals) of this subpart. 
    See also Sec.  171.4 for address information.
        (b) Requesters may decide to litigate a request that is in the 
    appeal stage. Once a summons and complaint is received by the 
    Department in connection with a particular request, the Department will 
    administratively close any open appeal regarding such request.
        (c) Requesters should submit an administrative appeal, to IPS at 
    the above address, of any denial, in whole or in part, of a request for 
    access to FSGB records under the FOIA. IPS will assign a tracking 
    number to the appeal and forward it to the FSGB, which is an 
    independent body, for adjudication.
        (d) Decisions on appeals. A decision on an appeal must be made in 
    writing. A decision that upholds the Department's determination will 
    contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, 
    including any FOIA and Privacy Act 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 of the 
    National Archives and Records Administration (OGIS) as a non-exclusive 
    alternative to litigation. If the Department's decision is remanded or 
    modified on appeal, the requester will be notified of that 
    determination in writing. The Department will thereafter further 
    process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and 
    respond directly to the requester. When the Department of State engages 
    in the mediation services offered by OGIS, it will work in good faith 
    as a partner to the mediation process in an attempt to resolve the 
    dispute. The Department reserves its right to decide on a case-by-case 
    basis whether to enter into formal mediation offered by OGIS.
    
    
    Sec.  171.14  Fees to be charged.
    
        (a) In general. The Department shall charge fees that recoup the 
    full allowable direct costs it incurs in processing a FOIA request in 
    accordance with the provisions of this part and with the OMB 
    Guidelines. It shall use the most efficient and least costly methods to 
    comply with requests for records made under the FOIA. The Department 
    will not charge fees to any requester, including commercial use 
    requesters, if the cost of collecting a fee would be equal to or 
    greater than $25.00. The Department shall attempt to notify the 
    requester if fees are estimated to exceed $25.00. Such notification 
    shall include a breakdown of the fees for search, review, or 
    duplication, unless the requester has expressed a willingness to pay 
    fees as high as those anticipated.
        (b) Definitions. The following definitions apply for purposes of 
    this section:
        (1) Direct costs are those costs the Department incurs in searching 
    for, duplicating, and, in the case of commercial use requests, 
    reviewing records in response to a FOIA request. The term does not 
    include overhead expenses.
        (2) Search costs are those costs the Department incurs in looking 
    for, identifying, and retrieving material, in paper or electronic form, 
    that is potentially responsive to a request. The Department shall 
    attempt to ensure that searching for material is done in the most 
    efficient and least expensive manner so as to minimize costs for both 
    the Department and the requester. The Department may charge for time 
    spent searching even if it does not locate any responsive record, or if 
    it withholds the record(s) located as entirely exempt from disclosure. 
    Further information on current search fees is available by visiting the 
    FOIA home page at www.foia.state.gov and reviewing the Information 
    Access Guide.
        (3) Duplication costs are those costs the Department incurs in 
    reproducing a requested record in a form appropriate for release in 
    response to a FOIA request.
        (4) Review costs are those costs the Department incurs in examining 
    a record to determine whether and to what extent the record is 
    responsive to a FOIA request and the extent to which it may be 
    disclosed to the requester, including the page-by-page or line-by-line 
    review of material within records. It does not include the costs of 
    resolving general legal or policy issues that may be raised by a 
    request.
        (5) Categories of requesters. ''Requester fee category'' means one 
    of the categories in which a requester will be placed for the purpose 
    of determining whether the requester will be charged fees for search, 
    review, and duplication. ``Fee waiver'' (see Sec.  171.16)
    
    [[Page 19871]]
    
    means the waiver or reduction of processing fees that may be granted if 
    the requester can demonstrate that certain statutory standards are 
    satisfied. There are three categories of requesters: commercial use 
    requesters, distinct subcategories of non-commercial requesters 
    (educational and non-commercial scientific institutions, 
    representatives of the news media), and all other requesters.
        (i) A commercial use requester is a person or entity who seeks 
    information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, 
    or profit interest of the requester or the person on whose behalf the 
    request is made. In determining whether a requester belongs within this 
    category, the Department will look at the way in which the requester 
    intends to use the information requested. Commercial use requesters 
    will be charged for search time, review time, and duplication in 
    connection with processing their requests.
        (ii) Distinct subcategories of non-commercial requesters. (A) An 
    educational institution requester is a person or entity who submits a 
    request under the authority of a school that operates a program of 
    scholarly research. A requester in this category must show that the 
    records are not sought for a commercial use and are not intended to 
    promote any particular product or industry, but rather are sought to 
    further scholarly research of the institution. A signed letter from the 
    chairperson on an institution's letterhead is presumed to be from an 
    educational institution. A student seeking inclusion in this 
    subcategory who makes a request in furtherance of the completion of a 
    course of instruction is carrying out an individual research goal and 
    does not qualify as an educational institution requester. See a summary 
    of the OMB Fee Guidelines at: https://www.justice.gov/oip/foia-guide-2004-edition-fees-and-fee-waivers. Educational institution requesters 
    will not be charged for search and review time, and the first 100 pages 
    of duplication will be provided free of charge.
    
