[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 185 (Friday, September 23, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59071-59073]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-21577]


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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

32 CFR Part 1900


Freedom of Information Act Regulations

AGENCY: Central Intelligence Agency.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: Consistent with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as 
amended by the ``Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National 
Government Act of 2007,'' and Executive Orders 13526 and 13392, the 
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has undertaken and completed a review 
of its public FOIA regulations that govern certain aspects of its 
processing of FOIA requests. As a result of this review, the Agency 
proposes to revise its FOIA regulations to more clearly reflect the 
current CIA organizational structure, record system configuration, and 
FOIA policies and practices and to eliminate ambiguous, redundant and 
obsolete regulatory provisions. As required by the FOIA, the Agency is 
providing an opportunity for interested persons to submit comments on 
these proposed regulations.

DATES: Submit comments on or before November 22, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to the Director, Information Management 
Services, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC 20505 or fax to 
(703) 613-3020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph W. Lambert, (703) 613-1379.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Consistent with the Freedom of Information 
Act (FOIA), as amended by the ``Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our 
National Government Act of 2007,'' and Executive Order 13392, the CIA 
has undertaken and completed a review of its public FOIA regulations 
that govern certain aspects of its processing of FOIA requests. As a 
result of this review, the Agency proposes to revise its FOIA 
regulations to more clearly reflect the current CIA organizational 
structure, record system configuration, and FOIA policies and practices 
and to eliminate ambiguous, redundant and obsolete regulatory 
provisions. These proposed regulatory changes are intended to enhance 
the administration and operations of the Agency's FOIA program by 
increasing the transparency and clarity of the regulations governing 
the Agency's FOIA program.
    The proposed regulations would establish the positions and 
responsibilities of the Agency's Chief FOIA Officer, the FOIA Public 
Liaison

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and the FOIA Requester Service Center in the Agency's public FOIA 
regulations. Following the promulgation of Executive Order 13392, the 
Director, Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) designated a senior 
official to serve as the CIA's Chief FOIA Officer with Agency-wide 
responsibility for efficient and appropriate compliance with the FOIA. 
In addition, the Agency created a FOIA Requester Service Center and 
designated FOIA Public Liaisons to enhance the operation of the 
Agency's FOIA program and the Agency's responsiveness to FOIA 
requesters and the public. Consistent with both Executive Order 13392 
and the ``Openness Promotes Effectiveness in our National Government 
Act of 2007,'' the proposed regulations incorporate into the CIA's 
public FOIA regulations the important functions the Agency's Chief FOIA 
Officer, the FOIA Public Liaison and the FOIA Requester Service Center 
have been performing for the past several years. By formally 
recognizing the key roles these entities play in the Agency's FOIA 
processes, the proposed regulations promote the administration of a 
citizen-centered FOIA program and provide the public with important 
information about the assistance these entities can offer to FOIA 
requesters and the public.
    The proposed regulations would eliminate current regulatory 
provisions that have had the potential to cause confusion and ambiguity 
and would more clearly reflect the Agency's current FOIA policies and 
practices.
    The proposed regulations would clarify and confirm the Agency's 
current FOIA practices of processing FOIA requests and appeals on a 
``first in, first out'' basis using two or more processing queues based 
on the amount of work or time or both involved and of moving a FOIA 
request to the front of the processing queue when the Agency has 
granted that requester's request for expedited processing.
    With these proposed changes the Agency's public FOIA regulations 
would clarify the responsibility of the Agency Release Panel to review 
appeals of certain Agency FOIA determinations.
    The proposed regulation would increase the per page fee for copies.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 1900

    Classified information, Freedom of information.

    As stated in the preamble, the CIA proposes to amend 32 CFR part 
1900 as follows:

PART 1900--PUBLIC ACCESS TO CIA RECORDS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF 
INFORMATION ACT

    1. The authority citation for part 1900 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  50 U.S.C. 401-442; 50 U.S.C. 403a-403v; 5 U.S.C. 
552; Executive Order 13392, 70 FR 75373-75377, 3 CFR, 2006 Comp., p. 
216-200.

