What is FOIA?
The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) establishes a presumption that records in the possession of agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government are available to the public. The FOIA sets standards for determining when Government records must be made available and which records may be withheld. The FOIA also gives requesters specific legal rights and provides administrative and judicial remedies when access to records or portions of records is denied. Most importantly, the FOIA statute requires that Federal agencies provide access to and disclosure of information pertaining to the Government's business to the fullest extent possible. The text of the Act may be viewed by accessing the U.S. Department of Justice FOIA web site. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) strongly endorses a policy of openness in Government.