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e-CFR data is current as of August 4, 2020

Title 34Subtitle APart 5Subpart C → §5.20

Title 34: Education
Subpart C—Procedures for Requesting Access to Agency Records and Disclosure of Agency Records

§5.20   Requirements for making FOIA requests.

(a) Making a FOIA request. Any FOIA request for an agency record must be in writing, must include a valid electronic mail or physical address, and must be transmitted to the Department as indicated on the Department's website. See www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/request__foia.html.

(b) Description of agency records sought. A FOIA request must reasonably describe the agency record sought, to enable Department personnel to locate the agency record or records with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, a FOIA request should describe the type of agency record requested, the subject matter of the agency record, the date, if known, or general time period when it was created, and the person or office that created it. Requesters who have detailed information that would assist in identifying and locating the agency records sought are urged to provide this information to the Department to expedite the handling of a FOIA request.

(c) FOIA request deemed insufficient. If the Department determines that a FOIA request does not reasonably describe the agency record or records sought, the FOIA request will be deemed insufficient under the Act. In that case, the Department informs the requester of the reason the FOIA request is insufficient and, at the Department's option, either administratively closes the FOIA request as insufficient without determining whether to grant the FOIA request or provides the requester an opportunity to modify the FOIA request to meet the requirements of this section.

(d) Verification of identity. In compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, FOIA requests for agency records pertaining to the requester, a minor, or an individual who is legally incompetent must include verification of the requester's identity pursuant to 34 CFR 5b.5.

(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 20 U.S.C. 3474)

[75 FR 33510, June 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 67867, Dec. 12, 2019]

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