        (1) Example 1. A request from a professor of geology at a 
    university for records relating to soil erosion, written on 
    letterhead of the Department of Geology, would be presumed to be 
    from an educational institution.
        (2) Example 2. A request from the same professor of geology 
    seeking drug information from the Food and Drug Administration in 
    furtherance of a murder mystery he is writing would not be presumed 
    to be an institutional request, regardless of whether it was written 
    on institutional stationery.
    
        (B) A non-commercial scientific institution requester is a person 
    or entity that submits a request on behalf of an institution that is 
    not operated on a ``commercial'' basis and that is operated solely for 
    the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are 
    not intended to promote any particular product or industry. Non-
    commercial scientific institution requesters will not be charged for 
    search and review time, and the first 100 pages of duplication will be 
    provided free of charge.
        (C) A representative of the news media is any person or entity that 
    gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, 
    uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct 
    work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term news means 
    information that is about current events or that would be of current 
    interest to the public. News media include television or radio stations 
    broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals (but 
    only in those instances when they can qualify as disseminators of 
    ``news'') who make their products available to the general public. 
    ``Freelance'' journalists shall be regarded as working for a news media 
    entity if they can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication 
    through that entity, such as by a contract or past publication record. 
    These examples are not all-inclusive. A representative of the news 
    media will not be charged for search and review time, and the first 100 
    pages of duplication will be provided free of charge.
        (iii) All other requesters are persons or entities that do not fall 
    into the requester categories defined above. All other requesters will 
    be provided the first two hours of search time and the first 100 pages 
    of duplication free of charge, and will not be charged for review time.
        (c) Searches for responsive records. The Department charges the 
    estimated direct cost of each search based on the average current 
    salary rates of the categories of personnel doing the searches. Updated 
    search and review fees are available at www.foia.state.gov
        (d) Manual (paper) and computer searches. For both manual and 
    computer searches, the Department shall charge the estimated direct 
    cost of each search based on the average current salary rates of the 
    categories of personnel doing the searches.
        (e) Review of records. Only requesters who are seeking records for 
    commercial use may be charged for time spent reviewing records to 
    determine whether they are responsive, and if so, releasable. Charges 
    may be assessed for the initial review only, i.e., the review 
    undertaken the first time the Department analyzes the applicability of 
    a specific exemption to a particular record or portion of a record
        (f) Duplication of records. Paper copies of records shall be 
    duplicated at a rate of $0.15 per page. Other charges may apply 
    depending on the type of production required. Where paper documents 
    must be scanned in order to comply with a requester's preference to 
    receive the records in an electronic format, the requester shall pay 
    the direct costs associated with scanning those materials. For other 
    forms of duplication, the Department shall charge the direct costs.
        (g) Other charges. The Department shall recover the full costs of 
    providing services such as those below:
        (1) Sending records by special methods such as express mail, 
    overnight courier, etc.
        (2) Providing records to a requester in a special format.
        (3) Providing duplicate copies of records already produced to the 
    same requester in response to the same request.
        (h) Payment. Fees shall be paid by either personal check or bank 
    draft drawn on a bank in the United States, or a postal money order. 
    Remittances shall be made payable to the order of the Treasury of the 
    United States and mailed to the Office of Information Programs and 
    Services, U.S. Department of State, State Annex 2 (SA-2), 515 22nd 
    Street NW., Washington, DC, 20522-8100. A receipt for fees paid will be 
    given upon request.
        (i) When certain fees are not charged. The Department shall not 
    charge search fees (or in the case of educational and non-commercial 
    scientific institutions or representatives of the news media, 
    duplication fees) when the Department fails to comply with any time 
    limit under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6), unless unusual circumstances (see Sec.  
    171.11(b)) or exceptional circumstances exist. Exceptional 
    circumstances cannot include a delay that results from a predictable 
    agency workload of requests unless the agency demonstrates reasonable 
    progress in reducing its backlog of pending requests. See 5 U.S.C. 
    552(a)(6)(C). Apart from the stated provisions regarding waiver or 
    reduction of fees, see Sec.  171.16, the Department retains the 
    administrative discretion to not assess fees if it is in the best 
    interests of the government to do so.
    
    
    Sec.  171.15  Miscellaneous fee provisions.
    
