FOIA Handbook

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PREFACE

The FOIA’s roots lie in the democratic notion that since government derives its power from the citizenry, it must answer to the public. Ideally, the FOIA serves as a check on governmental and political power, creating greater accountability. It also empowers the public, enabling more informed political decision making.

The FOIA institutionalized mechanisms by which the public can monitor government activities. These range from document publication to individual query responses. Citizens did not have easy access to public records before the FOIA. A citizen had to show a need for the documents to get access. Under the FOIA, the presumption is reversed: executive documents are essentially public property. An agency can withhold information only if it can demonstrate how the materials fit one of nine categories of exemptions (listed in 5 U.S.C. § 552 (b) and 45 C.F.R. § 1602.9). The FOIA also carved out venues of appeal, providing resources when a member of the public feels that he or she has been wrongly denied access.

LSC is subject to the FOIA by the terms of the Legal Services Corporation Act. 42 U.S.C. § 2996d(g). LSC has implemented FOIA by adopting regulations that contain the rules and procedures LSC will follow in making its records available to the public. 45 CFR § 1602. LSC will make records about its operations, activities, and business available to the public to the maximum extent reasonably possible. LSC will withhold records from the public only in accordance with the FOIA and the LSC Act and regulations. LSC will disclose records otherwise exempt from disclosure under the FOIA when disclosure is not prohibited by law and disclosure would not foreseeably harm a legitimate interest of the public, LSC, a recipient, or any individual.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FOIA HANDBOOK

What is the Legal Services Corporation?

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a federally established and funded, yet private and independent, 501(c)(3) grantmaking organization that supports civil legal aid providers across the country. Its mission is to expand access to justice by funding high-quality, free attorneys for low-income Americans in basic civil matters like divorce, child custody, and eviction. It does not provide direct legal services itself but is the nation’s largest funder of legal aid.

LSC is headed by a bipartisan Board of Directors whose 11 members are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. Much like federal agencies, LSC receives an annual appropriation and is subject to ongoing congressional oversight. But as a private nonprofit, it enjoys greater independence and flexibility than federal agencies.

LSC awards grants to independent legal aid providers through a competitive grants process. LSC grants almost 95 percent of its total funding to legal aid providers. LSC currently has 133 grantees with more than 800 offices covering every county in the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Micronesia.

LSC grantees are independent 501(c)(3) organizations. They provide services based on the unique and pressing needs of the communities they serve. The most common practice areas, however, are family, housing, income maintenance, consumer, health, and employment law. The types of cases frequently encountered by LSC grantees include evictions, debt collection, foreclosures, divorces, child custody, spousal abuse, child abuse or neglect, access to health care, and benefit claims such as unemployment, disability, food stamps and public assistance.

LSC performs robust oversight of its grantees, conducting audits and on-site visits to evaluate grantee quality and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and various funding restrictions.

What is the purpose of the FOIA Handbook?

The FOIA Handbook serves as a reference guide for individuals seeking LSC records under FOIA. The Handbook provides an overview of LSC’s FOIA procedures and exemptions.  The Handbook also provides guidance on how to process and submit a FOIA request, where to send it, what types of information and records are available, outlines average response times, and provides instructions for submitting an appeal if your written request is denied.

The Handbook sections will be updated on a consistent basis as new developments occur in FOIA.

WHAT IS A RECORD

Records are any type of information made or received by LSC or the OIG for purposes of transacting LSC or OIG business and preserved by LSC or the OIG (either directly or maintained by a third party under contract to LSC or the OIG for records management purposes) regardless of form (e.g., paper or electronic, formal or informal, copies or original) as evidence of LSC's or OIG's organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of LSC or the OIG or because the record has informational value.

LSC and its OIG do not create or receive detailed information about specific grantee cases or clients. While LSC and its OIG maintain vigorous oversight of grantees, neither receives ground level day-to-day information about the details of the work grantees perform.

