FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA)
What is FOIA?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that allows members of the public to access Federal or agency records. However, not all federal or agency records can be viewed or inspected by the public. By law, certain records are protected from release by 9 FOIA Exemptions.
What are the 9 Exemptions?
The following are the 9 FOIA exemptions and the information they cover:
1. Classified national defense and foreign relations information.
2. Internal agency personnel rules and practices.
3. Documentary materials or information prohibited from disclosure by another law.
4. Trade secrets and other confidential business information.
5. Certain inter-agency, or intra-agency communications.
6. Personnel, medical, and other records and information involving personal privacy.
7. Records and information compiled for law enforcement purposes.
8. Records relating to financial institutions.
9. Geological records and information on oil wells.
What is BLM’s policy?
In keeping with the spirit of FOIA, it is the policy of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to make records available to the public to the greatest extent possible.
BLM records are generally categorized as either public records (those residing in the public domain) or non-public records (those records that must be protected). The public can view and inspect BLM records residing in the public domain for FREE; and can copy them for a fee, at various BLM Information Access Centers. Click here to access: List of BLM Information Centers. No FOIA request is required when viewing BLM records under the public domain.
However, for non-public records, a FOIA request is required. There are fees involved for accessing these type of BLM records. The public requesting for such records can submit a written FOIA request to the BLM National Training Center or online at: email@example.com
How long will it take to answer my FOIA request?
Federal agencies are required to answer FOIA requests for information within 20 working days (not calendar days) from the day of receipt of the request. When certain requests involve fees, day one will start after fee issues and other issues, such as scope, etc. are resolved. Agencies have the right to extend this processing period for an additional 10 working days, or a total of 30 working days.
How should I submit a FOIA request?
You may submit a FOIA request by one of two methods:
1. Writing a FOIA request and mailing it to:
BLM National Training Center
Attn: FOIA Coordinator
9828 N. 31st Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Click here to view an example of a FOIA request
2. Submitting an electronic request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there a cost?
Yes, there are costs involved in accessing federal records under FOIA. Fees vary depending on the category/status or purpose of the requester. A requester may have to provide additional information to permit the agency to determine appropriate fees.
For more information, visit:
Who can answer my questions about filing a FOIA request?
Contact: Maylyne Weisenburger (FOIA Coordinator) at the BLM National Training Center, 9828 N 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85051, (602) 906-5572, or email at email@example.com.
Other FOIA Links: