How to submit a FOIA Request

Requests should be submitted to the FOIA office for the Corps of Engineers division, district, center or laboratory that you believe has the records you are seeking.  Each of these components process records requests for their own offices.  Directing your request to the correct office will speed up the response to your request. See the USACE FOIA Offices and Service Centers page to find the correct office.

Requests must be in writing and should include the notation ‘Freedom of Information Act Request’ on the front of the envelope and at the beginning of your correspondence.  No special form is required for a FOIA request.  Electronic requests are permitted unless a signature is required (e.g., a request for records subject to the Privacy Act).  Electronic requests should include the notation ‘Freedom of Information Act Request’ in the subject line. Use a Sample Request Letter to assist you with your request.

Requests must state that the requester is willing to pay the applicable fees and must describe the records requested in sufficient detail to allow the FOIA office to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort.  In making a request you should be as specific as possible with regard to names, titles, dates, places, events, subjects, recipients, type of record, the offices likely to maintain the records, and so forth. See the FOIA Fees page for more information on Fees.

FOIA requests can be made for any agency records; however, this does not necessarily mean that all records will be disclosed.  There are statutory exemptions that authorize the withholding of information of a sensitive nature.  Additionally, you should be aware that the FOIA does not require FOIA offices to perform research, to analyze data, to answer written questions, or to create records in order to respond to a request.

FOIA offices will ordinarily send a letter acknowledging the request within twenty days of receipt.  If you do not provide the necessary information, the office will advise you of the additional information required to further process your request.

If you wish to request information about yourself, you will be asked to provide either a notarized statement or a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that you are the person that you say you are.  This protects your privacy and the privacy of others.