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  Last Updated: 2/10/04

  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
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Like all federal agencies, the Department of Justice (DOJ) generally is required under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to disclose records requested in writing by any person. However, agencies may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the statute. The FOIA applies only to federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Each state has its own public access laws that should be consulted for access to state and local records.

Each federal agency is responsible for meeting its FOIA responsibilities for its own records. A list of Principal FOIA Contacts At Federal Agencies is available from this site. Likewise, each Department of Justice component is responsible for processing FOIA requests for the records that it maintains. Consult the DOJ FOIA Reference Guide and the List of Individual DOJ Components and FOIA Contacts if you plan to make a FOIA request to the Department of Justice. Before making a FOIA request, you should first browse About DOJ, Press Room, Publications & Documents, and Reading Rooms, which contain information already available to the public. If you are not familiar with this Web site, please refer to How to Use This Home Page for more specific guidance.