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Welcome to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s (BEP) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552 and Privacy Act of 1974 (PA), 5 U.S.C. § 552a website. This website provides a wealth of information about BEP’s FOIA and PA programs and how to obtain access to BEP records. It is the policy of the BEP to make available to the public, upon written request, records or extracts thereof, in accordance with the FOIA and PA, and applicable regulations of the Department of the Treasury found at 31 C.F.R. Part 1.  Like all Federal agencies, the BEP creates and receives records when carrying out its mission. The FOIA and PA give the public the right to access Federal agency records.

 

We encourage you to browse this FOIA website and visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury's FOIA website and the U.S. Department of Justice’s FOIA or FOIA.gov website for additional information.

 

FOIA and PA requests and questions shall be addressed to:

 

Disclosure Officer

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Office of the Chief Counsel - FOIA and Transparency Services

14th & C Streets, SW, Room 419A

Washington, D.C. 20228-0001

Phone number: (202) 874-2500

Fax number: (202) 874-2951

 


                                                                                                                                                           

 

HOW TO FILE A FOIA REQUEST

 

The FOIA and the Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.1-1.7 enables an individual or organization to have access to agency records, unless the records are protected by one of NINE (9) FOIA EXEMPTIONS OR THREE (3) EXCLUSIONS. The FOIA applies only to Federal agencies records and does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies. Under the FOIA, Federal agencies are not required to answer questions that are posed as a FOIA request, to conduct research, analyze data, or to create records in order to respond to a request.

 

Your FOIA request must:

 

  1. Be in writing and signed;

 

  1. State that it is made pursuant to FOIA;

 

  1. Contain a statement that enables the processing office to determine your fee category (i.e. commercial requesters, educational institutions, non-commercial scientific institutions, news media, or all other requesters). Please, see section below titled: WHAT IS MY FEE CATEGORY?;

 

  1. Describe the nature of the record(s) being sought in sufficient detail to enable personnel to locate the records. Include subject matter, location, dates or timeframes if possible. If the scope is too broad, you may incur large fees for search, review, and/or duplication;

 

  1. Provide an address where the determination letter may be sent;

 

  1. Contain a statement agreeing to pay fees for search, duplication, and/or review, if appropriate. If you will request a fee waiver, please, see section below titled: CAN I REQUEST A FEE WAIVER?;

 

  1. State whether you wish to inspect the records or have a copy made without first inspecting them; and

 

  1. State whether you desire expedited processing due to a compelling need, if appropriate. Please, see section below titled: CAN MY FOIA REQUEST BE PROCESSED FASTER?

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE “FOIA REQUEST LETTER”

 


 

HOW TO FILE A PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 REQUEST

 

The Privacy Act of 1974 (PA) , 5 U.S.C. § 552a and the Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.20-1.36 allows individuals to be protected against unwarranted invasions of their personal privacy resulting from Federal agencies collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information about them.

 

The PA applies to records which are contained in a BEP system of records and which are retrieved by an individual's name or other personal identifier. PA requests can be made only by U.S. citizens or aliens lawfully admitted to permanent U.S. residence status for information about themselves, unless the records are protected by a PA EXEMPTION. In addition, the PA allows an individual to request an amendment of a record pertaining to such individual. The BEP treats FOIA requests that seek information about an individual as PA requests.

 

PA requests for information or for amending personal records must be made by the individual whose records are requested. Requests for records or amendment of records on an individual made by a third party (someone other than the individual, such as an attorney or physician) must include a release signed by the individual whose records are being requested. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE “AUTHORIZATION TO RELEASE INFORMATION UNDER THE PRIVACY ACT LETTER”

 

Your PA request must:

 

  1. Be in writing and signed by the person about whom the record is maintained or his/her duly authorized representative;

 

  1. State that it is made pursuant to PA;

 

  1. Describe the nature of the record(s) being sought in sufficient detail to enable personnel to locate the records. Include dates or timeframes if possible;

 

  1. Provide the name of the system/subsystem or categories of records to which access is sought;

 

  1. Provide an address where the determination letter may be sent; and

 

  1. Include proof of identity that bears your signature (i.e. driver's license) or a signed and dated notarized statement swearing or affirming your identity and that you understand the penalties provided in 5 U.S.C. § 552a(i)(3) for requesting or obtaining access to records under false pretenses. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE "VERIFICATION SWORN STATEMENT".

 


 

WHERE SHOULD I SEND MY FOIA OR PA REQUEST?

