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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. All agencies of the U.S. Government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request, except those records that are protected from disclosure pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions. The FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Any requests for state or local government records should be directed to the appropriate state or local government agency. 22 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 171 codifies the access procedures and guidelines for the availability of Department of State records and information to the public.

The federal FOIA does not provide access to records held by state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Most states, and some local jurisdictions have their own laws about access to state and local records.


FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) Resources




 


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