Resources for Legal Research on the Freedom of Information Act

Select Resources for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Legal Research on the Internet

Key government FOIA-related websites

 

Federal government’s central website for FOIA, including background information, agency FOIA data, agency contact information, and links for making FOIA requests

 

Department of Justice office that oversees agency compliance with FOIA and develops government-wide policy on FOIA

 

Office within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that offers mediation services and is charged with identifying ways to improve FOIA compliance  

 

 

FOIA Treatises and Guides

 

Detailed collaborative resource on FOIA provided by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

 

Comprehensive discussion of FOIA decisions and administration from the perspective of the U.S. Department of Justice

 

Guide discussing how to use FOIA

 

2020 Congressional Research Service report providing an overview of FOIA

 

2012 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform guide to using FOIA

 

2008 National Security Archive guide to using FOIA

 

State FOIA Resources

Compendium of information on every state’s open records and open meetings laws

 

Coalition of state freedom of information organizations

 

Key Statutes on Government Records

 

 

Litigation and Judicial Decisions

 

Department of Justice website containing summaries of FOIA decisions

 

Website with detailed information on FOIA lawsuits

 

Public Citizen Litigation Group FOIA cases, including complaints and briefs

 

Classification

 

Executive Order on Classified National Security Information signed by President Obama on December 29, 2009

 

 

OGIS resource comparing FOIA and the Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) processes and including descriptions of and links to NARA’s Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), National Declassification Center (NDC), and the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)

 

Archive of Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, which, from 1991-2021, worked to promote public access to government information by seeking reform of national security classification and declassification policies

 

Legislative History

 

Legislative materials on FOIA compiled by the Department of Justice

 

Legislative materials on FOIA compiled by the National Security Archive, through the 2007 FOIA amendments

 

1974 source book compiled by Senate subcommittee containing materials on FOIA

 

1975 source book compiled by Senate subcommittee containing materials on 1974 FOIA amendments

 

Fees and Fee Waivers

 

 

 

Presidential Records

 

Executive Order on presidential documents signed by President Obama on January 21, 2009