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General Information


  • One provision of the FOIA, known as Exemption 3, provides for the withholding of records when disclosure is prohibited by another federal law.  To assist agencies in properly processing FOIA requests and to aid requesters in understanding the scope of Exemption 3, there is a compiled list of statutes that courts have found to qualify under Exemption 3.

    Statutes Found to Qualify Under Exemption 3 of the FOIA

    Additionally, there is a compiled list of statutes used by federal departments and agencies in conjunction with Exemption 3, as reported in agency fiscal year Annual FOIA Reports.

    Statutes used in Annual FOIA Reports in conjunction with Exemption 3 of the FOIA


  • Issued in 1987 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the FOIA Fee Guidelines [formally known as the Uniform Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule and Guidelines] provide a uniform schedule of fees for agencies to follow when promulgating their FOIA fee regulations. The OMB Fee Guidelines provide general principles for how agencies should set fee schedules and make fee determinations, include definitions of statutory fee terms, and discuss the FOIA statute’s fee provisions in greater, authoritative detail.

    Under the FOIA, each agency is required to publish regulations "specifying the schedule of fees" applicable to processing requests and must conform its schedule to the guidelines promulgated by OMB. Anyone with a FOIA fee (as opposed to fee waiver) question should consult the FOIA statute in conjunction with OMB's Fee Guidelines and the appropriate agency's FOIA regulations for the records at issue. Agency personnel should attempt to resolve such fee questions by consulting first with their FOIA officers. Whenever fee questions cannot be resolved in that way, agency FOIA officers should direct their questions to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Information Policy Branch.

    Fee Waiver Guidance and Reference Materials

    There is issued guidance on the FOIA's fee waiver provisions and regularly provides training to agency personnel on FOIA fees and fee waivers..



  • A joint publication of the Department of Justice, Office of Management and Budget, and General Services Administration, Your Right to Federal Records is the federal government’s general public information brochure on access to federal agency information.  The brochure provides guidance about using the FOIA and the Privacy Act in a clear and easy to understand format.

Updated July 25, 2023