        (a) Charging interest. The Department shall begin assessing 
    interest charges on an unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following 
    the day on which the bill was
    
    [[Page 19872]]
    
    sent. The fact that a fee has been received by the Department within 
    the thirty-day grace period, even if not processed, shall stay the 
    accrual of interest. Interest will be at the rate prescribed in 31 
    U.S.C. 3717 and shall accrue from the date of the billing.
        (b) Charges for unsuccessful search or if records are withheld. The 
    Department may assess charges for time spent searching, even if it 
    fails to locate the records or if the records located are determined to 
    be exempt from disclosure.
        (c) Advance payment. The Department may not require a requester to 
    make an advance payment, i.e., payment before work is commenced or 
    continued on a request, unless:
        (1) It estimates or determines that allowable charges that a 
    requester may be required to pay are likely to exceed $250. In such a 
    case, the Department shall notify the requester of the likely cost and 
    obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment where the requester has a 
    history of prompt payment of FOIA fees, or shall, in its discretion, 
    require an advance payment of an amount up to the full estimated 
    charges in the case of requesters with no history of payment; or
        (2) A requester has previously failed to pay an assessed fee within 
    30 days of the date of its billing. In such a case, the Department 
    shall require the requester to pay the full amount previously owed plus 
    any applicable interest and to make an advance payment of the full 
    amount of the estimated fee before the Department begins to process a 
    new or pending request from that requester.
        (3) If a requester has failed to pay a fee properly charged by 
    another U.S. government agency in a FOIA case, the Department may 
    require proof that such fee has been paid before processing a new or 
    pending request from that requester.
        (4) When the Department acts under paragraph (c)(1) or (2) of this 
    section, the administrative time limits prescribed in the FOIA, 5 
    U.S.C. 552(a)(6) (i.e., 20 working days from receipt of initial 
    requests and 20 working days from receipt of appeals, plus permissible 
    extensions of these time limits), will begin only after the Department 
    has received fee payments described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of 
    this section.
        (d) Aggregating requests. When the Department reasonably believes 
    that a requester, or a group of requesters acting in concert, has 
    submitted multiple requests involving related matters solely to avoid 
    payment of fees, the Department may aggregate those requests for 
    purposes of assessing processing fees.
        (e) Effect of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, as amended. The 
    Department shall comply with provisions of the Debt Collection Act, 
    including disclosure to consumer reporting agencies and use of 
    collection agencies, where appropriate, to effect repayment.
        (f) Itemization of charges. The Department shall, where possible, 
    provide the requester with a breakdown of fees charged indicating how 
    much of the total charge is for search, review, and/or duplication for 
    each specific request.
    
    
    Sec.  171.16  Waiver or reduction of fees.
    
        (a) Fees otherwise chargeable in connection with a request for 
    disclosure of a record shall be waived or reduced where the requester 
    seeks a waiver or reduction of fees and the Department determines, in 
    its discretion, that disclosure is in the public interest because it is 
    likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the 
    operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the 
    commercial interest of the requester.
        (1) In deciding whether disclosure of the requested information is 
    in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly 
    to public understanding of operations or activities of the government, 
    the Department shall consider all four of the following factors:
        (i) The subject of the request must concern identifiable operations 
    or activities of the Federal Government, with a connection that is 
    direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.
        (ii) Disclosure of the requested records must be meaningfully 
    informative about government operations or activities in order to be 
    ``likely to contribute'' to an increased public understanding of those 
    operations or activities. The disclosure of information that already is 
    in the public domain, in either the same or a substantially identical 
    form, would not contribute to such understanding where nothing new 
    would be added to the public's understanding.
        (iii) The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of a 
    reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as 
    opposed to the individual understanding of the requester. A requester's 
    expertise in the subject area as well as the requester's ability and 
    intention to effectively convey information to the public shall be 
    considered. It shall be presumed that a representative of the news 
    media will satisfy this consideration.
        (iv) The public's understanding of the subject in question must be 
    enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent.
        (2) In order to determine whether disclosure of the information is 
    not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester, the 
    Department will consider the following factors:
        (i) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest, i.e., 
    whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered 
    by the requested disclosure; and, if so,
        (ii) The primary interest in disclosure, i.e., whether disclosure 
    is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
        (iii) Requests for purposes of writing a book, an article, or other 
    publication will not be considered a commercial purpose.
        (b) The Department may refuse to consider waiver or reduction of 
    fees for requesters from whom unpaid fees remain owed to the Department 
    for another FOIA request.
        (c) Where only some of the records to be released satisfy the 
    requirements for a waiver or reduction of fees, a waiver or reduction 
    shall be granted for only those records.
        (d) Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees should be made when 
    the request is first submitted to the Department and should address the 
    criteria referenced above. A requester may submit a fee waiver request 
    at a later time so long as the underlying record request is pending or 
    on administrative appeal. When a requester who has committed to pay 
    fees subsequently asks for a waiver of those fees and that waiver is 
    denied, the requester shall be required to pay any costs incurred up to 
    the date the fee waiver request was received.
        (e) The Division Chief of the Requester Liaison Division in IPS 
    will issue all initial decisions on whether to grant or deny requests 
    for a fee waiver. A decision to refuse to waive or reduce fees may be 
    appealed to the Director of IPS within 30 calendar days of the date of 
    the Department's refusal letter. See Sec.  171.4 for address 
    information. A decision in writing on the appeal shall be issued within 
    20 working days of the receipt of the appeal.
    
