Quick Answer: Can A Federal Agency Make A FOIA Request?

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..

Can emails be requested under FOIA?

Most federal agencies now accept FOIA requests electronically, including by web form, e-mail or fax. See the list of federal agencies for details about how to make a request to each agency and any specific requirements for seeking certain records.

What does the FOIA cover?

The Act covers all recorded information held by a public authority. It is not limited to official documents and it covers, for example, drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations and CCTV recordings.

How long does a federal agency have to respond to a FOIA request?

Federal agencies are generally required to respond to a FOIA request within twenty working days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

What is a proper FOIA request?

Most agencies have published rules requiring that FOIA requests be (1) made in writing, (2) addressed to a specific official or office, (3) expressly identified as a FOIA request. … It is neither unreasonable nor in conflict with the spirit of FOIA for an agency to require that a request be made in writing.

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…•

Do you have a pending Freedom of Information Act FOIA request for your US travel history?

Do you have a pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for your U.S. travel history? (FOIA is a law that gives the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency.) … When you chose this option, your FOIA request will be formally cancelled. You will not hear back from the FOIA office.

How do you write a FOIL request?

When submitting a FOIL request:Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. … Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via US mail, e-mail or fax.More items…

How long should a Freedom of Information request take?

Under the Act, most public authorities may take up to 20 working days to respond, counting the first working day after the request is received as the first day. For schools, the standard time limit is 20 school days, or 60 working days if this is shorter.

Can a federal employee make a FOIA request?

Who can file a FOIA request? Any person can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, universities, businesses, and state and local governments. Federal employees may not use government time or equipment when requesting information under the FOIA.

Does FOIA apply to state government?

The FOIA only applies to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local governments. Any requests for state or local government records should be directed to the appropriate state or local government agency.

Are FOIA requests confidential?

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are not confidential. … If the request contains personally identifying information or the request is deemed “sensitive,” we may redact information under FOIA Exemption 6 (personal privacy).