Freedom of Information Act

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

Public Law 5 U.S.C. 552 enacted the Freedom of Information Act. It established statutory rights of access to government information. It generally states that any person has a right, enforceable in court, of access to federal agency records -- except to the extent that such records, or portions thereof, are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or one of three special law-enforcement record exclusions. See DoD Regulation 5400.7, Air Force Supplement, DoD Freedom of Information Act Program, the prescribing directive, for more information.

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 to state and local records.
Government employees submitting requests should not use government equipment, supplies, stationery, postage, telephones or official mail channels to make FOIA requests.

How to make a FIOA request?

FOIA requests must be submitted in writing, by e-mail, U.S. mail, fax or hand-carried letter. Requests must include a title or reasonable description of the records desired. They must also include a statement of willingness to pay fees for the search of, review of and reproduction of any records requested. Current law allows 20 working days to process a FOIA request upon receipt of the request in the FOIA office.

  1. For submitting Freedom of Information requests online our Requester Service Centers (RSC) click on the following AF eFOIA Pubic Access Link (PAL):
  2. If dissatisfied with the response received from the Requester Service Center, you may contact the Air Force FOIA Public Liaison Office at or (703) 614-8500.
  3. The electronic reading room is located on the Air Force freedom of Information Act web page at, under the title, "Reading Room."
Or, submit request via U.S. mail or hand carry them to:

20th Communications Squadron/SCOKR
504 Shaw Dr.
Shaw AFB, SC 29152-5028

Telephone: (803) 895-1631
DSN 965-1631
Fax: (803) 895-1651

Click here to e-mail the FOIA Office.

Fees for Processing FOIA Requests

The FOIA allows fee charges based on the requester's category. There are three categories: commercial (pay search, review, and reproduction fees); educational, non-commercial scientific institution, and news medica (pay reproduction fees; first 100 pages provided at no cost); and others (pay search and reproduction fees; first two hours search and 100 pages provided at no cost).

For more information visit:

Air Force FOIA Web site
DoD FOIA Web site