What Can I Request FOIA?

Can emails be requested under 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 make a request?

Making requests – asking someone to do something for you These are the three most common ways for making requests: “Could you open the door for me, please?” “Would you mind opening the door for me, please?” “Can you open the door for me, please?

How do you ask for something professionally?

Thanks in advance for your help. ( And if you want to ask somebody to do something, explaining the reason why always makes the email even more effective….RAP stands for:Reference – Introduce why you are writing.Action – Tell them what you need them to do.Polite close – Thank them and say goodbye.

How do I request approval?

Choose your contact method. Every company has a unique process for sending requests for approval. … Address the recipient professionally. … Start with what you need. … Explain why you need it. … Tell them why they should care. … Show your enthusiasm for their response. … Conclude your message.

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.

How do you start a letter of request?

Tips for writing a request letterExplain precisely what your request is.Mention the reason for the request.Use polite language and a professional tone.Demonstrate respect and gratitude to the reader.The content of the letter should be official.You may provide contact information where you can be reached.More items…•

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).

How long does a government agency have to respond to a FOIA request?

within 20 business daysUnder the law, all federal agencies are required to respond to a FOIA request within 20 business days, unless there are “unusual circumstances.” This time period generally begins when the request is received by the FOIA office of the Department of Justice component that maintains the records sought.

What are the nine main exemptions to FOIA?

FOIA ExemptionsExemption 1. Protects information that is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.Exemption 2. Protects records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.Exemption 3. … Exemption 4. … Exemption 5. … Exemption 6. … Exemption 7. … Exemption 8.More items…•

What can I request under FOIA?

Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by a public authority, such as a government department, local council or state school.

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.

Can FOIA requests be anonymous?

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are not confidential. Once a FOIA request is received, it becomes a public record of the USGS. If the request contains personally identifying information or the request is deemed “sensitive,” we may redact information under FOIA Exemption 6 (personal privacy).

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…•

What does the FOIA cover?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information 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.

How long does it take to get a FOIA back?

Under the Act, most public authorities may take up to 20 working days to respond, counting the first working day after the request is received as the first day.