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foia advice

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FOIA 101: Tips and Tricks to Make You a Transparency Master

Whether it's your first request or your first request *today,* it never hurts to go over the basics. MuckRock's compiled a lot of FOIA advice over the years, and with this project, it's all in one place.

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FBI's own guide to searching for records requested through FOIA confirms why you should always appeal FBI FOIA searches

FBI’s own guide to searching for records requested through FOIA confirms why you should always appeal FBI FOIA searches

A presentation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Records Management Division uncovered by Paul Galante as part of our Ronald Reagan FBI file crowdsource outline the process used by FOIA officers to search for records.

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Reminder that Congress is (increasingly) exempt from FOIA

Reminder that Congress is (increasingly) exempt from FOIA

Earlier this week, we wrote about Brett Kavanaugh’s renewed Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and predicted that while the full investigation wouldn’t be public for years, likely some summary would be released. In light of reporting that the results of the background check will only be available to the Sentate Judiciary Committee, we wanted to address one of the lesser-known aspects of Freedom of Information Act: The broad exemption of the legislature.

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FOIA FAQ: Appealing fee categories and waivers

FOIA FAQ: Appealing fee categories and waivers

Crafting an appeal can be daunting, but the results are worth it. Here’s some quick tips on what you can do to get an agency to reconsider your fee category, which can result in drastically reduced costs.

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What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Jeff Kelly Lowenstein

Last week on Slack, we chatted with Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, one of the reporters whose work led to the release of over 11 million records related to lottery winners. Here’s what he had to share on managing national projects, and making the leap to to global reporting.

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FOIA FAQ: What to do when an agency claims not to have records you know it has

FOIA FAQ: What to do when an agency claims not to have records you know it has

One question we get asked a lot here at MuckRock is what to do in situations where an agency claims it has no responsive records when the requester knows the records exist. It comes up with frustrating frequency, we’ve found that the root cause is often one of the five following factors.

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Is there a good FBI FOIA request sample letter?