Skip to main content

How to Make a FOIA Request


Notice: As a result of increases in the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level, our offices are limited to mission-essential personnel only and maximizing the use of telework for other personnel. This means that we are unable to handle requests sent via mail or fax and can only respond to electronic inquiries received via email at onrfoia@navy.mil or submitted to FOIAonline.gov while under elevated HPCON levels.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Privacy Office is responsible for processing Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests. FOIA allows members of the public to obtain a wide range of records from federal agencies. In most cases, ONR records are subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act, with releasable records subject to the restrictions set forth in those laws.

Review the sections below to learn how to submit a FOIA request for records maintained by ONR.

ONR coordinates, executes and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. ONR is not an operational command. This means that ONR does not have mission or other operational type programs. For example, ONR does not operate missions using signal intelligence, nor does ONR perform any surveillance on people.

Requests for ONR records can include ONR contracts, final reports or grant information. The FOIA clearly states that records must exist at the time of the request. Also, agencies are not required to create a record to comply with your request. ONR follows SECNAV M-5210.1 Records Management Manual for records retention.

Before submitting a FOIA request to ONR, please review whether the records you seek fall into one of the following categories.

ONR Contracts

Please note that ONR contracts begin with N00014. If the contract you seek does not begin with ONR's contract code, then you will need to send your request to another Navy command or agency (see table below for more information).

The Department of the Navy DOES NOT have a database on which to query names or types of contracts that identify a contract number. Accordingly, requesters will need to query the Federal Procurement Reporting System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG). You can register for access to the system at https://www.fpds.gov.

ONR Grants

The Office of Naval Research now uses Grants.gov to accept all grant proposals. A grant is a way the government funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research and many other programs listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

ONR Technical Reports

At the completion of most ONR contracts and grants, a final report is required. These reports range from a brief summary and a list of publications to a complete, exhaustive compilation of the project results. The Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) (www.dtic.mil) may have copies of unclassified, publically available ONR technical reports.

If the records you seek do not fall into the above categories, please consult the table below for additional contacts.

For records about... Please contact
A specific ship or ship related mission or contracts beginning with N00024 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and/or the command assigned the mission

NAVSEA FOIA Office: NAVSEAFOIA@navy.mil

A specific aircraft or aircraft related mission or contracts beginning with N00019 Naval Air Command (NAVAIR) and/or the command assigned the mission

NAVAIR FOIA Office: NAWCADFOIA@navy.mil

A specific Navy facility or contracts beginning with N00025 Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) and/or the specific navy command assigned to the facility

NAVFAC FOIA submission information

The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is an Echelon II command under ONR and has separate processes for FOIA requests. View information about NRL FOIA procedures
Other Navy commands foia.navy.mil

In many cases, an ONR record may already be available publicly. Please check the following resources first before contacting ONR.

Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)

If you are looking for an unclassified, publicly available ONR technical report, DTIC may have a copy of the report in its database. You may access it at www.dtic.mil.

Grants.gov

If you are looking for records about an ONR grant, you may be able to access it using the search function on the Grants.gov website.

NARA

ONR does not have records concerning military service. NARA houses records regarding military service. If you are looking for records regarding military service, or the records about a veteran’s military service, please visit NARA's website.

All FOIA requests must be in writing and include the following information:

Sample FOIA Request Letter
Download Sample
FOIA Request Letter
  • A statement that you are making a FOIA request.
  • A reasonable description of the specific record(s) you are seeking: Describe the specific record(s) you are seeking with enough detail so that a knowledgeable agency official can locate the record(s) with a reasonable amount of effort. Details should include descriptive information, time frame to be searched, full names and any other information that may assist in identifying the subject of the request. If you want a copy of an ONR contract or grant, the contract or grant number is the most useful piece of information you can provide. Please note that ONR contracts begin with N00014. If the contract you seek does not begin with ONR's contract code, then you will need to send your request to another Navy command or agency.
  • A statement indicating you agree to pay any fees associated with the release of the material or that you request a waiver of the fees. Learn more about FOIA fees and waivers.
  • Your name, complete mailing address and telephone number. Providing a valid email address would help facilitate a quicker response.

Because most Navy records are not retained permanently, the more information provided in your request, the better opportunity there is to determine if the records still exist. The FOIA clearly states that records must exist at the time of the request. Also, agencies are not required to create a record to comply with your request. ONR follows SECNAV M-5210.1 Records Management Manual for records retention.

Please choose only one of the following options when submitting your FOIA request:

Mail: Office of Naval Research
Attn: FOIA & Privacy Office, Code BD042
875 North Randolph Street
Room 617
Arlington, VA 22203-1995

FOIA Online: https://foiaonline.regulations.gov

E-mail: ONRFOIA@navy.mil

Fax: 703-696-5126