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Special Report: OAS-SR-10-03

September 14, 2010

Department's Freedom of Information Act Request Process

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA or the Act) (5 U.S.C. 552) specifies the information that all Federal Agencies are required to make available to the public. The Act, as it is applicable to the Department of Energy (Department), is presented in 10 CFR 1004. According to the Department's most recent Annual FOIA Report, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009, 1,809 FOIA requests were received. Of these, 702 remained at Department Headquarters for processing, with the remainder being processed by various field organizations. In most circumstances, the Act requires that responses be provided within a maximum of 20 days. The Department has established a FOIA Office to effectively respond to information requests received at Headquarters. Once a request has been validated by that Office, it is forwarded to the appropriate program office or field site for fulfillment. The Office of General Counsel reviews all situations in which the processing organization proposes to withhold information.

Topic: Management & Administration