Freedom of Information Act

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FOIA – Resources

Additional Government Resources

  • Data.gov The one stop website to find and download free government data in raw, structured formats. Federal agencies are proactively posting data on data.gov, including data that is the subject of frequent FOIA requests.
  • Federal Register The daily gazette of government. The Federal Register contains information about new and pending rulemakings and other activities of the executive branch. It is fully searchable.
  • Grants The place to look for grant opportunities.
  • Regulations The place to look for and comment on regulatory rulemakings.

FOIA – Pennsylvania

Information from FOIA.gov

Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

The FOIA also requires agencies to proactively post online certain categories of information, including frequently requested records. As Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court have all recognized, the FOIA is a vital part of our democracy.

What is the Presumption of Openness and Who Issues Guidance to Agencies on the FOIA?

The FOIA provides that when processing requests, agencies should withhold information only if they reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption, or if disclosure is prohibited by law. Agencies should also consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever they determine that full disclosure is not possible and they should take reasonable steps to segregate and release nonexempt information. The Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice is responsible for issuing government-wide guidance on the FOIA as part of its responsibilities to encourage all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA.

Office of Open Records Data Listed Below