What is FOIA?

 
  Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Requested Information

Privacy Act (PA)

Reference Guide

Related Sites

DOC FOIA Website

DOC FOIA/Privacy Act Regulations

DOJ FOIA Website

Other Federal Agency FOIA Websites

 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which can be found in Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, was enacted in 1966 and provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. All agencies of the United States government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records that are protected from disclosure by the nine exemptions. This right of access is enforceable in court.

On October 2, 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1996 (E-FOIA, for short). E-FOIA makes it possible for you to have electronic access to the ITA FOIA Reading Room. The new law requires agencies to respond to a FOIA request within 20 working days (excluding holidays).

To save you both time and money, please browse the documents and information sources which are currently available on our ITA Homepage before submitting a FOIA request. In addition, the four units of ITA (Import Administration; Trade Promotion and U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service; Manufacturing and Services; and Market Access and Compliance) maintain separate homepages with information about their specific programs and activities. If these resources do not contain the information you are seeking, then you may consider filing a FOIA request. (Note: For information about export regulations, please see the homepage for the Bureau of Industry and Security.)

For more detailed information, see the Department of Justice Text on the Freedom of Information Act.

For additional general information on how to use the FOIA see A Citizen's Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act of 1974 to Request Government Records. This publication is available at Federal Depository Libraries, the Government Printing Office, or you can access it through GPO Access (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html).
Linda Bell, ITA FOIA Officer
14th & Constitution Avenue, N.W. , Room 4001
Office Hours: Monday - Friday -8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Telephone Number: 202-482-3032; FAX Number 202-482-1584
E-mail Address Linda_Bell@ita.doc.gov
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Last Updated: 06/02/2005