(a) Requirements for making an appeal. A requester may appeal any adverse determinations to TVA's office designated to receive FOIA appeals (FOIA Appeals Office). Examples of adverse determinations are provided in § 1301.6(e) of this subpart. Requesters can submit appeals by mail to TVA FOIA Appeals Official, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 W. Summit Hill Drive (WT 7C), Knoxville, TN 37902-1401. The requester must make the appeal in writing and to be considered timely it must be postmarked within 90 calendar days after the date of the initial response. The appeal should clearly identify the agency determination that is being appealed and the assigned request number. To facilitate handling, the requester should mark both the appeal letter and envelope “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
(b) Adjudication of appeals.
(1) The TVA Chief FOIA Officer and FOIA Appeals Official or designee will act on all appeals under this section.
(2) An appeal ordinarily will not be adjudicated if the request becomes a matter of FOIA litigation.
(3) On receipt of any appeal involving classified information, the Chief FOIA Officer and FOIA Appeals Official will take appropriate action to ensure compliance with applicable classification rules.
(c) Decisions on appeals. TVA will provide its decision on an appeal in writing. A decision that upholds TVA's determination in whole or in part must contain a statement that identifies the reasons for the affirmance, including any FOIA exemptions applied. The decision must provide the requester with notification of the statutory right to file a lawsuit and will inform the requester of the dispute resolution services offered by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) of the National Archives and Records Administration as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If TVA's decision is remanded or modified on appeal, TVA will notify the requester of that determination in writing. TVA will then further process the request in accordance with that appeal determination and will respond directly to the requester.
(d) Engaging in dispute resolution services provided by OGIS. Dispute resolution is a voluntary process. If TVA agrees to participate in the dispute resolution services provided by OGIS, it will actively engage as a partner to the process in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
(e) When appeal is required. Before seeking review by a court of TVA's adverse determination, a requester generally must first submit a timely administrative appeal.