Home Information Sharing & Analysis Prevention & Protection Preparedness & Response Research Commerce & Trade Travel Security Immigration
About the Department Open for Business Press Room
Current National Threat Level is elevated

The threat level in the airline sector is High or Orange. Read more.

Page Tools

Share icon Share this page Email icon Email Updates Feed icon Subscribe to Feeds

More from Homeland Security

Freedom of Information Act & Privacy Act of 1974

The Privacy Office is responsible for administering policies, programs, and procedures to ensure that Department of Homeland Security complies with the Freedom of Information Act (FOlA) (PDF, 18 pages - 79 KB) and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and 5 U.S.C. 552a, respectively.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal statute. FOIA generally provides that any person has a right to request access to federal agency records. FOIA also establishes a presumption that records in the possession of agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of the U. S. Government are accessible to the people, except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

Submitting Requests

While the FOIA supports disclosure of federal agency records, the law recognizes the legitimate need to restrict disclosure of some information. The FOIA does not grant an absolute right to examine government documents; the FOIA establishes the right to request records and to receive a response to the request. If a record cannot be released, the requestor is entitled to be told the reason for the denial. The requester also has a right to appeal the denial and, if necessary, to challenge it in court.

Back To Top

Electronic Reading Room

FOIA requires agencies to make various types of records available for public inspection in both paper and electronic form:

Back To Top


For more information, please contact the DHS Privacy Office's Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Program:

The Privacy Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive SW
Washington, DC 20528-0550
Toll-free: 866-431-0486
Telephone: 703-235-0790
Facsimile: 703-235-0443
Email: foia@dhs.gov

See contact information for Chief FOIA Officer, Deputy Chief FOIA Officer/Director of Disclosure, FOIA Requester Service Centers, and Public Liaison.

Back To Top

Download Plug-in

Some of the links on this page require a plug-in to view them. Links to the plug-ins are available below.

Click Here to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Acrobat (PDF)

This page was last reviewed/modified on March 30, 2009.