The Fort Meade Administrative Support Service Division manages the Freedom of Information Act & Privacy Act in accordance with applicable laws (5 USC and Public Law 106-554). The office provides information to active and retired military members, Department of Defense civilians, military family members, the American public, Congress and the news media. The information you find here is cleared for public release in accordance with applicable Army policies.
Freedom of Information requests
What is the FOIA?
Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act is a federal law that establishes the public's right to obtain information from federal government agencies. The FOIA is codified at 5 U.S.C. Section 552. "Any person" can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, organizations, associations and universities. In 1974, after the Watergate scandal, the Act was amended to force greater agency compliance. It was also amended in 1996 to allow for greater access to electronic information.
How can I make a FOIA request?
Send FOIA request letters for Fort Meade Garrison only to Dept. of the Army, DHR/Admin Service Division, Attention: FOIA Office, 375 Chamberlin Avenue, Suite 5075, Fort Meade, MD 20755-7071. Please call 301-677-7128 or DSN 622-7128 if you have questions regarding a FOIA request. Records obtainable under the FOIA include all "agency records" such as print documents, photographs, videos, maps, email and electronic records that were created or obtained by Fort Meade and are still in possession and control at the time of the request.
What does it cost to make a FOIA request?
Agencies are authorized to charge certain fees associated with the processing of requests. Some categories of requesters cannot be charged these fees and in some cases fees can be reduced or waived.
Under the FOIA, solely for fee purposes, an agency is required to determine the projected use of the records sought by the FOIA request and the type of requester asking for the documents. As the FOIA was intended to promote the public's access to information, news media organizations and educational institutions are excused from certain fees.
Fee categories for FOIA are:
- Commercial: Companies that or people who seek information for a use or purpose that furthers commercial, trade or profit interests, including for use in litigation. Commercial requesters are required to pay for search, review and duplication costs.
- Educational institution: Preschools, public or private elementary or secondary schools, and institutions of graduate higher education, undergraduate higher education, professional education, or vocational education that operate a program of scholarly research. Educational requesters are required to pay duplication costs, but are entitled to the first 100 pages without charge.
- Non-commercial scientific institution: Non-commercially operated institutions that conduct scientific research not intended to promote any particular product or industry. Non-commercial requesters are required to pay duplication costs, but are entitled to the first 100 pages without charge.
- Representative of the news media: People who actively gather news for entities organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. News media requesters are required to pay for duplication, but are entitled to the first 100 pages without charge.
- Other requesters: Requesters who do not fit into any of the above categories. These requesters are persons who are not commercial, news media, scientific or educational requesters and are required to pay search costs for more than two hours and duplication costs for more than 100 pages.
The Records Management Office is located at 375 Chamberlin Avenue, Suite 5075. For questions, please call 301-677-7128.
The Army Records Information Management System focuses on the management of long-term and permanent records and allows the business process to manage short-term records. It addresses only the record copy of information; all other copies of the same information may be disposed of when no longer needed for business not to exceed the time that the record copy is kept. The ARIMS simplifies record keeping; shifts retention and disposition burdens to Records Holding Areas (RHAs); improves records processing for deployed units in Contingency Operations (CONOPS); and provides a host of support services and automated tools on the Web. Records are identified according to the primary directive that prescribes those records be created, maintained, and used. Army directives are available on the Army Publishing Directorate website. The ARIMS record titles are determined by the proponents of the prescribing directives and provide an overall identification of the categories and types of records needed to support the business processes of those functional areas:
- Code K along with a retention period means the record must be kept for the time period specified before it can be destroyed (example: K3)
- Code KE along with a retention period means the disposition is event driven and the record must be kept until the event occurs plus the specified time after the event before it can be destroyed (example: KE4)
- Code KN is used when a specific time period is not known. Records are kept until no longer needed for conducting business, but not longer than 6 years.
- Code KEN is used when a specific time period is not known and the disposition is event driven. Records are kept until the event occurs and then until no longer needed for conducting business, but not longer than 6 years after the event.
