FOIA Tip No. 6—The FOIA Process in a Nutshell

This article – and this site – offers good information on FOIA requests and lack of transparency in government.

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FOIA Process in a Nutshell

So what happens after you craft that great FOIA letter requesting those docs that will make your article/dissertation/book/life sooo much more interesting? That’s what we’ll be looking at today, the FOIA Process. Follow along with the lovely chart on the right.

  1. Send the letter. Do your background research, chose the correct agency, and craft a clear and targeted request.
  2. Receive a response. Generally, you will receive a letter from the agency you sent your request to before twenty business days have expired. Usually, the agency will cite a backlog of requests and tell you that processing your request will take a substantial amount of time. You will usually receive a case number that the agency will use to keep track of your request.

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