Annual FOIA Report Q&A
Question: How should agencies calculate the number of days it takes to adjudicate requests for expedited processing and requests for a fee waiver in order to comply with the requirements of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, as set forth in Section VIII of the 2008 Guidelines for Agency Preparation of Annual FOIA Reports?
Answer: Requests for Expedited Processing: Agencies should count calendar days starting from the day they receive the request for expedited processing through the day they provide notice to the requester of their determination to grant or deny the request for expedited processing.
Requests for Fee Waiver: Unlike requests for expedited processing, the period of time to adjudicate a fee waiver request does not necessarily begin with receipt of the fee waiver request itself, nor does it necessarily conclude with a separate letter sent to the requester. As a result, in order to calculate the number of days taken to adjudicate requests for a fee waiver, agencies should count each working day spent considering whether to grant or deny the request for a fee waiver. Thus, agencies will need to be sure that they establish a tracking procedure that allows them to capture the distinct number of days taken to adjudicate a fee waiver request.