Regulations last checked for updates: Jun 12, 2024

Title 34 - Education last revised: May 29, 2024
§ 5.40 - Appeals of adverse determinations.

(a) In general. A requester may seek an administrative review of an adverse determination on the FOIA request made by the requester by submitting an appeal of the determination to the Department. Adverse determinations include denials of access to agency records, in whole or in part; “no agency records” responses; and adverse fee decisions, including denials of requests for fee waivers, and all aspects of fee assessments.

(b) Appeal requirements. A requester must submit an appeal within 90 calendar days of the date on the adverse determination letter issued by the Department or, where the requester has received no determination, at any time after the due date for such determination. An appeal must be in writing and must include a detailed statement of all legal and factual bases for the appeal.

(c) Determination on appeal. (1) The Department makes a written determination on an administrative appeal within 20 working days after receiving the appeal. The time limit may be extended in accordance with § 5.21(c) through (e). The Department's failure to comply with time limits set forth in this section constitutes exhaustion of the requester's administrative remedies for the purposes of initiating judicial action to compel disclosure.

(2) The Department's determination on an appeal constitutes the Department's final action on the FOIA request. Any Department determination denying an appeal in whole or in part includes the reasons for the denial, including any exemptions asserted under the Act, and notice of the requester's right to seek judicial review of the determination in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4). Where the Department makes a determination to grant an appeal in whole or in part, it processes the FOIA request subject to the appeal in accordance with the determination on appeal.

(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6), 20 U.S.C. 3474) [75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67868, Dec. 12, 2019; 89 FR 5098, Jan. 26, 2024; 89 FR 12244, Feb. 16, 2024]
authority: 5 U.S.C. 552,20.S.C. 1221e-3, and 20 U.S.C. 3474.
source: 75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, unless otherwise noted.
cite as: 34 CFR 5.40