Freedom of Information Act Request

If you are requesting personal records about yourself: Be certain to submit an original signature with your request; a fax is not acceptable. The requester's submission must be notarized. In lieu of notarization the individual may declare, certify, verify, or state under penalty of perjury, that the authorization attested to is true and correct; or, if the requester is outside the United States, declare, certify, verify, or state under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct.

If you are authorizing a Third Party, such as a lawyer to handle your request please be certain to provide a Third Party Authorization.

First party requests for personal records cannot be accepted via this website. All such requests must be in writing and sent via U.S. mail).

Inlcude the following: Type of record(s); Timeframe of records; Specific subject matter, country, person and/or organization; Offices or consulates originating or receiving the records; Particular event, policy or circumstance that led to the creation of the record(s); Reason why you believe the record(s) exist;

If subject is living, a Third Party Authorization will facilitate our ability to provide you with any non-exempt responsive records.

U.S. European Command requires that written consent be in the form of a signed notarized statement from the individual, authorizing release information to the other party. The statement should bear the original signature of the individual, original seal of the notary, and dated within six months of the date of the request.

In lieu of notarization, the individual may declare, certify, verify, or state under penalty of perjury in a statement bearing his or her original signature, that the authorization attested to is correct (if inside the U.S.); or declare, certify, verify, or state under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct (if outside the U.S.).

FOIA processing fees are based upon prescribed requester categories:

  • Commercial: Requesters who seek information for a use or purpose that furthers their commercial, trade, or profit interest are considered commercial requesters. Commercial requesters pay all fees for search, review and duplication.
  • Educational: Institutions of education, including preschools, elementary or secondary schools and institutions of higher learning, qualify as educational institutions. The records must be sought in furtherance of scholarly research. Educational requesters pay only duplication fees, unless it is determined that fees are waived or reduced in the public interest. The first 100 pages are provided at no cost.
  • Non-Commercial Scientific: A non-commercial scientific institution is operated solely for conducting scientific research. The records must be sought in furtherance of scientific research. Like educational requesters, these requesters pay only duplication fees, unless it is determined that fees are waived or reduced in the public interest. The first 100 pages are provided at no cost.
  • News Media: A representative of the news media is a person actively gathering news for an entity organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. News media pay only duplication fees, unless it is determined that fees are waived or reduced in the public interest. Again, the first 100 pages are provided at no cost.
  • "Other" Requesters: Requesters who do not qualify in another category are considered “other” requesters, and normally make requests for agency records for their personal use. “Other” requesters receive two hours search, all review costs, and the first 100 pages at no cost.

All requesters should submit a willingness to pay fees regardless of the fee category. However, this does not mean you will be charged fees. Except for commercial requesters whose fees total more than $15, waivers are always considered. Fee waivers may be granted when disclosure of the records is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government.

The following factors are weighed in making a fee waiver determination:

  • The subject of the request.
  • The informative value of the information to be disclosed.
  • The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from the disclosure.
  • The significance of the contribution to public understanding.
  • Disclosure of the information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
  • The ability of the requester to disseminate the information.

Need for Agreement To Pay Applicable Fees

FOIA requesters must declare a willingness to pay applicable fees, regardless of the fee category. However, this does not mean a requester will be charged fees. Fees will not be charges if the fee falls below the minimum amount threshold. Requesters can present adequate justification to receive a fee waiver or reduced fees for their request. Processing of the request cannot begin until fees have been addressed. Thus, it is recommended that the requester agree to pay a set amount of fees in the event that the fee waiver is denied. U.S. Central Command does not require advance payment of any fee, e.g., payment before work is commenced or continued on a request, unless the requester has previously failed to pay fee in a timely fashion, or the fee will exceed $250.

Fee Limits

Requesters may set a limit on the amount that they are willing to pay. If it is anticipated that fees will exceed the fee limit set by the requester, or if in processing the request, fees begin to exceed the requester’s fee limit, U.S. Central Command will attempt to call the requester to resolve the matter quickly, providing the requester submitted a telephone number. Otherwise, contact will be via e-mail or mail.

No Charge For Requests Under $15.00

The Department of Defense does not charge for requests in which the costs of routine collection and processing of the fee are likely to equal or exceed the amount of the fee for FOIA requests. This means that if billable costs are less than $15.00, the requester is not charged.

Fees Owed In Connection With Prior Requests

Requesters who owe fees incurred in connection with the processing of previous requests must pay the fees owed prior to the U.S. European Command processing any new requests. Such requests will be designated "invalid" until payment in full is received.

When Fees Are Assessed

Fees are generally assessed by the U.S. European Command at the conclusion of processing a request. Search and review costs will be calculated based upon the pay scale of the person conducting the search or review. Duplication costs are assessed for only those documents that ultimately are released in full or denied in part; duplication costs are not assessed for documents denied in full, or referred to originating agencies for direct reply.

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