Seal of the U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State: Freedom of Information Act
Freedom of Information Act

Appeals

Any adverse determination, including the failure to find material responsive to the request or the denial of access to material, may be administratively appealed by the requester.

Denial of Access

Appeals of denial of access should be made in writing and should be sent to the Chairman, Appeals Review Panel, c/o Information and Privacy Coordinator/Appeals Officer, U.S. Department of State, A/GIS/IPS/PP, SA-2, Washington, DC 20522-8100. The appeal should be received within 60 days of the date of when a requester received the Department's denial. The appeal letter should state why the requester disagrees with the determination and provide any additional supporting information. This might include examples of material previously released by the State Department.

For FOIA Requests, the Department has twenty working days from the date the letter of appeals is received to respond to an appeal of denial of access. This may be extended for up to an additional 10 days in unusual circumstances.

For Privacy Act Requests, the Department has thirty working days from the date the letter of appeals is received to respond to an appeal of denial of access. The Panel may extend an additional 30 days to respond for good cause shown.

Fee Waiver/Expeditious Handling

The Department's decision to refuse to waive or reduce fees, or grant expedition, may also be appealed within 30 days of the receipt of the denial by writing to Chief of the Requester Liaison Division, c/o Information and Privacy Coordinator, U.S. Department of State, A/GIS/IPS/RL, SA-2, Washington, DC 20522-8100. The appeal letter should contain as much information and documentation as possible to support the request for a waiver or reduction of fees.

For FOIA Requests, the Department has thirty working days from the date the letter of appeal is received to respond to an appeal of a decision of a refusal to reduce or waive fees.

If, on appeal, the denial is upheld in whole or in part, the requester has the right to seek judicial review of the Department’s actions.

11-03-2017   Download Acrobat Reader