About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[2]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 22, 2014

Title 49: Transportation
PART 7—PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION


Subpart E—Time Limits


Contents
§7.31   Initial determinations.
§7.32   Final determinations.
§7.33   Extension.

§7.31   Initial determinations.

An initial determination whether to release a record requested pursuant to subpart C of this part will be made within twenty Federal working days after the request is received by the appropriate office in accordance with §7.14, except that this time limit may be extended by up to ten Federal working days in accordance with §7.33. The person making the request will be notified immediately of such determination. If the determination is to grant the request, the desired record will be made available as promptly as possible. If the determination is to deny the request, the person making the request will be notified in writing, at the same time he or she is notified of such determination, of the reason for the determination, the right of such person to appeal the determination, and the name and title of each person responsible for the initial determination to deny the request.

(a) In general. Components ordinarily will respond to requests according to their order of receipt.

(b) Multitrack processing. (1) A component may use two or more processing tracks by distinguishing between simple and more complex requests based on the amount of work and/or time needed to process the request, or on the number of pages involved.

(2) A component using multitrack processing may provide requesters in its slower track(s) with an opportunity to limit the scope of their requests in order to qualify for faster processing within the specified limits of the component's faster track(s). A component doing so will contact the requestor either by telephone, letter, facsimile, or electronic mail, whichever is most efficient in each case.

(c) Expedited processing. (1) Requests and appeals will be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever a compelling need is demonstrated and it is determined that the compelling need involves:

(i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) Requests made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, with an urgency to inform the public of actual or alleged Federal Government activity.

(2) A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of the initial request for records or at any later time. For a prompt determination, a request for expedited processing must be received by the proper component. Requests must be submitted to the component that maintains the records requested.

(3) A requestor who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. For example, a requestor within the category in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, if not a full-time member of the news media, must establish that he or she is a person whose main professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be his or her sole occupation. A requestor within the category in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request, beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The formality of certification may be waived as a matter of discretion.

(4) Within ten calendar days of receipt of a request for expedited processing, the proper component will decide whether to grant it and will notify the requestor of the decision. If a request for expedited treatment is granted, the request will be given priority and will be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision will be acted on expeditiously.

§7.32   Final determinations.

(a) A determination with respect to any appeal made pursuant to §7.21 will be made within twenty Federal working days after receipt of such appeal except that this time limit may be extended by up to ten Federal working days in accordance with §7.33. The person making the request will be notified immediately of such determination pursuant to §7.21.

(b) In general. Components ordinarily will respond to appeals according to their order of receipt.

(c) Multitrack processing. (1) A component may use two or more processing tracks by distinguishing between simple and more complex appeals based on the amount of work and/or time needed to process the appeal, or on the number of pages involved.

(2) A component using multitrack processing may provide persons making appeals in its slower track(s) with an opportunity to limit the scope of their appeals in order to qualify for faster processing within the specified limits of the component's faster track(s). A component doing so will contact the person making the appeal either by telephone, letter, facsimile, or electronic mail, whichever is most efficient in each case.

(d) Expedited processing. (1) An appeal will be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever a compelling need is demonstrated and it is determined that the compelling need involves:

(i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) A request made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, with an urgency to inform the public of actual or alleged Federal Government activity.

(2) A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of the appeal or at any later time. For a prompt determination, a request for expedited processing must be received by the proper component, which is the component that is processing the appeal for the records requested.

(3) A requestor who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. For example, a requestor within the category in §7.31(c)(1)(ii), if not a full-time member of the news media, must establish that he or she is a person whose main professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be his or her sole occupation. A requestor within the category in §7.31(c)(1)(ii) also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request, beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The formality of certification may be waived as a matter of discretion. A person who was granted expedited processing under §7.31 need merely certify that the same circumstances apply.

(4) Within ten calendar days of receipt of a request for expedited processing, the proper component will decide whether to grant it and will notify the requestor of the decision. If a request for expedited treatment is granted, the appeal will be given priority and will be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing of an appeal is denied, no further administrative recourse is available.

§7.33   Extension.

(a) In unusual circumstances as specified in this section, the time limits prescribed in §7.31 and §7.32 may be extended by written notice to the person making the request setting forth the reasons for such extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. Such notice may not specify a date that would result in a cumulative extension of more than 10 Federal working days without providing the requestor an opportunity to modify the request as noted in this section. As used in this paragraph, “unusual circumstances” means, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular request:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request.

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

(3) The need for consultation, which will be conducted with all practicable speed, with any other agency or DOT component having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject-matter interest therein.

(b) Where the extension is for more than 10 working days, the DOT component will provide the requestor with an opportunity either to modify the request so that it may be processed within the time limits or to arrange an alternative time period with the component for processing the request or a modified request.

(c) Where a component reasonably believes that multiple requests submitted by a requestor, or by a group of requesters acting in concert, constitute a single request that would otherwise involve unusual circumstances, and the requests involve clearly related matters, they may be aggregated for the purposes of fees and processing activities. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters will not be aggregated.



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.