Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Generally speaking, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to obtain access to federal agency records except to the extent that those records are protected from disclosure under FOIA or by some other statute. However, formal FOIA requests are unnecessary if you are seeking publicly available information. If you are unable to find the document you are seeking on our website, please contact our office for assistance prior to filing a formal FOIA request. By seeking assistance prior to filing a formal request, the response time may be faster.

It is also important to understand that each federal agency responds to requests for its own records. Therefore, before sending a request to ACUS you should determine whether ACUS actually is likely to have the records that you are seeking. Each federal agency is required to provide reference material to assist those who wish to request records from it, so you should view the website of any particular agency that might have the records in question. By doing so you will learn what records are already available on that website and you will also be able to determine which agency is likely to maintain the records you are seeking. Contact information for other federal departments and agencies is available on the national FOIA portal maintained by the United States Department of Justice, at

ACUS regulations on how to make formal requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act are published in Title 1, Part 304 of the CFR. These regulations are linked from this page under Resources.  

For questions regarding the status of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and where to find publicly available information on our website, contact Chief FOIA Officer Shawne McGibbon at 202.480.2080 or

For substantive questions regarding FOIA, you may also contact Chief FOIA Officer Shawne McGibbon at 202.480.2088 or

ACUS Documents


Designated FOIA Officer