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               >>> Freedom of Information Kit <<< 
The following files are for individuals or organizations who wish
to make an FOIA application to a federal agency.  Please read the
file <Instructions>  before making your application.  There are 5
files; FOIA Instructions, FOIA Application; FOIA Fee Waiver; FOIA
Appeal;  selected  Federal  FOIA  Addresses;  and   FBI   Offices
This kit  is  also  available  in  printed  form.  If you wish to
obtain the printed version, please send a check  or  money  order
made payable to FOIA,Inc. for $3.00 to: 
FOIA,Inc., P.O. Box 02 2397, Brooklyn, NY 11202-0050.  
 <1> FOIA Instructions 
 <2> FOIA Application (all agencies) 
 <3> FOIA Fee Waiver 
 <4> FOIA Appeal 
 <5> FOIA Addresses of selected Federal Agencies 
 <6> FBI Addresses & phone numbers nationwide 
<1> FOIA Instructions 
The Freedom of Information Act entitles you to request any record
maintained by a federal Executive branch agency.  The agency must
release  the  requested material unless it falls into one of nine
exempt  categories,  such  as  "national  security,"   "privacy,"
"confidential  source" and the like, in which case the agency may
but is not compelled to refuse to disclose the records.  This kit
contains all the materials  needed  to  make  FOIA  requests  for
records  on  an  individual,  an  organization or on a particular
sunject matter or event.  
Fund for Open Information and Accountability, Inc.  P.O.  BOX  02
2397, Brooklyn, NY 11202-0050 (212) 477-3188 
Step 1: Select and make copies of the sample letter.  Fill in the
blanks in the body of the letter.  Read the directions printed to
the  right margin of the letter in conjunction with the following
For individual files: Insert the person's full name in the  first
blank  space  and  any  variations  in spelling, nicknames, stage
names, marriage names, titles and the like in the  second  space.
Unlike other requests, the signatures of an individual requesting
her/his own file must be notarized.  
For  organizational  files:  In  the first blank space insert the
full and formal name of the  organization  whose  files  you  are
requesting.   In  the  second blank space insert any other names,
acronyms or shortened forms by which the organization is  or  has
ever been  known  or referred to by itself or others.  If some of
the organization's work is conducted by sub-groups such as clubs,
committees, special programs or through coalitions known by other
names, these should be listed.  There  is  no  need  to  notarize
signature for organizational requests.  
For subject matter or event files: In the first blank space state
the  formal  title  of  the  subject  matter  or  event including
relevant dates and locations.  In the second blank space  provide
the names of individuals or group sponsors or participants and/or
any  other  information  that would assist the agency in locating
the material you are requesting.  
Step 2: The completed sample letter may be  removed,  photocopied
and mailed  as  is or retyped on your own stationary.  Be sure to
keep a copy of each letter.  
Step 3: Addressing the letters: Consult list of agency  addresses
on page  7 and 8 of this kit.  FBI: A complete request requires a
minimum of two letters.  Send one letter to FBI Headquarters  and
separate letters to each FBI field office nearest the location of
the  individual,  the  organization  or the subject matter/event.
Consider the location of residences,  schools,  work,  and  other
activities.   INS:  Send a request letter to each district office
nearest the location of the individual, the organization  or  the
subject matter/event.   Address each letter to the FOIA/PA office
of the appropriate agency.   Be  sure  to  mark  clearly  on  the
envelope: Attention FOIA Request.  
In 1987  a  new  fee structure went into effect.  Each agency has
new  fee  regulations  for  search  and  review  time   and   for
duplication of  released  documents.   Commercial requesters must
pay for search and review time and for duplication costs.    News
Media representatives and Educational and Scientific Institutions
whose  purpose  is  scholarly  or  scientific  research  pay  for
duplication only.  Public Interest  groups  who  can  qualify  as
press,  educational,  or  scientific institutions will be charged
duplication costs only.  All other non-commercial requesters  are
entitled  to up to 100 pages of free copying and up to 2 hours of
free search time.  Requesters will have to pay fees for work that
extends beyond those limits unless they qualify for a fee  waiver
or reduction  (see  below).  No fee may be charged if the cost of
collection exceeds the fee.  Advanced payment may not be demanded
unless a requester has previously failed to pay on  time  or  the
fee exceeds $250.  
You  will  notice that the sample letter includes a request for a
fee waiver with instructions  for  the  agency  to  refer  to  an
attached sheet.    Fees for all non-commercial requesters, beyond
the 2 hours/100 page/automatic waiver  described  above,  may  be
waived or reduced if the disclosure of the information 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 the commericial interest of
the requester.  You should always request a waiver or fees if you
believe the information you are seeking will benefit the  public.
Read  the  fee waiver worksheet for non-commercial users included
in this kit on page 5 for help in composing a request for  a  fee
waiver.   If  your  request  for  a  waiver is denied, you should
appeal that denial, citing the ways in which your  request  meets
the standards set in the attached fact sheet.  
After each agency has searched and processed  your  request,  you
will  receive  a  letter that announces the outcome, encloses the
released documents, if any,  and  explains  where  to  direct  an
appeal if  any  material  has  been  withheld.    There  are four
possible outcomes: 
1. Request granted in full: This occurs very  infrequently.    If
the  response  indicates that the agency has released all records
pertinent to your request, with no  exclusions  or  withholdings,
you  will  receive  the  requested documents with an agency cover
letter, or if bulky, the documents may be mailed  under  separate
Next  step:  Check  documents  for completeness (see instructions
below)  and  make  an  administrative  appeal  if  you   find   a
discrepancy between your own analysis and that of the agency (see
instructions below).  
2.  Request  granted  in  part  and denied in part: This response
indicates that the agency is  releasing  some  material  but  has
withheld  some  documents  entirely or excized some passages from
the documents released.  The released documents may  be  enclosed
or, if bulky, mailed under separate cover.  