    
    Sec.  171.17  Resolving disputes.
    
        The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) in the 
    National Archives and Records Administration is charged with offering 
    mediation services to resolve disputes between persons making FOIA 
    requests and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to 
    litigation. Additionally, the FOIA directs the Department's FOIA Public 
    Liaison to assist in the resolution of disputes. The Department will 
    inform
    
    [[Page 19873]]
    
    requesters in its agency appeal response letter of services offered by 
    OGIS and the FOIA Public Liaison. Requesters may reach the Department's 
    FOIA Public Liaison at Office of Information Programs and Services, A/
    GIS/IPS/PP/LA, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-8100, or 
    at (202) 261-8484. Requesters may contact OGIS at Office of Government 
    Information Services (OGIS), National Archives and Records 
    Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001; at 
    ogis@nara.gov; and at (202) 741-5770, or toll-free at (877) 684-6448.
    
    
    Sec.  171.18   Preservation of records
    
        The Department shall preserve all correspondence pertaining to the 
    requests that it receives under this subpart, as well as copies of all 
    requested records, until disposition or destruction is authorized 
    pursuant to title 44 of the United States Code or the General Records 
    Schedule 14 of the National Archives and Records Administration. 
    Records shall not be disposed of or destroyed while they are the 
    subject of a pending request, appeal, or lawsuit under the FOIA.
    
    Subpart C--Privacy Act Provisions
    
    
    Sec.  171.20   Purpose and scope.
    
        This subpart contains the rules that the Department follows under 
    the Privacy Act of 1974 (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended. These rules 
    should be read together with the text of the statute, which provides 
    additional information about records maintained on individuals. The 
    rules in this subpart apply to all records in systems of records 
    maintained by the Department that are retrieved by an individual's name 
    or personal identifier. They describe the procedures by which 
    individuals may request access to records about themselves, request 
    amendment or correction of those records, and request an accounting of 
    disclosures of those records by the Department. If any records 
    retrieved pursuant to an access request under the PA are found to be 
    exempt from access under that Act, they will be processed for possible 
    disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, 
    as amended. No fees shall be charged for access to or amendment of PA 
    records.
    
    
    Sec.  171.21  Definitions.
    
        As used in this subpart, the following definitions shall apply:
        (a) Individual means a citizen or a legal permanent resident alien 
    (LPR) of the United States.
        (b) Maintain includes maintain, collect, use, or disseminate.
        (c) Record means any item, collection, or grouping of information 
    about an individual that is maintained by the Department and that 
    contains the individual's name or the identifying number, symbol, or 
    other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a 
    finger or voice print or photograph.
        (d) System of records means a group of any records under the 
    control of the Department from which information is retrieved by the 
    name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other 
    identifying particular assigned to an individual.
    
    
    Sec.  171.22  Request for access to records.
    
