INFORMATION ON HOW TO REQUEST DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FEDERAL RECORDS
There are two primary avenues for the public to gain access to federal agency records:
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552
Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552a
Freedom of Information Act
The resources on these pages are provided to aid in finding answers to your questions about programs of the Department of Energy and to obtain information that is publicly available without submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. If the information is not available here, you may then submit a Freedom of Information Act request electronically.
To assist obtaining publicly available information, we suggest you first conduct a search on the specific topic or information you are seeking using the SEARCH function on the DOE Home Page. If you can determine which DOE Program Office or Field Operations Sites might have the needed information, you can proceed to that location's Public Reading Facilities using the FOIA Requester Service Centers and FOIA Public Liaisons list. This list provides FOIA Web Page addresses for each location from which Public Reading Facility and DOE FOIA Public Liaison contact information can be obtained.
- The FOIA is a mandatory disclosure statute and applies to "all federal records" [10 C.F.R. § 1004].
- The federal FOIA does not provide access to records held by state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Most states, and some local jurisdictions, have their own laws about access to state and local records.
Although the FOIA is primarily a disclosure law, not all records requested under FOIA are automatically released. The FOIA has provided nine exemptions which allow certain information contained in records or the entire record to be withheld from public disclosure. The exemptions apply to records that are:
- Exemption 1: Properly classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy
- Exemption 2: Related solely to internal rules and practices
- Exemption 3: Specifically mandated to be withheld from public release by statutes
- Exemption 4: Trade secrets and commercial or financial information which is obtained from a person and is privileged or confidential
- Exemption 5: Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters, attorney-client privilege information, or attorney work product
- Exemption 6: Personnel and medical files or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
- Exemption 7: Investigatory records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which (a) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (b) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication, (c) could reasonably be expected to constituted an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (d) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, (e) would disclose investigative techniques, and/or (f) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual
- Exemption 8: Information contained in or related to certain examination, operating, or condition reports concerning financial institutions
- Exemption 9: Certain information concerning gas or oil wells
Link to FOIA Electronic Reading Room
Making a FOIA Request
The links listed below provide guidance on how to make a request for documents
- FOIA Requests How to Submit a FOIA Request
- FOIA Request Form Request general information in DOE files
- FOIA (Deceased Individual) Form Request personnel, medical, and similar files on a deceased individual
- Cost of a FOIA Request Describes costs associated with processing a FOlA request, and factors considered in fee waiver or reduced fee determination.
If you would like additional information related to your request you should contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at this location. If you submitted your request to another component of the DOE, or if you submitted a request to this office and it has been transferred to a component of the Department to be processed, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center at the transferred location. You may access the telephone number to the appropriate FOIA Requester Service Center at http://energy.gov/management/office-management/operational-management/freedom-information-act/foia-contacts.
Please email all requests to: email@example.com
The Privacy Act (PA) applies to personal information held by agencies in the executive branch of the federal government, such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are also subject to the PA. Generally, the Act does not apply to state and local governments, or private companies, unless the entities are involved in a computer matching program with the federal government, or are under contract to operate a PA system of records for an agency of the federal government.
Records subject to the PA are those records concerning individuals maintained in a system of records. A record contains individually identifiable material, such as social security numbers, medical history, employment history, financial data, criminal history, etc. A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual, or by some other identifying number or symbol.
Violations of the provisions of the PA are enforceable through legal action, and criminal and civil penalties may apply. It is a crime to knowingly and willfully request or obtain records concerning an individual from an agency under false pretenses.
The DOE may disclose records pursuant to the PA (1) to the individual to whom the record pertains or to an agency or (2) to a person other than the individual where he has given his prior written consent to the disclosure or has made a written request for such a disclosure.Making a PA Request
- Privacy Act Requests How to Submit a Privacy Act Request
- Privacy Act Request Form Request personnel, medical, and similar files about yourself
EMCBC Serviced Sites
Currently the EMCBC lists below the sites that the EMCBC services for the processing of requests (FOIA/PA) for the following DOE sites:
- Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Moab Project
- Oakland Operations Office (includes Santa Susanna Field Lab (SSFL), Energy Technology Engineering Center (ETEC), GE Vallecitos and Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC))
- Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO), Lexington, KY. Also includes records created after July 1, 1993 pertaining to the Paducah Project Office and the Portsmouth Project Office. Records relating to these two sites that were created prior to July 1, 1993, should be directed to the DOE FOIA Office at Oak Ridge, TN. For additional information, please reference their webpage at: https://www.energy.gov/science/resources/freedom-information-act-foia
- Separations Process Research Unit (SPRU)
- West Valley Demonstration Project
- Grand Junction Project Office
- Rocky Flats
Department of Energy
Office of Freedom of Information Act
1000 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20585
FOIA Requests pertaining to the above sites can also be submitted electronically here.
EMCBC FOIA/PRIVACY ACT REQUESTER SERVICE CENTER:Phone: (513) 246-0497