Question: What Records Are Subject To FOIA?

Does FOIA apply to local governments?

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..

What is subject to FOIA?

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.

Are emails subject to FOIA?

Pursuant to these definitions, e-mails (depending on the content) may qualify as a “public record” under the Freedom of Information Act. … If an e-mail meets the definition of “public record,” then it may be subject to the FOIA regardless of the location where the e-mail originated.

What are the 9 exemptions of 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 the difference between freedom of information and subject access request?

If the information you want is information relating to YOU and your personal data then a subject access request will do. If the information you want is for example about the number of car crash incidents in a given year an FOI request will do.

Who may request records under the 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.

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…•

Are personal cell phones subject to FOIA?

UPDATE: Both a circuit court and appellate court upheld the PAC ruling that the cell phone records were releasable under FOIA.

Who passed FOIA?

President Lyndon JohnsonThe Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1966, giving the public the right to access records from any federal agency.

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 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.

What is the purpose of a FOIA request?

What is the FOIA? Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

What is a record under FOIA?

Thus, our “complete and proper definition of a ‘record’ under the FOIA is (1) any material containing information, (2) created or obtained by an agency, (3) within an agency’s control when a request is submitted, and (4) in its full native form and format as maintained by an agency at the time of a request, ‘i.e., as a …

Are police reports subject to FOIA?

Under the federal Freedom of Information Act and public records laws in all 50 states, anyone can request information from federal, state and local agencies like the FBI, the Environmental Protection Agency or your local police department.

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 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.

Can you FOIA yourself?

In the United States, you can request government information about yourself using both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act. You will need to type up a request or use a form if the government agency has one.

What can I request under FOIA?

Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school.

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.

How do I write a public record request?

ProceduresBegin by drafting a public records request. … Contact the public body from which you seek records. … Find the FOI liaison. … Review your request and submit your request following the FOI liaison’s instructions.Stay in communication with the FOI liaison.More items…