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FOIA-- What is it?

The Freedom of Information Act Program (DODR 5400.7) allows the general public including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, to request records electronically or in writing from the Federal Government. Some records are released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, and may therefore reflect deletion of some information in accordance with the FOIA's nine statutory exemptions or two law enforcement record exclusions.

How do I Submit a FOIA request?

In accordance with subsection C.1.4.2 of DoD Regulation 5400.7/Air Force Supplement. A FOIA request must either explicitly or implicitly invoke the FOIA; be submitted in writing that reasonably describes the desired record(s) sought and must identify a willingness to pay fees associated with processing the request, or, in the alternative, why a waiver of fees may be appropriate. A FOIA request can be made by any person, including a member of the public (U.S. or foreign citizen/entity), an organization, or a business, but not including Federal Agency or a fugitive from the law.
Written requests may be received by postal service or other commercial delivery means, by facsimile, or electronically. Requests received by facsimile or electronically must have a postal mailing address included since it may not be practical to provide a substantive response electronically. The request is considered properly received, or perfected, when the above conditions have been met and the request arrives at the FOIA office of the agency in possession of the records.

Note: Privacy Act requests are not accepted via e-mail or the on-line submission form. They must be in writing and sent to the FOIA/PA Office or to the office in possession of the record(s) you seek.

Below are some ways to submit a FOIA request:

Option 1: Mail via Postal Service to:
Freedom of Information Act Manager
221 3rd Ave
Sheppard AFB, Texas 76311

Option 2 Facsimile (Fax) the signed request to:
Commercial Fax Number: (940) 736-2392

Option 3: Email the signed request to: 82cs.FOIA@us.af.mil

Normal Response Time: Normally, people can expect a response to their FOIA request within 20 working days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) from the date the proper FOIA office receives it. If special situations exist, the FOIA office will contact the requestor with an estimated completion date and explain the reason for delay. The Air Force works requests on a first-in, first-out basis.

If dissatisfied with the response received from the Requester Service Center, you may contact the Air Force FOIA Public Liaison Office at af.foia@pentagon.af.mil or 202-404-1393.

How much does it cost to process a FOIA request?

Fees are assessed depending on which group the request falls into:

Category 1: Commercial. Requesters pay all search, review, and duplication.

Category 2: Educational or Noncommercial Scientific Institution or News Media. Requesters get the first 100 copies free and pay for additional copies.

Category 3: Others. Requesters get the first two hours of search and the first 100 copies free.

Reading Room

The Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, [5 USC 552(a) (2) (D) ], requires that certain documents of interest to the general public be published electronically.

Electronic Reading

Release of E-mail Addresses

Air Force policy is to deny requests for lists of e-mail addresses (both personal and organizational) using FOIA exemption (b)(2)(high). We also rely on FOIA exemption (b)(6) when denying lists of personal e-mail addresses. High (b)(2) protects internal information, the disclosure of which would risk circumvention of a statute or agency regulation. Because DoD e-mail systems are to be used only for official and authorized purposes, the addresses are considered primarily internal. The regulations at issue that could be circumvented include DoD and AF regulations that require us to limit use of e-mail to authorized purposes, and to protect the security of your computer and information systems. Exemption (b)(6) protects information that if released would permit a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. This does not prohibit an organization from including a single e-mail address on a Web page of in correspondence.

Who Can Submit a FOIA Request?

Members of the public, including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, organizations and businesses, and individual members of the Congress for themselves or constituents, may request records in writing. It is important to remember that the Freedom of Information Act applies only to federal agencies. It does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Each state has its own public access laws that should by consulted for access to state and local records.

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