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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was enacted on July 4, 1966 and provides any person the right, which is enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records currently in existence. The FOIA will disclose all releasable information, excluding any information exempt from release pursuant to one or more of the nine FOIA exemptions and any statutes pertaining to specific programs. Congress also passed the Open Government Act of 2007, addressing procedure issues pertaining to the administration of FOIA.

The FOIA sets standards for determining which records must be made available for public inspection and which records can be withheld from disclosure. The law also provides administrative and judicial remedies for those denied access to records. Above all, the statute requires federal agencies to provide the fullest possible disclosure of information to the public.

The following links provide additional information on the FOIA: