The Freedom of Information Act Program (DODM 5400.07_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.
Are there fees?
Who can submit
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.
Air Force policy is to deny requests for lists of e-mail addresses (both personal and organizational) using FOIA exemption (b)(3). Public Affairs offices also rely on FOIA exemption (b)(6) when denying lists of personal e-mail addresses.
Because Department of Defense e-mail systems are to be used only for official and authorized purposes; the addresses are considered primarily internal. The regulations at issue that could be circumvented include DOD and Air Force regulations that require us to limit use of e-mail to authorized purposes and to protect the security of your computer and information systems.
Exemption (b)(6) protects information that if released would permit a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. This does not prohibit an organization from including a single e-mail address on a Web page or in correspondence.
For Submitting Freedom of Information requests online to our Requester Service Centers (RSC), click on the following AF eFOIA Public Access Link (PAL): https://efoia.milcloud.mil/App/Home.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 the 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:
HQ AFPC/DSMIF (Attn: FOIA Manager)
550 C Street West
JBSA-Randolph AFB, TX 78150
Phone number: 210-565-2751 DSN: 665-2751
Organizational email: email@example.com
The four basic guidelines for submitting a FOIA request. (DODM 5400.07_AFMAN 33-302, paragraph C1.4.3., FOIA Request):
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 DODM 5400.07_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.
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 working days unless there are unusual circumstances that may justify delay, whereby the requester will be contacted.
If you 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, you 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 (ISCAP). Requests for review and release of classified records under the MDR process can be made to:
If dissatisfied with the response received from the Requester Service Center, you may contact you may contact the Air Force FOIA Public Liaison Officer for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 703-614-8500.
(Please do not send FOIA requests to this office).