WHAT IS THE FOIA?
The Freedom of Information Act Program (DOD 5400.7-R_AFMAN 33-302) allows the general public including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, to request records electronically or in writing from the federal government. Some records are released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, and may therefore reflect deletion of some information in accordance with the FOIA's nine statutory exemptions or two law enforcement record exclusions. A consolidated list of such records is on Defense Link and the U.S. Air Force FOIA site. Currently, the law allows 20 working days to process a FOIA request upon receipt of the request in the FOIA office.
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.
FOIA REQUEST PROCESSING FEES
Fees are assessed depending on which group the request falls into:
HOW TO MAKE A REQUEST
Category 1: Commercial: Requesters pay all search, review, and duplication.
Category 2: Educational or noncommercial scientific institution or news media: Requesters get the first 100 pages free and pay for additional pages.
Category 3: Others: Requesters get the first two hours of search and the first 100 pages free.
For Submitting Freedom of Information requests online to our Requester Service Centers (RSC) click on the following AF eFOIA Public Access Link (PAL): https://www.efoia.af.mil/palMain.aspx.
FOIA officials recommend that people review all the links listed on the left side as they have been designed to provide information and guidance. When submitting request to AFPC using eFOIA Public Access Link please make sure to select the following options using the drop down menu to ensure your request is directed to AFPC:
For mailing, faxing or direct contact with the Air Force Personnel Center Requester Service Center:
ACTION OFFICE: AFPC
Records Search Location: Location to be searched*: AF Personnel center, Randolph AFB
HQ AFPC/DS1 (Attn: FOIA Manager)
550 C Street W
JBSA-Randolph AFB, TX
Phone number: 210-565-2751 DSN: 665-2751
Fax number: 210-565-6262
Organizational email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The four basic guidelines for submitting a FOIA request. (DOD 5400.7-R_AFMAN 33-302, paragraph C1.4.3., FOIA Request):
The request is considered properly received or perfected, when the above conditions have been met and the request arrives at the FOIA office of the Component or agency in possession of the records. FOIA requests are processed within 20 work days unless there are unusual circumstances that may justify delay whereby the requester will be contacted.
Indicate that it is a FOIA request.
Clearly identify the record(s) being sought and be specific on the type of documents. Avoid terms such as "requesting any and all documents" since this type of request generally requires clarification and responsive documents can include excessive costs for search and releasable documents. NOTE: Recommend asking for "all releasable information" in your request. This allows the FOIA office to redact or remove information generally exempted under the FOIA program and process your request quicker. FOIA provides access to records and "is not" a forum for answering questions.
Indicate a willingness to pay fees associated with the processing the request or, in the alternative, why a waiver may be appropriate (see DOD 5400.7-R_AFMAN 33-302, section C6.1.4., Fee Waivers). State an actual dollar amount versus a willingness to pay reasonable costs. This avoids guessing what is considered reasonable and you can be contacted should processing costs exceed your limit.
Include a complete mailing address and consider providing a telephone number and/or email address. Should questions arise you will be contacted. NOTE: Air Force-affiliated requesters, to include military and civilian employees, should not use government equipment, supplies, stationery, postage, telephones, or official mail channels to make FOIA requests. Requests should be made through personal email or postal service.
Mandatory Declassification Review: Executive Order 12958 allows individuals to request declassification of classified records. Individuals who are only seeking a copy of a record or records that are currently classified and would like the record reviewed for appropriate declassification and release should file a Mandatory Declassification Review request. Mandatory Declassification Review is a provision of Presidential Executive Order 13526 that allows members of the public to request a mandatory declassification review of a classified document in order to obtain a releasable version of the document. The desired document requested must be specified in sufficient detail that it can be readily located. The record in question may not be the subject of litigation. The mandatory declassification review process can be a very timely and in-depth, due to the classification of materials being reviewed by internal and outside agencies. MDR decisions can be administratively appealed to the Headquarters Air Force/AAII (Mandatory Declassification Review) or Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel. Requests for review and release of classified records under the MDR process can be made to:
Headquarters Air Force/AAII (Mandatory Declassification Review)
1000 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1000
AIR FORCE READING ROOM
The electronic reading room is located on the Air Force Freedom of Information Act web page at http://www.foia.af.mil/index.asp, under the title, "Reading Room."
(Updated as of May 2015)