Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552 as amended) generally provides any person with the statutory right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to Government information in executive branch agency records. Under the FOIA, anyone can request any FHFA-OIG record. The FOIA is a disclosure statute, except to the extent that such records (or portions of them) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.

FHFA-OIG seeks to answer all requests for records as accurately and completely as possible, from existing records. The FOIA does not require an agency to do research for you, analyze data, answer questions, or create records in order to respond to a request.

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a as amended) establishes safeguards for the protection of records that the Federal government maintains on United States citizens and aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence.  Generally speaking, the Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of a record about an individual from a system of records maintained by a Federal agency, absent the written consent of the individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Privacy Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.

Pursuant to the Privacy Act, U.S. citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent U.S. residence status can seek records containing information about themselves which is maintained in one of FHFA-OIG’s systems of records, retrievable by their names or other personal identifiers.  Even if a request does not mention the Privacy Act, the FHFA-OIG automatically treats requests from individuals seeking records pertaining to individuals as being made under both the FOIA and the Privacy Act.

Processing of FOIA/Privacy Act requests

We have established a “multi-track” response system to facilitate the processing of FOIA and Privacy Act requests based on their varying size and complexity. FOIA and Privacy Act requests are placed in one of two tracks:

  • The Standard Track is for simple requests that do not involve voluminous records or lengthy consultations with other entities.
  • The Complex Track is for requests that involve sensitive or voluminous records, or records for which lengthy or numerous consultations are required.

All FOIA and Privacy Act requests must be submitted in writing, either electronically, by facsimile, or by regular mail.  All mail sent to FHFA-OIG via the United States Postal Service is routed through a national irradiation facility, a process that may delay delivery by approximately two weeks. For any time-sensitive correspondence, please plan accordingly.  FHFA-OIG will not accept telephone requests. 

FHFA-OIG looks forward to working with FOIA requestors to continue responding effectively and efficiently to FOIA requests.

Visit FHFA’s FOIA page, https://www.fhfa.gov/AboutUs/FOIAPrivacy/Pages/FOIA.aspx for more information regarding FHFA FOIA policy, procedures, Annual FOIA Reports and Chief FOIA Officer Reports.

Other helpful information regarding the FOIA process can be found at the U.S. Department of Justice's FOIA Reference Guide Web page, https://www.justice.gov/oip/usdoj-oip-freedom-information-act-guide-may-2004.  

Please contact FHFA-OIG’s FOIA Requester Service Center with any questions, including status updates about your request or general questions about FOIA at FOIA@fhfaoig.gov or call 202-730-0399.

FHFA-OIG FOIA Requester Service Center
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20219

Phone: (202) 730-0399
Facsimile: (202) 318-8602
Email: FOIA@fhfaoig.gov

FHFA-OIG FOIA Contact:
Sheila Peden, Acting FOIA Officer

Before making a FOIA request, please ensure that you have taken the following actions:

Visit the FHFA-OIG FOIA Electronic Reading Room and FHFA’s FOI Electronic Reading Room for frequently requested records available for public inspection in electronic form. FHFA and FHFA-OIG have separate websites and a search of both websites will enable you to determine, before making a request, that the information you are requesting has not already been posted.

Make sure you have the correct federal agency. Each federal agency has an OIG office. View the list of FOIA contacts for each agency at https://www.foia.gov/.

If you want to file a complaint, or report concerns, please go to the Hotline page at:  http://fhfaoig.gov/ReportFraud.

Ensure that you want to request existing records. 

Making a FOIA/Privacy Act Request for Your Own Records

FHFA-OIG can only accept and process an individual’s request for his or her own records, under FOIA, the Privacy Act, or both, when such a request is made in writing and contains the following information:

  • The date of your request;
  • Your first and last name;
  • Your address (street, city, state and zip code);
  • Your telephone number;
  • Your fax number (if available);
  • Your email address (if available);
  • Your birthdate and place of birth;
  • A written description of the records about you that you seek, in sufficient detail to enable FHFA-OIG to search for and locate the records with reasonable effort; 
  • The format in which you want the records produced to you (i.e., hardcopy, electronic, etc.);
  • A statement agreeing to pay fees. You must agree to pay all applicable fees charged under 12 C.F.R. § 1202.11, up to $100.00, unless you seek a fee waiver. You may also specify a higher or lower amount you will pay without consultation; AND
  • Your notarized signature OR your signature accompanied by “an under penalty of perjury” statement.  If you elect to have your signature notarized for the request, your request must bear your original signature and the original signature and seal of the notary.  In lieu of notarization, you may mail to FHFA-OIG an original, signed copy of the following statement: “I declare, certify, verify or state, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct.” AND
  • Your envelope, email or fax should be labeled “Privacy Act Request.”