TYPES OF FOIA DISCLOSURES

LSC performs three types of information dissemination under the FOIA. The list below explains what universe of records is available via each mechanism.

A.      Type 1: Records Published in the Federal Register

LSC routinely publishes information in the Federal Register about our basic structure and operations. We make reasonable efforts to update the information. Consult the Federal Register if you want basic information on LSC’s:

  • location
  • functions
  • rules of procedure
  • substantive rules
  • statements of general policy
  • information as to how the public may obtain information, make submittal or requests, or obtain decisions.

B.      Type 2: Public Reading Room Records

1.         What records are in the public reading room?

Visit LSC’s online public reading room if you seek information about:

  • Final opinions and orders issues in case adjudication (these include LSC President or Inspector General decisions about FOIA request appeals);
  • Statements of policy and interpretation which LSC has adopted and are not published in the Federal Register;
  • Administrative staff manuals and instructions that affect a member of the public;
  • Copies of records that were:
    • Requested after 2017 and have been released to any person in response to individual FOIA requests under the policy establishing a “release to one is a release to all” presumptive standard for federal agencies when releasing records under the FOIA;
    • Requested before 2017 and were likely to become the subject of future requests for substantially the same records based on the nature of their subject matter;
    • Requested before 2017 and had been requested three or more times.
  • General index of such records; 
  • Other records of general interest to the public or recipients; 
  • Annual FOIA reports to the United States Department of Justice Office of Information Policy;
  • Notices published in the Federal Register, including rulemaking notices and Sunshine Act notices.

Some of these documents may be exempt from mandatory disclosure. We may not make all such records available in the public reading room. We may edit other reading room records by redacting details to prevent clearly unwarranted invasions of personal privacy. If we do, we will attach a full explanation of the redactions to the record. We also will indicate the extent of the redactions unless doing so would harm an interest protected by the exemption under which the redactions are made. If technically feasible, we will indicate the extent of the redactions at the place in the record where we made the redactions.

2.         Where is the public reading room?

LSC maintains an electronic public reading room that may be accessed at the FOIA Electronic Public Reading Room. LSC’s Office of Inspector General’s FOIA page can be accessed at https://www.oig.lsc.gov/contact-us/foia-request.

 3.         What are the procedures to use the public reading room?

A person who wishes to inspect or copy records in the public reading room should arrange a time in advance, by telephone or letter request made to the Office of Legal Affairs, Legal Services Corporation, 3333 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20007 or by email to FOIA@lsc.gov.

  1. In appropriate circumstances, LSC will advise persons making telephonic requests to use the public reading room that a written request would aid in the identification and expeditious processing of the records sought.
  2. Written requests should identify the records sought in the manner provided in § 1602.8(b) and should request a specific date for inspecting the records.
  3. LSC will advise the requester as promptly as possible if, for any reason, it is not feasible to make the records sought available on the date requested.
  4. A computer terminal and printer are available upon request in the public reading room for accessing Electronic Reading Room records.

C.      Type 3: Individual FOIA Requests

If you seek information about any other LSC records, then you must request that information via a formal FOIA request. Such requests may be made via email or mail, or through LSC’s FOIA website using the FOIA Request Electronic Submission Form.

SUBMITTING A FOIA REQUEST

A.      Who can submit a FOIA Request?

Any person can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, universities, businesses, and state and local governments. A FOIA request can be made for any LSC record. You can also specify the format in which you wish to receive the records, if they are readily available. The FOIA does not require agencies to conduct research for a requester, to analyze data, to answer written questions, or to create records in response to a request.

