Section 4.2 — Public reference facilities.

(a) The Department maintains public reference facilities (listed in Appendix A to this part) that contain the records the FOIA requires to be made regularly available for public inspection and copying; furnishes information; receives and processes requests for records under the FOIA; and otherwise assists the public concerning Department operations under the FOIA.

(b) Each component of the Department shall determine which of its records are required to be made available for public inspection and copying, and make those records available either in its own public reference facility or in the Department's Central Reference and Records Inspection Facility. Each component shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current subject-matter index of its public inspection facility records. Each index shall be updated regularly, at least quarterly, with respect to newly included records. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2), the Department has determined that it is unnecessary and impracticable to publish quarterly or more frequently and distribute copies of the index and supplements thereto.

(c) Each component shall make public inspection facility records created on or after November 1, 1996 available electronically through the Department's "FOIA Home Page" link found at the Department of Commerce website. Information available at the site shall include:

  1. Each component's index of its public inspection facility records, which indicates which records are available electronically; and
  2. The general index referred to in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(d) The Department shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying:

  1. A current index providing identifying information for the public as to any matter that is issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1997, and that is retained as a record and is required to be made available or published. Copies of the index are available upon request after payment of the direct cost of duplication;
  2. Copies of records that have been released and that the component that maintains them determines, because of their subject matter, have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records;
  3. A general index of the records described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section;
  4. Final opinions and orders, including concurring and dissenting opinions made in the adjudication of cases;
  5. Those statements of policy and interpretations that have been adopted by a component and are not published in the Federal Register; and
  6. Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.