Freedom of Information Act Resources

Part of the research materials on LLSDC's Legislative Source Book

FOI Acts and Legislative Histories

Public Laws with "Freedom of Information" issues (from 1974 via - in ascending order)

Freedom of Information Act - 5 USC 552 (see NOTES as well) | as amended by 2016 Act (DOJ)

- - Congressional hearings on FOIA & Privacy (1975-2004 compiled by the Law Library of Congress)

- - FOIA Legislative Histories (1966-2007 compiled by the National Security Archive at GW Univ.)

- - PL 89-497, 80 Stat. 250 - Freedom of Information Act, 1966 (Cmte Print History) (DOJ Legis. Hist.)

- - PL 90-23, 81 Stat. 54 - to amend 5 USC 552 to codify the Freedom of Information Act, 1967

- - PL 93-502, 88 Stat. 1561 - Freedom of information act amendments, 1974 (HR 12471)

- - PL 94-409, Sec. 5(b), 90 Stat. 1247 - Government in the Sunshine Act, 1976 - FOIA amdt (S. 5)

- - PL 99-570, Tit. I, 100 Stat. 3207 - Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986, (HR 5484; HR 4862)

- - PL 104-231, 110 Stat. 3049 - Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amdts of 1996 (HR 3802)

- - PL 107-306, Sec. 312, 116 Stat. 2390 - Intelligence Authoriz. Act, 2002 - FOIA amdt (H.R. 4628)

- - PL 110-175, 121 Stat. 2525 - OPEN Government Act of 2007 (S 2488)

- - PL 111-83 - Sec. 564 & 565, 123 Stat. 2184 - OPEN FOIA Act of 2009 (HR 2892) (S. 612)

- - PL 111-257, 124 Stat. 2646 - Securities acts disclosure amdts under 5 USC 552, 2010 (S. 3717)

- - PL 114-185, 130 Stat. 538 - FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 337) (H.R. 653) (S. 2520) (WPost article)

U.S. Department of Justice Resources

Office of Information Policy

- - OIP Guidances - DOJ Guide to FOIA

- - FOIA Resources - Reference Guide 2010, Case List 2002, Training Sessions

- - Attorney General FOIA Memo of March 19, 2009

- - FOIA Court Decision Summaries (from Jan. 2013 to somewhat recent months)

- - FOIA Post (2000-2010) | FOIA Update (1979-2000)

Office of Legal Counsel - OLC Opinions

- - OLC FOIA site (contacts, reading room)

Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties

- - Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974, 2015


Other Government Resources

A Citizen's Guide to Using FOIA & Privacy Act2015 - U.S. House Gov. Reform Committee

CRS Reports on FOIA (largely past reports - via Univ. of North Texas Digital Library)

CRS Report R46328 - The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): A Legal Overview

CRS Report R41406 - Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Fed. Laws

CRS Report R41933 - Freedom of Information Act: Background, Legislation & Policy Issues

CRS Report RL32780 - Freedom of Information Act Amendments, 110th Congress

Executive Order 12600 of Jun. 23, 1987 - Predisclosure Notifications for Confidential Commercial Information

Executive Order 13392 of Dec. 14, 2005 - Improving Agency Disclosure of Information

Executive Order 13489 of Jan. 21, 2009 - Presidential Records

Executive Order 13642 of May 9, 2013 - Making Open and Machine Readable Government Information - information, making FOIA requests, agency contacts, FOIA request data by agency, etc.

FOIA online (one stop for making/following FOIA requests at selected agencies)
- - most Federal agencies have a link to their FOIA offices at the bottom of their home pages

GAO Reports on "Freedom of Information" (mostly older reports via GAO search engine)
- - GAO-07-491T - Feb. 2007, Freedom of Information Act: Processing Trends Show Importance of..

Office of Government Information Services - multiple resources and links

OMB Circular A-110 - Uniform requirements on gov. grants & awards (FOIA requests for research data)

Presidential Memorandum of Jan. 21, 2009 - Transparency and Open Government 

Presidential Memorandum of Jan. 21, 2009 - Freedom of Information

SEC's FOIA & Privacy Office - FOIA's Nine Exemptions  (briefly stated)

Non-Government Resources

Access Reports (subscription eNewsletter) - FOIA Commentary by Access Reports

A History of the 12 Year Battle for Freedom of Information by Representative John Moss - FOIA (hundreds of cataloged FOIA links)

Brechner Center for Freedom of Information (Florida non-profit education center)

Center for Public Integrity - does investigative reporting on state & Federal government

CREW - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (files frequent FOIA requests)

EFF Electronic Frontier Foundation - FOIA Legal Guide

FOIA Advisor (updated news about FOIA matters and cases) (attorney advocate website)

FOIA Blog and FOIA Facts (by FOIA attorney Scott Hodes)

FOIA Predictor (uses algorithm to predict success of a FOIA request)

FOIA Project (tracks FOIA litigation cases; presents stats and selected court docs)

FOIA Rundown by C.J. Ciaramella (online newsletter on FOIA issues and cases) (freedom of information reporting in the U.S. and around the globe)

Freedom of Information (by Society of Professional Journalists - blog, guides, contacts)

Freedom of Information and Government Transparency (by Public Citizen)

Free Government Information (by government document librarians)

Government Attic (Government documents requested under FOIA)

A Guide to Accessing Public Records for the First Time (by Syracuse university)

Historical Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (by

Information Commissioner's Office - United Kingdom

MuckRock (helps FOIA filers in requesting, reporting requests)

National Freedom of Information Coalition - FOIA Advocacy Blog - State FOI Resources

National Security Archive, The - Unredacted (FOIA blog / articles - by GW Univ.) (news, events, advocacy)

Open Government: A Journal on Freedom of Information (East Asia)

Open Government Project (by - Electronic Privacy Information Center)

POGO - Project on Government Oversight (works for gov. accountability, transparency)

Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press - Open Government Guide - FOIA Letter Generator

Sunlight Foundation's Tools and Projects for government transparency

Recent FOIA Court Decisions

DOJ's FOIA Court Decision Summaries (fairly current - from Jan. 2013)

FOIA Project (FOIA decisions & litigation tracked, described and linked)

Casetext (search FOIA or other terms and filter by date)

Justia search results for "FOIA request" AND Court (sort by date for recent cases)

Leagle (search words and phrases; recent results given or specify dates)

PLOL  (search for "FOIA request" cases and restrict by date in advanced options)


Compiled by Rick McKinney, retired Federal law librarian.

Please email your questions or comments to the Legislative SIS.

Last Updated: August 31, 2020