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Government Research, Data & Regulations

A guide to the U.S. system of government: how it works, how you work in it, and how you can utilize the information available to you.

Information About the Government

Laws & Legislation

U.S Legislature

Judicial System

Library Database

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

Prior to the push for increased government transparency, the Freedom of Information Act (originally passed in 1967, updated in 2016) allowed the public a means of requesting access to records from any federal agency. There are nine types of information, known as exemptions, that agencies can refuse to release (for reasons of personal privacy, national security, privileged information, etc.), and three types of information that are excluded from requests in general (referring to criminal investigations by law enforcement or the Federal Bureau of Investigation) but otherwise agencies are required to comply with requests in a timely manner. Fees may apply.