Monday, October 1, 2012

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Any person has a right to obtain access to federal agency records

FOIAonline website

October 01, 2012
By Adam Rappaport
A group of federal agencies today unveiled a promising new system for making and tracking Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests online that should both increase transparency and save requesters and agencies time and effort.
The new system, FOIAonline, allows requesters to make requests online, set up an account to track their requests, and search requests made by others and the records released in response to them. CREW has strongly supported FOIAonline throughout its development, which hopefully will become the foundation of a government-wide online system.
The new system is well-designed and easy to use, especially for members of the public unfamiliar with the details of how to file and track a FOIA request. Fill-in boxes and drop-down menus simplify the process of filing a request, and the progress of active requests can be viewed on a single page.


About The Freedom of Information Act
Enacted in 1966, and taking effect on July 5, 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person* has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions. A FOIA request can be made for any agency record.
* Fugitives from the law excluded.
Requests under the Privacy Act must be sent directly to the appropriate agency.