        (a) In general. Requests for access to records under the PA must be 
    made in writing and mailed to the Office of Information Programs and 
    Service, the Office of Passport Services, or the Office of Inspector 
    General at the addresses given in Sec.  171.4. The Director of the 
    Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) is responsible for 
    acting on all PA requests for Department records except for requests 
    received directly by the Office of Inspector General, which processes 
    its own requests for information, and the Office of Passport Services 
    within the Bureau of Consular Affairs which receives directly and 
    processes its own PA requests for information as described in PA System 
    of Record Notice 26. Once received by IPS, all processing of PA 
    requests coming under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Consular 
    Affairs/Visa Services Office and Overseas Citizens Services, the Bureau 
    of Diplomatic Security, the Bureau of Human Resources, the Office of 
    Medical Services, and the Foreign Service Grievance Board (FSGB) are 
    handled by those bureaus or offices instead of IPS.
        (b) Description of records sought. Requests for access should 
    describe the requested record(s) in sufficient detail to permit 
    identification of the record(s). At a minimum, requests should include 
    the individual's full name (including maiden name, if appropriate) and 
    any other names used, current complete mailing address, and date and 
    place of birth (city, state and country). Helpful data includes the 
    approximate time period of the record and the circumstances that give 
    the individual reason to believe that the Department maintains a record 
    under the individual's name or personal identifier, and, if known, the 
    system of records in which the record is maintained. In certain 
    instances, it may be necessary for the Department to request additional 
    information from the requester, either to ensure a full search, or to 
    ensure that a record retrieved does in fact pertain to the individual.
        (c) Verification of personal identity. The Department will require 
    reasonable identification of individuals requesting records about 
    themselves under the PA's access provisions to ensure that records are 
    only accessed by the proper persons. Requesters must state their full 
    name, current address, citizenship or legal permanent resident alien 
    status, and date and place of birth (city, state, and country). The 
    request must be signed, and the requester's signature must be either 
    notarized or made under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746. 
    If the requester seeks records under another name the requester has 
    used, a statement, under penalty of perjury, that the requester has 
    also used the other name must be included. Requesters seeking access to 
    copies of the Passport Office's passport records must meet the 
    requirements in paragraph (d) of this section.
        (d) Special requirements for passport records. Given the sensitive 
    nature of passport records and their use, requesters seeking access to 
    copies of the Passport Office's passport records under the PA must 
    submit a letter that is either notarized or made under penalty of 
    perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, which includes the full name at 
    birth and any subsequent name changes of the individual whose records 
    are being requested (if submitting the request on behalf of a minor, 
    provide the representative's full name as well); the date and place of 
    birth of the individual whose records are being requested; the 
    requester's current mailing address; and, if available, daytime 
    telephone number and email address; the date or estimated date the 
    passport(s) was issued; the passport number of the person whose records 
    are being sought, if known; and any other information that will help to 
    locate the records. The requester must also include a clear copy of 
    both sides of the requester's valid Government-issued photo 
    identification, e.g., a driver's license.
        (e) Authorized third party access. The Department shall process all 
    properly authorized third party requests, as described in this section, 
    under the PA. In the absence of proper authorization from the 
    individual to whom the records pertain, the Department will process 
    third party requests under the FOIA. The Department's form, DS-4240, 
    may be used to certify identity and provide third party authorization.
        (1) Parents and guardians of minor children. Upon presentation of 
    acceptable documentation of the parental or guardian relationship, a
    
    [[Page 19874]]
    
    parent or guardian of a U.S. citizen or LPR minor (an unmarried person 
    under the age of 18) may, on behalf of the minor, request records under 
    the PA pertaining to the minor. In any case, U.S. citizen or LPR minors 
    may request such records on their own behalf.
        (2) Guardians. A guardian of an individual who has been declared by 
    a court to be incompetent may act for and on behalf of the incompetent 
    individual upon presentation of appropriate documentation of the 
    guardian relationship.
        (3) Authorized representatives or designees. When an individual 
    wishes to authorize another person or persons access to his or her 
    records, the individual may submit, in addition to the identity 
    verification information described in paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) of 
    this section if the request is for passport records, a signed statement 
    from the individual to whom the records pertain, either notarized or 
    made under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, giving the 
    Department authorization to release records about the individual to the 
    third party. The designated third party must submit identity 
    verification information described in paragraph c. Third party 
    requesters seeking access to copies of the Passport Office's records 
    must submit a clear copy of both sides of a valid Government-issued 
    photo identification (e.g., a driver's license) in addition to the 
    other information described above.
        (f) Referrals and consultations. If the Department determines that 
    records retrieved as responsive to the request were created by another 
    agency, it ordinarily will refer the records to the originating agency 
    for direct response to the requester. If the Department determines that 
    Department records retrieved as responsive to the request are of 
    interest to another agency, it may consult with the other agency before 
    responding to the request. The Department may make agreements with 
    other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals for 
    particular types of records.
        (g) Records relating to civil actions. Nothing in this subpart 
    entitles an individual to access to any information compiled in 
    reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.
        (h) Time limits. The Department will acknowledge the request 
    promptly and furnish the requested information as soon as possible 
    thereafter.
    
    
    Sec.  171.23  Request to amend or correct records.
    
