FOIA Advisor

Q&A: identity of FOIA requester

Q&A (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.  Is the name of the requestor available to the notifying party?

A.  The identity of a FOIA requester (as opposed to a Privacy Act requester) should be freely available to the public, as well as a copy of his or her FOIA request.  Certain personal information might be protected, however, such as a home address, telephone number, etc.  When a FOIA request seeks business or financial records (which sounds like your situation), the affected business or individual should be able to obtain both the identity of the requester and a copy of the FOIA request.  In fact, federal agencies have been encouraged to affirmatively provide such information to the affected business/company as part of its "submitter notice" procedures.  See, e.g., Office of Government Information Services, Throwback Thursday: Thinking about Exemption 4 (Aug 1. 2013) (" DOJ advises not making the submitter file a FOIA request for the name of the requester."),