What is the FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act Program (DODR 5400.7) allows the general public including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, to request  records electronically or in writing from the Federal Government. Some records are released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, and may therefore   reflect  deletion of some information in accordance with the FOIA's nine statutory exemptions or two law enforcement record exclusions. A consolidated list of such records is on  Defense Link and the U.S. Air Force FOIA site. Currently the law requires agencies to respond within 20 working days upon receipt of the request in the FOIA office. 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA)

The AFOSI/XILI office is responsible for processing requests for OSI records under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Written requests may be received by postal service, or electronically at: afosi_hq_foia_request@us.af.mil . Requests received electronically must have a mailing address included since it may not be practical to provide a substantive response electronically.   

WHO CAN SUBMIT A FOIA REQUEST?

Members of the public, including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, organizations and businesses, and individual members of the Congress for themselves or constituents, may request records in writing. It is important to remember the Freedom of Information Act applies only to federal agencies. It does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Each state has its own public access laws that should by consulted for access to state and local records.

HOW TO SUBMIT A FOIA AND PRIVACY ACT REQUEST

Please click the Certification and Identity Form found at: https://www.justice.gov/oip/doj-reference-guide-attachment-d-copies-forms , fill it out and ensure your FOIA request is signed.

You have these options to submit your request:

1. E-mail to: afosi_hq_foia_request@us.af.mil .

2. Fax to: (571) 305-8229

3. Mail to: HQ AFOSI/XILI  Attn: FOIA Section  27130 Telegraph Rd.  Quantico, VA 22134

E-mailed requests must have a valid mailing address included since it may not be practical to provide a substantive response electronically.

In addition please provide the following recommended information. You may attach this information on a separate document along with your appropriate statement:

1. When did the incident take place (month and year if known)?

2. Where did the incident take place or where was it investigated (what Air Force base if known)?

3. What is the nature of the investigation (sexual assault, death, drugs, etc.)?

4. What was your role in the investigation (subject, victim, witness, or in the case of a death investigation you relationship to the deceased)?

5. If the investigation involves minors, have a custodial parent fill out a notarized Certificate of identity for each child and include those forms with your request.

6. Some responsive records include photographs which can be graphic in nature. Do you want to receive the photographs? YES / NO 

7. Some responsive records include both a Report of Investigation (ROI) and Exhibits/Attachments. The ROI is used to document AFOSI investigations, specifically the results of investigative activities. The processing of Exhibits/Attachments can add additional processing time to your request. If you request only the ROI this will not preclude you from requesting the Exhibits/Attachments in the future as a separate FOIA request. Which are you requesting? ROI - YES / NO  Exhibits/Attachments - YES / NO

8. Are you willing to pay fees? YES / NO (You can attach a fee waiver to your request if applicable).

NOTE: Air Force-affiliated requesters, to include military and civilian employees, should not use government equipment, supplies, stationary, postage, telephones or official mail channels to make FOIA requests. Requests should be made through personal e-mail or postal service.

NOTE: To ensure timely attention to your request, please do not mail FOIA requests to the AFOSI Public Affairs Office.

 

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATION OF IDENTITY?

In addition to the information provided, please provide a notarized Certification of Identity (to be linked here). Please provide a notarized signature of the requester (yourself) on that document plus the date. If you are requesting information pertaining to a third party please provide a notarized consent from that individual. Also, please fill out a notarized Certificate of Identity for any children whom you are a custodial parent. Also, please obtain the notarized signature of the other individual (the person whom you are seeking their information) by having them fill out the section on the form titled, "Authorization to release information to another person" giving you permission to receive their information. (If you are a custodial parent you can sign on your child's behalf). If the information you are requesting pertains to a deceased member please provide a Certificate of Identity for yourself (and any other living persons whom you are requesting information).     

PROCESSING TIME LIMITS

Normally, a statutory 20-working-day time limit applies, upon receipt of a valid or corrected FOIA request. However, we have a significant number of requests that are large and complex, which can prevent a response determination from being made within 20 working days and therefore we have instituted a multi-track processing system based on the date of receipt and the amount of work and time involved in processing the request. To ensure fairness to all families, we process all FOIA requests on a "first in, first out" basis, in accordance with Federal Law, DoD and Air Force Instructions. 

RELEASE OF E-MAIL ADDRESSES

Air Force policy is to deny requests for lists of e-mail addresses (both personal and organizational) using FOIA exemption (b)(6). We rely on FOIA exemption (b)(6) when denying lists of personal e-mail addresses. High (b)(2) is no longer to be used to protect internal information, the disclosure of which would risk circumvention of a statute or agency regulation. Because DOD e-mail systems are to be used only for official and authorized purposes, the addresses are considered primarily internal. The regulations at issue that could be circumvented include DOD and Air Force regulations that require us to limit use of e-mail to authorized purposes, and to protect the security of your computer and information systems. Exemption (b)(6) protects information that if released would permit a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. This does not prohibit an organization from including a single e-mail address on a Web page in correspondence.   

WHAT ARE THE FEES FOR A FOIA REQUEST?

The FOIA allows fee charges based on the requester's category. There are three categories: commercial (pay search, review and reproduction fees); educational, non-commercial scientific institution and news media (pay reproduction fees; first 100 pages provided at no cost); and others (pay search and reproduction fees; first two hours search and 100 pages provided at no cost). For information on FOIA fees read PART 286--DOD FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT PROGRAM REGULATION at: www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/dfoipo/docsfoiafees.pdf .

Family of a deceased member - free processing / fees waived.

Fee Waivers: If you are advised or expect to that a fee will be charged, you may request in writing a waiver of those fees if the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to significantly contribute to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest. of the requester. The mere fact you are a non-profit organization or a member of the media does not in and of itself qualify for a fee waiver. Also, a requester's inability to pay is not a legal basis for granting a fee waiver. 

HOW TO CONTACT THE AFOSI FOIA OFFICE

Mail: HQ AFOSI/XILI  Attn: FOIA Section  27130 Telegraph Rd.  Quantico, VA 22134

Phone: (571) 305-8120 / 8044

E-mail: afosi_hq_foia_request@us.af.mil  

FOIA READING ROOM

The FOIA Reading Room at: http://www.foia.af.mil/Library/  is available where the public may inspect copies of any previously processed Air Force FOIA releases. 

If dissatisfied with the service received from the AFOSI Requester Service center, you may e-mail the Air Force FOIA Public Liaison Office for assistance at: usaf.pentagon.saf-cio-a6.mbx.af-foia@mail.mil or call (703) 614-8500.