The Freedom of Information Act provides any person the right to request access of federal agency records or information. The FOIA applies to records either created or obtained by an agency and under agency control at the time of the FOIA request.
U.S. Secret Service FOIA Mission
The Secret Service FOIA Office ensures openness and transparency to better serve those seeking more information about the agency and its operations. The FOIA Office provides information about the Secret Service functions and operations without compromising privacy, national security or the mission. The FOIA Office also develops internal policies and promotes awareness and compliance with the FOIA requirements. The FOIA Office is a centralized office that receives, tracks and processes all FOIA requests according to the law. Anyone can request access to federal agency records or information under federal FOIA law. However, FOIA does not require the Secret Service to release all documents that are subject to FOIA requests. Secret Service may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions and three exclusions contained in the FOIA statute.
The Freedom of Information Act established an effective statutory right that records of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government are accessible to the people. This was not always the policy regarding disclosure of federal information. Before the FOIA was enacted in 1966, the Administrative Procedure Act governed the disclosure of agency records to the public and was viewed as a withholding statute rather than a disclosure statute.
The FOIA sets standards for determining which records must be made available for public inspection and which records (or portions of records) should or may be withheld from disclosure. The law also provides administrative and judicial remedies for those denied access to records. Above all, the statute requires federal agencies to provide the fullest possible disclosure of information to the public.
See the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy (OIP) website for additional information on FOIA administration.