Introducing FOIA

What is FOIA?

The 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits any person to request access to federal agency records or information. The Small Business Administration (SBA) as a federal agency is required under the FOIA to disclose records upon receipt of a written request, except for records that are protected from disclosure by the nine exemptions or three exclusions contained in the Act. Persons may fax requests and are also able to request documents in an electronic format under the 1996 Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments (EFOIA).

The SBA’s Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOI/PA) is located in the Office of Hearings and Appeals. The Office has the responsibility of managing the appellate function for the SBA as well as to develop policy and procedures for the Agency regarding both Acts. Both Acts contain two administrative levels, an initial and an appellate review. The initial review is conducted by the program or field office(s) that maintain the requested information. A FOI/PA requester who is dissatisfied with the final response, may submit an appeal to the FOI/PA Office. In addition, the FOI/PA Office provides guidance and training to SBA personnel, agency clients and the general public regarding the Acts.

How to Submit a FOIA Request:

  • General FOIA Information

  • Submit an E-mail to

  • Submit an Online Internet FOIA Request to SBA

  • A Citizen’s Guide on Using the Freedom of Information Act

Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts Office


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