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FOIA

  • How to Make a FOIA Request

    Sending Your FOIA Request
    Processing Your FOIA Request

    Search, Review, and Duplication Fees

    Fee Waivers

    Sample FOIA Request

    Appeals

    Sending Your FOIA Request


    Requests for records maintained by the Commission must be in writing and clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Request."

    Requests may be submitted using the CFTC’s FOIA Request Form.

    Requests submitted by mail should be addressed to the FOIA Compliance Office, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581.

    Each FOIA request should include a reasonable description of the records sought and an agreement to pay for any copying, search, or review costs incurred in processing the request. See Search, Review, and Duplication Fees.

    Processing Your FOIA Request


    The FOIA Compliance Office will issue a determination within 20 working days as specified in the Freedom of Information Act. In unusual circumstances, the prescribed time limit may be extended by written notice to the requester.

    Search, Review, and Duplication Fees


    Requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act should include an agreement to pay all fees associated with the processing of the request, in accordance with the rates set forth here. If requesters ask that fees be limited to a certain amount, no work will be done resulting in fees beyond that amount. A requester who seeks a fee waiver pursuant to the Commission's rules should show that disclosure of the requested information would be in the public interest.

    Categories of requesters:

    • Commercial Use Requester
      The Commission charges fees for search time, review time, and duplication of records to any person requesting information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or a person on whose behalf the request is made.
    • Educational Institution or Noncommercial Scientific Institution
      The Commission charges only duplication fees to schools or to organizations that operate solely for the purpose of scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. The Commission does not charge for the first 100 pages duplicated or for search or review time.
    • Representative of News Media
      The Commission charges only duplication fees to any person actively gathering news for an organization that publishes or broadcasts news to the public. The Commission does not charge for the first 100 pages duplicated or for search or review time.
    • Other Requesters
      The Commission charges fees for search time and duplication to requesters who are not covered by one of the categories above. The Commission does not charge for the first two hours of search time, the first 100 pages of duplication, or review time. If the search is for records stored in a computer format, the Commission waives a combination of computer operation charges and search time charges up to the equivalent of two hours of professional search time.

    Schedule of Fees:

    For search and review of records

    Professional staff

    $10.25 per quarter hour

    Clerical staff

    $4.75 per quarter hour

    For copying

    Paper

    $0.15 per page

    Other materials

    Actual cost of materials and reproduction

    For certification

    $3.00

    For overnight or express mail

    $10.00 per package

    For examination of records at a Commission office other than the office maintaining the records

    Transportation of records

    Actual cost

    Preparation of records for transit

    $3.00

    Fee Waivers


    The Commission will waive or reduce fees if (i) the fees are less than $10.00 (the approximate cost to the Commission of collecting the fee); or (ii) the Commission determines that the disclosure of the information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

    Sample FOIA Request


    Please keep a copy of your own request because you may need to refer to it in further correspondence with us.

      January 1, 2006

      FOIA Compliance Office
      Commodity Futures Trading Commission
      Three Lafayette Centre
      1155 21st Street, NW
      Washington, DC 20581

      FOIA Compliance Officer:

      Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 USC Section 552, I am requesting information or records regarding [please be specific and include a time frame, if possible].

      I agree to pay any search, review, or copying fees that may be incurred in processing this request [or, do not exceed a specified dollar amount].

      If you have any questions about the handling of this request, you may telephone me at [your telephone number] or email me at [your email address].

      Sincerely,

      Your name
      Your address

    Appeals


    If the Commission notifies a requester that his or her Freedom of Information Act request has been denied in whole or in part, the requester may file an appeal.

    The requester must send the appeal in writing and clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal" to the Commission's Office of the General Counsel at Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. The main telephone number for the Office of the General Counsel is 202-418-5120. The requester must attach a copy of all correspondence relevant to the request; for example, the initial request, any correspondence amending or modifying the request, and all correspondence from Commission staff responding to the request. The Office of the General Counsel must receive the appeal within 30 days of the date of the denial by the FOIA Compliance Office. This 30-day period does not begin to run until the FOIA Compliance Office issues a determination with respect to all portions of the request.

    The appeal should include all relevant facts and cite legal or other authorities that the requester considers appropriate. The appeal may also include a description of the general benefit to the public from disclosure of the information at issue.

    If the appeal involves information for which confidential treatment has been requested by the submitter of the information, the FOIA requester must serve a copy of the appeal on the submitter. The submitter may respond in writing to the appeal within ten business days to the Office of the General Counsel, with copies sent to the FOIA Compliance Office and to the requester.

    The Office of the General Counsel will notify the requester in writing when the appeal is decided.

    Ultimately, the decision may be taken to the U.S. District Court.