Federal Resources

The Federal FOI Resources page offers links to a broad range of professional organizations, legal guides, an automatic FOIA request letter generator and news organizations to provide you with up-to-the-minute information designed to assist you in using the federal Freedom of Information Act.

ACCESS PROFESSIONALS

American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP)

ASAP was founded as a professional forum dedicated to bringing government FOIA and Privacy Act personnel in touch with the requester community. The requester community includes private citizens, law firms, businesses, media and nonprofit organizations; it is not a government agency.
ASAP is the leading organization providing quality professional educational programs. ASAP draws upon the highest caliber of government FOIA and Privacy instructors along with known experts in the public requester field to teach and discuss common problems in an open-dialogue forum. Tremendous insight and education are attained by both sides as each learns from the perspective of the other.

http://www.accesspro.org/

CAPAPA

CAPAPA is the Canadian not-for-profit center of expertise and excellence in information access and privacy in the public and private sectors. As Canada's voice for privacy and access, CAPAPA speaks for its members across the access and privacy community in private, public, and government organizations throughout Canada.

http://www.capapa.org/

 

FIRST AMENDMENT/OPEN GOVERNMENT

Freedom Forum
First Amendment Center
Contact Info

The Freedom Forum, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy. The Freedom Forum is the main funder of the operations of the Newseum in Washington, D.C., the First Amendment Center and the Diversity Institute.

http://www.freedomforum.org/

National Security Archive
Thomas S. Blanton, Director
The George Washington University
Gelman Library, Suite 701
2130 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Phone (202) 994-7000
Fax (202) 994-7005

An independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University, the Archive collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/index.html

OMB Watch
Gary D. Bass, Executive Director
1742 Connecticut Ave.
Washington, DC 20009
Phone (202) 234-8494
Fax (202) 234-8584

OMB Watch exists to increase government transparency and accountability; to ensure sound, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies; and to protect and promote active citizen participation in our democracy.

http://www.ombwatch.org/
Information and Access Program—
http://www.ombwatch.org/info/

Open the Government.org
Patrice McDermott, Director
1742 Connecticut Ave NW
3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20009
Phone (202) 332-OPEN (6736)

OpenTheGovernment.org works with our partners, the Administration, and Congress to put policies in place that both protect constitutional rights and ensure national security by better protecting real secrets and improving information sharing.

http://www.openthegovernment.org/

Sunshine in Government Initiative
Rick Blum, Coordinator
1100 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone (703) 807-2100

SGI is a coalition of media groups promoting policies that help ensure the government is accessible, accountable and open.

http://www.sunshineingovernment.org/

Sunshine Week
Debra Gersh Hernandez, National Coordinator

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.

http://www.sunshineweek.org/

 

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GOVERNMENT RESOURCES

U.S. Department of Justice

Annual FOIA Reports—
http://www.usdoj.gov/04foia/04_6.html

FOIA Reference Guide, Revised May 2006—
http://www.usdoj.gov/04foia/04_3.html FOIA Post (2001- )—
http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiapost/mainpage.htm FOIA Update (1979-2000)—
http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foi-upd.htm Principal FOIA Contacts at Federal Agencies—
http://www.usdoj.gov/04foia/foiacontacts.htm U.S. Government Manual, 2006-07—
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/gmanual/ A Citizens Guide on Using the FOIA—
http://www.fas.org/sgp/foia/citizen.html

Federal Agency Records Officers
The National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/agency/officers-lists.html

This Federal Agency Records Officer List is arranged alphabetically by agency and thereunder by subagency.

