Freedom of Information Clearinghouse


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News: On March 19, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memorandum on the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act.  This memo, undertaken at the instruction of President Obama in his transparency mandates released on his very first day in office, restores the presumption of disclosure to agency decisions under FOIA.  It explains that the Department of Justice will only defend an agency’s denial of a FOIA request if the agency reasonably forsees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by one of the statutory exemptions or if disclosure is prohibited by law.

Attorney General Holder’s memo provides welcome direction to agencies.  Before President Obama took office, Public Citizen and other organizations wrote to the transition team urging President Obama to act on Day One to promote government transparency. 


The Freedom of Information Clearinghouse is a project of Public Citizen Litigation Group, and is funded in part by a grant from the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. We provide resources for those seeking access to information held by government agencies. Our resources fall into two broad categories:

How to File a FOIA Request: A Guide

Search our Agency Database for agency-by-agency information

Read about Requesting Records from State Governments

Resources for Legal Research on FOIA

Get the statutory text of FOIA

Learn about PCLG’s open government litigation

Listen In! Staff Attorney Adina Rosenbaum talks about why FOIA is vital to our democracy (mp3)

Clearinghouse Legal Assistance Request: If you are requesting assistance as an individual, media member, or on behalf of a for-profit organization, please direct your request, in writing, to the Clearinghouse:

Freedom of Information Clearinghouse
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

If you are requesting assistance on behalf of a non-profit organization, please direct your request through the Public Interest FOIA Clinic.