Next  step:  Check  documents  for completeness (see instructions
below)  and  make  an  administrative  appeal   of   denials   or
incompleteness (see instructions below).  
3.  Request  denied  in  full:  This response and the denied part
response indicate that the agency is asserting that  material  in
its  files pertaining to your request falls under one of the nine
FOIA exemptions.  These are categories of  information  that  the
agency may, at its discretion, refuse to release.  
Next  step:  Make  an  administrative  appeal  (see  instructions
below).  Since FOIA exemptions are not mandatory, even a complete
denial of your request can and should be appealed.  
4. No records: This response will state  that  a  search  of  the
agency's  files indicates that it has no records corresponding to
those you requested.  Next step: Check your original  request  to
be sure  you  have  not  overlooked  anything.    If  you receive
documents from other agencies, review them for  indications  that
there  is  material  in  the  files of the agency claiming it has
none.  For example, look for  correspondence,  or  references  to
correspondence, to  or  from  that agency.  If you determine that
there are reasonable grounds, file an administrative appeal  (see
instructions below).  
Step  1:  Before reading the documents, turn them over and number
the back of each page  sequentially.    The  packet  may  contain
documents from the agency's headquarters as well as several field
office files.    Separate  the  documents  into  their respective
office packets.  Each of these offices  will  have  assigned  the
investigation a  separate file number.  Try to find the numbering
system.  Usually the lower righthand corner  of  the  first  page
carries a  hand-written  file and document number.  For instance,
an  FBI  document  might  be  marked  "100-7142-22."  This  would
indicate  that  it is the 22nd document in the 7142nd file in the
100 classification.  As you inspect the documents, make a list of
these file numbers and which office they represent.  In this  way
you  will  be  able  to  determine which office created and which
office received the document you have in your hand.  Often  there
is  a  block stamp affixed with the name of the office from whose
files this copy was  retrieved.    The  "To/From"  heading  on  a
document  may  also  give you corresponding file numbers and will
help you puzzle out the origin of the document.   When  you  have
finally  identified  each  document's  file and serial number and
separated the documents into their proper office batches, make  a
list  of all the serial numbers in each batch to see if there are
any missing numbers.  If there are  missing  serial  numbers  and
some  documents  have  been  withheld,  try  to  determine if the
missing numbers  might  reasonably  correspond  to  the  withheld
documents.   If  they don't, the release may be incomplete and an
administrative appeal should be made.  
Step 2: Read all the documents released to you.  Keep a  list  of
all  documents referred to in the text, including letters, memos,
teletypes, reports, etc.  Each of these "referred  to"  documents
should turn  up in the packet released to you.  If any are not in
the packet, it is possible that  they  are  among  the  documents
withheld and   a   direct   inquiry   should  be  made.    In  an
administrative appeal, ask  that  each  of  these  "referred  to"
documents  be produced or that the agency state plainly that they
are among those withheld.    List  each  "referred  to"  document
separately.  The totals of unproduced vs.  witheld must be within
reason;  that is, if the total number of unproduced documents you
find referred to in the text of the  documents  produced  exceeds
the  total  number of documents withheld, the agency cannot claim
that all the "referred to" documents are  accounted  for  by  the
withheld category.   You will soon get the hang of making logical
conclusions from discrepancies in  totals  and  missing  document
Another  thing to look for when reading the released documents is
the names of persons or agencies to whom the  document  has  been
disseminated.   The  lower  left-hand corner is a common location
for the typed list of agencies or offices to  whom  the  document
has been   directed.    In  addition,  there  may  be  additional
distribution recorded by hand, there or elsewhere, on  the  cover
page.  There are published glossaries for some agencies that will
help  in  deciphering  these  notations  when they are not clear.
Contact FOIA, Inc. if you  need  assistance  in  deciphering  the
text.   Finally,  any  other  file  numbers  that  appear  on the
document should be noted, particularly if the subject of the file
is of interest and is one you have not requested.  You  may  want
to make an additional request for some of these files.  
Under  the  FOIA,  a  dissatisfied  requester  has  the  right of
administrative appeal.  The name and address of the proper appeal
office will be given to you by each agency in its final  response
letter.    This   kit   contains  a  sample  appeal  letter  with
suggestions for adapting it to various circumstances.    However,
you need not make such an elaborate appeal; in fact, you need not
offer  any reasons at all but rather simply write a letter to the
appeals unit stating that "This letter constitutes an  appeal  of
the agency's  decision."   Of course, if you have identified some
real discrepancies, you should set them forth fully (for  example
see  Step 2 under "How to Check Documents for Completeness"), but
even if you have not found any,  you  may  simply  ask  that  the
release be  reviewed.    If  you are still dissatisfied after the
administrative appeal process, the FOIA gives you  the  right  to
bring a lawsuit in federal district court.  
You  should  receive  a  letter  from  each agency within 10 days
stating  that  your  request  has  been  received  and  is  being
processed.   You  may  be  asked to be patient since requests are
being handled on a first come  first  served  basis.    The  best
strategy is to be "reasonably" patient, but there is no reason to
sit complacently  and wait for an interminable period of time.  A
good strategy is to telephone the  FOIA  office  in  each  agency
after  about  a  month if you have received nothing of substance.
Ask for a progress report.  Note the name of the person you speak
to and what they say.  Continue to call every 4 to 6 weeks.  
Good record keeping helps avoid  time-consuming  and  frustrating
confusion.   A  looseleaf notebook with a section devoted to each
request simplifies this task.  At the beginning  of  the  request
process,  sometimes  it  is  difficult  to foresee what course of
action you will want to take in the future.  Keep copies  of  all
correspondence to  and  from  each  agency.  They can be inserted
between the notes on phone calls so that  all  relevant  material
will  be  at  hand for future use, including phone consultations,
correspondence,  newspaper  articles,   preparation   for   media
appearances, congressional testimony or litigation.  
