Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), enacted in 1966, generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records that are protected from disclosure by any of the nine exemptions or three exclusions of the FOIA. This right of access is enforceable in court.

Implementation of the Freedom of Information Act at DoD

Open and Transparent Government expands upon the principles of full disclosure of information from the government to its citizens, established in the Freedom of Information Act, to further provide a culture in which agencies are responsible for reporting their plans, successes and failures to the citizens they serve. The Department of Defense (DoD) is committed to the Open Government initiative and FOIA is at the core of government transparency at the DoD. 

Under the authority of the DoD Chief FOIA Officer, Ms. Joo Y. Chung, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency, the Privacy, Civil Liberties, and FOIA Directorate, FOIA Division is responsible for the formulation and implementation of Freedom of Information Act Policy for the DoD.

​               Department of Defense Freedom of Information Policy


The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was created in 1966 to promote openness in the government. Since then it has been strengthened and amended. To learn more about how the Freedom of Information Act is applied in the Department of Defense (DoD), please see DoD Directive 5400.07, which establishes FOIA Policy and provides procedural guidance on the DoD FOIA Program.

The Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency (ATSD/PCLT), Ms. Joo Chung, is responsible for DoD Privacy Program and is the DoD Chief FOIA Officer.  The ATSD/PCLT is responsible for the formulation and implementation of Freedom of Information Act Policy for the DoD on behalf of the Secretary of Defense.

The DoD FOIA program operates under a decentralized approach. No single FOIA Requester Service Center has access to all the DoD records and information. Since the Transparency Office is a policy office, and not a FOIA Requester Service Center, you should not send a FOIA request to us. Before sending a request to a DoD Requester Service Center, check if it's online FOIA library already contains the material you need.

If you have made a FOIA request, but you disagree with the DoD's determination, you have a right to appeal. However, there are other ways to resolve any concerns you have. Please review the Complaint / Resolve a Dispute Section of the FOIA Handbook.