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FOIA Request

Step 1:  Preparing Your Request

1. Your request should state:  "This is a Freedom of Information Act Request."

2. Describe the specific record(s) you are seeking with enough detail so that a knowledgeable agency official can locate the record(s) with a reasonable amount of effort.  Details should include descriptive information, time frame to be searched, full names and any other information that may assist in identifying the subject of the request.  CNIC IS NOT the appropriate agency to submit FOIA requests for records such as military justice/admin board records, military personnel service/disciplinary records, medical treatment records, records of Navy weapons or weapons systems, or records of Navy supply systems. 

3. Because most Navy records are not retained permanently, the more information provided, the better opportunity there is to determine if the records still exist and where.  The Freedom of Information Act clearly states that records must exist at the time of the request.  Also, agencies are not required to create a record(s) to comply with your request.

4. The Freedom of Information Act does not require agencies to answer questions, venture opinions, or conduct independent inquiries to satisfy queries from the public.  Please ensure your request asks for records, not answers to questions.

5. Freedom of Information Act authorizes agencies to estimate and collect fees associated with the search for, review and duplication of federal records.  State your willingness to pay all fees or those fees up to a specified amount, and if applicable, provide supporting information or documentation to justify a fee waiver.

6. Be sure to include your name, complete mailing address and telephone number.

Step 2: Submitting Your Request

For Commander, Navy Installations Command you have three options for FOIA submissions:

  • Electronic Submission:  Per DONCIO Directive of 12 December 2013, all FOIA requests for documents submitted to the US Navy must be processed through the FOIA-Online tracking and management web-based tool.  Please go to FOIA Online and submit your FOIA request for documents.  Once you have submitted the appropriate request in FOIA Online, you will be contacted if any additional information is needed to process your request.
U.S. Mail:  Commander, Navy Installations Command
ATTN: FOIA Coordinator
716 Sicard Street SE Suite 1000
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5140

FAX: (202) 433-3396

Step 3:  Processing Your Request

Upon receipt of your request you will receive an acknowledgement letter (via mail, email, fax, etc.) within 3 business days providing you with the date your request was received, a case tracking number and identifying a point of contact and telephone number to address any questions you have.

Activities are required to process your request within 20 working days (does not include Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays); however, due to the complexity of certain requests, on occasion we may not be able to respond within that period. 

To ensure fair and equitable treatment, Freedom of Information Act requests are placed in a multi-track "first-in, first-out," queue. This command operates a three-track system:  one for simple requests, one for complex requests and one for expedited requests.  By narrowly focusing your request, you can assist us to more quickly and thoroughly process your request.

Some records may be withheld from public disclosure and need not be made available.  Categories that are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act are:

  • Classified information
  • Internal rules and practices  
  • Information denied by other specific withholding statutes
  • Trade secrets and commercial or financial information given in confidence
  • Inter- and Intra-Agency communication, primarily deliberative in nature
  • Personal information protected by the Privacy Act
  • Investigative information compiled for law enforcement
  • Reports on financial institutions
  • Geological and geophysical information and data (including maps) concerning well

FOIA requesters who have any questions concerning the processing of their requests with CNIC should contact the FOIA Coordinator at (202) 433-2923/4831, Fax at (202) 433-3396.  If you are not satisfied with the response from this center, you may contact the FOIA Public Liaison at (202) 685-6545.

Step 4:  Appeals

You may appeal the denial of information. Your letter of appeal must be postmarked within 60 calendar days of the date of the denial letter.  At a minimum, an appeal letter should state the following information:

  1. Why the denial may be in error, and
  2. Reason(s) why your appeal should be granted.

You should include a copy of your original request and a copy of the response letter denying your request.  It is recommended you clearly mark your letter and the envelope "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."

Appellate authorities for the Department of the Navy are the office of General Counsel and the Office of the Judge Advocate General.

For Freedom of Information Act matters pertaining to business and commercial law, civilian personnel issues, and environmental matters, please submit your appeal to: 

General Counsel of the Navy
Department of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon, Room 5A532
Washington, DC  20350-1000

Fax Number: (703) 604-6990

For Freedom of Information Act matters pertaining to military justice, military law, and all other matters except those falling under the General Counsel, please submit your appeal to:

Office of the Judge Advocate General
Department of the Navy
1332 Patterson Ave SE Suite 3000
Washington Navy Yard DC 20374-5066

Fax Number: (202) 685-5472

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Commander, Navy Installations Command   |   716 Sicard Street SE Suite 1000   |   Washington DC, 20374-5140
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