What information/data is NOT covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

Information/data that is NOT covered by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) includes:

  • Non-agency records and personal records.
  • Public requests for access to physical artifacts or scientific samples (e.g. core samples, sediment, rocks, fossils, specimen samples, blood samples). Access to some samples can be arranged through our laboratories.
  • Files that are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions and three exclusions (e.g. classified records, personal medical records, and trade secrets). For details see the FOIA Exemptions and Exclusions on our USGS FOIA website.
  • Records of your current employment with the USGS. That information is covered by the Privacy Act. For questions or to submit a Privacy Act request, send an email to privacy@usgs.gov.
  • Records of your employment with the USGS after you have retired. To obtain a copy of your official employment record, contact the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

For additional information about the FOIA process, please visit the USGS FOIA website or send an email to foia@usgs.gov.

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When should I use a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request information?

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Is there a cost for obtaining federal records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

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Can I ask that any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing fees be waived?

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How long will it take to process my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?

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