B.      What must the FOIA request submission include?

  • Must be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Request”
  • Must be addressed to the appropriate FOIA Analyst:

For records maintained by LSC:

Cheryl DuHart, FOIA Analyst

Office of Legal Affairs

Legal Services Corporation

3333 K St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20007

FOIA@lsc.gov

For records maintained by the Office of Inspector General:

Thomas Hester, FOIA Officer

Legal Services Corporation

Office of Inspector General

3333 K St. NW

Washington, D.C. 20007

FOIA@oig.lsc.gov

  • Must contain requestor’s contact information, such as phone number, email address, and/or mailing address.
  • Must reasonably describe the records sought so that we can locate responsive records with reasonable time and effort.
  • If known:
    • The specific event or action to which the record refers;
    • The unit or program of LSC which may be responsible for or may have produced the record;
    • The date of the record or the date of the period to which it refers or relates;
    • The type of record, such as an application, a grant, a contract, or a report;
    • Personnel who may have prepared or have knowledge of the record;
    • Citations to newspapers or publications which have referenced the record.
  • The preferred form or format for the records sought, if there is a preference. We will provide records in the preferred form or format to the extent that such records are readily reproducible in the requested form or format. We reserve the right to limit the number of copies of any document that will be provided to you or to require special arrangements for duplication be made in the case of bound volumes or other records representing unusual problems of handling or reproduction.
  • If applicable, a request for a waiver or reduction of FOIA fees and the grounds for such a waiver or reduction of fees.

C.      What if the request does not reasonably describe the records?

If we determine that a request does not reasonably describe the records sought, we will inform you of what additional information is needed or why the request is otherwise insufficient. If you try to reformulate or modify your request, you may discuss your request with LSC’s or OIG’s FOIA Analyst or FOIA Public Liaison.

D.      May I contact LSC before submitting a request?

Yes. Before you submit your request, you can contact LSC’s or OIG’s FOIA Analyst or FOIA Public Liaison to discuss the records you seek and to receive assistance in describing the records.

TIMING AND RESPONSES

A.      What is LSC’s procedure when a request is received?

  • We will email or mail, as appropriate, the requestor a confirmation of receipt within 10 working days of receipt.
  • After we receive a request, we will conduct a search for responsive records.
  • We will notify the requestor of our decision to grant or deny the request within 20 business days of receipt. If there is a delay in responding to the request, the FOIA Analyst will inform the requester with an explanation.
  • We will respond to requests for fee reduction/waiver as promptly as possible.
  • We prioritize requests that qualify for expedited treatment (45 CFR § 1602.8 (m)). All other requests are treated with ordinary diligence.
  • Records are provided in the requested form or format if readily available. We make reasonable efforts to search for records in electronic form; and
  • We compile a record of time and number of photocopies made preparing the response.

B.      What is the time period for handling a FOIA request?

The 20-day period begins on the date on which the request is first received by the appropriate office, but in no event, later than 10 working days after the request has been received by either the Office of Legal Affairs or the Office of the Inspector General.

The 20-day period shall not be tolled by the Office processing the request. For requests that are broad or complex or involve unusual circumstances (discussed below), we may make one request to you for information, and toll the 20-day period while we wait for the information that we have reasonably requested from you, or we communicate with you to clarify issues about fee assessment. In either case, the processing Office’s receipt of your response to our request for information or clarification ends the tolling period.

If we cannot send a determination to you within the applicable time limit, we will inform you of the reason for the delay, the date on which we expect to send our determination, and your right to treat the delay as a denial and to appeal to LSC’s President, or to seek dispute resolution services from a FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services.

If we have not sent you our determination by the end of the 20-day period or the last extension, you may deem the request denied and exercise a right of appeal or seek dispute resolution services from a FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services.

After we determine that your request will be granted, we will act with due diligence to provide you with a substantive response.

1.         What are unusual circumstances?

In unusual circumstances, we may extend the time limit for up to 10 working days by written notice to you setting out the reasons for such extension and the date on which we expect to send our determination. Unusual circumstances are limited to the following, but only to the extent necessary for the proper processing of your request:

  • The need to search for and collect the requested records from establishments that are separate from the office processing the request
  • The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request
  • The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency or organization, such as a grant recipient, having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of LSC having substantial subject matter interest.