<2> FOIA Application (all agencies) 
[NOTE: All the text in braces [] is for your information.  Do NOT
include  in  request] [NOTE: Start by photocopying several copies
of this letter or retype if you prefer] 
Date:                                     O FBI Headquarters
To: FOIA/ PA Unit                         O FBI Field Office:
                                          O Other Agency:
[Check box for appropriate agency]
This is a noncommerical request under the Freedom of Information and 
Privacy Acts. I have attached a sheet setting out my application for a fee 
waiver of any fees in excess of those which are provided free because of my 
My category for fee and fee waiver purposes is (check one):
O  request for personal file; no search fee and 100 free pages.
O  journalist, academic or scientist; no search fee and 100 free pages.
O  other non-commerical requester (group or person); 2 hours free search 
and 100 free pages.
I request a complete and thorough search of all filing systems and 
locations for all records maintained by your agency pertaining to and/or 
[check appropriate box]
including, without limitation, files and documents captioned,
or whose captions include
[describe records desired and/or insert full and formal name]
This request specifically includes where appropriate "main" files
and  "see  references," including but not limited to numbered and
lettered sub files and control files.  I also request a search of
the  Electronic  Surveillance  (ELSUR)  Index,  or  any   similar
technique for locating records of electronic surveillance and the
COINTELPRO Index. I request that all records be produced with the
administrative pages.     I  wish  to  be  sent  copies  of  "see
reference" cards, abstracts, search slips, including search slips
used to process this request, file covers, multiple copies of the
same documents if they appear in a file, tapes of any  electronic
surveillance,  photographs,  and  logs  of  physical surveillance
(FISUR). Please place missing documents on "special locate."  
I wish to make it clear that I want all records  in  your  office
"identifiable  with  my  request,"  even  though reports on those
records have been sent to Headquarters and even though there  may
be duplication between the two sets of files.  I do not want just
"interim" documents.   I want all documents as they appear in the
"main" files and "see references" of all units of your agency.  
If documents are denied in whole or in part, please specify which
exemption(s) is(are) claimed for each passage or  whole  document
denied.   Give the number of pages in each document and the total
number of pages pertaining to  this  request  and  the  dates  of
documents withheld.   I request that excised material be "blacked
out" rather than "whited out" or cut out and that  the  remaining
non-exempt  portions  of  documents be released as provided under
the Freedom of Information Act. Please send a memo (with  a  copy
or  copies  to  me)  to the appropriate unit(s) in your office to
assure that no records related to  this  request  are  destroyed.
Please  advise of any destruction of records and include the date
of and authority for such destruction.  As I expect to appeal any
denials, please specify the office and address to which an appeal
should be directed.  
I can be reached at the phone listed below.  Please  call  rather
than  write  if there are any questions or if you need additional
information from me.  I expect a response to this request  within
ten  (10)  working  days,  as  provided  for  in  the  Freedom of
Information Act.  
Name (print or type):_______________________________
Telephone:_________________Social Security number (optional): _______
(for personal files)                             (for organization files)
Date of Birth:___________________Date of founding: _______________
Place of birth:___________________Place of founding: ______________
Address of organization:___________________________________
<3> FOIA Fee Waiver 
Fee Waiver Worksheet for Non-Commercial Requesters 
All  non-commercial  requesters  are  entitled to apply for a fee
waiver for charges in excess of those  which  are  provided  free
because of  requester's  category.    Following amendments to the
FOIA in October  1986,  the  Justice  Department  issued  a  memo
outlining  six  criteria  to  be  used by agencies in determining
whether or not to grant fee waivers.  Many Congresspeople dispute
the memo's legality, pointing out its  invitation  to  subjective
judgements,   and   its   proclivity  to  intimidate  requesters.
Nevertheless, until the six criteria are  eliminated,  either  by
Congress or court decisions, requesters will have to address them
in order to qualify for a fee waiver.  To apply for a fee waiver,
attach   a  separate  sheet  of  paper  to  your  request  letter
explaining in narrative form how your request satisfies  each  of
the following  six  criteria.    (All  highlighted phrases in the
following text are taken directly  from  the  Justice  Department
(1) Explain how the records you are requesting are likely to shed
light on  the  operations  or  activities of the government.  (2)
Describe how the records you are requesting  will  contribute  to
the understanding of government operations or activities.  If the
information  being  requested is not already in the public domain
bring this fact to the agency's attention.  (3)a. Explain to  the
agency   how   the   public  will  ultimately  benefit  from  the
information you are requesting.  Legislative history  and  recent
case law indicate that the "public" is not limited to U.S. public
nor must   it   be   the   "public   at-large."     For  example,
Representatives English and Kindness jointly stated during recent
Congressional debate,  "Public  understanding  is  enhanced  when
information  is  disclosed  to  the  subset  of  the  public most
interested, concerned or  affected  by  a  particular  action  or
Furthermore, District Court Judge Harold Greene in a 1987 opinion
involving  a  request  by a Canadian newspaper said, "There is no
requirement in the [FOIA] statute that  news  media  seeking  fee
waivers  [must]  serve  the  American public exclusively, or even
tangentially ... an FBI official does not have the  authority  to
amend  the  law of the United States by restricting it beyond its
plain terms."* In other words, the public  you  seek  to  educate
does  not have to reside in the United States, nor is the size of
that public relevant to your entitlement to a fee waiver.  
