FOIA, the Privacy Act

Your Rights under the FOIA, the Privacy Act, and other Privacy Laws

The Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Division/Office is responsible for administering policies, programs, and procedures to ensure DOE compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. 552 and 5 U.S.C. 552a, respectively.

The resources on these pages are provided to aid in finding answers to your questions about programs of the Department of Energy and to obtain information that is publicly available without submitting a FOIA request. If the information is not available here, submit a Freedom of Information Act request electronically.

To assist obtaining publicly available information, we suggest you first conduct a search on the specific topic or information you are seeking, using the "search" function on the DOE Home Page. If you can determine which DOE Program Office or Field Operations Sites might have the needed information from the results of the search, you can proceed to that location’s Public Reading Facilities using the FOIA Requester Service Centers and FOIA Public Liaisons list. This list provides FOIA Web Page addresses for each location from which Public Reading Facility and DOE FOIA Public Liaison contact information can be obtained.

Please note, many of the documents on these pages will require Adobe Reader for viewing.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Privacy Act

The Freedom of Information Act allows individuals to obtain documents in the possession and control of agencies within the Executive Branch of the federal government. FOIA requests require NETL to conduct a search of existing documents to determine whether any pertain to the request. NETL is not required to create a document to respond to a FOIA request or to answer questions posed under FOIA requests.

The Privacy Act of 1974 allows individuals to learn how records containing personal information are collected, maintained, used, and disseminated by the federal government. The Act provides certain safeguards for the protection of this information. The Act permits an individual to gain access to personal information maintained by an agency, and to seek amendment of any incorrect or incomplete information.

Statute and Code

Statute and Code

  • Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a
  • DOE implementing regulations: Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1008

Electronic FOIA Form

Frequently Requested Documents

Additional information regarding the rights of individuals is available via the FOIA/Privacy Act reference materials posted by the Federal Consumer Information Center at www.Firstgov.gov.

Contacts
  • FOIA and Privacy Act requests should be directed to:

Ann Dunlap, FOIA/Privacy Act Officer
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940 
Office Phone: 412-386-6167

When preparing your request, please do not hesitate to contact the above-listed FOIA/Privacy Act Officer should you have any questions regarding the filing of your request or NETL’s processing procedures.
  • Under FOIA, DOE documents of general interest are available to the public, NETL’s public reading room contact is:

JoAnn Yuill, Librarian
National Energy Technology Laboratory
P.O. Box 880, 3610 Collins Ferry Road
Morgantown , WV 26507-0880
Office Phone: 304-285-4184

Department of Energy FOIA/PA Homepage
List of FOIA Requester Service Centers, Public Liaisons

How to Make a Request

FOIA requests must be: Privacy Act requests must be:
  • In writing
  • Identified as a "Freedom of Information Act Request"
  • Contain a reasonable description of the document(s) sought
  • Include an assurance to pay search and/or duplication fees

Failure to follow these instructions could result in rejection of the request.

Requests should be as specific as possible. If known, please provide as much information about the documents sought as possible. If the request is considered too vague or too burdensome to process, you will be contacted directly by the Freedom of Information Officer, who will assist you in narrowing the scope of your request. For FOIA requests that meet the requirements for processing, NETL normally responds within 20 working days.

  • In writing and signed by the individual requesting the information
  • Identified as a "Privacy Act Request"
  • Include the identification information required by the Department's regulations, Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1008.4
  • If possible, specify the title and identifying number of the system of records as listed in DOE's published notices of systems of records
  • Provide any additional information that will aid NETL in responding to the request
  • If appropriate, indicate the time, place, and form of access sought

Requests should be as specific as possible. For Privacy Act requests that meet the requirements for processing, NETL normally responds within 10 to 20 working days from the date of receipt.

How to Appeal

In the event that an NETL FOIA request is either fully or partially denied, or if no responsive documents were found, the requester may appeal the determination within 30 days from the date the NETL response was received.

The appeal should be identified as a "Freedom of Information Act Appeal" and should be sent to:

Director 
Office of Hearings and Appeals, HG-1 
U.S. Department of Energy 
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W. 
Washington , D.C. 20585

Judicial review is available thereafter within the district in which the appellant resides or has a principal place of business, in which the Department's records are situated, or in the District of Columbia.

 

In the event that an NETL Privacy Act request is denied, the requester may appeal the determination within 30 calendar days from the date the NETL response was received.

The appeal should be identified as a "Privacy Act Appeal" and should:

  • Be in writing and signed by the individual denied
  • Include the words "PRIVACY ACT APPEAL" in all capital letters on the envelope and letter
  • Include a copy of the original request for access or for amendment/correction
  • Include a copy of NETL's denial letter
  • State the reasons why the requester believes the denial is in error

If the denial relates to records maintained in a government-wide system of records, reported as a system of records by the Office of Personnel Management, the appeal should be directed to:

Assistant Director for Agency Compliance and Evaluation 
Office of Personnel Management 
1900 E Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20415

All other appeals relating to NETL records systems should be directed to:

Director 
Office of Hearings and Appeals, HG-1 
U.S. Department of Energy 
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20585

Administrative and judicial review is available once the appeal determination is made.

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