2.         What if the request is broad or complex?

If your request is particularly broad or complex so that we cannot complete it within the 20-day period, we may ask you to narrow the request or agree to an additional delay. Also, to aid you, we will also make available a FOIA Public Liaison, who will assist in the resolution of any disputes between you and LSC. We also will notify you of your right to seek dispute resolution services from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of Government Information Services.

3. How do requests receive expedited treatment?

We will take requests and appeals out of order for expedited treatment if you show a compelling need. A compelling need means:

  • 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;
  • An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged LSC activity and you are primarily engaged in disseminating information;
  • Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to result in the loss of substantial due process rights; or
  • A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest raising questions about LSC’s integrity which may affect public confidence in LSC.

A request for expedited processing may be made in the original request or at any later time. You must make sure the request is properly addressed and marked and received by LSC. You must submit a statement showing a compelling need and explaining a detailed basis for an expedited process. You also must certify that the statement is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief.

Within 10 calendar days of receiving a request for expedited processing, we will decide whether to grant the request and will notify you of the decision. If granted, we will give your request priority and will process it as soon as practicable. If denied, you may appeal in writing to LSC’s President or Inspector General. Any appeal of a denial for expedited treatment will be acted on expeditiously.

4. Where is the status of FOIA requests and responses located?

The status of FOIA requests and responses for the current fiscal year is located on LSC’s FOIA website at https://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/foia/status-foia-requests-and-responses-2021. The status of requests and responses for previous fiscal years are located on LSC’s FOIA website at https://www.lsc.gov/about-lsc/foia/status-foia-requests-archives.

EXEMPTIONS

A.      When will LSC withhold records?

We will withhold information only if we reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption (discussed below) or disclosure is prohibited by law. We will consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever we determine that a full disclosure is not possible. We will take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and release nonexempt information.

B.      When may LSC withhold a requested record from public disclosure?

We may withhold your requested records only if one or more of the following exemptions under the FOIA apply:

Exemption 1: Matter that is specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and is in fact properly classified under such executive order;

Exemption 2: Matter that is related solely to the LSC’s internal personnel rules and practices.

Exemption 3: Matter that is specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than the exemptions under FOIA at 5 U.S.C. 552(b)), if such statute requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or establishes certain criteria for withholding, or refers to certain types of matters to be withheld;

Exemption 4: Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential;

Exemption 5: Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with LSC, if the deliberative process privilege shall not apply to records created 25 years or more before the date on which the records were requested;

Exemption 6: Personnel and medical files and similar files, the disclosure of which would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

Exemption 7: Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, such as enforcing the LSC Act or any other law, but only if releasing such records or information:

    • Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;
    • Would deprive a person or a recipient of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;
    • Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
    • Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution that furnished information on a confidential basis, and in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority during a criminal investigation, information furnished by a confidential source;
    • Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or
    • Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;

Exemption 8: Matter that is contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or

Exemption 9: Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

LSC will also withhold records deemed to be congressional records.

C.      What happens if one of the exemptions apply?

If one or more of these exemptions apply, we will give you any reasonably segregable portion of the record after we redact the exempt portions. We will inform you of the amount of information redacted and the exemption under which the redaction is being made on the released portion of the record, unless doing so would harm the interest protected by the exemption under which the redaction is made. If technically feasible, the amount of information redacted and the exemption under which the redaction is being made shall be indicated at the place in the record where the redaction occurs. You do not have the right to insist that any of these techniques to redact exempt information should be used to satisfy your request.

Exempt records may be made available at the discretion of the LSC official authorized to grant or deny the request for records, after appropriate consultation. Records may be made available when disclosure is not prohibited by law and does not appear adverse to legitimate interests of LSC, the public, a recipient, or any person.

