Freedom of Information Act

n. (abbr. FOIA) a law that describes an individual’s rights to access information held by a government agency as well as the agency’s legal authority to refuse access to such information


The federal Freedom of Information Act is codified at 5 USC § 552. Most states have similar laws, though the names may vary, including open records law and sunshine law. The laws are not uniform among states. The laws are intended to allow citizens to know what agencies are doing so that the agencies can be held accountable.