Requests shall receive expedited processing when a requester demonstrates that a “compelling need” for the information exists. A “compelling need” is deemed to exist where the requester can demonstrate one of the following:
- Failure to obtain requested information on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual.
- The information is urgently needed by an individual primarily engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal government activity. Requesters must demonstrate that their primary activity involves publishing or otherwise disseminating information to the public in general, not just to a particular segment or group.
- Failure to release the information would impair substantial due process rights or harm substantial humanitarian interests.
- A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of the initial request for records or at any later time. The request for expedited processing shall set forth with specificity the facts on which the request is based. A notice of the determination whether to grant expedited processing shall be provided to the requester within 10 calendar days of the date of the receipt of the request in the appropriate office (whether IPS, OIG, or PPT). A denial of a request for expedited processing may be appealed to the Director of IPS within 30 calendar days of the date of the Department's letter denying the request. A decision in writing on the appeal will be issued within 10 calendar days of the receipt of the appeal. Send your appeal to U.S. Department of State, Appeals Officer, HST Room B266, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520