A FOIA request is the means by which an individual seeks records of an agency. A proper FOIA request should be as specific as possible to ensure an accurate and focused search for responsive material. A request that does not reasonably describe records cannot be processed, and the requester will be asked to clarify the subject of the request. In addition, a requester may be assessed fees for the processing of a request in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(4)(A)(ii) and Department of Defense Manual 5400.07. A proper FOIA request must include willingness to pay fees.
Please note: The FOIA does not require government agencies to answer substantive questions or create records to respond to a request.
There are three convenient ways to submit a FOIA request:
If you plan to submit directly to the NRO, your request letter (see letter template) must include:
Average Processing Time - It is difficult to provide an "average" processing time, as requests vary in their scope and complexity. Actual processing time will depend upon:
Requests are processed on a "first-in, first-out" basis, based on the origination date of the request.
Expedited Processing - A request will be expedited if the requester seeks such processing and demonstrates a compelling need, as defined by the FOIA, or a need for expedited treatment, as detailed in Department of Defense Manual 5400.07.
To check the status of a request, please contact the NRO FOIA Requester Service Center at (703) 745-0600.
For any additional questions, please see FOIA.gov Frequently Asked Questions.