FOIA Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I get records from NCUA?
- You can make a request under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.
- FOIA is a federal law that provides any person a right of access to many federal agency records.
- This right is enforceable in a court of law; however, NCUA is authorized to withhold certain kinds of records that are exempt.
2. Do I need to file a written FOIA request to receive general information about NCUA?
- No. You can find a great deal of information about NCUA on the World Wide Web at www.ncua.gov.
- Records that are publicly available such as press releases, speeches, and some staff manuals can also be obtained from the NCUA Office of External Affairs and Communications (OEAC) or the NCUA Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO).
- OEAC is responsible for maintaining NCUA’s relationship with the public and the media. For more information, call 703.518.6330. OCFO is responsible for, among other things, the sale and distribution of NCUA’s publications. An order form for publications is available on our web site or you may call 703.518.6340 for more information.
3. What kind of records can I request from the NCUA under the FOIA?
- You may obtain any non-exempt agency record.
- For example:
- Report of Officials – Persons who have agreed to serve the credit union’s membership
- Procurement Contracts – With whom NCUA is doing business
4. What records are available for viewing without filing a request and where do I go?
- There are many records accessible through the NCUA web site or at the NCUA reading room in Room 6076B, at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- In the reading room you may view and copy such records as:
- Interpretive Rulings and Policy Statements
- Administrative Orders
- General Counsel Opinion Letters
- Comment Letters on Proposed NCUA Regulations
- Proposed NCUA Rules and Regulations
- Staff Manuals
- On the NCUA web site, at www.ncua.gov, you can also view many of these records as well as credit union call report data, NCUA press releases, the Office of Inspector General Audit Report summaries and semiannual reports, FOIA annual compliance reports, FOIA appeal decisions, records frequently requested under the FOIA, Privacy Act Systems of Records, and NCUA’s major information systems.
5. What NCUA rules and regulations govern FOIA activities?
- Part 792, Subpart A of the NCUA Rules and Regulations. (12 CFR 792)
6. How do I get a copy of NCUA’s FOIA Regulation?
- You can download a copy from our web site, call us at 703.518.6540, make a written request to the Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428, or stop by our reading room, 6070B.
7. Can I get a copy of the NCUA FOIA Annual Report?
- Yes, from our web site beginning with the 1998 fiscal year report, or you may request a copy from the Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428.
8. Must I use a special form to file an FOIA request?
- No form is required. Simply send us a letter stating that you are seeking records under the FOIA and give us a detailed description of the records being sought, your willingness to pay applicable fees as described in §§792,19-792-26 of our regulations and include your name, address and telephone number.
- See §792.08 for more information about making a FOIA request.
9. Where do I send my written request?
- You may send your written request to the NCUA Office of General Counsel, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428, Attn: FOIA Officer or fax it to 703.518.6569. You may also send your request via e-mail to FOIA@ncua.gov.
- Requests for audit and investigative records should be addressed to the NCUA Office of Inspector General or you can fax it to 703.518.6670.
10. Is there a fee for filing a FOIA request?
- The law permits agencies to recover some of the costs of processing a FOIA request. See §§ 792.19-792.26 of our regulation for more information.
- NCUA’s fee schedule is available on our web site.
11. How long will it take NCUA to respond to my request?
- We usually respond within 20 business days if the record is reasonably described.
- You can also request an expedited response if you have a compelling need. See §792.18 for more information.
12. What kinds of records can NCUA withhold from me?
- Generally, credit union examination records; records which if released, would cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; confidential proprietary business information, internal communications regarding proposed NCUA policies; and law enforcement investigative records.
13. How will I know what records NCUA has withheld from me?
- NCUA’s written response will identify what records have been withheld and the FOIA exemptions that were applied.
14. What happens if NCUA does not have the records I want?
- You will be notified in writing. If the records are located at another federal agency, we will advise you.
15. How do I reach the FOIA office or the person who is handling my request?
- You may contact the NCUA FOIA officer in the Office of General Counsel at 703.518.6540, or the NCUA Inspector General in the Office of Inspector General at 703.518.6350. The offices are located at 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428.
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