FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
ACT (FOIA) REQUESTS
First, what is releasable? FOIA requests are not
required for release of:
• Publications, soil surveys, brochures;
• Job sheets;
• Press releases; and
• Permanent directives, including manuals, handbooks, General Manual
parts, technical notes, technical releases, and material from the FOTG,
such as standards and specs, soil data, resource management
systems, cost-return data, and non-copyrighted references.
• An owner/operator/producer can see their OWN
• Names, addresses and payment information. (This information is not
releasable for applications, only for payments.)
What is generally not releasable?
Any information provided to USDA by a producer to participate in USDA
programs is not releasable. This includes:
• Any information covered under the Privacy Act – Name, SSN, DOB,
POB, Financial Information, etc. (Information listed in the PII
Presentation or protected under 1619.)
• Names, addresses or other information on program applicants.
• Geospatial information when it concerns land which a producer has
provided info to participate in USDA programs is covered under 1619.
This includes maps, surveys, and charts. Aerial photos may be
included if they contain identifying characteristics of the agricultural
land. Would use Exemption 3 of FOIA.
• May release information to a person or federal,
state, local, or tribal agency working in cooperation
with any USDA program when:
– Providing technical or financial assistance and have
signed the Conservation Cooperator Certification,
(including TSPs); or
– When responding to a disease or pest threat as
authorized by the Secretary
What do I do if I get asked for information?
Determine whether the information is readily available to the
public. If so, treat this as a routine request and not a
The entity responsible for the data should be the one to
respond to a requester. For example, NRCS performs
technical assistance on CRP. However, FSA administers
the CRP Program. Therefore, all requests for CRP
information or data should be referred to FSA.
What do I do if I get asked for information? (Cont.)
There are circumstances where information can be released.
That is why all FOIA requests must be reviewed on a case
by case basis by the FOIA Officer. If you receive a request
and you are just not sure what to do, simply tell the
requester to put their request in writing to the FOIA Officer
Tell the requester to be very specific as to the information
they are asking for. Then, the FOIA Officer can take it from
For more information, see GM Title 120, Part
408, Subpart C.
FSA FOIA Officer: NRCS FOIA Officer:
Rick Kelley, FOIA Officer Elana Cass, FOIA Officer
FSA State Office NRCS State Office
317-290-3200, Ext. 213 317-290-3200, Ext. 336
E-mail: email@example.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org