Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


This study provides a preliminary view of the policy issues involved with allowing electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests through the use of the Government Information Locator Service. The author used an exploratory, qualitative methodology consisting of an extensive literature review and a self-administered questionnaire that was sent to 54 Air Force (AF) FOIA managers. The literature review revealed that an informed citizenry is critical to a democratic society. To ensure its citizens have the opportunity to stay informed, Congress has enacted and amended laws to protect public access to federal information. The primary benefits of electronic FOIA requests indicated by AF FOIA managers were faster processing, quicker response, and better customer service. The primary issues involved with electronic FOIA requests concerned legal requirements for original signatures, Privacy Act restrictions, and accountability for receipt of the request. The first recommendation from this research is for the AF to determine the legality of accepting electronic FOIA requests. Next, there is a need for increased standardization concerning how FOIA requests are received and processed. Finally, as a means to possibly decrease the total number of FOIA requests, the AF should be proactive in making more information available to the general public.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Logistics and Acquisition Management of the Air Force Institute of Technology