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
- U.S. Department of State Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- U.S. Department of Justice Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 5 U.S.C. § 552, As Amended By
Public Law No. 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Department of Navy Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service USCIS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
or Contact: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P. O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010
Live Assistance: 1-800-375-5283
Fax (816) 350-5785
- The office of Secretary of State and Joint Staff, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Office of Freedom of Information provides access to records created by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff. This includes the processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) initial requests from the general public, and consultations from other DOD and Executive Branch Agencies and Departments. To fulfill this responsibility, OFOI operates this FOIA Requester Service Center.
- U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room
FOIA requests for a copy of U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) records can be made by any individual or public or private organization other than a Federal agency. The request must: (1) be in writing or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, (2) specifically cite the Freedom of Information Act, (3) reasonably describe the records sought, and (4) indicate a willingness to pay fees, (specify the amount they are willing to pay) or ask for a fee waiver. The request will be sent to the USGS FOIA Officer, Mail Stop 807, National Center, Reston, VA 20192.
- U.S. Department of Interior Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- U.S. Department of Education Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Central Inteligence Agency (CIA) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Federal Communication Commission FCC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
You do not have to file a FOIA request to obtain information which is routinely available for public inspection, including records from docketed cases, broadcast applications and related files, petitions for rulemakings, various legal and technical publications, legislative history compilations, etc. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.453 and 0.455.