The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Department of Commerce (DOC), have partnered to develop an online system aimed at expanding public access to information requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
FOIAonline (http://FOIAonline.Regulations.gov), formerly known as the FOIA Module, is now available online. It offers the public one place to submit FOIA requests, track their progress, communicate with the processing agency, search other requests, access previously released responsive documents and file appeals with participating agencies.
For agencies, FOIAonline provides a secure website to receive and store requests, assign and process requests, post responses, generate metrics, manage records electronically, create management reports and electronically generate the annual report required from each agency by FOIA.
Six Federal agencies now have partnered to develop and deploy FOIAonline along with EPA, including Commerce, NARA, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Merit Systems Protection Board, each of which will deploy on its own schedule.
FOIAonline can be accessed at http://FOIAonline.Regulations.gov. While you can send requests to the participating agencies now, the data available in the system are initially minimal and variable by agency. The partner agencies will continue to enhance the system and they welcome other agencies’ participation.