Freedom of Information Act

FOIA Contact:

Jeremy LaFrancois
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
441 G Street, NW Room 6330
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20579-0001
202-616-6975

Conventional Reading Room:

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
441 G Street, NW Room 6330
Department of Justice
Washington, DC

FOIA Library:

This includes frequently requested records, opinions, policy statements, and staff manuals/instructions to staff, created by the Office of Foreign Claims Settlement Commission after November 1, 1996.

Component Description:

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission adjudicates claims of United States nationals for losses resulting from the uncompensated nationalization or other taking of their property by foreign governments, and claims for compensation based on wartime confinement of United States servicemen and civilians as prisoners of war or civilian internees. The Commission maintains records on all such claims, on inquiries concerning such claims, and on the administration of the programs in which those claims are adjudicated. The Commission also maintains records on its own administrative operations and procedures.

Exemptions and Exclusions Under the FOIA

The FOIA's nine exemptions authorize federal agencies to withhold information covering: (1) classified national defense and foreign relations information; (2) internal agency rules and practices; (3) information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law; (4) trade secrets and other confidential commercial or financial information; (5) inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges; (6) information involving matters of personal privacy; (7) records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, to the extent that the production of those records (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of and/or information provided by a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual; (8) information relating to the supervision of financial institutions; and (9) geological information on wells.  5 U.S.C. § 552(b) (2018).

Congress also provided special protection in the FOIA for three narrow categories of law enforcement and national security records; the provisions protecting those records are known as “exclusions.” 5 U.S.C. § 552(b) (2018) The first exclusion protects the existence of an ongoing criminal law enforcement investigation when the subject of the investigation is unaware that it is pending and disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings. The second exclusion is limited to criminal law enforcement agencies and protects the existence of informant records when the informant’s status has not been officially confirmed. The third exclusion is limited to the FBI and protects the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records when the existence of such records is classified. Records falling within an exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA. So, when USTP staff respond to your request, the response will be limited to those records that are subject to the FOIA.

FOIA Reference Resources:

If you require further information about the Department's implementation of the FOIA you may refer to the regulations covering FOIA here.  In addition, the Department has created a comprehensive guide to the FOIA that serves as a handbook for obtaining information from the Department.  This guide may be accessed here.

Commission Processing Information

For information regarding the Commission's average processing times and other statistical information, please refer to the FY 2020 Chief FOIA Officer's report available here.

Special information required to make a FOIA request:

None

Publicly available information for which a FOIA request is not required:

Decisions of past claims programs. If interested in such information, please contact the office listed above.

Major Information Systems:

Claims Against Albania

Claims Against Libya

Claims Against Iraq

Claims Under the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act

Updated May 18, 2022

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