(3)b. Explain to the  agency  your  qualifications  (educational,
work   experience,   etc.)   for   understanding   the  requested
information and outline your ability and intention to disseminate
the information once it has been obtained.   You  might  want  to
cite any of the following activities in order to demonstrate your
ability  and  intention to disseminate information to the public:
writing newspaper or scholarly articles, writing books,  granting
interviews,  public speaking engagements, preparing Congressional
testimony, producing pamphlets,  videos,  film,  radio  programs,
(4)  The Justice Department memo stipulates that the contribution
to public understanding must be "significant." What constitutes a
"significant" contribution is clearly susceptible  to  subjective
interpretation.   However,  we suggest that you make reference to
current news stories, efforts to correct the historical record or
expose government or corporate fraud or threats to public  health
and safety.   Broadly speaking, any information that would enable
the public to hold the government  accountable  for  any  of  its
operations  or  activities  can  be  persuasively  argued to be a
"significant" contribution to public understanding.  
(5) and (6) Explain to the agency (if it is the  case)  that  any
commercial  interest  that  will  be  furthered  by the requested
records is not the primary interest when compared to  the  public
interest that will be served.  For example, if the information is
requested  pursuant  to  the  publication  of  a book, you should
explain (if it is the case) that this book  is  not  destined  to
become  a  bestseller because of topic, publisher, or anticipated
audience, etc.  
News media representatives, scholars or scientists,  should  make
requests  for  documents  and  fee  waivers  on  the  appropriate
institutional letterhead.  Similarly, requests for organizational
files should be made on the appropriate letterhead.  You  have  a
right  to file an administrative appeal if you receive an adverse
decision  regarding  either  your  fee  category  or  fee  waiver
request.   The  letter  containing the adverse decision will tell
you to whom you should direct the appeal.  * Joint  statement  by
Reps.  English  and  Kindness,  Congressional  Record,  H-  9464,
October 8, 1986; Judge Greene's opinion in Southam News v.   INS.
(Civ. No. 85-2721, D.D.C., November 9, 1987).  <4> FOIA Appeal 
Date:  To: FOIA/PA Appeals Office RE: Request number [Add this if
the agency has given your request a number]  This  is  an  appeal
pursuant  to  subsection (a)(6) of the Freedom of Information Act
as amended (5 U.S.C. 552).  On [date] I received  a  letter  from
[name  of  official]  of  your  agency  denying  my  request  for
[describe briefly the information your are after].    This  reply
indicated that  an  appeal  letter  could  be  sent to you.  I am
enclosing a copy of  my  exchange  of  correspondence  with  your
agency  so  that  you can see exactly what files I have requested
and the insubstantial  grounds  on  which  my  request  has  been
[Insert  following  paragraph  if  the agency has withheld all or
nearly all the material which has been requested] 
You will note that your agency has withheld the entire (or nearly
entire) document that I requested.  Since the FOIA provides  that
"any  reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided
to any person  requesting  such  record  after  deletion  of  the
portions  which  are  exempt," I believe that your agency has not
complied with the FOIA. I believe that there must be (additional)
segregable portions which do not fall within the FOIA  exemptions
and which must be released.  
[Insert  following  paragraph  if  the agency has used the (b)(1)
exemption for national security purposes to withhold information] 
Your  agency  has  used  the   (b)(1)   exemption   to   withhold
information.   [I  question whether files relating to events that
took place over twenty years ago  could  realistically  harm  the
national security.] [Because I am familiar with my own activities
during  the  period  in  question,  and  know  that none of these
activities in any way posed a significant threat to the  national
security,  I  question the designation of my files or portions of
my file as classified  and  exempt  from  disclosure  because  of
national security considerations.] 
[Sample  optional  arguments to be used if the exemption which is
claimed does not seem to make sense;  you  should  cite  as  many
specific  instances  as  you  care  to of items withheld from the
documents that you have received.  We provide two examples  which
you might want to adapt to your own case.] 
"On  the  memo dated______the second paragraph withheld under the
(b)(1) exemption appears to be describing a  conversation  at  an
open meeting.    If  this  is the case, it is impossible that the
substance of this conversation  could  be  properly  classified."
Or, "The memo dated____ refers to a meeting which I attended, but
a  substantial  portion  is  deleted  because  of  the (b)(6) and
(b)(7)(c)  exemptions  for  unwarranted  invasions  of   personal
privacy.   Since  I  already  know  who attended this meeting, no
privacy interest is served by the withholding."  
I trust that upon examination of my request,  you  will  conclude
that  the  records  I  have requested are not properly covered by
exemption(s)____ [insert  the  exemption(s)  which  the  agency's
denial  letter  claimed  applied  to your request] of the amended
FOIA, and that you will overrule the  decision  to  withhold  the
[Insert  following  paragraph  if  an  itemized inventory was not
supplied by the agency] 
If you choose to continue to withhold some or all of the material
which was denied in my initial request to your agency, I ask that
you give  me  an  index  of  such  material,  together  with  the
justification  for  the  denial  of  each  item  which  is  still
withheld.  As provided in the Freedom of Information Act, I  will
expect  to  receive  a  reply to this adminstrative appeal letter
within twenty (20) working days.  If you deny this appeal and  do
not  adequately  explain  why  the  material withheld is properly
exempt, I intend to initiate a lawsuit to compel its  disclosure.
[You  can  say  that  you  intend  to sue if that is your present
inclination even though you may ultimately  decide  not  to  file
<5> FOIA Addresses of selected Federal Agencies 
2397, BROOKLYN, NY 11202-0050 
Administrative  Office  of the U.S. Courts Washington, D.C. 20544
(202) 633-6117 
Bureau of Prisons 320 1st St., NW Washington,  D.C.  20534  (202)
Central  Intelligence  Agency Information and Privacy Coordinator
Washington, D.C. 20505 
Civil Service Commission Appropriate Bureau (Bureau of  Personnel
Investigation, Bureau of Personnel Information Systems, etc.) 
Civil  Service  Commission  1900  E Street, N.W. Washington, D.C.
20415 (202) 632-4431 
Commission on Civil Rights General Counsel,  U.S.  Commission  on
Civil  Rights  1121  Vermont Ave., N.W., Rm. 600 Washington, D.C.
