Making a FOIA Request
There is no central DLA office that processes all FOIA requests. DLA is separated into FOIA Service Centers that respond to requests. Therefore, before sending a FOIA request you should determine which DLA FOIA Service Center is likely to have the records you are seeking. When in doubt, contact the HQ DLA FOIA/Privacy Office. The following information will assist you in submitting a proper FOIA request.
BY E-MAIL: By consulting the FOIA Service Center listing to obtain the proper e-mail address and activity where the information is located, and reviewing what information is necessary to provide in your request (see submitting a request below) you will facilitate the request process.
THROUGH DLA READING ROOMS: DLA Public reading rooms are available online. Where a DLA field activity has not made their public reading room available online, it will be located at the field activity.
THROUGH THE DLA PUBLICATIONS DISTRIBUTION OFFICE: DLA regulations are available through the Internet at http://www.dla.mil/dlaps/. DLA regulatory publications are also available in paper or computer disk from DLA, ATTN: DES-B, 8725 John J. Kingman Road, STOP 6220, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6221.
ON THE INTERNET: DLA has placed assorted information on the Internet. The DLA home page is hot linked to multiple pages with DLA information. The home pages of DLA field activities are listed under "TEAM DLA" on the home page. The DLA Web Gateway is a website that provides access to major public DLA web sites. The DLA sites are sorted alphabetically, by organization, by category, or via a keyword search. Frequently requested information and other materials of public interest are found in the Electronic Reading Room.
WRITING DIRECTLY TO DLA: Write directly to the FOIA Officer of the DLA FOIA Service Center of interest. A brief description of the types of information available at each of the DLA FOIA Service Centers can be found on the Index of Info at Service Centers.
FOIA fees are based on the requester's fee category. The categories are:
Commercial users pay for all search, review, and copying fees.
Educational or Noncommercial Scientific Institution or News media requesters pay for copying (first 100 pages provided at no cost).
All others pay for all search and all copying (first two hours search and 100 pages provided free).
DLA is allowed to charge fees to the requesters in order to recover the direct costs of search, review, and duplication of requested records. If the total costs of supplying the requested information are less than $15, the fees are waived.
If you are aware that the cost of providing the information requested will exceed $15, you may include in your request a statement indicating your willingness to pay for processing of your request. You may also set a cap in giving authorization; if charges will exceed that cap, DLA will contact you to discuss ways to limit the search or to get approval for the full costs. You will be billed when the requested records are sent and have 30 days to remit payment. If the costs exceed $250, prepayment may be required.
If you expect or are advised that a fee will be charged, you may request a waiver of those fees. However, fee waivers are limited to situations in which a requester can show that the 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.
A requester's inability to pay fees is not a legal basis for granting a fee waiver.
DLA processes all requests on a "First-In, First-Out" queue basis. The Department of Defense has established three queues for FOIA requests: Expedited, Simple, and Complex. Your request will be assigned to one of these queues. DLA will provide you with a response as soon as possible based on your position in this queue; the need to collect responsive records from other offices; whether the request involves a "voluminous" amount of records which must be located, compiled, and reviewed; and whether DLA must consult with another agency which has a substantial interest in the responsive document. For requests within the Simple queue DLA strives to provide a final response within 20 business days. When an extension is needed, the requester may be notified and offered the opportunity to modify or limit their request.
A FOIA request must be in writing. DLA will accept FOIA requests mailed, faxed, or sent by e-mail. There are no special forms needed for making a FOIA request.
Include your name and complete mailing address. Provide a daytime telephone number and/or an e-mail address so that we may be able to contact you if needed.
Indicate that it is a "FOIA Request" on both your letter and envelope or in the subject line of your e-mail.
Indicate your willingness to pay fees (or specify the amount you are willing to pay) or ask for a fee waiver.
Identify which fee category of requester you are -- commercial, news media, educational/scientific, all others -- because there are different fee structures.
Describe the records you are seeking as clearly and precisely as you can. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for DLA to locate the records. In your description include information such as the date and place the records were created, the file descriptions, subject matter, persons involved, and other pertinent details that will help identify the records.
Indicate if you wish to receive the information in a form other than paper.
DoD FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT HANDBOOK
A citizen's guide to requesting information from the Department of Defense is a handbook intended to assist you in making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for Department of Defense (DoD) records.
FOIA requests are placed in one of three queues. The first queue is for those requests which seek and receive expedited processing pursuant to subsection (a)(6)(E) of the FOIA. The second queue is for those requests which do not involve voluminous record or lengthy consultations with other entities. The third queue is for those requests which involve voluminous records and for which lengthy or numerous consultations are required, or those requests which may involve sensitive records.