Processing Your Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Requests
Upon receipt of a "perfected" Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Privacy Act (PA) request, the request will be entered into FOIA online and a unique tracking number will be generated. The 20 working day statutory timeframe begins when the United States Naval Academy (USNA) receives a "perfected" request. Working days are Monday-Friday, federal holidays and weekends are not included when calculating the 20 day statutory timeframe.
Requesters will be given the tracking number corresponding to their request, and from FOIA online, the requesters can track the status of their request(s) by tracking number, search for requests submitted by others, and access previously released records.
The Academy will process requests based on the date of receipt, amount of work and time involved in processing the request, and whether the request qualifies for expedited processing (FOIA only). The USNA will inform the requester of its decision to grant or deny access to the requested records within 20 working days of receiving the perfected request.
In some instances, information sought in a FOIA request may be withheld from disclosure under one or more of the nine FOIA exemptions (5 U.S.C. §552 (b)(1) through (b)(9)):
- 552 (b)(1) Properly and currently classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.
- 552 (b)(2) Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices, the release of which would allow circumvention of a statute or rule.
- 552 (b)(3) Protected by a statute that specifically exempts the information.
- 552 (b)(4) Commercial or financial information, or trade secrets which were obtained from a non-government source, the disclosure of which would likely cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the source providing
- 552 (b)(5) Pre-decisional opinions and recommendations, inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that show foreseeable harm if released. Attorney-client privilege information and attorney-work product information are also covered under this category.
- 552 (b)(6) Information that is found in personnel and medical files, as well as similar personal information in other files that, if disclosed to a requester, other than the person about whom the information pertains, would result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy.
- 552 (b)(7) Information or records compiled for law enforcement purposes, which (a) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (b) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (c) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of a living person, including surviving family members, (d) disclose the identity of a confidential source, (e) disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, (f) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual.
- 552 (b)(8) Records that are contained in or related to examination, operation or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of any agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.
- 552 (b)(9) A record containing geological and geophysical information and data (including maps) concerning wells.
In some instances, information sought in a PA request may be withheld from disclosure under one or more of the ten PA exemptions (5 U.S.C. §552a):
- 552a (d)(5) Information compiled in reasonable anticipation fo a civil action preceding.
- 552a (j)(1) Maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency.
- 552a (j)(2) Maintained by an agency thereof which performs as its principal function any activity pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws.
- 552a (k)(1) Subject to section 552 (b)(1) of this title.
- 552a (k)(2) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of subsection (j)(2) of this section.
- 552a (k)(3) Maintained in connection with the providing projective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to section 3056 of Title 18.
- 552a (k)(4) Required by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records.
- 552a (k)(5) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal Contracts, or access to classified information.
- 552a (k)(6) Testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination
- 552a (k)(7) Evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services.