20405 (202) 376-8177 
Consumer  Producet  Safety  Commission  1111   18th   St.,   N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20207 (301) 492-6580 
Defense   Intelligence   Agency  The  Pentagon  Washington,  D.C.
20301-6111 (202) 697-8844 
Department of Defense/Department of  the  Air  Force  Freedom  of
Information  Manager  Headquarters,  USAF/DADF  Washington,  D.C.
20330-5025 (202) 545-6700 
Department of Defense/Department  of  the  Army  General  Counsel
Secretary  of  the  Army The Pentagon, Rm. 2E727 Washington, D.C.
20310 (202) 545-6700 
Department of Defense/ Marine  Corps  Commandant  of  the  Marine
Corps   Department   of   the  Navy  Headquarters,  Marine  Corps
Washington, D.C. 20380-0001 (202) 694-2500 
Department  of  Defense/  Dept.  of  the  Navy  Chief  of   Naval
Operations  OP  09  B30  Pentagon,  Rm.  5E521  Washington,  D.C.
20350-2000 (202) 545-6700 
Department of Energy 1000 Independence Ave.,  S.W.    Washington,
D.C. 20585 (202) 252-5000 
Department  of  Justice/  General  Administration (includes Civil
Rights Division, Antitrust  Division,  Drug  Enforcement  Admin.,
Immigration  and  Naturalization  Service) FOIA/ Privacy Act Unit
(of the appropriate division) 
 Department  of  Justice  Constitution  Ave.  &  10th  St.,  N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530 (202)633-2000 
Department of Labor 200 Constitution Ave., N.W.  Washington, D.C.
20210 (202) 523-8165 
Department  of  State Director, Freedom of Information Bureau for
Public Administration Department of State, Rm  239  2201  C  St.,
N.W.  Washington, D.C. 20520 (202) 647-3411 
Department   of   the  Treasury  Internal  Revenue  Service  1111
Constitution Ave., N.W.  Washington, D.C.  20224  (202)  566-5000
(Consult phone book for regional offices) 
Environmental  Protection  Agency  Freedom  of Information Office
A101 Room 1132 West Tower 401 M St., S.W.  Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 382-4048 
Equal Employment Opportunities Comm.  Office  of  Legal  Services
2401  E  St.,  N.W., Rm. 214 Washington, D.C. 20507 Attn. Richard
Roscio, Assc. Legal Counsel (202) 634-6922 
Federal Communications Commission 1919 M St., N.W.    Washington,
D.C. 20554 (202) 254-7674 
Food  and  Drug  Administration  5600  Fishers Lane Rockville, MD
20857 (301) 443-1544 
Health  and  Human   Services   200   Independence   Ave.,   S.W.
Washington,  D.C. 20201 Housing and Urban Development 451 Seventh
St., S.W.  Washington, D.C. 20410 (202) 755-6420 
National Aeronautics & Space  Administration  400  Maryland  Ave,
S.W.  Washington, D.C. 20546 (202) 453-1000 
National  Archives  and  Records Service Pennsylvania Ave. at 8th
St., N.W.  Washington, D.C. 20408 (202) 523-3130 
National Labor  Relations  Board  1717  Pennsylvania  Ave.,  N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20570 (202) 632-4950 
National Security Agency Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6000 (301)
National Security   Council   Old   Executive   Bldg.     17th  &
Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.   Washington,  D.C.  20506  Attn.  Brenda
Reger (202) 395-3103 
Nuclear  Regulatory Commission Director, Office of Administration
Washingto n, D.C. 20555 (202) 492-7715 
Secret Service U.S. Secret Service 1800 G St., N.W.   Washington,
D.C. 20223 Attn. FOIA/ Privacy Office (202) 634-5798 
Securities and Exchange Commission 450 5th St., N.W.  Washington,
D.C. 20549 (202) 272-2650 
U.S. Customs  Service  1301  Constitution Ave., N.W.  Washington,
D.C. 20229 (202) 566-8195 
U.S. Agency for International Development  320  21st.  St.,  N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20532 (202) 632-1850 
U.S. Office of Personnel Management 1900 E St., N.W.  Washington,
D.C. 20415 (202) 632-5491 
U.S.  Postal  Service  Records  Office  475  L'Enfant Plaza, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20260-5010 (202) 245-5568 
Veterans Administration 810 Vermont Ave., N.W.  Washington,  D.C.
