Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally 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.
The principles of government openness and accountability underlying the FOIA are inherent in the democratic ideal: "The basic purpose of the FOIA is to ensure an informed citizenry, vital to the functioning of a democratic society, needed to check against corruption and to hold the governors accountable to the governed."
To get immediate answers to your questions, please click here to access the DoD Freedom of Information Act Handbook.
Please do not submit a FOIA request for medical records request. If you need to obtain a copy of your medical records, please call (253) 968-1825 or (253) 968-1523. For more information, please visit the Medical Records & Certificates page.
Who Can Submit a FOIA Request?
Members of the public, including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, organizations and businesses, and individual members of the Congress for themselves or constituents, may request records in writing. It is important to remember that the Freedom of Information Act applies only to federal agencies. It does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Each state has its own public access laws that should by consulted for access.
Fees for Processing a FOIA Request
There is no fee to file a FOIA request. However, as described in DoD Regulation 5400.7-R_AFMAN 33-302, Paragraph C1.4.3. DoD FOIA Program, requestors should indicate a willingness to pay fees associated with the processing of their request or, in the alternative, why a waiver of fees may be appropriate. You will be contacted if the cost to provide the requested document(s) exceeds the amount authorized by you.
Fees are assessed depending on which group the request falls into. There are three fee categories:
Category 1: Commercial. Requesters pay all search, review, and duplication. Search and review time is chargeable at $44.00 per hour and reproduction is chargeable at fifteen cents per page.
Category 2: Educational or Noncommercial Scientific Institution or News Media or Union. The first 100 copies are free, additional copies are fifteen cents per page. No charge for search or review. News media must be able to justify that they are actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public, such as a publication contract.
Category 3: All Others. The first 2 hours of search and review time are free. The remaining search and review time beyond 2 hours is chargeable at $44.00 per hour. The first 100 pages of copies are free. Reproduction beyond 100 pages is chargeable at fifteen cents per page.
In the event that fees are incurred beyond what you are entitled to for free, please indicate a specific amount that you are willing to pay when submitting your request.
For information on FOIA fees, please click here to access the DoD Freedom of Information Act Handbook.
If you are advised or expect that a fee will be charged, you may request in writing a waiver of those fees if the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. The mere fact that you are a non-profit organization or a member of the media does not in and of itself qualify for a fee waiver. In addition, a requester's inability to pay is not a legal basis for granting a fee waiver.
FOIA Submission Request Inquiry
To submit a FOIA request inquiry please click this link to email to email@example.com
FOIA Request Response
The time it takes to respond to each request varies depending on the complexity of the request itself and the backlog of requests already pending at the agency. In some circumstances, we will be able to respond to the request within the standard time limit established by the FOIA – 30 days. In other instances more time may be needed before the request can be completed. If Madigan requires an extension of time, we will notify you in writing and provide you with an opportunity to modify or limit the scope of your request. Alternatively, you may agree to a different timetable for the processing of your request. Under certain conditions, you may be entitled to have your request processed on an expedited basis.
FOIA requested documents provided will be “redacted.” This means that privacy information such names, phone numbers, e-mails addresses, etc., will be removed or rendered unreadable in order to adhere to all privacy laws.