        (a) An individual has the right to request that the Department 
    amend a record pertaining to the individual that the individual 
    believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete.
        (b) Requests to amend records must be in writing and mailed or 
    delivered to the Office of Information Programs and Services at the 
    address given in Sec.  171.4, with ATTENTION: PRIVACY ACT AMENDMENT 
    REQUEST written on the envelope. IPS will coordinate the review of the 
    request with the appropriate offices of the Department. The Department 
    will require verification of personal identity as provided in section 
    171.22(c) before it will initiate action to amend a record. Amendment 
    requests should contain, at a minimum, identifying information needed 
    to locate the record in question, a description of the specific 
    correction requested, and an explanation of why the existing record is 
    not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. The request must be 
    signed, and the requester's signature must be either notarized or made 
    under penalty of perjury pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746. The requester 
    should submit as much pertinent documentation, other information, and 
    explanation as possible to support the request for amendment.
        (c) All requests for amendments to records shall be acknowledged 
    within 10 working days.
        (d) In reviewing a record in response to a request to amend, the 
    Department shall review the record to determine if it is accurate, 
    relevant, timely, and complete.
        (e) If the Department agrees with an individual's request to amend 
    a record, it shall:
        (1) Advise the individual in writing of its decision;
        (2) Amend the record accordingly; and
        (3) If an accounting of disclosure has been made, advise all 
    previous recipients of the record of the amendment and its substance.
        (f) If the Department denies an individual's request to amend a 
    record, it shall advise the individual in writing of its decision and 
    the reason for the refusal, and the procedures for the individual to 
    request further review. See Sec.  171.25.
    
    
    Sec.  171.24  Request for an accounting of record disclosures.
    
        (a) How made. Except where accountings of disclosures are not 
    required to be kept, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or 
    where accountings of disclosures do not need to be provided to a 
    requesting individual pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), an individual 
    has a right to request an accounting of any disclosure that the 
    Department has made to another person, organization, or agency of any 
    record about an individual. This accounting shall contain the date, 
    nature, and purpose of each disclosure as well as the name and address 
    of the recipient of the disclosure. Any request for accounting should 
    identify each particular record in question and may be made by writing 
    directly to the Office of Information Programs and Services at the 
    address given in Sec.  171.4.
        (b) Where accountings not required. The Department is not required 
    to keep an accounting of disclosures in the case of:
        (1) Disclosures made to employees within the Department who have a 
    need for the record in the performance of their duties; and
        (2) Disclosures required under the FOIA.
    
    
    Sec.  171.25  Appeals from denials of PA amendment requests.
    
        (a) If the Department denies a request for amendment of such 
    records, the requester shall be informed of the reason for the denial 
    and of the right to appeal the denial to the Appeals Review Panel. Any 
    such appeal must be postmarked within 60 working days of the date of 
    the Department's denial letter and sent to: Appeals Officer, Appeals 
    Review Panel, Office of Information Programs and Services, at the 
    address set forth in Sec.  171.4.
        (b) Appellants should submit an administrative appeal of any 
    denial, in whole or in part, of a request for access to FSGB records 
    under the PA to IPS at the above address. IPS will assign a tracking 
    number to the appeal and forward it to the FSGB, which is an 
    independent body, for adjudication.
        (c) The Appeals Review Panel will decide appeals from denials of PA 
    amendment requests within 30 business days, unless the Panel extends 
    that period for good cause shown, from the date when it is received by 
    the Panel.
        (d) Appeals Review Panel Decisions will be made in writing, and 
    appellants will receive notification of the decision. A reversal will 
    result in reprocessing of the request in accordance with that decision. 
    An affirmance will include a brief statement of the reason for the 
    affirmance and will inform the appellant that the decision of the Panel 
    represents the final decision of the Department and of the right to 
    seek judicial review of the Panel's decision, when applicable.
        (e) If the Panel's decision is that a record shall be amended in 
    accordance with the appellant's request, the Chairman shall direct the 
    office responsible for the record to amend the
    
    [[Page 19875]]
    
    record, advise all previous recipients of the record of the amendment 
    and its substance (if an accounting of previous disclosures has been 
    made), and so advise the individual in writing.
        (f) If the Panel's decision is that the amendment request is 
    denied, in addition to the notification required by paragraph (d) of 
    this section, the Chairman shall advise the appellant:
        (1) Of the right to file a concise Statement of Disagreement 
    stating the reasons for disagreement with the decision of the 
    Department;
        (2) Of the procedures for filing the Statement of Disagreement;
        (3) That any Statement of Disagreement that is filed will be made 
    available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed, 
    together with, at the discretion of the Department, a brief statement 
    by the Department summarizing its reasons for refusing to amend the 
    record;
        (4) That prior recipients of the disputed record will be provided a 
    copy of any statement of disagreement, to the extent that an accounting 
    of disclosures was maintained.
        (g) If the appellant files a Statement of Disagreement under 
    paragraph (f) of this section, the Department will clearly annotate the 
    record so that the fact that the record is disputed is apparent to 
    anyone who may subsequently access the record. When the disputed record 
    is subsequently disclosed, the Department will note the dispute and 
    provide a copy of the Statement of Disagreement. The Department may 
    also include a brief summary of the reasons for not amending the 
    record. Copies of the Department's statement shall be treated as part 
    of the individual's record for granting access; however, it will not be 
    subject to amendment by an individual under this part.
    
    
    Sec.  171.26  Exemptions.
    
