Section 4.3 — Records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

(a) Records under the FOIA include all Government records, regardless of format, medium or physical characteristics, and include electronic records and information, audiotapes, videotapes, and photographs.

(b) Under the FOIA, the Department has no obligation to create, compile, or obtain from outside the Department a record to satisfy a request. In complying with a request for electronic data, whether the Department creates or compiles records (as by undertaking significant programming work) or merely extracts them from an existing database may be unclear. The Department shall in any case undertake reasonable efforts to search for the information in electronic format.

(c) Department officials may, upon request, create and provide new records pursuant to user fee statutes, such as the first paragraph of 15 U.S.C. 1525, or in accordance with authority otherwise provided by law. Such creation and provision of records is outside the scope of the FOIA.

(d) Components shall preserve all correspondence pertaining to the requests they receive under this subpart, as well as copies of all requested records, until disposition or destruction is authorized by Title 44 of the United States Code or the National Archives and Records Administration's General Records Schedule 14. Components shall not dispose of records while they are the subject of a pending request, appeal, or lawsuit under the FOIA.