(a) The Freedom of Information Act Officer, upon receipt of a FOIA Request made in compliance with these rules, shall determine whether to grant or deny the Request. The Freedom of Information Officer shall notify the Requester in writing within 20 Workdays of receipt of a perfected Request of his/her determination and the reasons therefore and of the right to appeal any Adverse Determination to the head of the NCPC.

(b) In cases involving Unusual Circumstances, the agency may extend the 20 Workday time limit by written notice to the Requester. The written notice shall set forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No such notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension of more than 10 Working Days unless the agency affords the Requester an opportunity to modify his/her Request or arranges an alternative timeframe with the Requester for completion of the NCPC's processing. The agency shall also advise the Requester of his/her right to seek assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison or OGIS to resolve time limit disputes arising under this paragraph.

(c) NCPC shall deny a Request based on an exemption contained in the FOIA and withhold information from disclosure pursuant to an exemption only if NCPC reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption or if disclosure is prohibited by law. If a Request is denied based on an exemption, NCPC's response shall comply with the requirements of paragraph (d) below.

(d) If a Request is denied in whole or in part, the Chief FOIA Officer's written determination shall include, if technically feasible, the precise amount of information withheld, and the exemption under which it is being withheld unless revealing the exemption would harm an interested protected by the exemption. NCPC shall release any portion of a withheld Record that reasonably can be segregated from the exempt portion of the Record.

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