    2. Amend Sec.  1900.02 by adding paragraphs (p), (q), (r), and (s) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.02  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (p) Chief FOIA Officer means the senior CIA official, at the CIA's 
equivalent of the Assistant Secretary level, who has been designated by 
the D/CIA to have Agency-wide responsibility for the CIA's efficient 
and appropriate compliance with the FOIA.
    (q) FOIA Requester Service Center means the office within the CIA 
where a FOIA requester may direct inquiries regarding the status of a 
FOIA request or an expression of interest he or she filed at the CIA, 
requests for guidance on narrowing or further defining the nature or 
scope of his or her FOIA request, and requests for general information 
about the FOIA program at the CIA.
    (r) FOIA Public Liaison means the CIA supervisory official(s) who 
shall assist in the resolution of any disputes between a FOIA requester 
and the Agency and to whom a FOIA requester may direct a concern 
regarding the service he or she has received from CIA and who shall 
respond on behalf of the Agency as prescribed in these regulations.
    (s) Agency Release Panel (ARP) means the Agency's forum for 
reviewing information review and release policy, the adequacy of 
resources available to all Agency declassification and release 
programs, and hearing appeals in accordance with this section.
    3. Revise Sec.  1900.03 to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.03  Contact for general information and requests.

    (a) To file a FOIA request, an expression of interest, or an 
administrative appeal, please direct your written communication to the 
Information and Privacy Coordinator, Central Intelligence Agency, 
Washington, DC 20505, or via facsimile at (703) 613-3007 in accordance 
with the requirements of these regulations.
    (b) To inquire about the status of a FOIA request or an expression 
of interest, to request guidance on narrowing or further defining the 
nature or scope of a FOIA request, or to obtain general information 
about the FOIA program at CIA, please direct your inquiry to the CIA 
FOIA Requester Service Center, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, 
DC 20505, via facsimile at (703) 613-3007, or via telephone at (703) 
613-1287. Collect calls cannot be accepted.
    (c) If you are a FOIA requester with a concern about the service 
you received from the CIA or a member of the public with a suggestion, 
comment, or complaint regarding the Agency's administration of the 
FOIA, please direct your concern to the FOIA Public Liaison, Central 
Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC 20505, via facsimile at 703-613-
3007, or via telephone at 703-613-1287. Collect calls cannot be 
accepted.
    4. Revise Sec.  1900.04 to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.04  Suggestions and complaints.

    The CIA remains committed to administering a results-oriented and 
citizen-centered FOIA program, to processing requests in an efficient, 
timely and appropriate manner, and to working with requesters and the 
public to continuously improve Agency FOIA operations. The Agency 
welcomes suggestions, comments, or complaints regarding its 
administration of the FOIA. Members of the public shall address all 
such communications to the FOIA Public Liaison as specified at 32 CFR 
1900.03. The Agency will respond as determined feasible and appropriate 
under the circumstances. Requesters seeking to raise concerns about the 
service received from the CIA FOIA Requester Service Center may contact 
the FOIA Public Liaison after receiving an initial response from the 
CIA FOIA Requester Service Center. The FOIA Public Liaison shall assist 
in the appropriate resolution of any disputes between a FOIA requester 
and the Agency.


Sec.  1900.11  [Amended]

    5. Revise Sec.  1900.11 to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.11  Preliminary information.

    Members of the public shall address all communications as specified 
at 32 CFR 1900.03. Any Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) office or CIA 
personnel receiving a written communication from a member of the public 
that requests information or that references the FOIA shall 
expeditiously forward the communication to the CIA Information and 
Privacy Coordinator. The CIA will not accept a request for information 
under the FOIA or an appeal of an adverse determination submitted by a 
member of the public who owes outstanding fees for information services 
at this or other federal agencies

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and will terminate the processing of any pending requests submitted by 
such persons to the CIA or to another agency.
    6. Revise Sec.  1900.12 to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.12  Requirements as to form and content.

