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FOIA Information

OBTAINING A CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM OR INVESTIGATING REPORT FOR AN NSF OIG CASE

Investigation reports and case closeout memoranda for closed cases are available to the public online and upon request within the limits of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552), the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a), and NSF’s regulations. Click here for General information about FOIA and the Privacy Act; NSF’s FOIA and Privacy Act regulations are published in 45 C.F.R. parts 612 and 613, respectively.

Many investigation reports and case closeout memoranda for closed cases are available online at our Case Closeout Memoranda website . These reports and memoranda have already been processed under the FOIA and the Privacy Act for public disclosure, which means that in most cases information that could identify subjects or witnesses has been removed. Retrieval is based on case number or case classification.

Traditional FOIA procedures are also available. A FOIA request for one or more NSF OIG investigation reports or closeout memoranda may be submitted to the NSF OIG FOIA Officer via mail (4201 Wilson Blvd, Room II-705, Arlington VA 22230), fax (703-292-9159) or email oig@nsf.gov.

The request must reasonably describe the specific records desired and must state that you will promptly pay the total fees chargeable under the regulation (see 45 C.F.R. § 612.10) or set a maximum amount you are willing to pay. Generally a single request for a limited number of investigation reports / closeout memoranda will not result in any fee because NSF does not charge if fees would total less than $25.

The request should not identify a case by the name or other individually identifiable information about a person involved in the case, unless the case resulted in successful criminal prosecution or recent civil legal action against that person, or that person is currently debarred or voluntarily excluded governmentwide. Examples of suitable descriptions are:

“All research misconduct cases closed [in the past 3 months] <or> [between March-May 2002].”

“The case discussed on pages [#-#] of the [date or #] NSF OIG Semiannual Report to the Congress.”

PLEASE NOTE that if we receive a request that identifies a case by the name or other individually identifiable information about a person involved in the case—or by reference to very specific facts of the case—and if that case did not result in successful criminal prosecution or recent civil legal action against that person, or if that person is not currently debarred or voluntarily excluded governmentwide, then we will not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation involving that person; accordingly, we will provide no investigation reports, case closeout memoranda, or any other records related to any such request.

Note regarding exclusions: Congress has provided special protection (“exclusions”) in the FOIA for two narrow categories of law enforcement records. The first exclusion protects the existence of an ongoing criminal law enforcement investigation when the subject of the investigation is unaware that it is pending and disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings. The second exclusion is limited to criminal law enforcement agencies and protects the existence of informant records when the informant’s status has not been officially confirmed. Records falling within an exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA.

When OIG responds to your request it will limit its response to those records that are subject to the FOIA.

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