Regulations last checked for updates: Jun 17, 2024

Title 39 - Postal Service last revised: Apr 01, 2024
§ 3006.35 - Consultation, referral, and coordination.

(a) Consultation. If records originated with the Commission but contain within them information of significance to another Federal agency or office, the Commission will typically consult with that other entity prior to making a release determination.

(b) Referral. In addition to referring all requests made pursuant to FOIA for Postal Service records to the Postal Service as specified by § 3006.30(d)(1), if the Commission believes that a different Federal agency is best able to determine whether to disclose the record, the Commission will typically refer responsibility for responding to the request regarding that record to that agency. Ordinarily, the agency that originated the record is presumed to be the best agency to make the disclosure determination. Whenever the Commission refers any part of the responsibility for responding to a request to another agency, the Commission will notify the requester of the referral, including the name of the agency and that agency's FOIA contact information.

(c) Coordination. The standard referral procedure is not appropriate where disclosure of the identity of the Federal 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. For example, if a non-law enforcement agency responding to a request for records on a living third party locates within its files records originating with a law enforcement agency, and if the existence of that law enforcement interest in the third party was not publicly known, then to disclose that law enforcement interest could cause an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of the third party. Similarly, if the Commission locates within its files material originating with an Intelligence Community agency, and the involvement of that agency in the matter is classified and not publicly acknowledged, then to disclose or give attribution to the involvement of that Intelligence Community agency could cause national security harms. In such instances, in order to avoid harm to an interest protected by an applicable exemption, the Commission will coordinate with the originating agency to seek its views on disclosure of the record. The Commission then will notify the requester of the release determination for the record that is the subject of the coordination.

(d) Classified information. On receipt of any request involving classified information, the Commission will determine whether the information is currently and properly classified in accordance with applicable classification rules. Whenever a request involves a record containing information that has been classified or may be appropriate for classification by another agency under any applicable executive order concerning the classification of records, the Commission must refer the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that information to the agency that classified the information, or that should consider the information for classification. Whenever an agency's record contains information that has been derivatively classified (for example, when it contains information classified by another agency), the Commission must refer the responsibility for responding to that portion of the request to the agency that classified the underlying information.

(e) Timing of responses to consultations and referrals. All consultations and referrals received by the Commission will be handled according to the date that the first agency received the perfected FOIA request.

(f) Agreements regarding consultations and referrals. The Commission may establish agreements with other agencies to eliminate the need for consultations or referrals with respect to particular types of records.

[88 FR 37154, June 7, 2023]
source: 74 FR 57256, Nov. 5, 2009, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 85 FR 9615, Feb. 19, 2020.
cite as: 39 CFR 3006.35