Key FOIA Resources on the Internet

FULLY-AUTOMATED FILL-IN-THE-BLANK FORM LETTERS FOR:

FOIA REQUESTS AND STATE-BY-STATE RECORDS REQUESTS

 

OTHER INTERNET RESOURCES:

Government Agencies
Private Organizations

 

Government Agencies

A Citizen's Guide on Using the FOIA (original link, now broken)
A comprehensive 1999 report by the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, saved for posterity by the Federation of American Scientists on their website (PDF).

U.S. Department of Justice FOIA Page
The lawyers who advise agencies on 5 U.S.C. § 552 (full text of the law) provide a list of FOIA Contacts at Federal Agencies and other advice you can use. Submit or track a request.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency FOIA Homepage
FOIAonline, FOIA regulations, annual reports on the agency's FOIA actions and an EPA phonebook.

 

Private Organizations

Art of Access
A companion to the textbook of the same name, this blog offers strategies for accessing public records, by David Cuillier, chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists’ national Freedom of Information Committee, and Charles N. Davis, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition and associate professor at University of Missouri School of Journalism teaching access to information and media law.

The Federal Information Manual: How the Government Collects, Manages, and Discloses Information under FOIA and Other Statutes
The American Bar Association offers for sale P. Stephen Gidiere III's book of reference material, including glossaries of abbreviations and federal information statutes; a table of cases; appendices; checklists; a listing of useful public websites; and a comprehensive index. This may be a valuable resource for environmental researchers. The Environmental Protection Agency has many different statutory authorities to request information from outside parties, some that either complement or overlap each other. This book explains the details of the authority included in all major environmental statutes, including CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, TSCA, and FIFRA. Published January 2006.

Fill-in-the-Blanks State Open Records Law Letter Generator
From the Student Press Law Center.

Freedom Forum First Amendment Center
Video/RSS/podcasts, news/analysis/commentary, reports, publications, First Amendment Library, and more.

Freedom of Information Act (FOI-L) listserv and archive
State and local access issues.

Investigative Reporters and Editors
And the IRE FOIA Center homepage.

National Freedom of Information Coalition
Supports efforts of state-level First Amendment and open government groups.

National Press Foundation
Using FOIA to Crack Government Secrets: Story  |  Video

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
The RCFP keeps track of journalism access issues around the world, releasing major reports as well as daily news briefs. It offers a free 24-hour hotline for journalists with legal questions on almost any subject (online or 1-800-336-4243); Open Government Guide, The First Amendment Handbook and other resources; and monthly e-newsletter on news media legal developments. To create, file and track federal, state or local public records requests, you can use their free iFOIA online tool. See also:

Right-to-Know Network
Searchable environmental databases including the Toxics Release Inventory, Biennial Reporting System, RCRIS/RCRAINFO and Risk Management Plans (RMPs).

SPJ/SDX FOIA resources
The Society of Professional Journalists offers "Project Sunshine" in every state; "Open Doors," a comprehensive report on accessing government records; and the latest news.

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