Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
What is FOIA?
The Freedom of Information Act or FOIA is a federal law which establishes the public's right to obtain information from federal government entities. The FOIA is codified at Title 5, U.S.C. Section 552.
FOIA requests regarding the Exchange records are handled through the Office of the General Counsel based upon guidelines in FOIA in Title 5, U.S.C. §552, the Privacy Act, Title 5, U.S.C. §552a, AR25-55, DoD 5400.7_R_ARMAN 33-302, and 32 CFR Part 518.
The FOIA staff at the Exchange is responsible for reviewing, coordinating, and responding to requests coming to the field and headquarters that relate to the Exchange records.
Please check the FOIA Reading Room prior to making your request - click here.
- General Counsel Office - FOIA Staff FAX (214) 465-2912.
- FOIA/Privacy Manager, Teresa Schreurs TEL (214) 312-6103
Who can make an FOIA request?
Just about any person can place a FOIA request. FOIA uses the Administrative Procedures Act, Title 5 U.S.C. §551(2) to define a person. This includes individuals, partnerships, corporations, association of public, private organizations other than those of a federal government agency, representatives of any of the above, congress members and state and local governments.
Who can NOT make an FOIA request?
Fugitives from justice, foreign governments and international governmental organizations or their representatives may not make a FOIA request.
How do I make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?
- The Exchange
- General Counsel Office – FOIA
- P.O. Box 650060
- Dallas, TX 75265-0060
- FAX (214) 465-2912 Attn. FOIA Manager
What do I include in my FOIA request?
Clearly state, in writing, your request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Describe the records you are seeking as specifically as possible. Include any details you may have regarding the time, place, persons, events, subjects, or any other information which will assist in the search for specific documents. This will help with processing time and provide a quicker response. Include a daytime phone number and mailing address as frequently, the FOIA staff need to contact you with questions regarding requests. All requests must be made in writing and submitted in English.
NOTE: The FOIA does not require agencies to do research, analyze data, answer written questions, or create records in order to respond to a request.
If you are requesting information relative to yourself, please complete the following affidavit of identity and provide the original with your request. If you do not present a completed, notarized affidavit, your request cannot be processed. This requirement helps to ensure private information about you will not be disclosed to anyone else. In addition, requests for information on deceased individuals, must provide proof of position of executor or executrix and proof of death.
Will I be charged a fee for processing a FOIA request?
Search, review, and duplication of records fees may apply. Please indicate your willingness to pay applicable fees.
Below are the four categories of requests where service charges apply. Search and Review are charged at a rate of $44.00 per hour. Duplication charges are at a rate of $0.15/per page released. Any charges under $25.00 will automatically be waived.
Commercial Use Requests - Charged for research, review, and duplication.
Educational and Non-commercial Scientific Institution Requests - Charged for duplication over the first 100 pages. Note: Individuals asking for documentation to complete classwork does not fall within this area.
Representatives of the News Media - Charged for duplication over the first 100 pages. Note: The FOIA office may ask for clarification to be considered under this category.
All Other Requests – Charged for search after the first 2 hours are exhausted and will receive the first 100 pages of duplication at no charge.
Note: The Exchange may ask for supporting justification as proof for requests claiming status under Educational, Non-commercial Scientific Institutions or News Media.
If you have requested only documents relative to yourself, you may be notified that the FOIA office will process your request under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. §552a. You will not be charged for search or review, but will be responsible for duplication of responsive documents at a rate of $0.15 per page.
If you expect or are advised that a fee will be charged, you may request a waiver of those fees. However, fee waivers are limited to situations in which the requester can show that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Please be aware that a fee waiver request can be approved or disapproved.
Other FOIA Charges:
Notarized Document Charges
- $15.00 Notarized No Records Declaration
- $15.00 Affidavit: Certification of Authenticity of Domestic Business Records
- $15.00 Any other document which requires notarization
Point of Sale Access:
- As a FOIA "Special Service", all requests for point of sale access will be charged at a rate of $110.00 per month of access per sub-department. Yearly access request will be charged in one invoice. All invoices are due in full within 30 days of issue. Yearly access invoices must be paid prior to obtaining access.
Late and Administrative Fees:
- Pursuant to OMB Guidelines, outstanding invoices (over 30 days) are subject to interest beginning at the time the invoices are processed. Any future FOIA requests will not be processed until all past due amounts are paid in full and all future requests will require pre-payment.
When will I receive a response to my FOIA request?
Under FOIA, you have a right to a response within 20 business days of official receipt of your clarified request. A clarified request is where the Exchange’s interpretation and your interpretation are the same. This is done through an acknowledgement letter the Exchange will send to you after receipt of your request. This letter will explain how the Exchange interprets your request, specifies your request status (commercial, media, other), outlines any fees which might be involved in processing your request, and gives other details which might be necessary.
The Exchange makes every effort to meet this deadline. However, if the 20 day time limit cannot be met due to the volume and / or complexity of requests received, we will advise the requester of this fact within the 20-workday statutory time limit. If at all possible, we will provide the requester with a certain timeframe in which a final response may be anticipated. If there is an issue related to fees, this 20 day period will be tolled until the fee issue is resolved.
Will I receive everything I request?
The FOIA office will review any responsive documents located during a "reasonable search" in areas in which such documents should be located. If there are no records located, you will be provided a "No Records Certification listing the areas searched." If the FOIA office obtains responsive documents which contain information exempt from disclosure under one of FOIA's Exemptions, you will be notified of such. See below for the Exemptions which apply to the Exchange records. If documents or information in documents is not released, you will obtain FOIA appeal rights.
FOIA Exemptions: FOIA has nine Exemptions. Below are Exemptions which usually apply to Exchange documents.
- Exemption (b)(4) – Confidential and Proprietary Business Information; This includes information provided to the Exchange from an outside party.
- Exemption (b)(5) – Inter or intra agency communication that is subject to deliberative process, litigation, or attorney work product
- Exemption (b)(6) – Personal Privacy
- Exemption (b)(7) – Law Enforcement Records. This may include any investigatory documents the Exchange has created. If you request documents when an investigation is currently active, you will be notified to wait until the investigation is complete and then resubmit your request.
Contact the FOIA office with questions.
- Congress has excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. §552(c) (2006 & Supp. IV (2010)). Any response from the Exchange FOIA office will be limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requestors and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.
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