20420 (202) 389-2741 
<6> FBI Addresses & phone numbers nationwide
DIVISION            ADDRESS                                TELEPHONE
Albany, NY 12207      502 U.S. Post Office and Courthouse  518-465-7551
Albuquerque, NM 87102 301 Grand Ave. NE                    505-247-1555
Alexandria, VA 22314  300 N. Lee St                        703-683-2680
Anchorage, AK 99513   701 C St                             907-276-4441
Atlanta, GA 30302     275 Peachtree St. NE                 404-521-3900
Baltimore, MD 21207   7142 Ambassador Rd                   301-265-8080
Birmingham, AL 35203  Room 1400, 2121 Bldg                 205-252-7705
Boston, MA 02203      John F. Kennedy Federal Office Bldg  617-742-5533
Buffalo, NY 14202     111 W. Huron St                      716-856-7800
Butte, MT 59702       U.S. Courthouse and Federal Bldg     406-792-2304
Charlotte, NC 28210   6010 Kenley Lane                     704-529-1030
Chicago, IL 60604     219 S. Dearborn St                   312-431-1333
Cincinnati, OH 45205  50 Main St                           513-421-4310
Cleveland, OH 44199   1240 E. 9th St                       216-522-1400
Columbia, SC 29201    1529 Hampton St                      803-254-3011
Dallas, TX 75202      1801 N. Lamar                        214-741-1851
Denver, CO 80202      Federal Office Bldg                  303-629-7171
Detroit, MI 48226     477 Michigan Ave                     313-965-2323
El Paso, TX 79901     202 U.S. Courthouse Bldg             915-533-7451
Honolulu, HI 96850    300 Ala Moana Blvd                   808-521-1411
Houston, TX 77002     515 Rusk Ave                         713-224-1511
Indianapolis, IN 46204 575 N. Pennsylvania St              317-639-3301
Jackson, MS 39264     100 W. Capitol St                    601-948-5000
Jackonsville, FL 32211 7820 Arlington Expressway           904-721-1211
Kansas City, MO 64106 300 U.S. Courthouse Bldg             816-221-6100
Knoxville, TN 37919   1111 Northshore Dr                   615-588-8571
Las Vegas, NV 89101   Las Vegas Blvd. S                    702-385-1281
Little Rock, AR 72201 215 U.S. Post Office Bldg            501-372-7211
Los Angeles, CA 90024 11000 Wilshire Blvd                  213-477-6565
Louisville, KY 40202  600 Federal Pl                       502-583-3941
Memphis, TN 38103     67 N. Main St                        901-525-7373
Miami, FL 33137       3801 Biscayne Blvd                   305-573-3333
Milwaukee, WI 53202   517 E. Wisconsin Ave                 414-276-4684
Minneapolis, MN 55401 392 Federal Bldg                     612-339-7861
Mobile, AL 36602      113 St. Joseph St                    205-438-3674
Newark, NJ 07102      Gateway 1, Market St                 201-622-5613
New Haven, CT 06510   150 Court St                         203-777-6311
New Orleans, LA 70112 1250 Poydras St., Suite 2200         504-522-4670
New York, NY 10278    26 Federal Plaza                     212-553-2700
Norfolk, VA 23510     200 Granby Mall                      804-623-3111
Oklahoma City, OK 73118 50 Penn Pl                         405-842-7471
Omaha, NE 68102       215 N. 17th St                       402-348-1210
Philadelphia, PA      600 Arch St                          215-629-0800
Phoenix, AZ 85012     201 E. Indianola                     602-279-5511
Pittsburgh, PA        1000 Liberty Ave                     412-471-2000
Portland, OR 97201    1500 SW 1st Ave                      503-224-4181
Quantico, VA 22135    FBI Academy                          703-640-6131
Richmond, VA 23220    200 W. Grace St                      804-644-2631
Sacramento, CA 95825  2800 Cottage Way                     916-481-9110
St. Louis, MO 63103   1520 Market St                       314-241-5357
Salt Lake City, UT 84138   125 S. State St                 801-355-8584
San Antonio, TX 78206 615 E. Houston                       512-225-6741
San Diego, CA 92188   880 Front St                         619-231-1122
San Francisco, CA 94102 450 Golden Gate Ave                415-552-2155
San Juan, PE 00918    Hato Rey, PR                         809-754-6000
Savannah, GA 31405    5401 Paulsen St                      912-354-9911
Seattle, WA 98174     915 2nd Ave                          206-622-0460
Springfield, IL 62702 535 W. Jefferson St                  217-522-9675
Tampa, FL 33602       500 Zack St                          813-228-7661
Washington, DC 20401  1900 Half St. SW                     202-324-3000
A sample article from Our Right To Know - From FOIA, Inc.
---------------   cut here   -------------------------------------
 O   U   R      R   I   G   H   T      T   O      K   N   O   W  
 A Publication of the Fund for Open Information & Accountability, Inc.
P.O. Box 02 2397, Brooklyn, NY 11202-0050 Tel: (212) 477-3188
Subscriptions: ORTK is published quarterly. Print: $12 per year
Electronic: $10 per year
Autumn 1988
Washington Update on Information Policy by Donna Demac
Sample from the current edition of OUR RIGHT TO KNOW
(Autumn 1988)
Copyright 1988, FOIA, Inc.
By Donna Demac
"Facts  are  stupid things," blurted out President Reagan not too
long ago.   He  apparently  feels  the  same  way  about  rights,
including the  right  to know.  During this last year of Reagan's
reign, the executive branch as well as Congress have adopted  yet
more policies  that  weaken  public  access to information.  What
follows is a summary of recent developments in Washington  and  a
look  ahead  to  those  issues  that  are  germane  to government
accountability and information policy in the coming year.  
A trend to keep an eye on is the proposed adoption  of  increased
restrictions covering  unclassified  information.  In some cases,
though not all, such proposals explicitly exempt information from
disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. An early example
of this was a 1983 amendment  to  the  Atomic  Energy  Act  which
allows   the  Department  of  Energy  to  restrict  "unclassified
controlled nuclear information."   This  broadly-worded  standard
encompasses,  among  other  things,  information about the health
effects on humans from past and present nuclear testing.  
In the Department of Defense authorization bill for 1987, DOD was
given a green light to withhold "sensitive, technical information
whether classified or  unclassified."    Important  here  is  the
extraordinary  amount of research funded by DOD and the seemingly
limitless  number  of  publications  that  could  potentially  be
restricted.   Even  before  this exemption was passed, there were
complaints about DOD's rulings on research that could  be  shared
at   scientific   conferences,  and  DOD's  classifying  research
projects midway-- projects that started out unclassified.  
Other agencies began  seeking  the  same  privilege  to  restrict
unclassified information.    In  1988  legislation was introduced
that would allow the Nuclear Regulatory  Commission  to  withhold
"certain  sensitive  generic  safeguards information" which could
"negate or compromise site specific security measures."   Another
bill  permitted  NASA  to  withhold from disclosure any technical
data that could not be  exported  without  a  license  under  the
Export Administration Act of 1979. 
