Sample Freedom of Information Request Letter
Agency Head or FOIA Officer
Name of Agency
Subject: FOIA Request
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) I am requesting access to ___________________ (specifically identify with as much precision as possible, the records you seek). (Be sure to check to see whether the agency has promulgated regulations that may provide better access to information than FOIA. You also may want to consider filing an expedited request pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(E)(i) and the agancy’s own regulations)
I am a reporter, editor, etc. for (name of newspaper) and am preparing a report for which the requested information is an important element. The information concerns government operations and activities, namely ____________, and the records will contribute to my understanding of those operations and activities. My report will thereby significantly contribute to public understanding of the subject because _____________.
For these reasons, as provided in 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii), I ask that fees be waived. If fees are not waived, I agree to pay reasonable duplication fees in an amount not to exceed $_____, but I request to be notified before processing incurs expenses in excess of that amount.
If a portion of the information I have requested is exempt from disclosure by express provisions of law, 5 U.S.C. 552(b) additionally requires segregation and deletion of that material in order that the remainder of the information may be released. If you determine that an express provision of law exists to exempt from disclosure all or a portion of the material I have requested, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i) requires notification to me of the reasons for the determination not later than 20 days from your receipt of this request.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this request, and I look forward to a response within the statutory 20-day period.