Tips for Writing and Filing a FOI Request

FIO Request confirmation from the City of Fort Worth department of Planning and Development.

FIO Request confirmation from the City of Fort Worth department of Planning and Development.

I filed both FOI requests today and have attached the submitted documents to this post in order for you to see my specific requests.

When filing a FOI request, it is important to remember several key tips…

1. Address the right department: When filing a FOI request, it is important to send the request to the right department in order to make sure you get the information you need from the appropriateĀ people. Also, address the request to the individual person in charge of handling FOI requests in order to give the document a pointed message and show that you have researched your target department.

2. Be specific: Be specific in your requests. Highlight exactly what you need by spelling it out in sections and points in order to avoid an overwhelming mass of information flooding your inbox or being charged for information you might not necessarily need.

3. Include a note: At the end of the FOI request, include a note asking to be notified of possible charges and requesting the release of the information as it becomes available and not as a whole. In some instances, pieces of the requested information may be more readily available than other portions. The department may choose to hold all of the documents until each piece is ready. However, such practices could take too long and leave you without the information you need. Therefore, include this note to ensure you are receiving information as it becomes available.

4. Thank them: Lastly, a polite thank you can go a long way.

Now that these two FOI requests have been filed, it is time to wait. I will check back in with updates to see how the process is going.

FOI Request for TCU Building Permit Requests

FOI Request to US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas

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