Upon receipt of a FOIA request, the request will be reviewed to ensure that it meets minimum processing requirements.
To meet minimum processing requirements, a request must be in writing, cite or imply FOIA, describe the record(s) sought so that a knowledgeable official can conduct a search with reasonable effort.
If fees are applicable, the request must also include a statement regarding willingness to pay all fees and the amount you are willing to pay. You may request a waiver or deduction of fees.
The 20 working day statutory timeframe begins when an activity receives a "perfected" request.
This does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or holidays.
In some instances, information sought in a FOIA request may be withheld from disclosure if it is:
- Properly and currently classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.
- Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices, the release of which would allow circumvention of a statute or rule.
- Protected by a statute that specifically exempts the information.
- 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 information.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A record containing geological and geophysical information and data (including maps) concerning wells.