FOIA is an integral part of creating an open and transparent government. On his first full day in office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government calling for unprecedented openness and transparency in government and declaring “Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset.”
To that end, we are committed to posting government information proactively online in downloadable formats consistent with applicable law. Before filing a FOIA request, there are several places online where you might already find the information you are seeking. Looking in these places first, will help you get the information you want faster and increase the efficiency of the FOIA process.
1) Each agency posts information that is frequently requested under the FOIA on its FOIA website,
2) Data.gov is the one stop website to find and download free government data in raw, structured formats. Federal agencies are proactively posting data on data.gov, including data that is the subject of frequent FOIA requests.
Please note: Data.gov is the best place to look for general information, such as government spending data, and information about air and water quality. If you are seeking specific information -- such as records the government may have about you -- you must make a FOIA and/or Privacy Act request.
3) Federalregister.gov is the daily gazette of government. The Federal Register contains information about new and pending rulemakings and other activities of the executive branch. It is fully searchable.
Other sources for information:
Many agencies have new Open Government pages where they post links to relevant data. Those can be found at http://www.[nameofagency].gov/open.
Grants.gov is the place to look for grant opportunities.
Regulations.gov is the place to look for and comment on regulatory rulemakings.
Fedbizopps.gov is the place to find out about opportunities to do business with the federal government.
USAJobs.gov is the place to find out about employment with the federal government.
USA.gov is the US Government portal. It can help you navigate around the Federal government.
Last Updated: 4/2011