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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of November 20, 2014

Title 24Subtitle BChapter XII → Part 2002


Title 24: Housing and Urban Development


PART 2002—AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC


Contents
§2002.1   Scope of the part and applicability of other HUD regulations.
§2002.3   OIG's overall policy concerning discloseable records and requests for OIG records.
§2002.5   Records produced upon request when reasonably described.
§2002.7   OIG processing of requests.
§2002.9   Where to review records.
§2002.11   Review of records, aggregating requests and waiving or reducing fees.
§2002.13   Charges for interest and for unsuccessful searches; utilization of Debt Collection Act.
§2002.15   Advance payments.
§2002.17   Time limitations.
§2002.19   Authority to release records or copies.
§2002.21   Authority to deny requests for records and form of denial.
§2002.23   Effect of denial of request.
§2002.25   Administrative review.

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; Electronic Freedom of Information Act (Pub. L. 104-231); Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-579); 5 U.S.C. App. 3 (Inspector General Act of 1978); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d); Delegation of Authority, Jan. 9, 1981 (46 FR 2389).

Source: 49 FR 11165, Mar. 26, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

§2002.1   Scope of the part and applicability of other HUD regulations.

(a) General. This part contains the regulations of the Office of Inspector General which implement the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). It informs the public how to request records and information from the Office of Inspector General and explains the procedure to use if a request is denied. Requests for documents made by subpoena or other order are governed by procedures contained in part 2004 of this chapter. In addition to the regulations in this part, the following provisions of part 15 of this title covering the production or disclosure of material or information apply (except as limited in paragraph (b) of this section) to the production or disclosure of material in the possession of the Office of Inspector General:

§15.2—What definitions apply to this part?

§15.3—What exemptions are authorized by 5 U.S.C. 552?;

§15.108—What are HUD's policies concerning designating confidential commercial or financial information under Exemption 4 of the FOIA and responding to requests for business information?

§15.110—What fees will HUD charge?

(b) Limited applicability of section 15.110. For purposes of this part, paragraphs (d) through (k) of §15.110 are not applicable.

(c) Use of the term “HUD”. For purposes of this part, and when the words “HUD” or “Department” are used in this part or §§15.2(b), 15.3, 15.108 and 15.110 of this title, the term means the Office of the Inspector General.

(d) Request for declassification and release of classified material. Section 15.107 of this title contains provisions for requesting declassification and release of declassified material.

[67 FR 47216, July 17, 2002]

§2002.3   OIG's overall policy concerning discloseable records and requests for OIG records.

(a) The Office of Inspector General will fully and responsibly disclose its identifiable records and information consistent with competing public interests, such as national security, personal privacy, grand jury and investigative secrecy, complainant confidentiality, agency deliberative process, as are recognized by FOIA and other federal statutes.

(b) A request for Office of Inspector General records may be made in person during normal business hours at any office where Office of Inspector General employees are permanently stationed. Although oral requests may be honored, a requester may be asked to submit the request in writing. A written request shall be addressed to: The Office of Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW, Room 8260, Washington, DC 20410.

(c) Each request must reasonably describe the desired record including the name, subject matter, and number or date, where possible, so that the record may be identified and located. The request should also include the name, address and telephone number of the requester, and the format in which the requester would like the desired record to be reproduced. In order to enable the Office of Inspector General to comply with the time limitations set forth in §2002.17, both the envelope containing a written request and the letter itself should clearly indicate that the subject is a Freedom of Information Act request.

(d) The request must be accompanied by the fee or an offer to pay the fee as determined in §15.110.

(e) Copies of available records will be made as promptly as possible. Copying service will be limited to not more than 10 copies of any single page. Records that are published or available for sale need not be reproduced.

(f) To the extent that records are readily reproducible, the Office of Inspector General will send records in the form requested, including electronic format.

[67 FR 47217, July 17, 2002]

§2002.5   Records produced upon request when reasonably described.

