A CITIZEN'S GUIDE ON USING THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 TO REQUEST GOVERNMENT RECORDS
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Appendix 1.--Sample Request and Appeal Letters
B. Freedom of Information Act Appeal Letter
Agency Head [or Freedom of Information Act Officer]
Name of Agency
Address of Agency
City, State, Zip Code
Re: Freedom of Information Act Appeal
This is an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act.
On (date), I requested documents under the Freedom of Information Act. My request was assigned the following identification number: ________. On (date), I received a response to my request in a letter signed by (name of official). I appeal the denial of my request.
[Optional] The documents that were withheld must be disclosed under the FOIA because . . . .
[Optional] I appeal the decision to deny my request for a waiver of fees. I believe that I am entitled to a waiver of fees. Disclosure of the documents I requested is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest. (Provide details)
[Optional] I appeal the decision to require me to pay review costs for this request. I am not seeking the documents for a commercial use. (Provide details)
[Optional] I appeal the decision to require me to pay search and/or review charges for this request. I am a representative of the news media seeking information as part of news gathering and not for commercial use.
[Optional] I appeal the decision to require me to pay search and/or review charges for this request. I am a representative of an educational institution seeking information for a scholarly purpose.
[Optional] I appeal the decision to require me to accept the information I seek in a paper or hardcopy format. I requested this information, which the agency maintains in an electronic form, in an electronic format, specifically on a personal computer disk [or a CD-ROM].
[Optional] I also include a telephone number at which I can be contacted during the hours of ________, if necessary, to discuss any aspect of my appeal.
Thank you for your consideration of this appeal.
City, State, Zip Code