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LEGAL RESOURCES

American Civil Liberties Union
Anthony Romero, Executive Director
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Phone (212) 344-3005
Fax (212) 344-3318

The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

http://www.aclu.org/

 

Student Press Law Center
Mark Goodman, Executive Director
1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209-2275
Arlington, Virginia 22209
Phone (703) 807-1904

The Student Press Law Center has been the nation's only legal assistance agency devoted exclusively to educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the student news media in their struggle to cover important issues free from censorship. The Center provides free legal advice and information as well as low-cost educational materials for student journalists on a wide variety of legal topics.

http://www.splc.org/

 

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FOI/GOVERNMENT SECRETS

Electronic Privacy Information Center
Marc Rotenburg, Executive Director
1718 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20009
Phone (202) 483-1140
Fax (202) 483-1248 (fax)

EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. EPIC publishes an award-winning e-mail and online newsletter on civil liberties in the information age - the EPIC Alert. We also publish reports and even books about privacy, open government, free speech, and other important topics related to civil liberties.

http://www.epic.org/

 

Freedom of Information Clearinghouse
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone (202) 546-4996 (phone)

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.

http://www.citizen.org/litigation/free_info/

 

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director
1100 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone (703) 807-2100 (phone)

For more than 40 years, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has provided free legal advice, resources, support and advocacy to protect the First Amendment and Freedom of Information rights of journalists working in areas where U.S. law applies, regardless of the medium in which their work appears.

Federal Open Government Guide—
http://www.rcfp.org/federal-open-government-guide
How to Use the Federal FOI Act—
http://www.rcfp.org/foiact/
Federal FOI Act Letter Generator—
http://www.rcfp.org/foia-federal-letter-generator
 

 

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MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATIONS

Investigative Reporters and Editors
Mark Horvit
Missouri School of Journalism
138 Neff Annex
Columbia, MO 65211

IRE provides members access to thousands of reporting tip sheets and other materials through its resource center and hosts conferences and specialized training throughout the country. Programs of IRE include the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting, DocumentCloud and the Campus Coverage Project. 

FOI and First Amendment Center—
http://www.ire.org/foi/

 

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PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

The Associated Press
Tom Curley, President and CEO
450 W. 33rd Street
New York, NY 10001
Phone (212) 621-1500

Founded in 1846, the AP today is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. The AP considers itself to be the backbone of the world’s information system, serving thousands of daily newspaper, radio, television, and online customers with coverage in text, photos, graphics, audio and video.

http://www.ap.org/
Freedom of Information—
http://www.ap.org/foi

 

American Society of News Editors
Scott Bosley, Executive Director
11690B Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1409
703.453.1122 (phone)

ASNE promotes fair, principled journalism, defends and protects First Amendment rights, and fights for freedom of information and open government. Leadership, innovation, diversity and inclusion in coverage and the journalism work force, youth journalism and the sharing of ideas are also key ASNE initiatives.

http://www.asne.org/

 

Society of Professional Journalists
Terry Harper, Executive Director
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Phone (317) 927-8000
Fax (317) 920-4789

The Society of Professional Journalists is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty. To ensure that the concept of self-government outlined by the U.S. Constitution remains a reality into future centuries, the American people must be well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local and national communities.

http://www.spj.org/
FOI Audit Toolkit

 

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PUBLICATIONS

Access Reports
Harry A. Hammitt
Editor/Publisher
1624 Dogwood Lane
Lynchburg, VA 24503
Phone (434) 384-5334
Fax (434) 384-8272

Access Reports' publications keep subscribers up to date on all freedom of information and privacy issues, tracking policy trends while summarizing and analyzing court decisions, legislation (federal and state), regulations, and agency guidance.

http://www.accessreports.com/

 

Open Government Guide
The Open Government Guide is a complete compendium of information on every state's open records and open meetings laws. Each state's section is arranged according to a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws in various states.

Open Government Guide from the
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


Media Law: A Legal Handbook for the Working Journalist
by Katherine M. Galvin and legal editor Stephen Elias. Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press, 1984. Order from:

Nolo Press
950 Parker Street
Phone (800) 728-3555
Fax (800) 645-0895
Berkeley CA 94710-2524
or here from Amazon.com

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BLOGS

BeSpacific
Sabrina I. Pacifici
Web Editor and Publisher

Daily law and technology news with links to reliable primary and secondary sources on topics including: e-government, privacy, government documents, cybercrime and ID theft, the Patriot Act, freedom of information, federal legislation, legal research, KM, blogs, RSS and wikis.

http://www.bespacific.com/

 

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