Monday, August 01, 2005

Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Office
The Privacy Office is responsible for administering policies, programs, and procedures to ensure Department of Homeland Security compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOlA) and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and 5 U.S.C. 552a, respectively.
Accessing Department of Homeland Security Records
How to Submit a FOIA Request
FOIA Contacts
FOIA Statutes & Resources
Privacy Office FOIA Electronic Reading Room
1996 FOIA Highlights
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal statute. FOIA generally provides that any person has a right to request access to federal agency records, 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. There are several points to keep in mind regarding the FOIA.
Agencies have 20 working days to provide an initial response.
Agencies and requesters are encouraged to work together to define the scope of the request and the timing of the response.
Agencies may establish "multi-track" response systems to facilitate the processing of simpler requests, rather than putting all requests in a single queue.
Privacy Office and the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) - Responsibility for FOIA compliance was delegated to the Privacy Office in recognition of the close connection between privacy and disclosure laws. Privacy Act and FOIA specialists across the Department now work on Privacy Act and FOIA compliance matters under policy guidance from the Chief Privacy Officer.
For more information please contact
the DHS Privacy Office’s FOIA Program:
Telephone: 571-227-3813 Facsimile: 571-227-4171 Email:,

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