DENIALS OF REQUESTS

We will put all denials of requests in writing, and the denials will include the following:

  • A reference to the applicable exemption(s) upon which the denial is based;
  • An explanation of how the exemption applies to your requested records;
  • A statement explaining why it is deemed unreasonable to provide segregable portions of the record after deleting the exempt parts;
  • An estimate of the volume of requested matter denied unless providing such estimate would harm the interest protected by the exemption under which the denial is made;
  • The name and title of the person(s) responsible for denying the request;
  • An explanation of the right to appeal the denial and of the procedures for submitting an appeal; and
  • An explanation of the right to seek dispute resolution services from the FOIA Public Liaison or the Office of Government Information Services.

If we make a record available subject to the deletion of a portion of the record, such action is considered a denial, which is appealable. All denials will be treated as final opinions.

APPEALS PROCESS

What is the appeal process?

  • If your written request is denied, you may appeal within 90 days of the date of response by writing to either the LSC President or the Inspector General, as appropriate.
  • Such a letter must be clearly marked “FOIA Appeal” (or something similar). It need not be in any particular form, but it must adequately identify the denial, describe the requested record, identify the official who issued the denial, and state the date that the denial was issued.
  • Ordinarily, no personal appearance, oral argument, or hearing is permitted. Yet, upon request and a showing of special circumstances, the President or Inspector General may waive this limitation and hold an informal conference.
  • The President or Inspector General, as appropriate, shall rule in writing on the appeal.
  • A ruling that affirms, reverses, or modifies a denial shall be dispatched within 20 business days and it shall respond to the appellant’s arguments.
  • Dispute resolution services are offered by the Archives and Records Administration Office of Government Information Services.

FEE STRUCTURE

A.      What charges are incurred with a FOIA Request?

Routine documents

We will not charge fees for information routinely provided in the normal course of business.

Commercial use

If you request records for commercial use, we limit fees to reasonable standard charges for document search, review, and duplication.

Failure to comply with time limits

We will not assess any search fees (or, if you are a representative of the news media, duplication fees) if we fail to comply with the applicable time limits and no unusual circumstances apply.

Unusual Circumstances

If we decide that unusual circumstances apply (see supra) and we give you timely written notice, a failure in 1602.9(c)(2) is excused for an additional 10 days. If we fail to comply with the extended time limit, we will not assess any search fees (or, if you are a representative of the news media, duplication fees).

If we decide that unusual circumstances apply, and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to your request, we may charge search fees or duplication fees if we have given you timely written notice and we have discussed with you via written mail, electronic mail, or telephone (or made at least three good-faith attempts to do so) how you could effectively limit the scope of the request.

News media, education, or non-commercial scientific institutions

If you are a representative of the news media or an educational or non-commercial scientific institution, we will limit the fees to reasonable standard charges for document duplication after the first 100 pages.

All other requests

For all other requests, we will limit fees to reasonable standard charges for search time after the first 2 hours and duplication after the first 100 pages. We may charge for time spent searching even if the search withholds exempt records or does not locate any responsive records.

B.      How are fees waived?

We will grant a fee waiver or fee reduction request if we decide that you have shown that disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of LSC’s operations or activities and is not primarily in your commercial interest.

C.      What information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of LSC’s operations or activities?

To make this determination, we consider 4 factors:

  • The subject of the request: does it concern “the operations or activities of LSC?” The subject must concern identifiable operations or activities of LSC, with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated.
  • The informative value of the information to be disclosed: is it “likely to contribute” to an understanding of LSC operations or activities? It must be meaningfully informative about LSC operations or activities to be likely to contribute to an increased public understanding of those operations or activities. The disclosure of information that is already in the public domain, in either a duplicative or a substantially identical form, would not be likely to contribute to such understanding where nothing new would be added to the public's understanding.
  • The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the public likely to result from disclosure: does it contribute to “public understanding?” It must contribute to a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in the subject, as opposed to the personal interest of the requester. We will consider your expertise in the subject area and ability and intention to effectively convey information to the public. We presume that a representative of the news media (as defined in 45 C.F.R. § 1602.2(k)) will satisfy this consideration.
  • The significance of the contribution to the public understanding:  is it likely to contribute “significantly” to public understanding of LSC operations or activities? The disclosure must enhance the public’s understanding of the subject in question to a significant extent.

