Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA became effective in 1967, and its purpose was to provide a statutory basis for public access to official agency information previously restricted from public view.

Through the FOIA, Congress made it clear that the public has the right to know what its government is doing, for an informed public is vital to democracy.

Under the FOIA, official information is now available to “any person,” without regard to need for or interest in the material. The Agency and its FOIA staff are committed to ensuring the fullest possible disclosure of records, consistent with the letter and spirit of the law.

At the BBG, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) requests are managed by the Office of the General Counsel. The Office directs incoming FOIA requests to a designated FOIA/PA Officer, who fields the queries in consultation with the Agency’s Chief FOIA Officer (typically the General Counsel) and one Assistant General Counsel. Typical requests are for procurement records, lists of credit card purchase holders, audience survey reports, personnel and/or security files, and Board of Governors records, and are submitted in writing to the designed FOIA/PA Officer.

The BBG believes it is highly capable of analyzing, coordinating and responding to FOIA requests in a timely manner. During FY 2009, the BBG processed half of incoming FOIA requests within 40 days of submission.

The BBG is committed to upholding the spirit of openness and transparency heralded by President Obama with this memorandum on his first day in office and amplified by Attorney General Holder’s guidance in a DOJ memorandum from the Department of Justice.

BBG FOIA Reports

The Department of Justice requires Federal agencies to provide the public with quarterly and annual reports concerning the management and operation of their FOIA programs.  The BBG’s reports can be accessed on its FOIA Reports page.

Electronic Reading Room

The FOIA requires agencies to proactively disclose certain categories of records to the public via electronic means.  Records that the BBG has previously released to the public under the FOIA and which are or will likely become the subject of subsequent requests will be proactively disclosed in the agency’s Electronic Reading Room for public access.  Additionally, records that the agency determines are of sufficient public interest to warrant automatic disclosure will also be proactively disclosed in the Electronic Reading Room.

FOIA Requests

At this time, we do not have the capabilities to accept electronic FOIA requests for Agency information.

You may make a written request to our BBG mailing address:

BBG FOIA Office
Room 3349
330 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. 20237
(202) 203-4550

We will also accept FOIA requests to our fax number:
(202) 203-4585