(a) When a request is made which reasonably describes a record of the Office of Inspector General (see §2002.3) which has been stored in the National Archives or other record center of the General Services Administration, the record will be requested by the Office of Inspector General if it otherwise would be available under this part.

(b) Every effort will be made to make a record in use by the staff of the Office of Inspector General available when requested, and such availability will be deferred only to the extent necessary to avoid serious interference with the business of the Office of Inspector General.

§2002.7   OIG processing of requests.

(a) Multitracking. (1) The Office of Inspector General places each request in one of two tracks. The Office of Inspector General places requests in its simple or complex track based on the amount of work and time involved in processing the request. Factors the Office of Inspector General will consider in assigning a request in the simple or complex track will include whether the request involves the processing of voluminous documents and/or whether the request involves responsive documents from more than one organizational unit. Within each track, the Office of Inspector General processes requests in the order in which they are received.

(2) For requests that have been sent to the wrong office, the Office of Inspector General will assign the request within each track using the earlier of either:

(i) The date on which the request was referred to the appropriate office; or,

(ii) The end of the ten (10) working day period in which the request should have been referred to the appropriate office.

(b) Expedited processing. The Office of Inspector General may take your request or appeal out of normal order if the Office of Inspector General determines that you have a compelling need for the records or in other cases as determined by the Office of Inspector General. If the Office of Inspector General grants your request for expedited processing, the Office of Inspector General will give your request priority and will process it as soon as practicable. The Office of Inspector General will consider a compelling need to exist if:

(1) Your failure to obtain the requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual or a threatened loss of substantial due process rights; or,

(2) You are primarily engaged in disseminating information and there is an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity.

[67 FR 47217, July 17, 2002]

§2002.9   Where to review records.

(a) You may inspect and copy hardcopy records that section 552(a)(2) of FOIA requires the Office of Inspector General make available to the public in reading rooms. At the Headquarters and DC Offices, this would be at HUD's Library, Room 8141, 451 Seventh St., SW, Washington, DC 20410, and should be coordinated through Counsel's Office to the Inspector General, Room 8260. Local offices may coordinate for local requests.

(b) For records created on or after November 1, 1996, this information is available to you through the Office of Inspector General's Internet website at http://www.hud.gov/oig/oigindex.html.

[67 FR 47217, July 17, 2002]

§2002.11   Review of records, aggregating requests and waiving or reducing fees.

(a) Review of records. Only requesters who are seeking documents for commercial use may be charged for the time HUD spends reviewing records to determine whether they are exempt from mandatory disclosure. Charges may be assessed only for the initial review (i.e., the review undertaken the first time HUD analyzes the applicability of a specific exemption to a particular record or portion of a record). HUD will not charge for review at the administrative appeal level of an exemption already applied. However, records or portions of records withheld in full under an exemption which is subsequently determined not to apply may be reviewed again to determine the applicability of other exemptions not previously considered. The costs for such a subsequent review would be properly assessable. Review time will be assessed at the same rates established for search time in §15.110 of this title.

(b) Aggregating requests. A requester may not file multiple requests at the same time, each seeking portions of a document or documents, solely in order to avoid payment of fees. When HUD reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert, is attempting to break a request down into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of fees, HUD may aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly.

(c) Waiving or reducing fees. HUD will furnish documents without charge or at reduced charge if disclosure of the information 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. The official authorized to grant access to records may waive or reduce the applicable fee where requested. The determination not to waive or reduce the fee will be subject to administrative review as provided in §2002.25 after the decision on the request for access has been made. Six factors shall be used in determining whether the requirements for a fee waiver or reduction are met. These factors are as follows:

(1) The subject of the request: Whether the subject of the requested records concerns “the operations or activities of the government”;

(2) The informative value of the information to be disclosed: Whether the disclosure is “likely to contribute” to an understanding of government operations or activities;

(3) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to “public understanding”;

(4) The significance of the contribution to public understanding: Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute “significantly” to public understanding of government operations or activities;

(5) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, if so

(6) The primary interest in disclosure: Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is “primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.”

[53 FR 37551, Sept. 27, 1988, as amended at 67 FR 47217, July 17, 2002]

§2002.13   Charges for interest and for unsuccessful searches; utilization of Debt Collection Act.

(a) Charging interest. HUD will begin assessing interest charges on an unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the day on which the billing was sent. A fee received by HUD, even if not processed, will suffice to stay the accrual of interest. Interest will be at the rate prescribed in section 3717 of title 31 U.S.C. and will accrue from the date of the billing.

(b) Charge for unsuccessful search. Ordinarily no charge for search time will be assessed when the records requested are not found or when the records located are withheld as exempt. However, if the requester has been notified of the estimated cost of the search time and has been advised specifically that the requested records may not exist or may be withheld as exempt, fees shall be charged.

(c) Use of Debt Collection Act of 1982. When a requester has failed to pay a fee charged in a timely fashion (i.e., within 30 days of the date of the billing), HUD may, under the authority of the Debt Collection Act and part 17, subpart C of this title, use consumer reporting agencies and collection agencies, where appropriate, to recover the indebtedness owed the Department.

[53 FR 37552, Sept. 27, 1988]

§2002.15   Advance payments.

(a) HUD may not require a requester to make an advance payment, i.e., payment before work is commenced or continued on a request, unless:

(1) HUD estimates or determines that allowable charges that a requester may be required to pay are likely to exceed $250. Then, HUD will 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 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) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a fee charged in a timely fashion (i.e., within 30 days of the date of the billing), HUD may require the requester to pay the full amount owed plus any applicable interest as provided by §2002.13(a) or demonstrate that he has, in fact, paid the fees, and to make an advance payment of the full amount of the estimated fee before HUD begins to process a new request or a pending request from that requester.

(b) When HUD acts under paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section, the administrative time limits prescribed in subsection (a)(6) of the FOIA (i.e., 20 working days from receipt of initial requests and 20 working days from receipt of appeals from initial denial, plus permissible extensions of these time limits) will begin only after HUD has received fee payments described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Where it is anticipated that either the duplication fee individually, the search fee individually, or a combination of the two exceeds $25.00 over and above the free search time and duplication costs, where applicable, and the requesting party has not indicated in advance a willingness to pay so high a fee, the requesting party shall be promptly informed of the amount of the anticipated fee or such portion thereof as can readily be estimated. The notification shall offer the requesting party the opportunity to confer with agency representatives for the purpose of reformulating the request so as to meet that party's needs at a reduced cost.

[53 FR 37552, Sept. 27, 1988, as amended at 67 FR 47217, July 17, 2002]

§2002.17   Time limitations.

(a) Upon receipt of a request for records, the appropriate Assistant Inspector General or an appointed designee will determine within twenty (20) working days whether to grant the request. The Assistant Inspector General or designee will notify the requestor immediately in writing of the determination and the right of the person to request a review by the Inspector General of an adverse determination.

(b) The time of receipt for processing a request for records purposes is the time it is received by the appropriate office for review. If a request is misdirected by the requester, the Office of Inspector General or Department official who receives the request will promptly refer it to the appropriate office and will advise the requester about the delayed time of receipt.

(c) A determination with respect to a request for review by the Inspector General of HUD under §2002.25 will be made within 20 working days after receipt and will be communicated immediately to the person requesting review.

(d) If the Office of Inspector General grants the request for records, the records will be made available promptly to the requester.

(e) In unusual circumstances as specified in this paragraph, and subject to the concurrence of any Assistant Inspector General or appointed designee, the time limits prescribed in either paragraph (a) or (c) of this section may be extended. Any extension will be in writing to the requester and will include reasons for the extension and the date on which the disposition of the request will be sent. No extension will be for more than ten working days. As used in this paragraph, unusual circumstances means (but only to the extent necessary to the proper processing of the particular request) that there is a need:

(1) To search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request; or

(2) To search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request; or

(3) For consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more offices of the Office of Inspector General having a substantial interest in the subject matter of the request.

