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Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) & Navy Personnel Command (NPC)
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requester Service Center


The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 United States Code 552, allows you to obtain information from various agencies of the federal government, including the Department of the Navy.  FOIA is implemented by the Navy, in Department of the Navy Freedom of Information Act Program (SECNAVINST 5720.42G).


Submitting a FOIA Request
Step 1: Submitting Your FOIA Request 
No matter what form your request takes, you should follow the procedures below to submit a request. Requests may be submitted either via email or in letter format. A verbal request for a record will not be accepted, nor will questions in a FOIA request be answered. 

1. To begin, start by stating "this is a Freedom of Information Act request."

2. Describe the specific record(s) you are seeking with enough detail so that a knowledgeable official of the activity may locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort. Such detail should include descriptive information of the document(s) sought, date of document (if known), if unknown then the approximate time-frame to be searched or a description of the event/incident, etc. Because most Navy records are not retained permanently, the more information you can provide, the better chance there is to determine if the records still exist and where they may be. The FOIA clearly states that records must exist at the time the request is submitted to be considered.

3. A requester must state a willingness to pay all fees or fees up to a specified amount, or provide justification to support a fee waiver or reduction of fees. Agreement to pay a fee is considered to include amounts up to $250, unless another greater or lesser amount is specified. Normally we charge search, review (for commercial requester's only) and duplication costs. Total costs will depend on the fee category your request falls under per Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5720.42G.
If you are seeking a fee waiver, you should refer to link to 32 C.F.R. § 701.48   for qualifying factors, and 32 C.F.R. § 701.53  for the current fee schedule.

4. Requesters must provide complete contact information (Full Name, Mailing Address, Telephone Number, and e-mail address, if available). If alternate contact information is available (e.g., other e-mail or telephone numbers), please provide that information as well. 

5. Please see a sample FOIA request letter

6. The next step in submitting a request is deciding where to send the request. Because Navy records are maintained in a decentralized system, you will get the fastest response by sending your request to the Department of the Navy component (activity/command) most likely to be holding the record(s) you seek.

Step 1a: Submitting Your Request to a Navy Activity
If you are seeking records from or about one of the other DoD components, one of the Combatant Commands, or the Military Services, you should contact them directly.
Please visit the FOIA contacts below for help in locating commands, obtaining addresses, or finding a command's website. Once you have located a command and have its address (postal, email or fax), you may submit your request in writing to that command. Alternatively, you may submit your request to a command via a web-based FOIA request form, if that command has one available on its website. If after consulting this list, you are not sure which activity may hold the records you seek, it is recommended you contact the Navy's FOIA manager for assistance.

Department of the Navy - Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
FOIA/Privacy Act Program Office/Service Center ATTN: DNS 36
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington DC 20350-2000
Phone: 202-685-0412

If you are unsure of who may hold the records you are seeking, this Government Records Locator may be of assistance to you.
For more information on submitting a FOIA request, you may wish to consult the FOIA Handbook.

Step 1b: Submitting Your Request to Navy Personnel Command (NPC)
If you believe the records you seek are held at the Navy Personnel Command (NPC), you may use any of the following methods to submit a Freedom of Information Act request:

Submit a request in writing to:
Attn: Navy Personnel Command FOIA Coordinator 
Office of Legal Counsel (PERS-00J)
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055 

Submit a request electronically: In the subject line please state “FOIA Request”

If the records you seek are not held by NPC, we will attempt to forward your request to the Department of the Navy component(s) most likely to have the records meeting your description. You will be advised if your request is referred to another activity.

Step 2: Processing Your Request
The FOIA allows any person to seek access to agency records. The Navy processes thousands of FOIA requests for a wide variety of information and only in about 10% of the cases is information denied. You will receive a response to your request.

Please keep in mind that the 20 working day time limit (excluding Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays) begins when the activity/command holding the record(s) receives your request.

Due to shrinking budgets, downsizing, complexity of certain requests, the need for classification and legal review, coupled with the number of requests received for processing, some Navy activities may not be able to respond to your FOIA request within 20 working days.

FOIA requesters who have any questions concerning the processing of their requests should contact the NPC FOIA Coordinator at 901-874-3165. If you are not satisfied with the response from this center, you may contact the DON FOIA Public Liaison at or Phone: 703-697-0031.

To check on the status of your request submitted to NPC, please contact the FOIA Coordinator at 901-874-3165.
Step 3: Withholding of Information
Our goal is to provide the most information we can to the public. However, in some instances information may be withheld from disclosure. The FOIA statute (5 U.S.C. 552) provides for the following exemptions of information (exemption number at end of item):
    currently and properly classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy (b)(1)
    related solely to internal personnel rules and practices, the release of which would allow circumvention of a statute or rule (b)(2)
    protected by a statute that specifically exempts the information (b)(3)
    trade secrets and commercial or financial information which was obtained from a private source which would cause substantial competitive harm to the source (b)(4)
    pre-decisional advice, opinions and recommendations, information of a speculative, tentative, or evaluative nature, inter- or intra-agency email, memoranda or letters involving the deliberative process and that show a foreseeable harm to a government interest if released. Also, this exemption may apply to attorney-client privilege and attorney-work product; (b)(5)
    personnel and medical information the release of which would result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; (b)(6)
    investigatory records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, which:
(a) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings,
(b) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,
(c) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
(d) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source
(e) would disclose investigative techniques, and/or
(f) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual (b)(7)
    records for the use of any agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions (b)(8)
    records containing geological and geophysical information (including maps) concerning wells (b)(9)

Step 4: Appeals
Under 32 CFR §701.12(a), you may appeal the denial of information. Your letter of appeal must be postmarked within 90 calendar days from the date of the denial letter. At a minimum, an appeal letter should state the following information: 

Why the denial may be in error, and reason(s) why your appeal should be granted.  You should include a copy of your original request and a copy of the response letter denying you information. It is recommended you clearly mark your letter and the envelope "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

For issues related to the military, mail your appeal to The Judge Advocate General (Code 14).  The appropriate addresses has been provided below:
The Judge Advocate General (Code 14) 
1322 Patterson Avenue SE, Suite 3000 
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066

Alternatively, an appeal may also be sent to the Department of the Navy General Counsel (OGC) which generally handles issues outside of those of the uniformed service.  The preferred method of receipt is through use of the following email address: .  However, an appeal can be mailed using the addresses provided below:
General Counsel of the Navy 
1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 5A532 
Washington, DC 20350-1000


U.S. Coast Guard Records
Commandant (CG-6P)          
Attn: Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act         
U.S. Coast Guard          
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE          
STOP 7710          
Washington, DC 20593-7710

Department of the Air Force Records
Headquarters Air Force (HAF / ICIOD)
1000 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1000

Department of the Army Records
The Department of the Army
Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Office
7701 Telegraph Rd., Suite 144
Alexandria, VA 22315-3905 

Headquarters US Marine Corps
Attn:  FOIA/PA Section (ARSF) Rm 2B289
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon
Washington DC 20350-3000

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