Who Can File A FOIA?

What can you ask for in a FOIA request?

You can ask for any information you think a public authority may hold.

The right only covers recorded information which includes information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten documents as well as images, video and audio recordings..

What does the FOIA cover?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

What is FOIA used for?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides public access to all federal agency records except for those records (or portions of those records) that are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions or three exclusions (reasons for which an agency may withhold records from a requester).

Why is FOIA important?

FOIA plays an important role in keeping government transparent and accountable, and has been used to expose a wide range of government misconduct and waste, along with threats to the public’s health and safety. While FOIA is intended to increase transparency, it doesn’t provide access to all government documents.

How do you write a good FOIA request?

FOIA Tip No. 9: Writing a Good FOIA Request Part IIBe clear and specific. … Make sure your request is reasonable in scope. … Provide a date range for records or a date of the event you are researching. … Provide accurate titles and full names, and include any news stories discussing the subject of your request. … Keep your request brief.More items…•

What records are subject to FOIA?

FOIA covers records from all federal regulatory agencies, cabinet and military departments, offices, commissions, government-controlled corporations, the Executive Office of the President, and other organizations of the Executive Branch of the federal government.

How much does it cost to request FOIA?

By making a FOIA request, the requester shall be considered to have agreed to pay all applicable fees up to $25.00 unless a fee waiver has been granted. If the Department estimates that the search costs will exceed $25.00, the requester shall be so notified.

Who can use FOIA?

Section 552. “Any person” can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, associations, and universities. In 1974, after the Watergate scandal, the Act was amended to force greater agency compliance. It was also amended in 1996 to allow for greater access to electronic information.

Can you make a FOIA request to a private company?

Does the Freedom of Information Act apply to private companies? The FOI Act will apply to your private sector business if: the information you share with a public body is subject to an FOI request. the information you share is published under the public body’s publication scheme.

What does the FOIA require of federal agencies?

It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

What is the Freedom of Information Act FOIA?

In brief. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways: public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities; and. members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

When can a FOIA be denied?

When information is withheld, whether partially or fully, this constitutes a denial under FOIA. If your request is partially denied, you will receive a document in which the information that is exempted from disclosure has been redacted. A request may be denied for one or more of the aforementioned exemptions.