This  link to export controls broadens considerably the volume of
information NASA could restrict if this bill were enacted.  Since
the late seventies, government concern over the appropriation  of
scientific  and  technical  information  by foreign countries has
resulted in the use of export regulations that previously applied
to hardware to limit the flow of information.  In one  well-known
instance,  the Atomic Energy Act was used in 1979 to prohibit the
publication of an article entitled "The H-Bomb: How  We  Got  It,
Why  We're  Telling It," in The Progressive magazine, even though
all  the  information  contained  in  that  article  was  readily
>From  the outset, the Reagan administration has aggressively used
export regulations to stop what it calls a  "massive  hemorrhage"
of  sensitive information to the Soviets. As a result, scientists
and researchers are required to submit their  writing  for  prior
review  by  their government sponsors, foreign students have been
barred from certain courses in U.S. universities and, in  several
instances,  attendance at scientific conferences has been limited
to U.S. citizens.  
Yet another  expansive  rationale  for  restricting  unclassified
information has  appeared  on  the  scene.   This one is aimed at
limiting  the  dissemination  of  technological  and   scientific
information  on the grounds that unfettered access could harm the
"economic competitiveness of the U.S." The underlying concern  is
that  laboratory  research in this country is not being turned to
commercial advantage fast enough to compete with  foreign  firms.
The    Superconductivity    Competitiveness    Act,    a    White
House-sponsored bill, incorporated this reasoning and received  a
considerable amount  of  attention this year.  Although defeated,
if it had been passed, this legislation would have exempted  from
release  under  the FOIA certain commercially valuable scientific
and technical information  if  it:  (1)  had  been  generated  in
government  laboratories;  (2)  had  commercial  value;  and  (3)
disclosure could "be reasonably expected to  cause  harm  to  the
economic competitiveness of the United States." 
At  a  hearing  last  spring  on the bill, industry witnesses and
research scientists opposed the legislation.  Robert Park of  the
American  Physical Society said the bill "reeks of chauvinism and
ignores the international character of  the  research."    Others
argued  that  contrary  to what the proponents' stated intentions
were--that secrecy would  result  in  the  strengthening  of  the
economic  competitiveness of the U.S.--it is the open exchange of
information that increases the  odds  of  remaining  competitive.
Nonetheless,  it's  clear  that strong competition from abroad is
generating  greater  support  in  Congress  for  controlling  the
international flow   of   technical   information.     After  the
superconductivity bill was defeated, similar language appeared in
another piece of legislation that  would  have  allowed  national
laboratories   to   withhold   technological   information   from
universities and  private  industry.    Known  as  the   National
Laboratories  Competitiveness  Act,  this bill too, was defeated.
Yet FOIA supporters should remain on the alert for future  agency
attempts  to  use  a  commercial  value  test  as a rationale for
exempting material under FOIA. 
Indeed, the close nexus between government and  industry  in  the
development  of  superconductors  and  other  advanced technology
suggests  that  we  will  see  the  institutionalization  of  the
commercial  value  test rationale with research contracts as well
as administrative regulation.  Scientists  and  industry  leaders
concerned  with  excessive  secrecy  say  that  support  for  the
development of new superconductors--a technology  that  has  both
military  and  civilian applications--is already dominated by the
military.  One of  the  principal  recommendations  of  a  report
issued in October to the DOD on the national economy was that the
Pentagon  should  take  a  more  active  role  in heading off "an
increasing loss of technological leadership to  both  our  allies
and adversaries."  
FOIA  supporters  face  two  other  important challenges in 1989.
First,  we  must  become  actively  involved  in   hearings   and
legislation to correct the way in which executive branch agencies
have interpreted the fee waiver provisions adopted in the Freedom
of  Information  Reform  Act of 1986. Both the Justice Department
and the Office on Management and Budget issued regulations  which
make  it  more difficult, and in many cases cost prohibitive, for
researchers, freelance  journalists  and  others  to  obtain  fee
Some  members  of Congress have voiced their dissatisfaction with
these actions.  Representative Glenn English, a  sponsor  of  the
1986  Act,  has  advised agencies which fall under FOIA to ignore
OMB's restrictive definitions of "news  media"  and  "educational
institutions,"   saying   the  agency  went  beyond  its  limited
authority to issue fee schedule guidelines.    Despite  English's
protestations,  the  CIA, DOD and other agencies are beginning to
follow OMB's guidelines.  A  number  of  fee  waivers  have  been
denied  to  individuals and organizations on the grounds that the
information being sought will not be "of current interest to  the
general  public," or that the public will not "ultimately benefit
from  the  information."*  The  question  of   whether   or   not
information  will  be  relevant  or  of interest to the public is
subjective, and difficult to regulate.  One  of  the  dangers  is
that these kinds of decisions could be politically motivated, and
that  agencies  could  begin  to  protect  themselves from public
scrutiny, using a fee waiver rationale.  
Representative Gerald Kleczka has  introduced  legislation  (H.R.
3885)  that  would  improve  the 1986 Act by, among other things,
broadening the categories of requesters entitled to  waivers  and
permitting  judges to penalize agencies which delay disclosure or
withhold information in violation of the law.  
The second task is to push for legislation that will  update  the
FOIA for  the  computer  age.   The Act itself must clearly state
that  it  applies  to  information  collected,  stored  in,   and
disseminated by  computer.    We must monitor those agencies that
deny us access to information on the grounds that  the  requested
information is computerized.  This occurred not long ago when the
Community Environmental Health Center at Hunter College submitted
a  FOIA  request to the Department of Labor for data about health
hazards at some 100 companies in Brooklyn. At  first  the  Center
was  told  that it should request computer tapes; then, that this
would cost $1,000 and no fee waiver would be  granted;  and  then
that the FOIA does not apply to computerized government data.  
