4-2 Public Records and Information Under FOIA

4-2.1 Records Available in Reading Rooms

4-2.1.1 Responsibilities of Records Custodians

Each records custodian is responsible for:

  1. Identifying which of its records are required under the FOIA to be made available to the general public in the Postal Service’s electronic reading room, including, but not limited to records that have previously been disclosed under the FOIA and meet one of the following conditions:
    1. Because of the nature of their subject matter have or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records.
    2. Have been requested three or more times under the FOIA.
  2. Identifying additional records of interest to the general public that are appropriate for disclosure to the general public.
  3. Ensuring the records identified in paragraphs a. and b. are made available in the Postal Service’s electronic reading room.

4-2.1.2 Reading Rooms

The records available to the general public in the Postal Service’s public and electronic reading rooms in compliance with the FOIA or within the discretion of the Postal Service include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Public Reading Room. The following records are available for inspection and copying by the general public in the public reading room in the Postal Service Headquarters library:
    1. All final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases by the judicial officer and administrative law judges.
    2. All final determinations pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 404(b) to close or consolidate a Post Office or to disapprove a proposed closing or consolidation.
    3. All advisory opinions about the private express statutes issued under 39 CFR 310.6.
    4. All supplier disagreement decisions.
    5. Postal Service manuals, instructions, and other publications that affect the general public that are not listed for sale to the general public.
    6. Records that were or were likely to be routinely processed and disclosed under the FOIA after March 31, 1997.
  2. Electronic Reading Room. Records available in the public reading room described in paragraph a. that were created on or after November 1, 1996, are also maintained in the electronic reading room.
  3. In addition, indexes of certain records are maintained in the public and electronic reading rooms, and otherwise made available to the general public to the extent required by the FOIA or within the discretion of the Postal Service.

    The Postal Service’s electronic reading room may be accessed at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/readroom/welcome.htm.

    Postal Service manuals, instructions, and other publications that affect the general public that are available to the general public in the public and/or electronic reading rooms are also available for inspection by the general public in many Post Offices and other Postal Service facilities. Postal Service publications that are not available to the general public in the public and/or electronic reading rooms or Postal Service facilities or listed for sale to the general public may be requested by the general public pursuant to the FOIA disclosure provisions (see 4-4).

Note: Records available to the general public may contain redactions to the extent permitted by the FOIA.




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