The 1996 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) mandate publicly accessible "electronic reading rooms" with agency FOIA response materials and other information routinely available to the public, with electronic search and indexing features.
For a general overview of the Freedom of Information Act see the U.S. Department of Justice's FOIA homepage
How to make a FOIA Request
All FOIA requests must be in writing and should include the following information:
A. Requestor's name, address, and telephone number.
B. A description of the records being sought. The records should be identified as specifically as possible. A request for specific records that are releasable to the public can be processed much more quickly than a request for "all information" on a particular subject. Also fees for a more specific and limited request will generally be less.
C. A statement concerning willingness to pay fees, including any limitations.