Quick Answer: Who Is Subject To A FOIA Request?

What is subject to FOIA?

FOIA applies to most “agencies” within the executive branch of the federal government.

whether the structure and operation of an entity is subject to considerable federal control; whether the authority performs a governmental or decision making function; whether the authority controls public interested information..

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.

Does FOIA apply to private companies?

Public authorities under the FOI Act include NHS organisations, councils, fire services and police forces. However, not all groups that receive taxpayers money are considered as public authorities. … Private companies are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act.

What is FOIA used for?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides public access to all federal agency records except for those records (or portions of those records) that are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions or three exclusions (reasons for which an agency may withhold records from a requester).

What information is exempt from a FOIA request?

Exemption 1: Information that is classified to protect national security. Exemption 2: Information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency. Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law.

Are personnel records subject to FOIA?

The public disclosure of these records is primarily governed by two laws: the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and the Personnel Records Review Act (“PRRA”). … McCarthy held such records were not exempt under FOIA just because they were in a personnel file.

How much does it cost to file a FOIA request?

There is no charge to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). However, an agency or minister may charge you for them to process it and you to access the information you requested.

Are emails subject to FOIA?

Information held in private email accounts can be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Conversely, information held in the email accounts of the public authority can, in some circumstances, not be subject to FOIA. A recent decision by the Information Commissioner (ICO) confirms this.

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.

What happens if a FOIA request is ignored?

Filing a Lawsuit If your request is denied, and your internal appeal does not reverse this decision, you may sue the agency in the United State District Court in your state of residence, in the state where the records are located, or in the District of Columbia.

When can a FOIA be denied?

When information is withheld, whether partially or fully, this constitutes a denial under FOIA. If your request is partially denied, you will receive a document in which the information that is exempted from disclosure has been redacted. A request may be denied for one or more of the aforementioned exemptions.

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).

What can you ask for in a FOIA request?

See the section on How to Request Records Under FOIA in this guide for more information. Physical records of any description can be requested under FOIA. Traditional typed documents, as well as maps, diagrams, charts, index cards, printouts and other kinds of paper records can be requested.

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…•

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.

Does FOIA apply to states?

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.

How can I get my immigration file?

To request immigration records from USCIS, file Form G-639, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request, is used to request an immigration file from USCIS. The application and instructions are available on the USCIS website.