Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act
5 U.S.C. 552, As Amended By
Public Law No. 104-231, 110 Stat. 3048
FOIA policy for the Federal Government is established by the Department of Justice (DoJ). The DoJ FOIA website contains many helpful references. It's main page on FOIA can be found (here); www.usjoj.gov/oip/index.html. Individual Government agencies establish FOIA policies in accordance with DoJ guidance and relevant statutory and case law.
The Privacy Act (PA) of 1974 (Public Law 93-579), codified as 5 U.S.C. 552a, establishes safeguards for the protection of records the Government collects and maintains on United States citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents. Specifically, it mandates that the Government inform people at the time it is collecting information about them why the information is being collected and how it will be used; publish a notice in the Federal Register of new or revised systems of records on individuals; assure that information is accurate, relevant, complete and up-to-date before disclosing it to others; allow individuals to find out about disclosures of their records to other agencies or persons; and provide individuals with the opportunity to correct inaccuracies in their records.
The PA allows individuals to seek access to records retrieved by their name and personal identifier that are contained in a PA system of records; provide written authorization for their representative to act on their behalf; and seek records on behalf of a minor child if they are the legal guardian or parent and are determined to be acting in the minor's best interest.
An "Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974" (located at http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/04_7_1.html) is a discussion of the Privacy Act's disclosure prohibitions, its access and amendment provisions, and its agency recordkeeping requirements. Any inquiry about the Privacy Act's provisions should be made to individual agency Privacy Act officers in conjunction with use of this "Overview". Particularly important Privacy Act policy/litigation questions, or questions concerning the OMB Guidelines, may be directed to OMB.
Purpose of this Site:
This web site allows you to obtain documents, through FOIA and PA requests, from Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic (CNSL). This site provides a brief description of your rights and the manner in which we process and respond to FOIA/PA requests. The information contained herein is not intended to be exhaustive, and you may obtain additional information from other Government sources, or from your own legal counsel or FOIA point of contact. Due to its size and complexity, the Government's FOIA and PA programs are decentralized among various agencies that operate their own FOIA/PA offices and respond directly to the public for documents under their possession and control. If you desire documents from an agency other than CNSL, you may use the (related links) or other sources to connect with those websites.