        Systems of records maintained by the Department are authorized to 
    be exempt from certain provisions of the PA under both general and 
    specific exemptions set forth in the Act. In utilizing these 
    exemptions, the Department is exempting only those portions of systems 
    that are necessary for the proper functioning of the Department and 
    that are consistent with the PA. Where compliance would not interfere 
    with or adversely affect the law enforcement process, and/or where it 
    may be appropriate to permit individuals to contest the accuracy of the 
    information collected, the applicable exemption may be waived, either 
    partially or totally, by the Department or the OIG, in the sole 
    discretion of the Department or the OIG, as appropriate. Records exempt 
    under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) or (k) by the originator of the record remain 
    exempt if subsequently incorporated into any Department system of 
    records, provided the reason for the exemption remains valid and 
    necessary.
        (a) General exemptions. If exempt records are the subject of an 
    access request, the Department will advise the requester of their 
    existence and of the name and address of the source agency, unless that 
    information is itself exempt from disclosure.
        (1) Individuals may not have access to records maintained by the 
    Department that are maintained or originated by the Central 
    Intelligence Agency under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(1).
        (2) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), individuals may not 
    have access to records maintained or originated by an agency or 
    component thereof that performs as its principal function any activity 
    pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws, including police 
    efforts to prevent, control, or reduce crime or to apprehend criminals, 
    and the activities of prosecutors, courts, correctional, probation, 
    pardon, or parole authorities, and which consists of:
        (i) Information compiled for the purpose of identifying individual 
    criminal offenders and alleged offenders and consisting only of 
    identifying data and notations of arrests, the nature and disposition 
    of criminal charges, sentencing, confinement, release, and parole and 
    probation status;
        (ii) Information compiled for the purpose of a criminal 
    investigation, including reports of informants and investigators, and 
    associated with an identifiable individual; or
        (iii) Reports identifiable to an individual compiled at any stage 
    of the process of enforcement of the criminal laws from arrest or 
    indictment through release from supervision. The reason for invoking 
    these exemptions is to ensure effective criminal law enforcement 
    processes. Records maintained by the Department in the following 
    systems of records are exempt from all of the provisions of the PA 
    except paragraphs (b), (c)(1) and (2), (e)(4)(A) through (F), (e)(6), 
    (e)(7), (e)(9), (e)(10), and (e)(11), and (i), to the extent to which 
    they meet the criteria of section (j)(2) of 5 U.S.C. 552a. The names of 
    the systems correspond to those published in the Federal Register by 
    the Department.
        Office of Inspector General Investigation Management System. STATE-
    53.
        Information Access Program Records. STATE-35.
        Risk Analysis and Management. STATE-78.
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        (b) Specific exemptions. Portions of the following systems of 
    records are exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), and (4), (G), 
    (H), and (I), and (f). The names of the systems correspond to those 
    published in the Federal Register by the Department.
        (1) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1). Records contained within the 
    following systems of records are exempt under this section to the 
    extent that they are subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1).
        Board of Appellate Review Records. STATE-02.
        Congressional Correspondence. STATE-43.
        Congressional Travel Records. STATE-44.
        Coordinator for the Combating of Terrorism Records. STATE-06.
        External Research Records. STATE-10.
        Extradition Records. STATE-11.
        Family Advocacy Case Records. STATE-75.
        Foreign Assistance Inspection Records. STATE-48.
        Human Resources Records. STATE-31.
        Information Access Programs Records. STATE-35.
        Intelligence and Research Records. STATE-15.
        International Organizations Records. STATE-17.
        Law of the Sea Records. STATE-19.
        Legal Case Management Records. STATE-21.
        Munitions Control Records. STATE-42.
        Overseas Citizens Services Records. STATE-05.
        Passport Records. STATE-26.
        Personality Cross Reference Index to the Secretariat Automated Data 
    Index. STATE-28.
        Personality Index to the Central Foreign Policy Records. STATE-29.
        Personnel Payroll Records. STATE-30.
        Office of Inspector General Investigation Management System. STATE-
    53.
        Records of the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for 
    International Claims and Investment Disputes. STATE-54.
        Risk Analysis and Management Records. STATE-78.
        Rover Records. STATE-41.
        Records of Domestic Accounts Receivable. STATE-23.
        Records of the Office of White House Liaison. STATE-34.
        Refugee Records. STATE-59.
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        Visa Records. STATE-39.
        (2) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). Records contained within the 
    following
    
