2016 Press Releases

National Archives Exclusive: Press Opportunity to Photo and Video Original FOIA in Advance of 50th Anniversary
Media Alert · Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Washington, DC

ATTN: Photo Editors/Assignment Editors

FOIA Act 50th Anniversary is July 4, 2016


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) being signed into law, the National Archives will host an informal press-only opportunity to photograph or videotape the original Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) before it is put on display in the National Archives’ permanent exhibition “Records of Rights” in the David M. Rubenstein Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. The free public display will begin June 15, and run through September 14, 2016.

RSVPs are requested; please email public.affairs@nara.gov


Monday, June 13, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.


National Archives Conservation Lab, National Archives, Washington, DC
Note: Please use 700 Pennsylvania Avenue entrance
Metro: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Station


Kirsten Mitchell, senior staffer of Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), the Federal FOIA Ombudsman


Additional information:

Today, public access to information about the government is considered a fundamental right. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the law that makes that access happen. Recognizing that the records of a democratic government belong to the people, the United States became one of the first nations to open its records to the public on July 4, 1966, when Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act.

Under the FOIA anyone can request access to most Executive Branch records. Federal agencies are also required to proactively release certain records. Disclosure of some or all of the information in a document can be prohibited, however, if it falls within a series of nine exemptions that protect, among other things, national security, privacy, and trade secrets.

The Federal FOIA Ombudsman's Office, known as the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), was created within the National Archives in 2007. Under the law, OGIS is required to provide mediation services to resolve FOIA disputes, review agency compliance with FOIA, and make recommendations to improve the FOIA process.

In the 50 years since the FOIA’s passage, amendments to the original law continue to increase public access to paper and electronic documents that illustrate the workings of the government. Use of the FOIA has also increased dramatically since its passage. In the first five years of the law the government received 535 FOIA requests; in 2015, it received more than 713,168 requests.

# # #

For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

Connect with Us on:
OGIS Blog: The FOIA Ombudsman
OGIS Twitter: @FOIA_Ombuds
National Archives Twitter: @USNatArchives
Facebook: USNationalArchives
Tumblr: http://usnatarchives.tumblr.com


This page was last reviewed on November 28, 2018.
Contact us with questions or comments.