Department of State

Provided by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
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About the agency

The United States Department of State (DOS) is the federal executive department that advises the President and advises the country in foreign policy issues.

Records available

Per the Annual 2015 State Department FOIA Report, "because of the nature and scope of the Department’s records holdings, including sensitive and classified records, [The Department of State] relies on the full range of exemptions when making a release determination. In implementing the Department’s mission, we work closely with many other Federal agencies and international partners. For this reason, the Department often must first consult with other, at times multiple, Federal agencies and foreign governments that have an interest in the records, which adds time and complexity to the FOIA process."

Requester suggestions, tips and guidance

  • FOIA requests can be submitted to the Department of State by mail or fax. Addresses are located here. FOIA requests can also be submitted to the Department of State’s online portal.

Appeals suggestions, tips and guidance

If you end up litigating against the State Department, make the following note when sending your summons and complaint to the agency: instead of mailing the documents to the headquarters as one might normally do, you must send them to this address: U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, 600 19th St., Suite 5.600, Washington, DC 20522.