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Page Title: Identify the Records Requested
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policies and procedures by which those functions are performed in relation to the public. The FOIA requires publication in the  Federal Reg- ister of  information  that  affects  the  public;  for  example, descriptions  of  agency  organization,  functions,  proce- dures,  substantive  rules,  and  statements  of  general  pol- icy.  Additionally,  materials  such  as  opinions  rendered in the adjudication of cases, specific policy statements, and  certain  administrative  staff  manuals  must  be  made available  for  public  inspection.  All  other  Navy records—those  not  required  to  be  published  in  the Federal  Register  or   made   available   for   public opinion—are subject to disclosure upon receipt of a proper request for access, unless exempt. An agency record includes all books, papers, maps, photographs,  machine-readable  materials,  or  other documentary  materials,  regardless  of  physical  form  or characteristic, made or received by an agency of the United  States  Government  under  federal  law  or  in  con- nection with the transaction of agency business and in the agency’s control at the time the FOIA request is made. An agency record does not include the following items: . Objects or articles such as structures, parts from wrecked aircraft and ships, furniture, paintings, sculp- ture,  three-dimensional  models,  and  vehicles  and  equip- ment. . Anything that is not a tangible record such as an individual’s  memory  or  oral  communications. .  Computer  software,  if  not  created  or  used  as primary sources of information about organizations, policies,  functions,  decisions,  or  procedures  of  the agency. . Personal records not subject to Navy creation or retention requirements, created or maintained primarily for a Navy employee’s personal convenience, and not distributed to other agency employees for their official use.  For  example,  a  supervisor’s  personal  notes  on  an employee’s performance, not required to be maintained and used solely as a memory aid in preparing evalu- ations and then destroyed, are not an agency record. Minimum Requirements The  minimum  requirements  for  an  FOIA  request are the request (1) cites or implicates the FOIA, (2) contains a reasonable description of the information or records  requested,  and  (3)  contains  a  clear  statement  of the requester’s willingness to pay fees, a willingness to pay fees up to a stated amount, or a request for a fee waiver. If the FOIA request does not meet these require- ments, the naval activity should answer the inquiry, within 10 working days, to inform the requester of the contents  of  a  proper  request. Identify the Records Requested Commands must search their filing systems and existing  retrieval  systems  if  the  description  provided  by the requester enables naval personnel to locate the records with reasonable effort. The  FOIA  does  not  authorize  “fishing  expeditions,” nor  are  commands  required  to  respond  to  blanket  re- quests for all documents. The naval activity will notify the requester if the description does not reasonably describe the records sought and provide guidance on the specificity required to begin a search. If  the  requested  record  was  originated  by  another activity, the receiving activity will not release or deny such records without consulting the other naval activity. The  receiving  activity  will  coordinate  with  that  activity before referring the FOIA request and copies of the requested documents for direct response. A naval activity does not have to create or compile a record. A record may be compiled if it is either a more useful response to the requester or a lesser burden to the naval activity than providing existing records, and the requester does not object. Requests  Requiring  Special  Handling Detailed  instructions  for  records  requiring  special handling  are  in  paragraph  62(4)  of  SECNAVINST 5720.42E.  The  most  common  requests  requiring  special handling are briefly outlined as follows: . Classified records—If the existence or nonex- istence  of  the  requested  information  is  classified,  the naval activity will refuse to confirm or deny its exis- tence or nonexistence. If the documents requested are classified by another agency, or if the head of the agency is not the classifying authority, the agency will refer the request  and  copies  of  the  requested  documents  to  the originating agency or classification authority. . Naval Criminal Investigative Service Command reports—Requests should be sent to the Naval Criminal Investigative  Service  Command,  Washington,  DC 20374-5000, and the requester so notified. l JAG Manual investigative  reports—Requests should be referred to the Office of the Judge Advocate 1-12

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