    [[Page 19876]]
    
    systems of records are exempt under this section to the extent that 
    they consist of investigatory material compiled for law enforcement 
    purposes, subject to the limitations set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2).
        Board of Appellate Review Records. STATE-02.
        Coordinator for the Combating of Terrorism Records. STATE-06.
        Extradition Records. STATE-11.
        Family Advocacy Case Records. STATE-75
        Foreign Assistance Inspection Records. STATE-48.
        Garnishment of Wages Records. STATE-61.
        Information Access Program Records. STATE-35.
        Intelligence and Research Records. STATE-15.
        Munitions Control Records. STATE-42.
        Overseas Citizens Services Records. STATE-05.
        Passport Records. STATE-26.
        Personality Cross Reference Index to the Secretariat Automated Data 
    Index. STATE-28.
        Personality Index to the Central Foreign Policy Records. STATE-29.
        Office of Inspector General Investigation Management System. STATE-
    53.
        Risk Analysis and Management Records. STATE-78.
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        Visa Records. STATE-39.
        (3) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(3). Records contained within the 
    following systems of records are exempt under this section to the 
    extent that they are maintained in connection with providing protective 
    services pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056.
        Extradition Records. STATE-11.
        Information Access Programs Records. STATE-35.
        Intelligence and Research Records. STATE-15.
        Overseas Citizens Services Records. STATE-05.
        Passport Records. STATE-26.
        Personality Cross-Reference Index to the Secretariat Automated Data 
    Index. STATE-28.
        Personality Index to the Central Foreign Policy Records. STATE-29.
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        Visa Records. STATE-39.
        (4) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(4). Records contained within the 
    following systems of records are exempt under this section to the 
    extent that they are required by statute to be maintained and are used 
    solely as statistical records.
        Foreign Service Institute Records. STATE-14.
        Human Resources Records. STATE-31.
        Information Access Programs Records. STATE-35.
        Overseas Citizens Services Records, STATE-05
        Personnel Payroll Records. STATE-30.
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        (5) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5). Records contained within the 
    following systems of records are exempt under this section to the 
    extent that they consist of investigatory material compiled solely for 
    the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications 
    for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, 
    or access to classified information, but only to the extent that 
    disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a confidential 
    informant.
        Records Maintained by the Office of Civil Rights. STATE-09.
        Foreign Assistance Inspection Records. STATE-48.
        Foreign Service Grievance Board Records. STATE-13.
        Human Resources Records. STATE-31.
        Information Access Programs Records. STATE-35.
        Legal Adviser Attorney Employment Application Records. STATE-20.
        Overseas Citizens Services Records. STATE-25.
        Personality Cross-Reference Index to the Secretariat Automated Data 
    Index. STATE-28.
        Office of Inspector General Investigation Management System. STATE-
    53.
        Records of the Office of White House Liaison. STATE-34.
        Risk Analysis and Management Records. STATE-78.
        Rover Records. STATE-41.
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        Senior Personnel Appointments Records. STATE-47.
        (6) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6). Records contained within the 
    following systems of records are exempt under this section to the 
    extent that they consist of testing or examination material used solely 
    to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in 
    the Federal service the disclosure of which would compromise the 
    objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process.
        Foreign Service Institute Records. STATE-14.
        Human Resources Records. STATE-31.
        Information Access Programs Records. STATE-35.
        Records Maintained by the Office of Civil Rights. STATE-09
        Security Records. STATE-36.
        (7) Exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(7). Records contained within the 
    following systems of records are exempt under this section to the 
    extent that they consist of evaluation material used to determine 
    potential for promotion in the armed services, but only to the extent 
    that such disclosure would reveal the identity of a confidential 
    informant.
        Overseas Citizens Services Records. STATE-25.
        Human Resources Records. STATE-31.
        Information Access Programs Records. STATE-35.
        Personality Cross-Reference Index to the Secretariat Automated Data 
    Index. STATE-28.
        Personality Index to the Central Foreign Policy Records. STATE-29.
    
    Subpart D--Process To Request Public Financial Disclosure Reports
    
    
    Sec.  171.30  Purpose and scope.
    
        This subpart sets forth the process by which persons may request 
    access to public financial disclosure reports filed with the Department 
    in accordance with sections 101 and 103(l) of the Ethics in Government 
    Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. app. 101 and 103(l), as amended. The retention, 
    public availability, and improper use of these reports are governed by 
    5 U.S.C. app. 105 and 5 CFR 2634.603.
    
    
    Sec.  171.31  Requests.
    
        Requests for access to public financial disclosure reports filed 
    with the Department should be made by submitting a completed Office of 
    Government Ethics request form, OGE Form 201, to 
    OGE201Request@state.gov or the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser 
    for Ethics and Financial Disclosure, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C 
    Street NW., Washington, DC 20520. The OGE Form 201 may be obtained by 
    visiting http://www.oge.gov or writing to the address above.
    
        Dated: March 30, 2016.
    Joyce A. Barr,
    Assistant Secretary for Administration, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-07900 Filed 4-5-16; 8:45 am]
     BILLING CODE 4710-24-P
    
    
    
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