D.      What information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester?

To make this determination, we consider two factors:

  • The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: do you have a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure? We will consider any commercial interest you may have (with reference to the definition of commercial use in 45 C.F.R. § 1602.2(a)) or of any person on whose behalf you may be acting, that would be furthered by the requested disclosure.
  • The primary interest in disclosure: whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that the disclosure is “primarily” in your commercial interest. A fee waiver or reduction is justified where the public interest is of greater magnitude than is any identified commercial interest in disclosure. We ordinarily presume that where a news media requester has satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who merely compile and market government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed primarily to serve a public interest.

E.      Are there any advanced fee payments?

You are not required to make an advance payment of fees unless:

  • You have previously failed to pay a fee within the 30-day billing period, in which case an advance deposit of the full amount of the anticipated fee together with the fee then due plus interest accrued may be required (and the request will not be deemed to have been received by LSC until such payment is made); or
  • We determine that an estimated fee will exceed $250, in which case we will notify you of the amount of the anticipated fee or such portion thereof as can readily be estimated. Such notification shall be transmitted as soon as possible, but in any event within five working days of receipt by LSC, giving the best estimate then available. The notification will offer you the opportunity to confer with appropriate representatives of LSC for reformulating the request to meet your needs at a reduced cost. The request will not be deemed to have been received by LSC for purposes of the initial 20-day response period until you make a deposit on the fee in an amount determined by LSC.

We may charge interest if you fail to pay the fees charged. Interest will be assessed on the amount billed, starting on the 31st day following the day on which the billing was sent. The rate charged will be as prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717.

If we reasonably believe that you are attempting to break a request into a series of requests to avoid the assessment of fees, we will aggregate such requests and charge accordingly. Likewise, we will aggregate multiple requests for documents received from the same requester within 45 days.

SUBMITTER'S RIGHTS PROCESS

What if a requester seeks confidential information?

If we receive a FOIA request seeking the release of confidential commercial information, we will give prompt written notice of the request to the submitter to afford the submitter an opportunity to object to the disclosure of the requested confidential commercial information. The notice shall reasonably describe the confidential commercial information requested, inform the submitter of the process required, and provide reasonable time for the submitter to respond. This does not toll the 20-day response deadline.

If a submitter who has received notice of a request for the submitter's confidential commercial information wishes to object to the disclosure of the confidential commercial information, the submitter must provide us, within the time period set forth in the notice, a detailed written statement identifying the information which it objects. The submitter must send its objections to the Office of Legal Affairs or, if it pertains to Office of Inspector General records, to the Office of Inspector General, and must specify the grounds for withholding the information under FOIA or this part. The submitter must show why the information is commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential. If the submitter fails to respond to our notice within the time period specified in the notice, we will deem the submitter to have no objection to the disclosure of the information.

Upon receipt of written objection to disclosure by a submitter, we will consider the submitter's objections and specific grounds for withholding in deciding whether to release the disputed information. Whenever we decide to disclose information over the objection of the submitter, we will give the submitter written notice which shall include:

  • A description of the information to be released and a notice that we intend to release the information;
  • A statement of the reason(s) why the submitter's request for withholding is being rejected; and
  • A specified disclosure date, which must be a reasonable time after the notice

The above-mentioned requirements do not apply if:

  • We determine upon initial review of the requested confidential commercial information that the requested information should not be disclosed;
  • The information has been previously published or officially made available to the public; or
  • Disclosure of the information is required by statute (other than FOIA) or LSC's regulations

Whenever a requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel disclosure of a submitter's information, will promptly notify the submitter. Whenever we provide a submitter with notice and opportunity to oppose disclosure under this section, we will notify the requester that the submitter's rights process under this section has been triggered. Likewise, whenever a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of the submitter's information, we shall notify the requester.

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