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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
- Federal law that allows people to request any existing record from Executive Branch departments, agencies, and offices; federal regulatory agencies; and federal corporations
- Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch are not subject to FOIA
- Some records may be already published online in the Federal Register
Browse by government department or keyword to discover what records are available and contact information for FOIA requests. Includes average wait time and request denial percentages.
FOIA Wiki, from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, includes details on FOIA exemptions and fees, contact information for federal agencies and an open forum for questions. There's also a page with FOIA basics.
Muckrock Government Records Database
MuckRock tracks how states impose exemptions that allow them to withhold records; how quickly each state responds; and other factors affecting government transparency. This is intended to help make FOIA requests easier.
Texas Public Information Act
- Texas state law that is comparable to the federal FOIA
- Allows people to request records from state agencies and governmental bodies by writing a letter
- A record is any information assembled or maintained by any Texas public entities at the state or local level
- Confidential information is not covered by this act
- Some records may already be published online
Tips for Requests
- Be specific in stating what you want. Example: employee records related to person X between the dates of ...
- Request a waiver of fees. There may be fees for copying associated with
- Legally, the recipient has to at least respond to your request within 10 days, even if they send the requested records at a later time.