Frequently Asked FOIA Questions
How do I make a FOIA request?
- Submit a FOIA request electronically using the U.S. Department of Justice National FOIA Portal at https://www.foia.gov/.
- Select the 'Start your request' option, then select an agency from the “Index of government agencies A to Z,”
- Select "D” from the first dropdown
- Select “Department of Defense” from the second dropdown
- Select “U.S. Indo-Pacific Command” from the third dropdown.
- Select “Start FOIA Request” located on the right side of the webpage to begin your request
Who may file a FOIA request?
- Any person, including a member of the public (U.S. or foreign citizen), an organization, or business. However, a Federal agency, a foreign government or a fugitive from the law cannot make a request.
What are my rights under FOIA?
- You have the right to request records under the Freedom of Information Act.
- You have the right to appeal any denial of records under the Freedom of Information Act.
- You have the right to request a "fee waiver" if you can demonstrate that the requested record(s) is in the public interest and not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
- Under Executive Order 13526, you have the right to request a review of specific documents for declassification and release to the public.
As a member of the military (active or reserve) or as a Federal Government Civilian Employee, may I use Government Facilities to submit FOIA requests?
- No. FOIA requests are a personal matter. Government time, equipment, or facilities may not be used.
What if the record(s) I seek are not held by USINDOPACOM?
- If the records you seek are not held by USINDOPACOM, your request will be forwarded to the appropriate agency.
How is my FOIA request processed?
- You will receive an initial response to your request with a request identification number for tracking purposes. Please keep in mind that the 20 working day response deadline begins when agency holding the record(s) receives your request and does not include Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays. The actual processing time of your request will depend on its complexity, sensitivity, volume, the need for consultation with other components/agencies, and the number of pending FOIA requests in our queue. However, be assured your request is being processed diligently as possible. You may expect to receive a substantive response once all processing is complete.
How much will my request cost?
- There is no initial fee to file a FOIA Request, and in many cases no fee is charged. Commercial use requesters are charged for search time, document review, and duplication. News media, educational, and scientific requesters are charged for duplication only, after the first 100 pages. All other requesters are charged for search time (after two hours) and duplication (after 100 pages).
Are fee waivers available?
- Yes. However, fee waivers are limited to situations in which a requester can show that disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester
If my FOIA request is denied, can I appeal the decision?
- Yes. If you are not fully satisfied with our determination, you have the right to appeal directly to the Appellate Authority, Ms. Joo Chung, Director of Oversight and Compliance, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), in writing to: Director of Oversight and Compliance, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, D.C. 20301-9010. Additionally, you may submit your appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the OSD FOIA portal at http://pal.whs.mil/palMain.aspx. Your appeal must be postmarked within 90 calendar days of the date of our final response. In your correspondence, ensure you include the words “FOIA Appeal” and reference your assigned USINDOAPCOM Request Identification Number.
To whom do I address any questions concerning the status of my FOIA Request?
- To receive status updates and appropriate information about your request, please send them to our organizational mailbox at email@example.com.