4-4.9 Determining Sufficiency of Content of Request

  1. Reasonably Described Records. A request must reasonably describe the records requested, i.e., the request must contain a sufficiently detailed description of the requested records to enable the records custodian to conduct a search for responsive records with a reasonable amount of effort. A request does not necessarily fail to meet this requirement just because it is burdensome. A request may not be denied for lack of sufficient description until the records custodian has given the requester 30 calendar days to provide a sufficient description. The custodian should explain how the Postal Service’s records pertinent to the request are filed, indexed, or grouped so that the requester understands how to narrow the request.
  2. Request That Does Not Cite the FOIA. A request for records that does not cite the FOIA, but follows all other requirements in 39 CFR 265.3 for making a FOIA request, must be processed in accordance with 4-4. A request for information that does not cite FOIA or follow any of the requirements in 39 CFR 265.3 for making a FOIA request must not be treated as a FOIA request; there is no obligation under the FOIA to respond to such requests. A media request for information that does not cite the FOIA or follow any of the requirements in 39 CFR 265.3 for making a FOIA request must be forwarded to Corporate Communications. See 5-6.
  3. Broad Email Search Requests. See 4-4.14 for issues concerning broad requests for all emails on a particular topic.



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