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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal statute that allows people to request Federal agency records. FOIA generally provides that any person has a right to obtain access to Federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from public disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement records exclusions.

ED OIG makes every effort to timely respond to all FOIA requests as completely as possible, and also posts many of our reports on the OIG Web site. Before making a FOIA request, please check the Reports and Publications section of our Web site to see whether the records you want are posted.

How to Make a FOIA Request

Your FOIA request must be made in writing and signed. Please include the following information in your request:

Your name
Your address
Your phone number
A detailed description of the records requested; if the exact records are unknown, you should reasonably describe the records
The date or time period when the records were created

You may request OIG records at oig.foia@ed.gov, by fax to (202) 245-7039, or by mail at the following address:

                      OIG FOIA Coordinator
                      U.S. Department of Education
                      Office of Inspector General
                      400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
                      Washington, D.C. 20202-1500

If the FOIA Coordinator cannot process your request due to the lack of necessary information, the coordinator will contact you for additional information.

Fees for FOIA Services

There is no initial fee required to submit a FOIA request, but FOIA and ED regulations permit fees in some instances when we respond to FOIA requests. For example, we may charge a fee for the time it takes to search for records over 2 hours and for duplication of records over 100 pages. You may include in your request letter a specific statement limiting the amount that you are willing to pay in fees. If we estimate that the total fees for processing your request will exceed $25, we will notify you in writing of the estimate and offer you an opportunity to narrow your request in order to reduce the fees. If you agree to pay fees for a records search, you may be required to pay such fees even if the search does not locate any responsive records or if records are located but they are determined to be entirely exempt from disclosure. Also, fee waivers are limited to situations in which a requester can show that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Thus, if a fee waiver is requested, you must provide in your request what type of requester you are (e.g., commercial use, news media, educational institution, all others).

For More Information

Contact OIG’s FOIA Coordinator at (202) 245-6564 or email oig.foia@ed.gov

Last Modified: 06/26/2019