Requesting Commerce Department Records under the Freedom of Information Act & the Privacy Act

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Records About Yourself

Under the Privacy Act, you may request copies of any Department of Commerce records that:

  • are about you and
  • are filed and can be retrieved by your name or a personal identifier (such as your Social Security number).

You can also ask the Department to correct records that are inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, or irrelevant.

In some cases, the Privacy Act may not allow release of your personal records.

Request Records About Yourself under the Privacy Act

Other Department of Commerce Records

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), you may make a written request for any Department records.

The Department is required to provide records requested in writing by any person or organization, unless the records are covered by one of nine exemptions or three special law enforcement record exclusions.

A FOIA request can be made for any agency record that is not publicly available. Describe as best as possible the records you are requesting. In your description include information such as the date and place the records were created, the file descriptions, subject matter, persons involved, and other pertinent details that will help identify the records. Please be aware that the FOIA does not require agencies to answer questions, or to create records to respond to a request.

FOIA requests must be in writing. Using the FOIAonline system will allow Commerce to improve our communications with the requestor.


However, request can still be submitted in paper copy. For All request please include a mailing address, a daytime telephone number so we may contact you if necessary, and keep a copy of your request; you may need to refer to it for further correspondence with the agency.

Click here for more information on filing a written request for Commerce Records under the Freedom of Information Act

More Information on the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act

For more information on the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act, see the list of reference materials on the U.S. Department of Justice FOIA website.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

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Page last updated:July 2, 2015