The Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, provides that any person has a right to access federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions thereof) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or one of three exclusions. Agency records include books, papers, maps, photographs, machine readable materials, electronic documents, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics.
Once a perfected FOIA request is received, the FOIA Officer has 20 working days to respond. A perfected request must (1) reasonably describe the records sought, (2) express a willingness to pay the fees associated with your FOIA request or request a fee waiver, and (3) provide contact information, such as an email address, telephone number, or mailing address.
There is no initial fee to make a FOIA request, however, requesters will be charged for the amount of time agency employees spend processing a FOIA request. The quantity charged will depend upon the fee category a requester falls into. There are three fee categories under the FOIA based upon the type of requester: (1) commercial use requesters, (2) educational institutions, scientific institutions or representatives of the media, and (3) all other requesters - such as those requesting the information for a personal, non-commercial use. For more information, the USACE FOIA webpage that describes fees in further detail is: http://www.usace.army.mil/FOIA/Fees.