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Freedom of Information Act Reading Room

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What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act (5 USC §552) provides a means by which the public may access federal agency records, subject to nine exemptions and three law enforcement exclusions.

How do I make a FOIA Request?

You may submit a FOIA request directly to the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) for federal records that MBDA maintains, as described below. If you seek records from more than one Department of Commerce bureau, or if you are unsure as to which Commerce bureau maintains the records that you seek, you may submit a FOIA request directly to the Department of Commerce Freedom of Information and Privacy Act officer.

FOIA requests must contain the following:

  • identification of the records requested (be as specific as possible, i.e., describe the subject matter of the records, and, if known, indicate the dates of the records, the places where they originated, and the names of the originating persons or offices);

  • a statement indicating that the records are being requested under the Freedom of Information Act;

  • a daytime telephone number in case clarification is needed; and

  • an address to which MBDA's response should be mailed.

Mark the envelope "Freedom of Information Request" and mail to the following address:

U.S. Department of Commerce
Minority Business Development Agency
Josephine Arnold - FOIA Officer
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20230

FOIA Proactive Disclosures

Commerce Department

The Commerce Department FOIA homepage provides additional information regarding FOIA requests. You may also wish to review Your Right to Federal Records, a joint publication of the Department of Justice and the General Services Administration concerning both the FOIA and the Privacy Act.


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