Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Welcome to FHFA-OIG’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) page. This page provides basic guidance regarding FHFA-OIG’s implementation of the FOIA, to facilitate your efforts to obtain FHFA-OIG records to the extent permitted by the FOIA and by other applicable statutes. This guidance does not constitute binding legal advice, and is not intended to substitute for your personal review of the FOIA and other authorities that apply to your search for records.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552, provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information.  All agencies of the United States government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for certain records that are protected from disclosure by one or more of the federal FOIA’s nine exemptions and/or three exclusions.  The federal FOIA does not, however, provide access to records held by state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. 

FHFA-OIG FOIA Requester Service Center

400 7th Street SW

3rd Floor

Washington, DC 20219

Phone: (202) 730-2607

Facsimile: (202) 318-8602

Email: FOIA@fhfaoig.gov

FHFA-OIG FOIA Contact

Katarina Hake, FOIA Officer

Where to Request Records

You may request FHFA-OIG records by writing directly to FHFA-OIG’s FOIA Officer through electronic mail, mail, delivery service, or facsimile.

  • The electronic mail address is: FOIA@fhfaoig.gov.
  • The mailing address is: Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General

                                                           400 7th Street SW, 3rd Floor

                                                           Washington, DC 20219

                                                           ATTN: Office of Inspector General – FOIA Officer.

  • The facsimile number is: (202) 318-8602.

Please note that all mail sent to FHFA-OIG via the United States Postal Service is routed through a national irradiation facility, a process that may delay delivery by approximately two weeks. For any time-sensitive correspondence, please plan accordingly.

How to File a FOIA Request

You must submit your request in writing and the request must contain the following information:

  • The date of your request
  • Your first and last name
  • Your address (street, city, state and zip code)
  • Telephone number
  • Fax number (if available)
  • Email address (if available)
  • Your FOIA requester status (i.e., commercial, educational institution, non-commercial scientific institution, representative of the news media or all other)
  • The format in which you want the records produced to you (i.e., hardcopy, electronic, etc.)
  • A statement agreeing to pay fees. You must agree to pay all applicable fees charged under 12 C.F.R. § 1202.11, up to $100.00, unless you seek a fee waiver. You may also specify a higher or lower amount you will pay without consultation.
  • Finally, you must describe the records you seek in enough detail to enable FHFA-OIG to search for and locate the records with a reasonable amount of effort. Your request must include as much specific information as possible that you know about each record, such as date, title, name, author, recipient, audit report number, investigation report number, subject matter, program area, description of record, etc.

Please note, the FOIA does not require agencies to answer questions posed as a FOIA request, or to create records to respond to a request. FHFA-OIG will not accept telephone requests.

FOIA Fee Schedule

Search & Review Rate by Employee Grade

EL-14 and above...................................... $108.95 per hour

EL-10 to EL-13.......................................... $63.71 per hour

EL-6 to EL-9.............................................. $37.82 per hour

Duplication

Photocopies............................................. $0.15 per page

Diskettes.................................................. $0.50 per diskette

CD-ROMs.................................................. $1.00 per CD

Transcription of audio tapes................... $4.50 per page

Certification, seal and attestation.......... $5.00 per document

Delivery

Facsimile transmission............................ long distance charges plus $0.25 per page

Facsimile transmission (local)................. $0.25 per call plus $0.25 per page

Express delivery service........................... actual cost

Fee Waiver

In order for FHFA-OIG to make a determination on your request for a fee waiver, you must satisfy the statutory requirements by addressing the following factors:

  1. The subject matter of the requested records must specifically concern identifiable operations or activities of the government;
  2. The disclosure of the requested information must be meaningfully informative in order for the disclosure to be "likely to contribute" to the public understanding of government operations or activities;
  3. The disclosure of requested records must contribute to "public understanding" not just a narrow segment of interested persons;
  4. The disclosure must contribute "significantly" to public understanding of government operations or activities;
  5. Whether the request involves any "commercial interest of the requester" that would be furthered by the disclosure. Status as a nonprofit organization or representative of the news media alone is not sufficient to satisfy this requirement; and
  6. Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

Please note that a requester's inability to pay fees is not a legal basis for granting a fee waiver.

FOIA Requester Categories

For the purposes of fees, the FOIA divides requesters into the following categories:

  • Commercial – A request that asks for information for a use or a purpose that furthers a commercial, trade, or profit interest, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. A decision to place a requester in the commercial category will be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the requester’s intended use of the information.
  • Chargeable Service Fees: Search and Review time; Duplication costs

 

  • Educational Institution – Any school that operates a program of scholarly research. A requester in this fee category must show that the request is authorized by, and is made under the auspices of, an educational institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use, but rather are sought to further scholarly research. To fall within this fee category, the request must serve the scholarly research goals of the institution rather than an individual research goal. A student who makes a request in furtherance of his/her coursework or other school-sponsored activities and provides a copy of a course syllabus or other reasonable documentation to indicate the research purpose for the request would qualify as part of this fee category.
  • Chargeable Service Fees: Duplication costs (in excess of 100 pages or an electronic equivalent of 100 pages)

 

  • Non-Commercial Scientific Institution – An institution that is not operated on a “commercial” basis, as defined in this section, and that is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. A request in this category must show that the request is authorized by and is made under the support of a qualifying institution and that the records are sought to further scientific research and are not for a commercial use.
  • Chargeable Service Fees: Duplication costs (in excess of 100 pages or an electronic equivalent of 100 pages)

 

  • Representative of the News Media – Any person or entity that publishes or broadcasts news to the public, actively gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public.
  • Chargeable Service Fees: Duplication costs (in excess of 100 pages or an electronic equivalent of 100 pages)

 

  • All Other – All requesters who do not fall within any of the preceding categories above.
  • Chargeable Service Fees: Search time (in excess of 2 hours) and Duplication costs (in excess of 100 pages, or an electronic equivalent of 100 pages)

Additional Resources

Electronic FOIA Reading Room