Make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), you can request agency records from Interior.

How to Request and Receive Records as Quickly as Possible

Unless you are requesting records from the Office of Inspector General, submit your request through FOIAonline. FOIAonline is a secure, web-based tracking and case management system run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

All Department of the Interior FOIA offices, except for the Office of Inspector General, have transitioned to FOIAonline.

If you file your request through FOIAonline, you can:

  • Search for previously released records.
  • Generate reports.
  • Receive records electronically.
  • Track progress on all your requests submitted through FOIAonline via a personal dashboard.
  • Communicate directly with the Department at all points in the process.
  • Pre-populate your contact information in future requests.
  • Receive notifications when the status of your request has changed.

You may also submit your request through FOIA.GOV,  the government's central website for FOIA.

How to Make Your Request

Before making a request, first see if the information you are looking for is already publicly available. You can find a lot of useful information on individual agency websites, including our FOIA Libraries, and you can also search across the government for information.

If the information you want is not publicly available, you can submit a FOIA request for agency records. Follow the steps below to make your request:

  • Step 1: Read this entire page to make sure you request records the right way from the right place.
  • Step 2: Plan to request only the specific records you need. We can return precise requests much faster.
  • Step 3: Unless you are requesting records from the Office of Inspector General, make your request through FOIAonline or FOIA.GOV. By requesting your records online, you can bypass mailing, paper processing and returned mail that can add significant additional time to your request.
  • Step 4: If you are requesting records from the Office of the Inspector General:

If you can’t submit your request online, you can file a request by physical mail or fax. Visit the DOI FOIA Contacts page for details.

FOIA Processing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are continuing to process FOIA requests to the best of our ability during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To keep employees healthy and safe, the Department is maximizing telework flexibility and workplace safety protocols. As a result of these precautions, most employees are working remotely and are unable to collect hard copy records located in government facilities at this time. If your request is for hard copy records, the response to your request will very likely be delayed.

In addition, employees may not receive FOIA requests that are sent by U.S. mail, overnight mail services, or fax in a timely manner. To make your request move more quickly, submit it through FOIAonline, unless it is for the Office of Inspector General's records.

Learn More About FOIA

You can find more information about the Freedom of Information Act and the Department's FOIA responses on FOIA.gov

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