The FOIA requires that a decision to disclose or withhold be made within 10 working
days of receipt of requests and the requester be notified immediately of the decision.
The 10-day time period begins when the official who will answer receives the request.
If a written request is to be denied, the FO sends request to the FOI Officer in CO
for a response.
Form SSA-3179, “Freedom of Information Request,” (see GN 03360.999, Exhibit 4) should be used to keep track of the time taken to answer the request.
(See GN 03301.015 for authority to disclose under the FOIA.)
A requester who has received a refusal to disclose may file an administrative appeal,
which requires an answer within 20 working days. A dissatisfied appellant may pursue
his/her claim in the appropriate U.S. District Court.