[49 FR 11165, Mar. 26, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 53 FR 37550, 37552, Sept. 27, 1988; 57 FR 2227; Jan. 21, 1992; 59 FR 14097, Mar. 25, 1994; 67 FR 47217, July 17, 2002]

§2002.19   Authority to release records or copies.

Any Assistant Inspector General or an appointed designee is authorized to release any record (or copy) pertaining to activities for which he or she has primary responsibility, unless disclosure is clearly inappropriate under this part. No authorized person may release records for which another officer has primary responsibility without the consent of the officer or his or her designee.

[49 FR 11165, Mar. 26, 1984. Redesignated at 53 FR 37550, Sept. 27, 1988, as amended at 59 FR 14098, Mar. 25, 1994]

§2002.21   Authority to deny requests for records and form of denial.

(a) An Assistant Inspector General may deny a request for a record. Any denial will:

(1) Be in writing;

(2) State simply the reasons for the denial;

(3) State that review of the denial by the Inspector General of HUD may be requested;

(4) Set forth the steps for obtaining review consistent with §2002.25; and

(5) Be signed by the Assistant Inspector General responsible for the denial.

(b) The classes of records authorized to be exempted from disclosure by the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) are those which concern matters that are:

(1)(i) Specifically authorized under criteria established by an executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy; and

(ii) Are in fact properly classified under the cited executive order;

(2) Related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of HUD;

(3) Specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552b of title 5), provided that the statute either:

(i) Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in a manner that leaves no discretion on the issue; or

(ii) Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;

(4) Trade secrets and commercial or financial information that are obtained from a person and are privileged or confidential;

(5) Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with HUD;

(6) Personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(7) Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information:

(i) Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;

(ii) Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;

(iii) Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(iv) Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a state, local, or foreign agency or authority, or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source;

(v) Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or

(vi) Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;

(8) Contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or

(9) Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

(c) With regard to a request for commercial or financial information, predisclosure notification to business submitters is required by Executive Order 12600 (3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235) to afford the business submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure of the requested information.

(d) Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided to any person requesting the record, after deletion of the portions that are exempt under this section.

[57 FR 2228, Jan. 21, 1992, as amended at 59 FR 14098, Mar. 25, 1994]

§2002.23   Effect of denial of request.

Denial of a request shall terminate the authority of the Assistant Inspector General or his or her designee to release or disclose the requested record, which thereafter may not be made available except with express authorization of the Inspector General of HUD.

[49 FR 11165, Mar. 26, 1984. Redesignated at 53 FR 37550, Sept. 27, 1988]

§2002.25   Administrative review.

(a) Review is available only from a written denial of a request for a record issued under §2002.21 and only if a written request for review is filed within 30 days after issuance of the written denial.

(b) A review may be initiated by mailing a request for review to the Inspector General of HUD, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Room 8256, Washington, DC 20410. Each request for review must contain the following:

(1) A copy of the request, if in writing;

(2) A copy of the written denial issued under §2002.21; and

(3) A statement of the circumstances, reasons, or arguments advanced in support of disclosure of the original request for the record.

In order to enable the Inspector General of HUD to comply with the time limitations set forth in §2002.17, both the envelope containing the request for review and the letter itself should clearly indicate that the subject is a Freedom of Information Act request for review.

(c) Review will be made promptly by the Inspector General of HUD on the basis of the written record described in paragraph (b) of this section. Before a denial, the Inspector General will obtain the concurrence of legal counsel for the Office of Inspector General.

(d) The time of receipt for processing of a request for review purposes is the time it is received by the Inspector General of HUD. If a request is misdirected by the requester and is received by one other than the Inspector General, the Office of Inspector General or Department official who receives the request will forward it promptly to the Inspector General and will advise the requester about the delayed time of receipt.

(e) The decision after review will be in writing, will constitute final agency action on the request, and, if the denial of the request for records is in full or in part upheld, the Inspector General will notify the person making the request of his or her right to seek judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4).

[49 FR 11165, Mar. 26, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 53 FR 37550, 37552, Sept. 27, 1988]



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