Freedom of Information ActThe Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Section 552, is a statute that provides a process by which every person may request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies, such as the Naval Postgraduate School, are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them unless those records are protected from disclosure by any of the nine exemptions and three exclusions of the FOIA. The FOIA applies only to federal agencies and the records in its custody. The FOIA does not create an access to records held by Congress, the courts or by state and local governments. Any requests for state or local government records should be directed to the appropriate state or local government agency.
FOIA HighlightsThe Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal statute. FOIA generally provides that any person has a right to request access to federal agency records, 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.
There are several points to keep in mind regarding the FOIA:
- Requests must be made in writing and must provide a reasonable description of the sought after records
- Agencies have 20 working days to provide an initial response
- Agencies and requesters are encouraged to work together to define the scope of the request and the timing of the response
- Agencies may establish "multi-track" response systems to facilitate the processing of simple requests, filtering them from more complex requests
The following links provide helpful and detailed information on the Freedom of Information Act:Navy FOIA
DoD Freedom of Information Act Handbook (PDF)
DOJ's FOIA Guide, May 2004
DoD Freedom of Information Act Program