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Freedom of Information Act Page

To assist you with your request, we have provided information on the procedures, rules and regulations pertinent to the Corps of Engineers’ processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Also provided are links to various sites, which you may find helpful in understanding and interpreting the Act.

For additional assistance in submitting a request, see the Army Citizens Guide or the Department of Defense’s FOIA Handbook. The Guide and the Handbook provide advice on the rules of the FOIA and how to submit a FOIA request to Army and Defense Department Agencies.

Procedures, Rules and Regulations Pertinent to Processing FOIA Requests

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Requests should be submitted to the FOIA Office for the Corps of Engineers division, district, center or laboratory that you believe has the documents you are seeking. See the FOIA Office list.  Each of these FOIA Offices process requests for their own records. Directing your request to the local office that has the documents you want, will speed up our response to your request.

Requests must be in writing, and should include the notation "Freedom of Information Act Request" on the front of the envelope and also at the beginning of the letter. No special form is required for a FOIA request, but a Sample request is provided in the Defense Department FOIA Handbook. Electronic requests are permitted unless a signature is required, such as a request for records subject to the Privacy Act. Electronic requests should include the notation "Freedom of Information Act Request" in the subject.

Requests must state a willingness to pay the applicable fees and must describe the documents 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 document, the offices likely to maintain the documents, etc.

A FOIA request can be made for any agency document. This does not mean, however, that all documents 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 do research for you, to analyze data, to answer written questions, or to create records in order to respond to a request.

When a FOIA Office receives your FOIA request, it will ordinarily send you a letter acknowledging the request. If you do not provide the necessary information, the Office will advise you of what additional information is required before further processing your request.

In order to protect your privacy as well as the privacy of others, whenever you 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.

To find the Corps of Engineers Office that has the documents you want, visit our Office Locator page. That site will provide a list of Corps of Engineers office locations and their geographical areas of responsibility. To determine if a particular office is responsible for the subject matter of your request, or to find out the offices' mission, please visit the individual offices' homepage.

After reviewing the Corps of Engineer office locations and missions, if you are still unsure of which Corps of Engineers Office has the documents you are seeking, you may send your request to:

U.S. Army Humphreys Engineer Support Center, Attention: CEHEC-OC, 7701 Telegraph Road, Alexandria, Virginia, 22315-3860. FAX (703) 428-7633. Personnel in that FOIA Office will forward your request to the Corps of Engineers Office(s) most likely to maintain the documents you are seeking.

If you are seeking documents from an Army office other than the Corps of Engineers please submit your request to the Department of the Army Freedom of Information and Privacy Office, 7701 Telegraph Road, Suite 144, Alexandria, VA 22315-3905. Requests can also be sent by FAX (703) 428-6522.
Under the FOIA statute, Corps of Engineer FOIA Offices are to respond to a FOIA request within twenty business days. This time period does not begin until the request is perfected, as discussed in the DoD and Army FOIA Regulations. Additionally, subject to the new time limits in the OPEN Government Act of 2007, the time period will not begin until actually received by the FOIA Office that maintains the documents sought.

Some FOIA Offices receive hundreds of requests each year. Many of these requests require a detailed review of hundreds or even thousands of pages of documents. Although the Corps of Engineers makes every effort to respond to FOIA requests as quickly as possible, in some cases it simply cannot do so within the specified time period. This may be due either to the size of the request, the location of the documents or to the fact that the Office has a backlog of previously received requests that are awaiting processing.
FOIA requesters who have questions about, or want to check the status of, their FOIA request, should contact the local FOIA Requester Service Center for the FOIA Office to which the request was submitted. The Corps of Engineers has established a Service Center for each major Office. Directing your questions to the Service Center at the FOIA Office to which the request was submitted, will speed up the Corps of Engineers’ response to your questions.
If you are not satisfied with the Local FOIA Requester Service Center response about your FOIA request, you may contact the USACE FOIA Liaison.
Mr. Michael L. Rhodes, Acting Director, Administration and Management
You may file an appeal if you are not satisfied with a FOIA Office's initial response. You should be advised of your right to file an appeal in the initial denial/determination letter sent by the FOIA Office. Ordinarily, your appeal must be received within 60 days of the date of the component's determination letter. All appeals must be made in writing and addressed to the local FOIA Office. That Office will prepare an appeal package to send through the FOIA Program Office to the Army General Counsel. Both the front of the envelope and the appeal letter should contain the notation "Freedom of Information Act Appeal." There is no specific form or particular language needed to file an appeal.

You may explain the reason or reasons why you disagree with the component's action, but a simple statement that you are appealing the decision is normally sufficient. If, however, you are appealing because you believe there are additional records that have not been located in response to your request, you should specify why you think such records exist and, if possible, where you believe they might be located.
FOIA Statute
FOIA Regulations – The Corps of Engineers is subject to DoD and Army FOIA Regulations:
Helpful FOIA Links
Privacy Act Information
Other Useful Resources