32 CFR 2700.33: Mandatory review for declassification.
All information classified under the Order or prior orders, except as provided for in section 3-503 of E.O. 12065 shall be subject to review for declassification upon request of a member of the public, a government employee, or an agency.
(1) Requests for mandatory review for declassification under section 3-501 of E.O. 12065 must be in writing and should be addressed to: Office for Micronesian Status Negotiations, ATTN: Security Officer (Mandatory Review Request), Room 3356, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240.
(2) The requestor shall be informed of the date of receipt of the request at OMSN. This date will be the basis for the time limits specified in paragraph (c) of this section.
(3) If the request does not reasonably describe the information sought, the requestor shall be notified that, unless additional information is provided or the request is made more specific, no further action will be taken.
(4) Subject to paragraph (b)(7) of this section, if the information requested is in the custody of and under the exclusive declassification authority of OMSN, OMSN shall determine whether the information or any reasonably segregable portion of it no longer requires protection. If so, OMSN shall promptly make such information available to the requester, unless withholding it is otherwise warranted under applicable law. If the information may not be released, in whole or in part, OMSN shall give the requester a brief statement of the reasons, a notice of the right to appeal the determination to the agency review committee, and notice that such an appeal must be filed with the review committee within 60 days.
(5) When OMSN receives a request for information in a document which is in its custody, but which was classified by another agency, it shall refer the request to the appropriate agency for review, together with a copy of the document containing the information requested, where practicable. OMSN shall also notify the requester of the referral, unless the association of the reviewing agency with the information requires protection. The reviewing agency shall review a document in coordination with any other agency involved with the classification or having a direct interest in the subject matter. The reviewing agency shall respond directly to the requester in accordance with the pertinent procedures described above and, if requested, shall notify OMSN of its determination.
(6) Requests for declassification of classified documents originated by OMSN or another agency but in the possession and control of the Administrator of General Services, pursuant to 44 U.S.C 2107 or 2107 Note, shall be referred by the Archivist to the agency of origin for processing and for direct response to the requests. The Archivist will inform requesters of such referrals.
(7) In the case of requests for documents containing foreign government information, OMSN, if it is also the agency which initially received the foreign government information, shall determine whether the foreign government information in the document may be declassified and released in accordance with agency policies or guidelines, consulting with other agencies of subject matter interest as necessary. If OMSN is not the agency which received the foreign government information, it shall refer the request to the latter agency, which shall take action on the request. In those cases where available agency policies or guidelines do not apply, consultation with the foreign originator through appropriate channels may be advisable prior to final action on the request.
(8) If any agency makes a request on behalf of a member of the public, the request shall be considered as a request by that member of the public and handled accordingly.
(1) Within sixty days from its receipt, OMSN shall inform the requestor of the determination of the mandatory review for declassification.
(2) If the determination is to withhold some or all of the material requested, the requestor may appeal the determination. The requestor shall be informed that an appeal must be made in writing within sixty days of receipt of the denial and should be addressed to the chairperson of the OMSN Classification Review Committee established pursuant to § 2700.52.
(3) No agency in possession of a classified document may, in response to a request for the document made under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) or under section 3-5 of E.O. 12065, refuse to confirm the existence or non-existence of the document, unless the fact of its existence or non-existence would itself be classifiable.
(4) The requestor shall be informed of the appellate determination within thirty days of receipt of the appeal.
(5) In considering requests for mandatory review, OMSN may decline to review again any request for material which has been recently reviewed and denied, except insofar as the request constitutes an appeal under paragraph (f) of this section.
(d) Processing of Requests.
The processing of requests by OMSN shall be as follows:
(1) The Security Officer or his designee shall record the request, and arrange for search and review of the documents. The documents will be reviewed for declassification in accordance with these regulations or any applicable guidelines. If the documents remain classified and are not to be released, in whole or in part, the reviewing office will also prepare a letter informing the requester as described in paragraph (b)(4) of this section. The letter to the requester shall be signed by the President's Personal Representative for Micronesian Status Negotiations, his Deputy or the Status Liaison Officer. The Security Officer or his designee shall record disposition of the case and forward the letter of denial to the requester.
(2) If any request requires obtaining the views of other agencies, the receiving office shall arrange coordination of review with such other agencies.
(3) When all documents involved in the request are declassified and released, the receiving office will send a release statement, to the requester, and shall inform the requester of any fees due before releasing documents.
(4) In the case of documents of agency origin requested by a Presidential Library on behalf of a member of the public, if there is a partial denial, the letter will advise the requester as described in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, but the requester will be referred to the Archivist for copies of the released document, with portions excised. The receiving office will transmit such documents, with portions marked to be excised, to Archives which will transmit them with portions excised to the Presidential Library for its records and for use in the case of further similar requests.
(5) The Security Officer or his designee shall also coordinate requests from other agencies seeking the views of OMSN as to declassification of documents originated by such other agencies but involving information of primary subject matter interest to OMSN. The Security Officer or his designee will transmit the documents to the reviewing individual for a determination as to declassification and will coordinate the reply of OMSN to the requesting agency.
(1) The President's Personal Representative for Micronesian Status Negotiations shall receive appeals for denial of documents by OMSN. Such appeals shall be addressed to President's Personal Representative for Micronesian Status Negotiations, Suite 3356, Interior Department Building, Washington, DC 20240. The appeal must be received in OMSN within 60 days of the date of the original denial letter or the final release of documents, whichever is later.
(2) Appeals shall be decided within 30 days of their receipt.
(1) Fees for the location and reproduction of information which is the subject of a mandatory review request shall be assessed according to the following schedule:
(i) Search for records: $5.00 per hour when the search is conducted by a clerical employee; $8.00 per hour when the search is conducted by a professional employee. No fee shall be assessed for searches of less than one hour.
(ii) Reproduction of documents: Documents will be reproduced at a rate of $.25 per page for all copying of four pages or more. No fee shall be assessed for reproducing documents which are three pages or less, or for the first three pages of longer documents.
(2) Where it is anticipated that the fees chargeable under this section will amount to more than $25.00, and the requestor has not indicated in advance a willingness to pay fees as high as are anticipated, the requestor shall be promptly notified of the amount of the anticipated fee or such portion thereof as can readily be estimated. In instances where the estimated fees will greatly exceed $25.00, an advance deposit may be required. Dispatch of such a notice or request shall suspend the running of the period for response by OMSN until a reply is received from the requestor.
(3) Remittance shall be in the form either of a personal check or bank draft on a bank in the United States, or a postal money order. Remittance shall be made payable to Treasurer of the United States and mailed to the address noted in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(4) A receipt for fees paid will be provided only upon request. Refund of fees for services actually rendered will not be made.
(5) OMSN may waive all or part of any fee provided for in this section when it is deemed to be in either the interest of OMSN or of the general public.