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Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Section 552, is a statute that provides a process by which every person may request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them unless those records are protected from disclosure by any of the nine exemptions and three exclusions of the FOIA. The FOIA applies only to federal agencies and the records in their custody. The FOIA does not create an access to records held by Congress, the courts or by state and local governments. Any requests for state or local government records should be directed to the appropriate state or local government agency.

Making a FOIA Request


EEOC's FOIA Program

Special Disclosure Rules

The special disclosure rules discussed in § 1610.17(d) of 29 C.F.R.  are contained in Section 83 of the Commission's Compliance Manual. Section 83 is another means for aggrieved parties, charging parties respondents, and their attorneys to access their own charge files after the Commission has completed its proceedings on a charge. Aggrieved and charging parties and their attorneys can request access by submitting a signed written request during the 90-day Notice of Right to Sue period or when a lawsuit is pending. Respondents and their attorneys can request access by submitting a signed written request after an aggrieved charging party has filed suit.

Privacy Act Information

The Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552a, passed by Congress in 1974, establishes certain controls over what personal information is collected by the federal government and how it is used. The act guarantees three primary rights: (1) the right to see records about oneself, subject to the Privacy Act's exemptions; (2) the right to amend that record if it is inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely or incomplete; and (3) the right to sue the government for violations of the statute, including permitting others to see your records, unless specifically permitted by the act.