HomeContact UsFreedom of Information Act

General Information

The 28th Bomb Wing records management office is responsible for processing requests for information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Each year, approximately 40 requests are handled by the records management staff, for records existing in paper, electronic and microform formats. E-mail your FOIA request here.

Members of the public, including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, organizations and businesses, and individual members of the Congress for themselves or constituents, may request records in writing. It is important to remember that the Freedom of Information Act applies only to federal agencies. It does not create a right of access to records held by Congress, the courts, state or local government agencies, or by private businesses or individuals. Each state has its own public access laws that should by consulted for access to state and local records.

What is the FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act Program (AFI 37-131) allows the general public including foreign citizens, military and civilian personnel acting as private citizens, to request records electronically or in writing from the Federal Government. Some records are released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, and may therefore reflect deletion of some information in accordance with the FOIA's nine statutory exemptions or two law enforcement record exclusions. A consolidated list of such records is on Defense Link. Currently the law allows 20 working days to process a FOIA request upon receipt of the request in the FOIA office.

Processing a FOIA Request

Fees are assessed depending on which group the request falls into: 
Category 1: Commercial. Requesters pay all search, review, and duplication.
Category 2: Educational or Noncommercial Scientific Institution or News Media. Requesters get the first 100 copies free and pay for additional copies.
Category 3: Others. Requesters get the first two hours of search and the first 100 copies free.

Important FOIA Note

Please be advised that DoD Manual 4525.8-M/AF, Official Mail Manual, states that "The Base Information Transfer System will not deliver unofficial mass mailings addressed to individuals at the duty address. We define a mass mailing as 50 or more pieces of mail received on the same day from the same mailer. In this context, we define unofficial mail as mail addressed to an individual that does not have an official return address from a government agency." Such mail will be returned unopened to the U.S. Postal Service.

FOIA Requesters

FOIA requesters who have questions concerning the processing of their requests with the Ellsworth AFB FOIA Office should contact this center at (605) 385-1563 or by e-mail at ellsworth.FOIA@us.af.mil.

If dissatisfied with the response received from the Ellsworth FOIA Office you may contact the AFIMSC FOIA at afimsc.foia.workflow@us.af.mil or call 210-395-0995 or the AF FOIA Public Liaison at usaf.pentagon.saf-cio-a6.mbx.af-foia@mail.mil or call (703) 614-8500.

Are you seeking a record that is classified?

If you are only seeking a copy of a record or records that are currently classified, and would like the record reviewed for appropriate declassification and release, you should file a Mandatory Declassification Review request. Mandatory Declassification Review is a provision of Presidential Executive Order 13526 that allows members of the public to request a mandatory declassification review of a classified document in order to obtain a releasable version of the document. The desired document requested must be specified in sufficient detail that it can be readily located. The record in question may not be the subject of litigation. The mandatory declassification review process can be a very timely and in-depth, due to the classification of materials being reviewed by internal and outside agencies.  MDR decisions can be administratively appealed to the Headquarters Air Force/AAII (Mandatory Declassification Review) or Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP). 

Release of E-mail Addresses

Air Force policy is to deny requests for lists of e-mail addresses (both personal and organizational) using FOIA exemption (b)(2)(high). We also rely on FOIA exemption (b)(6) when denying lists of personal e-mail addresses. High (b)(2) protects internal information, the disclosure of which would risk circumvention of a statute or agency regulation. Because DoD e-mail systems are to be used only for official and authorized purposes, the addresses are considered primarily internal. The regulations at issue that could be circumvented include DoD and AF regulations that require us to limit use of e-mail to authorized purposes, and to protect the security of your computer and information systems. Exemption (b)(6) protects information that if released would permit a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. This does not prohibit an organization from including a single e-mail address on a Web page of in correspondence.

How to Make a FOIA Request

FOIA requests should be addressed to:
FOIA Officer, 28 CS/SCXK
2752 Doolittle Dr. Suite 134
Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706-4853

Requests must contain name; address; phone number of requester (See privacy act statement below); detailed description of records requests; a statement of willingness to pay fees incurred through search, review, and reproduction of the records.

Requests can be submitted using the U.S. Postal Service, fax or hand delivered. E-mail requests will be accepted by third parties. Military members may not use government resources (such as computers, letterhead or delivery through BITC) to make a FOIA request.