Still,  there  have  been a few encouraging rulings at the agency
appellate level, including a dazzling DOE decision,  in  which  a
request  by  the  National Security Archive for a list of limited
access reports held by DOE's Office of Scientific  and  Technical
Information was  upheld.    DOE ruled that agencies are obligated
under the FOIA to do an on-line search for records, stating  that
this "is not, in substance, significantly different from a search
of  a  file  cabinet  for  paper records that are responsive to a
request," and "If the FOIA required anything less it would  allow
agencies  to  conceal information from public scrutiny by placing
it in computerized form."  
Despite this good news, me must remain vigilant.  Until the  FOIA
is  updated  to  include  computerized information, some agencies
will continue to maintain that such information does not  qualify
as  "records"  and therefore does not fall under the Act. We will
have opportunities to voice our opinions on this crucial issue in
the  coming  spring  when   the   House   Government   Operations
Committee's,the   Subcommittee  on  Information  and  the  Senate
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Technology are expected  to
hold hearings.  
Accountability and open government continues to be jeopardized in
the  executive  branch  of  our  government,  through  the use of
Presidential Directives that make sweeping changes in  government
information policy.    Each  administration  since  1947 has used
Presidential  Directives  for  circulating  decisions   regarding
domestic, foreign  and  military policies.  According to a recent
Government Accounting Office report,  most  of  these  Directives
remain  classified and details about them are largely unavailable
for congressional and public scrutiny.  The Reagan administration
has used National Security Decision Directives to  influence  the
course  of  a  number  of  controversial  issues,  including  the
Strategic Defense Initiative, U.S. policy in Central America, and
government-wide information policy.  
NSDD 145 on federal telecommunications and automated  information
systems  extended  government  authority to monitor and "protect"
classified and unclassified material stored in or disseminated by
government and commercial communications  and  computer  systems.
NSDD  84,  issued  in  1983  imposes wholesale prior restraint by
requiring government employees to sign  nondisclosure  agreements
and submit  to  polygraph  examinations.    To  date, more than 2
million people have signed these agreements.  An Executive  Order
(E.O.  12600)  issued  in  June  1987 requires agencies to notify
businesses when confidential  information  about  them  has  been
requested  under  FOIA.  Though  agencies  in the past have often
notified businesses before the issuance of this E.O.,  the  Order
makes such third- party consultations official.  
According  to  Harry  Hammitt,  editor of Access Reports, many of
these directives have taken on a quasi-statutory status.  Yet, to
date, opposition to Presidential Orders has concentrated on their
content, while  ignoring  the  way  they  serve  to  protect  the
government   from  public  scrutiny  or,  as  with  the  business
notification order, to amend the FOIA. For example, although NSDD
145  was  challenged  by  industry  leaders,  librarians,  public
groups,  and members of Congress, the legitimacy of the Directive
itself was  never  challenged.    The  time  has   come   for   a
full-fledged critique  of this procedure.  We can no longer allow
the government to issue secret edicts which affect public  access
to government information.  
One final issue.  Declaring its intention not to compete with the
private  sector  and  to  slash  government paperwork, the Reagan
administration has sought to transfer  federal  data  collections
and   publishing  activities  into  the  hands  of  profit-making
enterprises.  A carryover from the Carter years, this  policy  of
"privatization"  has  been  gaining  ground since a 1985 circular
from the OMB required all executive branch  agencies  to  abstain
from  supplying  information  to  programs of interest to private
sector firms.  Information collections at  more  than  two  dozen
agencies,   including   the   Department  of  Housing  and  Urban
Development,  the  Environmental  Protection   Agency   and   the
Department  of  Energy  have  already  been  placed under private
management.  Also,  Congress  has  passed  laws  authorizing  the
creation  of  data-bases that would make information collected by
the government more readily available to companies interested  in
marketing "value-added" services.  
A  provision  in  this  new trade law, for example, calls for the
Commerce Department to  pull  together  information  on  exports,
imports  and  international  economic  competition into a central
depository called  the  National  Trade  Data  Bank.  The  stated
intention  is  to  make  it easier for U.S. companies to research
conditions in foreign markets.  
What is distressing  about  this  privatization  trend  (or  more
accurately    stated,   this   new   hybrid   government-industry
information creation) is that new information programs are  being
created  with  public monies that will have dramatic implications
for the cost and availability of information.  Yet little attempt
has been made to ensure that the wider public benefits.  The  new
ground rules for obtaining access could endanger the integrity of
precious  information collections, and since private entities are
not subject to regulation regarding public access,  privatization
has the potential to further promote government secrecy.  In 1984
the  Patent and Trademark Office signed an agreement with private
companies for the automation of agency records which required the
agency to deny FOIA requests for the records in automated form.  
The good news is that the public presently has  its  first  major
opportunity  to  get  involved  in  the  automation  of an agency
data-base.  Two years ago, Congress passed the Emergency Planning
and  Community  Right-to-Know  Act  of  1986,which  requires  the
Environmental Protection Agency to establish a computerized toxic
chemical  inventory  data-base  that should be accessible to "any
person," either electronically, through a personal computer or in
paper form.  By law, the EPA data-base should be activated in the
spring of 1989.  
This is the only federal statute of its kind and  represents  the
first  attempt  to view the automation of agency information as a
means to  widen  public  access   to   that   information.      A
precedent-setting  project,  the  EPA  data-base  will be used to
assess the public's interest, not  only  in  computerized  toxics
information, but  in  utilizing government data-bases.  Among the
issues that require broad-based public comment at this  time  are
how  to  ensure  that the data-base is accessible under the FOIA,
and how it should be designed and maintained so that  people  can
obtain  information  of  relevance  to their needs and particular
geographic concerns.  
[Donna A. Demac is a New York-based attorney and writer, and  the
author  of  "Liberty  Denied:  The  Current Rise of Censorship in
America" (1988), PEN American Center (568  Broadway,  NYC  10012,
212-334-1660)] -- 

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