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The government has the responsibility to keep the public informed on how it conducts business. One of the tools available to the public to attain this type of information is access to government records.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)/ Freedom of Information Law ( FOIL) are Records Access Laws pertaining to agency records. The FOIA is a federal statute which governs federal records, i.e. those maintained on behalf of a federal agency. FOIL is the equivalent New York State Law.
Every government employee plays a vital role with regard to release of information to the public. The following are specific roles within the Division of Military and Naval Affairs:
Any request for records protected under the FOIA or FOIL made by parties outside of DMNA, must be forwarded directly to an RAO. Authority to release records or deny access to records, does not exist at unit/office level. RAOs are trained to assess fees, apply waivers and protect Non-Public Data/Information.
Authority to deny access to records is reserved to the following:
All requests for records exempted from release under the FOIA must be forwarded to the National Guard Bureau with a recommendation to not release the records based on the appropriate citation from the FOIA.
Persons denied access to records have the right to appeal. Appellate Authorities are:
All requests for information under federal or state records access laws must be forwarded to a designated RAO:
Privacy Act (PA) and The Personal Privacy Protection Law (PPPL). Both the PA and the PPPL are intended to protect the rights of individuals from unwarranted collection, maintenance, use or disclosure of information. The PA and the PPPL are federal and state statutes in this regard.
AR 340-21 and DA Pamphlet 25-51 provide further information on the maintenance and release of PA information.