FHFA-OIG will not process requests from individuals seeking information about themselves if these requirements are not met, to ensure that private information about any individual is not improperly disclosed to third parties.

Making a FOIA/Privacy Act Request for Someone Else’s Records

From time to time, an individual may seek records containing personal information about another individual.  FHFA-OIG can only accept and process requests for such records if that individual has given his/her written consent for the requestor to do so or the requestor is the individual’s parent or guardian.  All such requests will only be accepted when submitted by mail.

Generally, to obtain records about another individual with his/her consent, you must mail a written request to our office that contains the following:

  • The date of your request;
  • Your first and last name;
  • Your address (street, city, state and zip code);
  • Your telephone number;
  • Your fax number (if available);
  • Your email address (if available);
  • Your birthdate and place of birth;
  • A written description of the records about you that you seek, in sufficient detail to enable FHFA-OIG to search for and locate the records with reasonable effort;  
  • The format in which you want the records produced to you (i.e., hardcopy, electronic, etc.);
  • A statement agreeing to pay fees. You must agree to pay all applicable fees charged under 12 C.F.R. § 1202.11, up to $100.00, unless you seek a fee waiver. You may also specify a higher or lower amount you will pay without consultation;
  • The individual’s statement of his/her name, current address, date and place of birth;
  • The individual’s written designation of you as an authorized recipient of information;
  • The individual’s notarized signature OR signature accompanied by “an under penalty of perjury” statement.  If the individual elects to have his or her signature notarized for the request, your request must bear the individual’s original signature and the original signature and seal of the notary.  In lieu of notarization, you may mail to FHFA-OIG an original copy of the following statement, signed by the individual: “I declare, certify, verify or state, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct.” AND
  • Your envelope, email or fax should be labeled “Privacy Act Request.”

If you are the parent or guardian of the individual whose records you seek, you must mail a written request to our office that contains the following:

  • The date of your request;
  • Your first and last name;
  • Your address (street, city, state and zip code);
  • Your Telephone number;
  • Your Fax number (if available);
  • Your email address (if available);
  • Your birthdate and place of birth;
  • A written description of the records about you that you seek, in sufficient detail to enable FHFA-OIG to search for and locate the records with reasonable effort;  
  • The format in which you want the records produced to you (i.e., hardcopy, electronic, etc.);
  • A statement agreeing to pay fees. You must agree to pay all applicable fees charged under 12 C.F.R. § 1202.11, up to $100.00, unless you seek a fee waiver. You may also specify a higher or lower amount you will pay without consultation;
  • A statement that contains the individual’s name, current address, date and place of birth, and, at your option, the individual’s Social Security number;
  • Your notarized signature OR your signature accompanied by “an under penalty of perjury” statement.  If you elect to have your signature notarized for the request, your request must bear your original signature and the original signature and seal of the notary.  In lieu of notarization, you may mail to FHFA-OIG an original, signed copy of the following statement: “I declare, certify, verify or state, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct.” 
  • Documentation that you are the parent or guardian of the individual (e.g., a properly authenticated copy of the individual’s birth certificate that shows your parentage or a properly authenticated court order establishing your guardianship);
  • A statement that you are acting on behalf of the individual in making the request; AND
  • Your envelope, email or fax should be labeled “Privacy Act Request.”

If you provide proper authorization by the individual, your request will be processed with the greatest possible access. If you do not or are unable to provide authorization, your request will be processed only under the FOIA, and the release of responsive records would be redacted to protect the privacy of the individual whose records you are seeking.

Making a Request for FHFA-OIG Records Other Than Your Own Records or Records for a Third Person

For all other requests for FHFA-OIG information pursuant to the FOIA, you must submit your FOIA request in writing, sign the request, and include the following:

  • The date of your request;
  • Your first and last name;
  • Your address (street, city, state and zip code);
  • Your Telephone number;
  • Your Fax number (if available);
  • Your email address (if available);
  • A written description of the records that you seek, in sufficient detail to enable FHFA-OIG to search for and locate the records with reasonable effort.  Please provide as much information as you have available to you such as, audit report number, evaluation report number, program area, etc.;  
  • The format in which you want the records produced to you (i.e., hardcopy, electronic, etc.);
  • Your FOIA requester status (commercial, educational institution, noncommercial scientific institution, representatives of the news media) so that FHFA-OIG can determine the appropriate FOIA fees for the request; AND
  • A statement agreeing to pay applicable fees. You must agree to pay all applicable fees charged under 12 C.F.R. § 1202.11, up to $100.00, unless you seek a fee waiver. You may also specify a higher or lower amount you will pay without consultation.

MAIL your written request to the following address:

FHFA-OIG FOIA Requester Service Center
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20219

FAX your written request to (202) 318-8602

EMAIL your written request to FOIA@fhfaoig.gov