Getting information from the Federal Government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC 552 (FOIA is not always as easy as companies may think). For example, many government contractors use FOIA to gather procurement information about their competitors.
However, the available information is limited given the sensitive nature of bidding information.
At Watson & Associates, LLC our FOIA lawyers help small businesses and large DOD contractors to adequately prepare FOIA requests, work with various agencies to ensure that they comply with the applicable statutes and regulations.
What is the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC 552)?
Freedom of Information Request – What can You ask for under the FOIA? You can make a Freedom of Information request for any agency record, so long as it does not fall under any exception. You can also set a specific formation of how you want to get the records. This means either printed or electronic. Your Freedom of Information Act request does not mandate that the agency must develop new records, conduct research, analyze data, or answer questions when responding to requests.
The process is not always an easy one. Sometimes government agencies leave it up to contractors to verify the information that they want protect. However, FOIA statutes, 5 USC 552 are expressly clear as to what constitutes information that is allowable to the public.
In other situations, when government contractor investigations are ongoing, there is a question as to what information is allowed.
5 USC 552 FOIA Request & FOIA Exemptions
Does your Freedom of Information request fall under FOIA exemptions? The answer to this question can save companies a lot of time and expense. Watson’s Freedom of Information lawyers help clients to overcome the common mistakes when requesting information from the government. Our FOIA attorneys understand the various exemptions and will explain the rules to our clients.
- We understand the various FOIA exemptions and will explain the rules to our clients.
Protect Your Rights: If you are contemplating filing a FOIA request under 5 USC 552, or seeking to protect your sensitive information, our Freedom of Information Act Lawyers can help you to play by the rules and avoid unnecessary efforts. A federal FOIA lawyer at Watson can provide legal guidance through the various nuances that arise.
5 USC 552 FOIA Exemptions
Freedom of information and protection of privacy does have certain limitations. The following FOIA exemptions apply to the federal government.
- Material or information that has been correctly classified for reasons of national security
- Content solely related to an agency’s internal personnel rules, policies, and practices
- Information or material protected by other applicable laws
- Trade secrets and confidential personal information concerning commerce or finances
- Intra- or inter-agency information, like memos or letters, that fall under certain protections
- Medical files or anything that constitute an unmerited violation of personal privacy if seen
- Law enforcement records, in any case where disclosure could interfere with enforcement proceedings, restrict an individual’s right to a fair trial, serve as an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, reveal the identity of a confidential source, expose investigation or prosecution techniques, or create risk of death or injury
- Content related to the supervision of financial institutions
- Information related to geophysical information on wells
Call Our Freedom of Information Act FOIA Attorneys for Immediate Help
If you are a government contractor seeking to obtain your Freedom of Information Act information and protection of privacy legal help under 5 USC 552 , call Watson & Associates’ FOIA attorneys at 1-866-601-5518 for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.