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What is the difference between a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Consultation and a Referral?

In the course of processing FOIA requests, it is not uncommon to locate records that either originated with another agency or that contain information of interest to another agency. The practice in such situations is to either refer the requested record to the originating agency for it to process, or to consult with the other agency to get its views on the sensitivity of the document’s content prior to making a disclosure determination. Typically, agencies refer records for direct handling to another agency when the records originated with that other agency.

For more detailed information, see the Department of Justice’s Referrals, Consultations, and Coordination FOIA Guidance.

 

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