 

You may send your FOIA or PA request by:

 

  1. Mail:

 

Disclosure Officer

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Office of the Chief Counsel-FOIA and Transparency Services

14th & C Streets, SW, Room 419A

Washington, D.C. 20228-0001

 

  1. Fax: (202) 874-2951

 

  1. Department of the Treasury’s FOIA Online Portal. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS TREASURY’S FOIA ONLINE

 

The BEP does not accept or respond to FOIA/PA requests by email. Please remember to include your signature if you decide to file your FOIA/PA request by mail or fax.

 


 

WHAT FEES WILL BE CHARGED?

 

Fees to be charged under the FOIA/PA will vary depending upon the requester category (i.e. commercial requester, educational institution, non-commercial scientific institution, news media, or all other requester). Search, review, and duplication fees are calculated in accordance with the procedures set forth by the Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.7, and may be charged, when applicable, even if no records are found or disclosed.

 

The FOIA precludes charging a fee if the routine costs of processing and collecting the fee are likely to equal or exceed the amount of the fee. As a result, the BEP does not charge a fee if the total cost of processing a FOIA request is $15.00 or less. The BEP charges $0.20 per page for standard duplication services, such as making photocopies. Fees for special duplication services, such as those involving photographs or requiring that materials be sent to a private contractor for copying, are based on the actual cost of duplication. Requesters have the option of deciding how much they are willing to pay for requested information, but it should not be less than $25.00.

 

The following chart describes the services which are provided free of charge and the services which are chargeable for the different requester categories:
 
Requester Category Free Chargable Fees
Commercial None. Search, review, and duplication
Educational Institution Search, review, and 100 pages. Duplication over 100 pages.
Non-Commercial Scientific Institution Search, review, and 100 pages. Duplication over 100 pages.
News Media Search, review, and 100 pages. Duplication over 100 pages.
All other requesters

For FOIA: 2 hours of search, review, 100 pages.

 

For PA: Search, review, and 100 pages.

For FOIA: Search after 2 hours and duplication over too pages.

 

For PA: Duplication over 100 pages.

 


 
CAN I REQUEST A FEE WAIVER?


If you are advised or expect that a fee will be charged, you may request in writing a waiver of fees. Requests for fee waivers are not automatically granted and are decided on a case-by-case basis. Before considering the fee waiver request, decide which fee category the request fits into (i.e. commercial requester, educational institution, non-commercial scientific institution, news media, or all other requester).

 

A fee waiver will only be granted if the disclosure of the information is in the public interest because: 1) furnishing the information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government; and 2) is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

 

A requester's status as a non-profit organization or representative of the news media will not automatically qualify the requester for a fee waiver without a showing that the waiver is in the public interest. A requester is not eligible for a fee waiver solely because of indigence.

 


 

WHAT IS MY FEE CATEGORY?

 

Fees to be charged under the FOIA/PA will vary depending upon the requester category.

 

Commercial Use. Refers to requests from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose of furthering the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester. 

 

Educational Institution. Refers to a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of professional education, and an institution of vocational education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly research. This category does not include requesters wanting records for use in meeting individual academic research or study requirements.

 

Non-Commercial Scientific Institution. Refers to educational institutions that operate program(s) of scholarly research or non-commercial institutions, which operate solely for conducting scientific research -- the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. 

 

Representatives of the News Media/Freelancers. Refers to any person gathering news for an entity organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. This includes freelance journalists who, though not actually employed by the media, expect future publication of such information by the media. 

 

All other requesters. Refers to requesters not falling into any of the categories mentioned above. 

 


 

HOW LONG WILL BEP TAKE TO PROCESS MY REQUEST?

 

Under the FOIA and Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.5(h) the BEP is required to respond to a perfected request within 20 working days of receipt-excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays. For a PA request, the BEP has up to 30 working days after receipt of a perfected request to complete processing the request as set forth in the Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.26(g).

 

A request that does not comply with the requirements necessary to complete processing is regarded as 'unperfected'. An unperfected request is not considered as having been received for purposes of the 20 or 30-day time limitation, until all the missing part(s) of the request have been provided to the Disclosure Officer. If you submit an unperfected request, you will be contacted and asked to correct the deficiency so that the BEP may complete processing your request.

 

The BEP will make every effort to respond to a request as promptly as possible. In some cases, however, the BEP may be unable to process your request within the 20 or 30 working-day time limitation.

 

In such situations, the BEP will contact you directly to request an extension of 10 working days-exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays- or to arrange for an alternative time frame for processing your request.

