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/

 

FIRST AMENDMENT/OPEN GOVERNMENT

Freedom Forum
First Amendment Center
Jan Neuharth, Chair and CEO

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.newseuminstitute.org/freedom-forum/

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

 

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

The Center for Effective Government's mission is to build an open, accountable government that invests in the common good, protects people and the environment, and advances the national priorities defined by an active, informed citizenry.

They conduct research and policy analyses; develop new policy and reform ideas; encourage citizen participation and government accountability; and build broad-based coalitions to advance these values. To ensure the American people understand the vital role of government, we produce and disseminate educational tools and materials. They are a resource for policymakers, the media, advocacy allies, community organizations, and citizens.

https://www.foreffectivegov.org

Information and Access Program—
https://www.foreffectivegov.org/category/categories/open-accountable-government/freedom-information

 

OpenTheGovernment.org
Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director
1100 G Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Phone (202) 332-OPEN

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/
 

News Media for Open Government (formerly Sunshine in Government Initiative)
Rick Blum, Director
1156 15th Street NW, Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20005
Phone (202) 795-9305

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
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—
https://www.justice.gov/oip/reports-1

Guide to the Freedom of Information Act
https://www.justice.gov/oip/doj-guide-freedom-information-act-0

FOIA Update
https://www.justice.gov/oip/foia-update

FOIA.GOV
https://www.foia.gov/

Your Right to Federal Records
https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/Your_Right_to_Federal_Records.pdf

 

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

https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/agency

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
Hadar Harris, Executive Director
1608 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 211 
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 785-5450

The Student Press Law Center is an advocate for student First Amendment rights, for freedom of online speech, and for open government on campus. The SPLC provides information, training and legal assistance at no charge to student journalists and the educators who work with them.

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.

https://www.citizen.org/our-work/litigation

 

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Bruce Brown, Executive Director
1156 15th St. NW, Suite 1250
Washington, D.C. 20005, 
Phone (800) 336-4243

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

Federal FOI Act Letter Generator—

https://www.ifoia.org/#!/

 

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MEMBERSHIP ORGANIZATIONS

Investigative Reporters and Editors
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. 

Transparency Watch—
https://ire.org/blog/transparency-watch/

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PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

The Associated Press
Gary Pruitt, President and CEO
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
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—
https://www.ap.org/about/our-causes/freedom-of-information-and-access

 

American Society of News Editors
Teri Hayt, Executive Director
University of Missouri School of Journalism
209 Reynold Journalism Institute
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone (573) 882-2430

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
Tara Puckey, Interim Executive Director
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St., Suite 200
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/

 

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

The FOIA blog

http://thefoiablog.typepad.com/

Washington D.C. based FOIA attorney Scott A. Hodes blogs about many FOIA matters, from attorney fees and exemptions to careers in FOIA.

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