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FOIA Effective Filing Date and Reponse Time

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Agencies are required to respond to a FOIA request within 20 business days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. For the Privacy Act, the time limit is 10 business days. This period does not begun until the request is actually received by the FOIA office.

In specific situations, an additional 10-day extension may be granted in responding to a request. The FOIA provides for extensions of initial time limits under unusual circumstances, which are defined as 1) the need to search for and collect records from separate offices; 2) the need to examine a voluminous amount of records required by the request; and 3) the need to consult with another agency within 20 working days of receiving it.

If there is a delay in fulfilling your request beyond the 20-day time frame, we will notify you. Our response might include an explanation of how soon we can provide the records you requested, a copy of all the records you requested, a portion of the records requested with an explanation of why we withheld some records, or an explanation that we have found no records responsive to your request. When we deny records or cannot find them, you have a right to appeal our actions with 45-days of the date of our reply to you.

Contact Information

For more information, contact
Bill Crews, FOIA Officer
USDA-RMA-PSS
Stop 0821
1400 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone: 202-720-9507
Fax: 202-720-1162