Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act or FOIA is a Federal law that establishes the public’s right to request existing records from Federal Government agencies. Requests are only for agency “records”. The Agency is not required to create documents in response to a request.

FOIA which is known by its legal cite has 5 U.S.C. § 552, along with the Department of Defense and Army Regulations, govern how requests will be processed within the Army. The Army Regulation (AR) 25-55, the Department of Army FOIA program, can be found at Part 518 of Chapter 32 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR), which is available in most public libraries.

See Also: The Privacy Act

FOIA Request

Who can file a FOIA request?

Any person can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, organizations, universities, businesses, and state and local Governments may also file FOIA requests.

How do I request documents under the FOIA?

You can request documents under the FOIA by fax, letter, or electronic mail and must include the following:

  • Full Name
  • Business Name and CAGE Code (if applicable)
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Fax Number (if applicable)

No special form is required; however, the request should be labeled as a “Freedom of Information Act Request”, with a reasonable description of the records requested such as state the:

  • Subject Matter of Existing Record (i.e., Abstract, Contract, Drawing, Technical Data)
  • Solicitation and/or Contract Number
  • Contract Number
  • Purchase Order Number
  • National Stock Number (NSN)

Cost Categories

REQUESTOR COST CATEGORIES

What are the categories of requestors and how are their fees determined?

There are five categories of requestors:

  • Commercial - Requesters who seek information for use or purpose that furthers their commercial, trade, or profit interest are considered commercial requestors. Commercial requesters pay all fees for search, review, and duplication.
  • Educational - Institutions of education, including preschools, elementary or secondary schools and institutions of higher learning, qualify as educational institutions. The records must be sought in furtherance of scholarly research. Educational requesters pay only duplication fees, unless it is determined that fees are waived or reduced in the public interest. The first 100 pages are provided at no cost.
  • Non-Commercial Scientific - A non-commercial scientific institution is operated solely for conducting scientific research. The records must be sought in furtherance of scientific research. Non-Commercial Scientific requesters pay only duplication fees, unless it is determined that the fees are waived or reduced in the public interest. The first 100 pages are provided at no cost.
  • News Media - A representative of the news media is a person actively gathering news for an entity organized and operated to publicize or broadcast news to the public. News media pay only duplication fees, unless it is determined that the fees are waived or reduced in the public interest. The first 100 pages are provided at no cost.
  • Other Requestor—Requesters who do not qualify in another category are considered “other” requesters, and normally make requests for agency records for their personal use. “Other” requesters receive two hours search time, all review costs, and the first 100 pages at no cost.

No special form is required; however, the request should be labeled as a “Freedom of Information Act Request”, with a reasonable description of the records requested such as state the:

FOIA COSTS

IMPORTANT - Willingness to pay statement
All requesters must include a “willingness to pay statement” in their request, regardless of the cost category, however, thi does not mean a fee will be charged. The requester can set a limit on the costs to be incurred. If the estimate for answering the request exceeds the limit, the FOIA Officer will contact the requester to discuss four options: (1) accept the copied documents up to the previous specified amount of money; (2) cancel the entire request; (3) authorize the money needed to complete the request; or (4) authorize additional funds up to another specified amount.

Cost
Fees are assessed only for search, review, and copies. FOIA requesters who bill comes to $15 or less are not charged.

Cost Waiver
Except for commercial requesters whose fees total more than $15, waivers are always considered. If requesting a waiver, the requester must state the basis for the waier.

Types of Services Hourly Rates
Clerical Hours $20.00/hour (includes search, review, /excising, correspondence & forms, other activity)
Professional Hours $44.00/hour (includes search, review, /excising, correspondence & forms, other activity)
Executive Hours $75.00/hour (includes search, review, /excising, correspondence & forms, other activity)
Computer Search Machine Hours x Programmer/Operator Time (Clerical = $20.00/hour, Professional = $44.00/hour
Office Copy Reproduction .15/page
Microfiche Reproduction .25/page
Printed Records .02/page (includes forms, publications, & reports

FOIA Points of Contact

FOIA POINTS OF CONTACT

ORGANIZATION POINT OF CONTACT
Army Contracting Command - Warren
TACOM LCMC
Shelley Hassett
AMSTA-L
Phone: (586) 282-8099
Email: usarmy.detroit.tacom.mbx.lcmc-foia@mail.mil
Anniston Army Depot Jerlad Wiggins
IMA
Phone: (256) 235-7294
Email: usarmy.anad.tacom.list.foia@mail.mil
Red River Army Depot Robyn Cox
TARR-D
Phone: (903) 334-4929
Fax: (903) 334-2192
Email: usarmy.rrad.usamc.mbx.tarr-d@mail.mil
Sierra Army Depot Katherine O'Sullivan
TASI
Phone: (530) 827-4548
Email: katherine.d.osullivan.civ@mail.mil
Watervliet Arsenal Shelley Hassett
AMSTA-L
Phone: (586) 282-8099
Email: usarmy.detroit.tacom.mbx.lcmc-foia@mail.mil