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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 12Chapter IPart 4Subpart B → §4.15


Title 12: Banks and Banking
PART 4—ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS, AVAILABILITY AND RELEASE OF INFORMATION, CONTRACTING OUTREACH PROGRAM, POST-EMPLOYMENT RESTRICTIONS FOR SENIOR EXAMINERS
Subpart B—Availability of Information Under the Freedom of Information Act


§4.15   How to request records.

(a) Available information. Subject to the exemptions described in §4.12(b), any OCC record is available to any person upon specific request in accordance with this section.

(b) Where to submit request or appeal—(1) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a person requesting a record or filing an administrative appeal must submit the request or appeal:

(i) Through the OCC's FOIA Web portal at https://foia-pal.occ.gov/palMain.aspx;

(ii) Through the consolidated online request portal maintained by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(m)(1); or

(iii) Under this section to the Chief FOIA Officer, Communications Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219.

(2) Exceptions—(i) Records at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. A person requesting any of the following records, other than blank forms (see §4.14(a)(7)), must submit the request to the FDIC, Legal Division, FOIA/PA Group, 550-17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20429, or fax to (703) 562-2797:

(A) Consolidated Report of Condition and Income (FFIEC 031, 032, 033, 034);

(B) Annual Report of Trust Assets (FFIEC 001);

(C) Uniform Bank Performance Report; and

(D) Special Report.

(ii) Records of another agency. When the OCC receives a request for records in its possession that another Federal agency either generated or provided to the OCC, the OCC promptly informs the requester and immediately forwards the request to that agency for processing in accordance with that agency's regulations.

(c) Request for records—(1) Contact information and what the request for records must include. A person requesting records under this section must state, in writing:

(i) The requester's full name, address, telephone number and, at the requester's option, electronic mail address.

(ii) A reasonable description of the records sought (including sufficient detail to enable OCC employees who are familiar with the subject matter of the request to locate the records with a reasonable amount of effort);

(iii) A statement agreeing to pay all fees that the OCC assesses under §4.17;

(iv) A description of how the requester intends to use the records, if a requester seeks placement in a lower fee category (i.e., a fee category other than “commercial use requester”) under §4.17; and

(v) Whether the requester prefers the OCC to deliver a copy of the records or to allow the requester to inspect the records at the appropriate OCC office.

(2) Initial determination. The Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate initially determines whether to grant a request for OCC records and notifies the requester, in accordance with the time limits set forth in paragraph (f) of this section, of the determination and the reasons therefore and of the right to seek assistance from the OCC's FOIA Public Liaison.

(3) If request is granted. If the OCC grants a request for records, in whole or in part, the OCC promptly discloses the records in one of two ways, depending on the requester's stated preference:

(i) The OCC may deliver a copy of the records to the requester. If the OCC delivers a copy of the records to the requester, the OCC duplicates the records at reasonable and proper times that do not interfere with their use by the OCC or preclude other persons from making inspections; or

(ii) The OCC may allow the requester to inspect the records at reasonable and proper times that do not interfere with their use by the OCC or preclude other persons from making inspections. If the OCC allows the requester to inspect the records, the OCC may place a reasonable limit on the number of records that a person may inspect during a day.

(4) If request is denied. If the OCC denies a request for records, in whole or in part, the OCC will notify the requester in writing. The notification is dated and contains a brief statement of the reasons for the denial, sets forth the name and title or position of the official making the decision, advises the requester of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the OCC's FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services, and advises the requester of the right to appeal to the Comptroller of the Currency in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) Administrative appeal of a denial—(1) Procedure. A requester must submit an administrative appeal of denial of a request for records in writing within 90 days after the date of the initial determination. The appeal must include the circumstances and arguments supporting disclosure of the requested records.

(2) Appellate determination. The Comptroller or the Comptroller's delegate determines whether to grant an appeal of a denial of a request for OCC records.

