Question: What Can I Request Under FOIA?

What are FOIA documents?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C.

§ 552, is a federal freedom of information law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government upon request..

What can you request with FOIA?

A FOIA request can be made for any agency record. You can also specify the format in which you wish to receive the records (for example, printed or electronic form). The FOIA does not require agencies to create new records or to conduct research, analyze data, or answer questions when responding to requests.

What are the 9 exemptions to a FOIA request?

FOIA ExemptionsExemption 1. Protects information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.Exemption 2. Protects records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.Exemption 3. … Exemption 4. … Exemption 5. … Exemption 6. … Exemption 7. … Exemption 8.More items…•

What is not covered by FOIA?

Information/data that is NOT covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) includes: Non-agency records and personal records. Public requests for access to physical artifacts or scientific samples (e.g. core samples, sediment, rocks, fossils, specimen samples, blood samples).

How do I fill out a FOIA request?

Five Steps to File a FOIA RequestSTEP 1: Determine Record. Determine the exact record you seek. … STEP 2: Check Public Domain. Check available resources such as the internet or libraries to determine whether the record already exists in the public domain.STEP 3: Determine Which Part of DHS has the Record. … STEP 4: Complete Information. … STEP 5: Send the FOIA.

How long does it take to get FOIA information?

Processing times for Form G-639 and other USCIS FOIA requests can vary significantly based on the nature of the request. Simple requests for specific documents may only take 4 to 12 weeks. However, more complex requests and requests for entire immigration files can take approximately 6 months.

How much is a FOIA request?

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.

Can you make a FOIA request to a private company?

The FOIA does not apply to private companies; persons who receive Federal contracts or grants \18\; private organizations; or State or local governments.

Can you FOIA medical records?

If you request records from your medical file, that is not a FOIA request. A request for records from your medical file is a Privacy Act request. You are entitled to a copy of your own medical records.

How does FOIA work?

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.

Who can ask for documents under the FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) gives the right to request access to government records to any person for any reason, whether the person is a U.S. citizen or a foreign national. Requests can be made in the name of an individual or an organization (including a corporation, partnership, or public interest group).

When can a FOIA be denied?

Under section 17(5), a public authority relying on a claim that section 14 of the FOIA applies will usually need to issue a refusal notice stating that the request has been refused on the grounds that it is vexatious or repeated.

How do I check my FOIA status?

Simply enter your request number and click the “Check Status” button. DHS Requests Response Time for Processed and Pending Requests – Average No. of Days Simple is 21.24 Days and Complex is 111.59 Days. For component specific response times, please refer to the latest FOIA annual report.