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Government Publications

Government Publications is a collection of materials put on deposit by the federal and state government for all citizens use free of charge and located on the Third Floor of the James E. Brooks Library. We encourage you to browse our collection whenever

What is Freedome of Information?

 

Enacted in 1967 during the Johnson Administration, the Freedom of Information Act (Title 5 of the U. S. Code, Section 552) is a cornerstone of our democracy at work.  The law allows the public the right to access records of the United States Government, and commands all government entities to disclose the information when requested.  This transparency helps ensure that our government is responsive to the electorate, however exemptions to the law to protect personal privacy, law enforcement, and, of course, national security.

FOIA related sites

The U.S. government provides Americans with data and information, but necessarily everything.  Realizing that an informed electorate is essential in our political system, policies changed to release more information. Even with these changes, some kinds of information was not so freely released.  To create a pathway for citizens  to request information beyond that which had already been released, was the legislation known as the Freedom of Information Act. With FOIA's passage, there are many government websites that provide useful information about the act, how to get information by using the tools provided by the act, and in many cases the results of previous FOIA inquiries.

FOIA.GOV

This repository is of all things regarding the Act.  It provides access to statistics on FOIA requests, common terms regarding the FOIA, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.


The Federal FOIA Ombudsman

Office in the National Archives whose role it is to assist citizens with their FOIA requests.


Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room

The CIA receives many FOIA requests and as a service, they post the results of previous requests knowing others may also be interested in the material.


The National Security Archive

This award winning non-governmental site (located in Georgetown University Library) is a treasure trove of information gathered to pierce "self-serving veils of government secrecy"  to provide researchers access to the truth.  The site also has expert advice for those wishing to make their own FOIA searches.


 The VAULT

The Vault is a repository of FOIA requests of the FBI.  Due to the fact that the FBI was involved in many events of the 20th century, the department has been asked for an immense number of records they possess, in regard to the crimes and individuals investigated over the years as well as the inner workings of the FBI and its leadership (J. Edgar Hoover being an example).