(3) If appeal is granted. If the OCC grants an appeal, in whole or in part, the OCC treats the request as if it were originally granted, in whole or in part, by the OCC in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(4) If appeal is denied. If the OCC denies an appeal, in whole or in part, the OCC notifies the requester in writing. The notification contains a brief statement of the reasons for the denial, sets forth the name and title or position of the official making the decision, and advises the requester of the right to judicial review of the denial under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B).

(e) Judicial review—(1) General. If the OCC denies an appeal pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, or if the OCC fails to make a determination within the time limits specified in paragraph (f) of this section, the requester may commence an action to compel disclosure of records, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B), in the United States district court in:

(i) The district where the requester resides;

(ii) The district where the requester's principal place of business is located;

(iii) The district where the records are located; or

(iv) The District of Columbia.

(2) Service of process. In commencing an action described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the requester, in addition to complying with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (28 U.S.C. appendix) for service upon the United States or agencies thereof, must serve process on the Chief Counsel or the Chief Counsel's delegate at the following location: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20219.

(f) Time limits for responding to FOIA requests. (1) The OCC makes an initial determination to grant or deny a request for records within 20 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) after the date of receipt of the request, as described in paragraph (g) of this section, except as stated in paragraph (f)(3) of this section.

(2) Appeal. The OCC makes a determination to grant or deny an administrative appeal within 20 business days after the date of receipt of the appeal, as described in paragraph (g) of this section, except as stated in paragraph (f)(3) of this section.

(3) Extension of time. The time limits set forth in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section may be extended as follows:

(i) In unusual circumstances. The OCC may extend the time limits in unusual circumstances for a maximum of 10 business days. If the OCC extends the time limits, the OCC provides written notice to the person making the request or appeal, containing the reason for the extension and the date on which the OCC expects to make a determination. Unusual circumstances exist when the OCC requires additional time to:

(A) Search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other buildings that are separate from the office processing the request or appeal;

(B) Search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of requested records;

(C) Consult with another agency that has a substantial interest in the determination of the request; or

(D) Allow two or more components of the OCC that have substantial interest in the determination of the request to consult with each other;

(ii) By agreement. A requester may agree to extend the time limits for any amount of time;

(iii) By judicial action. If a requester commences an action pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section for failure to comply with the time limits set forth in this paragraph (f), a court with jurisdiction may, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(C), allow the OCC additional time to complete the review of the records requested, or

(iv) Tolling of time limits. (A) The OCC may toll the 20-day time period to:

(1) Make one request for additional information from the requester; or

(2) Clarify the applicability or amount of any fees, if necessary, with the requester.

(B) The tolling period ends upon the OCC's receipt of requested information from the requester or resolution of the fee issue.

(4) Requests that require more than a 10-day extension to process. If the OCC determines unusual circumstances apply to a request for records, and the OCC determines it cannot respond to the request within the 10-day extension set forth in paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this section, the OCC will:

(i) Notify the requester that the request cannot be processed within the time limit set forth in paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this section;

(ii) Provide the requester with an opportunity to limit the scope of the request so that it may be processed within that 10-day period or to arrange with the OCC an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request;

(iii) Make available the FOIA Public Liaison, who shall assist in the resolution of any disputes between the requester and the OCC; and

(iv) Notify the requester of the right of the requester to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services.

(g) Date of receipt of request or appeal. The date of receipt of a request for records or an appeal is the date that Disclosure Services, Communications Division receives a request that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) or (d)(1) of this section, except as provided in §4.17(d).

(h) Dispute resolution services. Requesters with concerns about the handling of their FOIA requests may contact the FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services for dispute resolution services.

(1) To apply for dispute resolution assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison, requesters should submit a written request to the FOIA Public Liaison, Communications Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219.

(2) For dispute resolution services through the Office of Government Services, requesters should contact the Office of Government Services as set forth at 36 CFR 1250.32.

[60 FR 57322, Nov. 15, 1995, as amended at 75 FR 17850, Apr. 8, 2010; 76 FR 43562, July 21, 2011; 79 FR 15641, Mar. 21, 2014; 81 FR 94245, Dec. 23, 2016]

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