 

The Disclosure Officer may also determine that unusual circumstances justify an administrative extension of the 20 or 30-day time limit. Unusual circumstances include, but are not limited to the need to:

 

  • Search for and collect the requested records from facilities that are separate from the office processing the request;
  • Search for, collect, and review a large volume of separate and distinct records in response to a single request; or
  • Consult with another agency or bureau having a substantial interest in the potential release of the information being requested.

 

If unusual circumstances justify an extension, you will be provided written notice of the reasons for an extension and the expected date of a response.

 


 

CAN MY FOIA REQUEST BE PROCESSED FASTER?

 

In certain situations, a requester may ask that her/his request be processed on an expedited basis. According to the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(E) and the Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.5(e) the BEP will render a determination of whether to grant or deny a request for expedited processing within 10 calendar days after receipt of a perfected request.

 

In order to qualify for expedited processing, the requester must demonstrate a compelling need for expedited processing by showing in the request that: 1) failure to obtain the requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or 2) the requester is a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, and that there is an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal government activities.

 

Demonstration of a compelling need must be made through a certified statement in which the person making the request declares under penalty of perjury that the statement is true and correct to the best of his/her knowledge and belief. The statement must be in the form prescribed by 28 U.S.C. § 1746, “I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. Executed on [date].”

 

For a request for expedited processing, both the envelope and the request itself must be clearly marked, "Expedited Processing Request."

 


 

CAN I APPEAL THE RESPONSE TO MY REQUEST?

 

You may appeal an initial FOIA/PA determination to the Director of the BEP in any of the following circumstances:

 

  • Access to the records you requested has been denied in whole or in part;
  • It has been determined that no responsive records exist;
  • An adverse determination has been made as to the fee category applicable to your request; or
  • A request for expedited processing has been denied.

 

Your appeal must be filed within 35 calendar days of receipt of the relevant determination. However, an appeal of a denial for expedited processing must be filed within 10 calendar days of the denial.

 

The appeal letter should explain and contain the basis for disagreement and specifics on the reasons for your appeal. Please, include any identifying number(s) assigned to your request, a copy of your request(s), a copy of the BEP response letter(s), and any other correspondence associated with your request. Both the letter and envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal” or “Privacy Act Appeal” as appropriate.

 

FOIA/PA appeals must be made in writing, signed, and mailed to the following:

 

Director
FOIA/PA APPEAL

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
14th & C Streets, SW
Washington, D.C. 20228

 


 

FOIA LIBRARY

 

The FOIA, 5 U.S.C.  § 552(a)(2) and Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. § 1.4 requires each agency to provide a place where the public may inspect and copy or have copied the material such as:

 

  1. Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases, as defined in 5 U.S.C. § 551, that may be cited, used, or relied upon as precedents in future adjudications.
  2. Statements of policy and interpretations that have been adopted by BEP and are not published in the Federal Register. This qualification is generally met when action is taken by the head of an agency or a responsible official who has been empowered by the agency to make an authoritative issuance.
  3. Administrative staff manuals and instructions, or portions thereof, which establish BEP’s policy that affect a member of the public.
  4. Records that have been located and processed in response to a FOIA request that have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records, regardless of form or format. These are often referred to as "frequently requested" records.
  5. A general index of the records referred to under (4) above.

 

BEP’s FOIA Library is located at 14th & C Streets, SW, Washington, D.C. 20228-0001. If you wish to visit BEP’s FOIA Library, please contact the Disclosure Officer at (202) 874-2500 to schedule an appointment. 

 


 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

For more information about BEP’s FOIA/PA policy, CLICK HERE TO ACCESS BEP CIRCULAR NO. 40-00.6A, PROCESSING PUBLIC INQUIRIES UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND PRIVACY ACTS, DATED MAY 2, 1991

 

For more information about how to file a FOIA request, CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY-FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT HANDBOOK

 

For more information about how to file a PA request, CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY-PRIVACT ACT HANDBOOK

 

DOJ Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (2013), CLICK HERE

 

DOJ Overview of the Privacy Act of 1974, (2012), CLICK HERE

 

Attorney General FOIA Memorandum (March 19, 2009), CLICK HERE 

 

White House Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act, CLICK HERE 

 

White House Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, CLICK HERE

 

OMB Fee Guidelines (March 27, 1987), CLICK HERE 

 


 

PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 STATEMENT

 

Collection of the information to process your FOIA/PA request is authorized by 5 U.S.C. § 301 and Department of the Treasury’s regulations found at 31 C.F.R. Part 1. The information you provide is used by BEP to administratively control and/or process requests for Federal agency records. Specific details as to the routine uses for this system are available under Privacy Act Systems of Records Notice Treasury.004, Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request Records--Treasury, 79 Fed. Reg. 183, 190 (January 2, 2014).