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1 Defense Logistics Agency – Energy Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Defense Logistics Agency – Energy Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Defense Logistics Agency – Energy Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Program

2 2 Overview of DLA Energy FOIA Program What is FOIA? How Does the FOIA Process work? What Information May I Receive? How Long Is the Process? What Costs are Involved? Useful Information Q&A

3 3 What is FOIA? Provides private entities with a right, enforceable in court, to access federal agency records: 5 U.S.C. 552 To promote an open Government to guard against corruption and to hold the Government accountable to the people FOIA balances open Government against the Government’s responsibility to preserve the confidentiality of certain Government documents, Privacy Act information, and commercial data

4 4 Some Terms Requester – Submitter Release Withhold – 9 Exemptions Redaction Denial Appeal

5 5 Submitting a FOIA Request Request must be in writing Include a full description of the records you seek – Narrow the scope to speed processing Include contact person, address, phone/fax/email Must address fees All these elements are necessary for DLA Energy to process your request Detailed instructions can be found in the DESC FOIA Guide/Handbook ( and the DLA FOIA Handbook (

6 6 Referrals If you request records held by another agency – we will refer your request to that agency & notify you If you submit a request for DLA Energy controlled records to another agency, the agency should refer the request back to DLA Energy The DLA Energy FOIA office will keep you apprised of the status of your FOIA request. Please do not hesitate to contact the DLA Energy FOIA office for more frequent status updates on your request

7 7 The FOIA Exemptions Nine FOIA Exemptions guide what can be released to requesters Focus today will be on Exemption 4 and the competing interests it addresses:  Requesters under FOIA want access to government documents that may contain information submitted by private entities (submitters)  Submitters of confidential commercial or financial information want that data protected

8 8 Exemption 4 Exemption 4 protects “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person [that is] privileged or confidential” National Parks test Critical Mass test

9 9 Court Cases National Parks – Defines information as confidential if (1) release impairs the Government’s position in future actions or (2) release could cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter Critical Mass – If information is submitted voluntarily, it is exempt from release if it is not customarily disclosed to the public

10 10 Submitter Notification Executive Order 12,600 requires that notification and an opportunity to respond be provided to submitters of confidential commercial information whenever an agency “determines that it may be required to disclose” such information under FOIA Submitters: Promptly & thoroughly respond to any submitter notification. Provide a detailed explanation of how release will likely cause substantial harm to your competitive position. If you fail to make a convincing case that you would suffer such harm, your records may be released

11 11 Denial Letters Letters of Partial or Full Denial set forth the relevant FOIA Exemptions If you wish, you can appeal the letter within 60 days The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will review the case & make a determination

12 12 What Information May I Receive? Types of Generally Releasable Information:  Information in Public Domain 1)On the Web 2)Marketing Literature 3)Newspaper Articles Types of Information that MAY be withheld:  Confidential Commercial Information– b4  Attorney Client Privilege/Attorney Work Product – b5  Internal pre-decisional government documents – b5 Types of Information that Statutes REQUIRE we withhold:  Taxpayer ID No. – b3  Unsuccessful Offers – b3  Classified Documents – b3

13 13 FOIA TIMETABLES After Perfected Request – DLA Energy has 20 working days to process it, plus 10 working days if submitters must be notified - 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6) If Files are Voluminous or Retrieving Data is Difficult or Time-Consuming – DLA Energy will ask for an extension or ask to limit scope While Request is Being Perfected – DLA Energy will stop the 20-day clock

14 14 Who Pays for FOIA Costs? DLA Energy bears most of the costs of the FOIA program Commercial requesters must pay costs for search, review and duplication Educational, media and citizen requesters may be asked to pay some fees Fees are waived if total fees do not exceed $15.00 Current rates are $20/hour for clerical search & review, $44/hour for professional search & review, & $.15/page for copying

15 15 What are the Fee Categories? Type of Requester SearchReviewCopying Commercial Yes Educational & Media No Yes (100 free) All others (Citizen) Yes (2 Hours free) NoYes (100 free)

16 16 Useful Websites Select “Doing Business w/DLA Energy” From there select “Freedom of Information Act”  DESC FOIA Handbook  DLA Energy online FOIA Reading Room  DLA FOIA Handbook

17 17 Contact Us! Send request - 703-767-7373 Fax 767-5022 FOIA Supervisor 703-767-5020

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