Submitting a FOIA Request

NOTE: The White House Office is a separate component of the Executive Office of the President (EOP). If you wish to request information from the White House Office, you may do so at OSTP advises on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. OSTP does not process FOIA requests for the White House Office.

Making a FOIA Request:

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Attn: FOIA Officer
1650 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC  20504

Phone: (202) 456-6125
Fax: (202) 395-1224

For security reasons, OSTP does not accept or open attachments to emails submitted to the FOIA email inbox. OSTP will not respond to FOIA requests submitted as email attachments. Please transmit attachments by fax or postal mail, or include the information in the text body of the email.

Describe the specific records requested in sufficient detail that they can be located with a reasonable amount of effort. Requests for answers posed as questions are not covered under FOIA and will not receive a response. The request must be for agency records. Records must exist at the time the request is received.

Upon receipt of a perfected FOIA request, OSTP has 20 working days to respond, extending this period for an additional 10 working days under certain circumstances, including for consultation with other federal agencies.  See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i) and 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B)(i). If the request requires an extension, OSTP will provide written notice explaining the reason for the delay and when a determination will be made. If OSTP does not have records responsive to the request, it will notify you by letter. 

FOIA Fees:

OSTP’s FOIA regulations allow the agency to recover part of the costs associated with processing FOIA requests. Fee amounts vary based on a number of factors including the complexity of the request and the number of responsive documents. A request that results in no responsive documents may nonetheless incur a fee. There is no initial fee to submit a FOIA request, and in some cases, OSTP assesses no fees.

In your request, please state your willingness and ability to pay applicable fees, or provide a justification to support a fee waiver.

Generally, OSTP groups FOIA requesters into one of three categories:

  • News media, educational, and scientific research requesters: OSTP will not charge for time spent searching for requests for a representative of the news media, or for an educational or scientific institution whose purpose is noncommercial scholarly or scientific research. OSTP will charge, however, for photocopies of records. The first 100 pages of photocopied records are free.

  • Commercial requesters: A commercial requester is any person who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers his or her commercial, trade, or profit interests. OSTP charges commercial use requesters for search time, document review, and photocopies of records.

  • All other requesters: OSTP charges for search time (after two hours) and photocopies of records. The first 100 pages of photocopied records are free.

OSTP charges $0.10 per photocopied page. For other methods of reproduction, including scanning and transmitting records via electronic mail, the charge may be lower. Fees for searching and review are determined by the average hourly salary of the employee(s) performing the initial search and review, and the time they spent processing the request.

If OSTP estimates that the total fees will exceed $25, OSTP will notify the requester and offer an opportunity to narrow the request in order to reduce the fee. If the total fee is likely to exceed $250, OSTP may require advance payment or satisfactory assurance of full payment. Failure to pay fees may result in OSTP requiring the requester to pay the full amount of any fees owed and/or to make an advance payment of the full amount of the estimated charges for any future or pending FOIA requests.

Fee Waivers:

A requester may request a waiver of fees associated with his or her FOIA request. To request a fee waiver, a requester should state in the FOIA request: (1) how disclosure of the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, and (2) how disclosure is not primarily in the requester’s commercial interest. OSTP may grant a partial fee waiver under certain circumstances. Please note that a requester's inability to pay fees is not a legal basis for granting a fee waiver.