PLEASE NOTE: If you are seeking personal records on yourself (i.e., security, medical, personnel, applicant, etc.) or the reason why you were denied a position with this Agency, you will need to submit a PRIVACY ACT (PA) request instead of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. To submit a PA request, click here.
A proper FOIA request is one in which an individual seeks records of an agency. The request should be as specific as possible to ensure an accurate and focused search for responsive material. A request that does not reasonably describe records cannot be processed, and the requester will be asked to clarify the subject of the request. In addition, a requester may be assessed fees for the processing of a request in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(4)(A)(ii) and Department of Defense FOIA Manual 5400.07. The FOIA does not compel government agencies to answer substantive questions, and such requests will not be acknowledged by the FOIA Office.
Submitting a FOIA Request
There are three convenient ways to submit a FOIA request (no special forms are required) by:
Postal service or other commercial delivery to:
National Security Agency
Attn: FOIA/PA Office
9800 Savage Road, Suite 6932
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-6932
Fax to 443-479-3612
FOIA requests submitted by facsimile are limited to 20 pages and should be marked to the attention of the FOIA/PA Office.
Average Processing Time
It is difficult to provide an "average" processing time, as requests vary in their scope and complexity. Actual processing time will depend upon how extensive a search is required; the complexity, volume, and sensitivity of the records located; the need for consultation among various offices within NSA, as well as the need to consult with other agencies having an interest in the material; and the number of cases preceding a request in the processing queue. Requests are processed on a "first-in, first-out" basis based on the origination date of the request.
A request will be expedited if the requester seeks such processing and demonstrates a compelling need, as defined by the FOIA, or a need for expedited treatment, as detailed in Department of Defense FOIA Manual 5400.07. The requester seeking expeditious processing must provide a statement certified by him/her to be true and correct to the best of his/her knowledge.
A requester has the right to file an administrative appeal if an adverse determination is made. Examples of adverse determinations are a denial of records or information within records, the inability of an agency to locate records, the determination that a request does not fall under the purview of this Agency, a denial of a waiver of fees, and a denial of expedited processing.
The FOIA/PA Office can be reached via phone at 301-688-6527.