Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
GSE, Rec Mgt/FOIA Office
APO AE 09136-3103
WHAT IS A FOIA REQUEST?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows “any person” to easily seek access to “agency records.” The basic purpose is to provide all persons a statutory right of access to "agency records" that are nonspecifically exempted from disclosure. If properly requested and not exempt from release, the release authority will complete the response within twenty working days. The 20-workday timeline begins when the activity holding the records receives the request and does not include Saturdays, Sundays, furloughs, or legal holidays. Only an Initial Denial Authority (IDA) can deny a request. The presumption favors release of records.
Please take a moment to understand the FOIA process before submitting a request!
- The request must be in writing. There is no specific form that must be used to make a request. The request can be mailed, e-mailed or faxed to the agency.
- The request must be submitted to the IMCOM-Europe FOIA Office; it should not be sent directly to the office of record. All FOIA requests must be handled by a FOIA officer.
- The request must include the requester's complete mailing address, and phone number. The e-mail address can be included if the requester would like the correspondence to be handled by e-mail rather than thorough the postal system.
- The request must describe, in as much detail as possible, the record(s) sought, and identify the format the requester would like to receive the documents in (email, CD/DVD, hard copy, etc.). Note that the FOIA does not require agencies to do research for you, analyze data, answer written questions, or create records in response to your request.
- The request must identify the requester's willingness to pay fees regardless of the fee category and include the maximum dollar amount the requester is willing to pay.
NOTE: U.S. Government employees must complete personal FOIA requests during off-duty hours and at their own expense. They may not use a Government e-mail address or Government equipment, supplies, or postage to prepare FOIA requests.