    (a) Required information. Requesters should identify their written 
communication as a request for information under the FOIA. Requests 
must reasonably describe the records of interest sought by the 
requester. This means that the records requested must be described 
sufficiently so that Agency professionals who are familiar with the 
subject area of the request are able, with a reasonable amount of 
effort, to determine which particular records are within the scope of 
the request. All requesters are encouraged to be as specific as 
possible in describing the records they are seeking by including the 
date or date range, the title of the record, the type of record (such 
as memorandum or report), the specific event or action to which the 
record refers, and the subject matter, but requests for electronic 
communications must specify the dates and parties. Extremely broad or 
vague requests or requests requiring research do not satisfy this 
requirement.
    (b) Additional information for fee determination. In addition, a 
requester should provide sufficient information to allow us to 
determine the appropriate fee category. A requester should also provide 
an agreement to pay all applicable fees or fees not to exceed a certain 
amount or request a fee waiver.
    (c) Otherwise. The CIA FOIA Requester Service Center may contact a 
requester to seek additional or clarifying information or to assist the 
requester in reformulating his or her request when the request does not 
meet the requirements of these regulations. A requester seeking to 
narrow or further define the nature or scope of his or her request may 
contact the CIA FOIA Requester Service Center as specified at 32 CFR 
1900.03.


Sec.  1900.13  [Amended]

    7. In Sec.  1900.13 amend paragraph (g) in the table by revising 
the figure ``.10'' to read ``.50'' in entry for ``Photocopy (standard 
or legal)''.
    8. Amend Sec.  1900.33 by revising paragraph (b) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  1900.33  Allocation of resources; agreed extensions of time.

* * * * *
    (b) Discharge of FOIA responsibilities. The Chief FOIA Officer 
shall monitor the Agency's compliance with the requirements of the FOIA 
and administration of its FOIA program. The Chief FOIA Officer shall 
keep the D/CIA, the General Counsel of the CIA, and other officials 
appropriately informed regarding the Agency's implementation of the 
FOIA and make recommendations, as appropriate. The Chief FOIA Officer 
shall designate one or more CIA FOIA Public Liaisons. The CIA FOIA 
Public Liaison shall be responsible for assisting in reducing delays, 
increasing transparency and understanding of the status of requests, 
and assisting in the resolution of disputes between requesters and the 
Agency. Components shall exercise due diligence in their 
responsibilities under the FOIA. Components must allocate a reasonable 
level of resources to process accepted FOIA requests and administrative 
appeals on a ``first in, first out'' basis using two or more processing 
queues based on the amount of work or time or both involved to ensure 
that smaller as well as larger cases receive equitable attention, 
except that when a request for expedited processing has been granted 
under these regulations components must move that request to the front 
of the processing queue.
* * * * *


Sec.  1900.34  [Amended]

    9. Amend Sec.  1900.34 by removing and reserving paragraph (a).
    10. Revise Sec.  1900.41 to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.41  Designation of authority to hear appeals.

    (a) Agency Release Panel (ARP). Appeals of initial adverse 
decisions under the FOIA shall be reviewed by the ARP which shall issue 
the final Agency decision.
    (b) ARP Membership. The ARP is chaired by the Chief, Information 
Review and Release Group, Information Management Services, and composed 
of the Information Review Officers from the various Directorates and 
the Director, Central Intelligence Agency area, as well as the 
representatives of the various release programs and offices. The 
Information and Privacy Coordinator also serves as Executive Secretary 
of the ARP.


Sec.  1900.43  [Removed and Reserved]

    11. Remove and reserve Sec.  1900.43.
    12. Amend Sec.  1900.44 by revising paragraph (b) and removing and 
reserving paragraph (c).
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  1900.44  Action by appeals authority.

* * * * *
    (b) Decision: The ARP shall meet on a regular schedule and may take 
action when a simple majority of the total membership is present. 
Issues shall be decided by a majority of the members present. In all 
cases of a divided vote, before the decision of the ARP becomes final, 
any member of the ARP may by written memorandum to the Executive 
Secretary of the ARP, refer such matters to the Director, Information 
Management Services (D/IMS) for decision. In the event of a 
disagreement with any decision by D/IMS, Directorate heads may appeal 
to the Associate Deputy Director, CIA (ADD) for resolution. The final 
Agency decision shall reflect the vote of the ARP, unless changed by 
the D/IMS or the ADD.
    13. Revise Sec.  1900.45 to read as follows:


Sec.  1900.45  Notification of decision and right of judicial review.

    The Executive Secretary of the ARP shall promptly prepare and 
communicate the final Agency decision to the requester. With respect to 
any decision to deny requested information, or any decision that is 
deemed to be a denial of requested information, that correspondence 
shall state the reasons for the decision, and include a notice of a 
right to judicial review.

    Dated: August 10, 2011.
Joseph W. Lambert,
Director, Information Management Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-21577 Filed 9-22-11; 8:45 am]
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