(a) FOIA requests received by a Council should be coordinated promptly with the appropriate NMFS Regional Office. The Region will forward the request to the NOAA FOIA Officer to secure a FOIA number and log the request into FOIAonline. The Region will also obtain clearance from the NOAA General Counsel's Office concerning initial determination for denial of requested information.
(b) FOIA request processing will be controlled and documented in the Region. The requests should be forwarded to the NOAA FOIA Officer who will enter the request into FOIAonline. The request will be assigned an official FOIA number and due date. In the event the Region determines that the requested information is exempt from disclosure, in full or in part, under the FOIA, the denial letter prepared for the Assistant Administrator's signature, along with the “Foreseeable Harm” Memo and list of documents to be withheld, must be cleared through the NMFS FOIA Liaison. Upon completion, a copy of the signed letter transmitting the information to the requester should be posted to FOIAonline by NMFS.
[80 FR 57738, Sept. 25, 2015]