Privacy Act Statement

Authority: 10 USC 8013 and 5 USC 552
     Principal Purpose: To obtain necessary information so that a response can be provided to your FOIA request
     Routine Use: Your request may be referred to another Federal agency if the record(s) you seek originated with that agency
     Disclosure: Voluntary. However, no reply can be given if the requested information is not furnished.

Requests for review and release of classified records under the MDR process can be made to:

Headquarters Air Force/AAII
(Mandatory Declassification Review)
1000 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1000
E-mail: 
usaf.pentagon.saf-aa.mbx.mdr-workflow@mail.mil

FOIA EXEMPTIONS

The FOIA provides access to federal agency records (or parts of those records) except those protected from release by nine specific exemptions.

1. Classified national defense and foreign relations information
2. Internal agency personnel rules and practices
3. Material prohibited from disclosure by another law
4. Trade secrets and other confidential business information
5. Certain inter-agency or intra-agency communications
6. Personnel, medical, and other files involving personal privacy
7. Certain records compiled for law enforcement purposes
8. Matters relating to the supervision of financial institutions
9. Geological and geophysical information and data (including maps) concerning wells

Explantion of Exemptions

The fees specified in this section shall be charged for searching for, reviewing, and/or duplicating agency records made available in response to a request as follows:

1. Copies. For copies of documents such as letters, memoranda, statements, reports, contracts, etc., $0.15 per copy of each page. These charges for copies include the time spent in duplicating the documents. For copies of still photographs, blueprints, videotapes, engineering drawings, hard copies of aperture cards, etc., the fee charged will reflect the full direct cost to this base of reproducing or copying the record. For copies of Computer printouts, $0.02 per copy.

2. Clerical searches. For each one quarter hour spent by clerical personnel in searching for an Agency record in response to a request under this part, $3.00.

3. Nonroutine, nonclerical searches. Where a search cannot be performed by clerical personnel, for example, where the task of determining which records fall within a request and collecting them requires the time of professional or managerial personnel, and where the amount of time that must be expended in the search and collection of the requested records by such higher level personnel is substantial, charges for the search may be made at a rate in excess of the clerical rate, namely for each one quarter hour spent by such higher level personnel in searching for a requested record, $6.25.

4. Review/Excising of records. For commercial use requests only, where time is spent reviewing to determine whether they are exempt from mandatory disclosure, a charge may be made at the rate of $3.00, for each one quarter hour spent by clerical personnel (E-9/GS-8 and below), or a charge may be made at the rate of $6.25 per one quarter hour per professional personnel (0-1 - 0-6/GS-9 - GS-15), or a charge may be made at the rate of $11.25 per one quarter hour per Executive personnel (0-7 - GS-16/ES 1 and above). No charge shall be made for the time spent in resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions. This charge will only be assessed the first time the agency reviews a record and not at the administrative appeal level.

5. Computerized Search. Computer search time for fees to be collected for records stored in a central processing unit will be based on $5.02 per minute. Additionally, the time spent by the Programmer/Operator to write and inputting the DESIRE into the computer will be computed at the rates specified in paragraphs (b),(c), and (d) of this section.

6. Charges for special services. Complying with requests for special services such as those listed in (g)(1), (2), and (3) of this section is entirely at the discretion of the Ellsworth FOIA Office. Neither the FOIA nor its fee structure covers these kinds of services. To the extent that the Ellsworth FOIA Office elects to provide the following services, it will levy a charge equivalent to the full cost of the service provided: (1) Certifying that records are true copies. (2) Sending records by special methods such as express mail. (h) Unsuccessful or unproductive searches. Search charges, as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, may be made even when an Agency record which has been requested cannot be identified or located after a diligent search and consultation with a professional employee familiar with the subject area of the request, or if located, cannot be made available under Subpart 3 of this part. Ordinarily, however, fees will not be charged in such instances unless they are substantial (over $15.00) and the requester has consented to the search after having been advised that it cannot be determined in advance whether any records exist which can be made available and that search fees will be charged even if no record can be located and made available.

7. Fees not chargeable

-- We will not charge for the first 100 pages of duplication and the first 2 hours of search time (meaning manual search) except to requesters seeking documents for commercial use.

-- If the cost to be billed to the requester is equal to or less than $15.00, no charges will be billed.

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Top Links

Base Guide/Phone Book
Commander's Action Line
Helping Agencies
Newcomers
Powder River Training Complex
Road and Weather
Public Affairs