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Matcom Office Of Public Safety

                           FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA)

What is FOIA? 

Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public with the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.  Due to Matcom Telecommunications LLC being a Federal Government Contractor we want to make sure that we remain transparent with the communities that we serve. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions that protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

How is a FOIA Request Processed? 

After our agency receives your FOIA request, you will usually receive a letter acknowledging the request with an assigned tracking number. If our agency requires additional information before it can begin to process your request, it will contact you. The agency will typically search for records in response to your request and then review those records to determine which - and what parts of each - can be released. The agency will redact, or blackout, any information protected from disclosure by one of the FOIA’s nine exemptions. The releasable records will then be sent to you.

How long will it take before I get a response? 

Our Agency typically processes requests in the order of receipt. The time it takes to respond to a request will vary depending on the complexity of the request and any backlog of requests already pending at the agency. A simple request can be processed faster by the agency than one that is complex. Simple requests are typically more targeted and seek fewer pages of records. Complex requests typically seek a high volume of material or require additional steps to process such as the need to search for records in multiple locations. The agency’s FOIA Requester Service Center is available to assist you with any questions about the status of your request and any steps you can take to receive a quicker response.

How much does it cost to make a FOIA Request? 

There is no initial fee required to submit a FOIA request, but the FOIA does provide for the charging of certain types of fees in some instances.

For a typical requester the agency can charge for the time it takes to search for records and for duplication of those records. There is usually no charge for the first two hours of search time or for the first 100 pages of duplication.

You may always include in your request letter a specific statement limiting the amount that you are willing to pay in fees. If an agency estimates that the total fees for processing your request will exceed $25, it will notify you in writing of the estimate and offer you an opportunity to narrow your request in order to reduce the fees. If you agree to pay fees for a records search, you may be required to pay such fees even if the search does not locate any releasable records.

Can I ask that any fees be waived? 

You may request a waiver of fees. Under the FOIA, 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. Requests for fee waivers from individuals who are seeking records on themselves usually do not meet this standard. In addition, a requester’s inability to pay fees is not a legal basis for granting a fee waiver.

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This form is used to make a request to the Office Of Freedom Of Information Act. Please note that anyone can file such a request unless it falls under the 9 exemptions that state we can not disclose such information. The nine steps are outlined below

Exemption 1: Information that is classified to protect national security.

Exemption 2: Information related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency.

Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another federal law.

Exemption 4: Trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is confidential or privileged.

Exemption 5: Privileged communications within or between agencies, including those protected by the:

Deliberative Process Privilege (provided the records were created less than 25 years before the date on which they were requested)

Attorney-Work Product Privilege

Attorney-Client Privilege

Exemption 6: Information that, if disclosed, would invade another individual’s personal privacy.

Exemption 7: Information compiled for law enforcement purposes that:

7(A). Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings

7(B). Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication

7(C). Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy

7(D). Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source

7(E). Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law

7(F). Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual

Exemption 8: Information that concerns the supervision of financial institutions.

Exemption 9: Geological information on wells.

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Greetings: This Agency has acknowledged receipt of your Freedom of Information Act and/or Privacy Act request. We are working diligently to fulfill such a request. If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA/PA Unit at 800-922-0866 for further assistance. Thank you, FOIA/PA Unit Matcom Telecommunications LLC