- Code T is used for retention periods longer than 6 years. Records are retired to the RHA, Army Electronic Archive (AEA), or other location as specified in the disposition instruction, when no longer needed for conducting business (for example, T6.25, T15)
- Code TE is used with retention periods longer than 6 years and, which, have dispositions that are event driven. Records must be kept until an event occurs and until no longer needed for conducting business before they are retired to the RHA/AEA/other location as specified in the disposition instruction (for example, TE25)
- Code TP and TEP are used for records with permanent retention periods. Records are retired to the RHA and or AEA when no longer needed for conducting business or after an event occurs.
The website provides a variety of tools and services designed to reduce the manual processes associated with traditional records management. ?The system, based on the role of the user (for example, action officer, records coordinator, records manager, records administrator or RHA manager), provides, for example, identification of transfer records; on-demand printing of folder labels, electronic mail capture and storage; a master index of all records maintained in RHAs worldwide and in the AEA; automatic assignment of disposition and retention; and system generated notices of destruction or retirement.
Army Publication Program
The Army Publishing Program provides the efficient and systematic management of publications, regardless of format or delivery medium.
It focuses on initiatives to modernize the Army publishing system by applying new publishing technology and management concepts to the development, production, and dissemination of all official DA publications. The APP provides for systematic management oversight of printing, reproduction, self-service copying, and related equipment and operations. The APP includes all levels of publishing in the Army. Provides support for creating, preparing, coordinating, publishing, distributing and managing publications. Provides support for maximizing the use of electronic publishing. The intent of the APP is to ensure that all official departmental publications. Comply with applicable publishing and printing laws. Are properly managed, numbered, approved or authenticated. Are distributed by the most economical, effective, and timely methods consistent with available resources. Are made available to the public unless classified or otherwise restricted. Appropriate users' fees will be collected from the public for the sale of publications. Are produced in the most effective, lowest cost media as appropriate to satisfy the needs of the end user. Maximize the use, reuse and sharing of Army common publication information. Publishing and printing policies, procedures, standards and controls are adhered to; resources are conserved; printing facilities are established and operated in accordance with appropriate guidelines; and the guidelines are adequately defined. Forms are properly managed, designed, numbered and prescribed in appropriate publications at the highest echelons. Army publications are free of language that prohibits or restricts contributions by all members of the force. Where appropriate, the role of civilian members in combat support and combat service support must be recognized in Army publications. Where military rank is specified in Army publications, also include the equivalent civilian position, unless prohibited by law.
The mission of the Printing Program is to provide coordination of printing for Fort Meade Garrison Activities.
Fort Meade Garrison activities will provide a DD Form 844 to include sections 1 thru 8 filled out properly with a printing control official's signature.
All garrison print requests should be taken to the printing liaison office located at 375 Chamberlin Avenue between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Please call printing liaison at (301) 677-7128 or DSN 622-7128 regarding questions on printing or how to fill out the DD Form 844.
The printing liaison will ensure the DD Form 844 is properly prepared, cost effective and the printing material presented for printing is legal, and in proper format and that copyrighted items are not printed without approval from the owner.
Monthly invoices will be sent from Defense Printing to the printing liaison. These invoices list the costs of each printing requests, which will be input in the printing database and checked for accuracy.
Quarterly reports are prepared at the end of each quarter forwarding the report to each garrison activity customer for their information.
Forms request please submit a DA17 Requisition for Publications and Blank Forms to DHR, Admin Service Division, Publications and Forms, 375 Chamberlin Avenue, Fort Meade, MD 20755-7071, or call the Publications Office at (301) 677-7128 or DSN 622-7128.
The management of all Army forms is essential. Forms must meet the requirements of laws and regulations; they must be reduced in number consistent with mission requirements; and they must be analyzed, designed, and controlled for maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness. Forms management is the systematic process of increasing productivity and reducing errors in information capture, transmission, storage, and retrieval. Thorough forms analysis, professional design techniques, and organized and complete control files and records are essential parts of the process. Forms management ensures that the following objectives are achieved:
Paperwork and reporting burdens are reduced as much as possible. Only necessary forms are created. Forms that duplicate the function of a higher echelon form are not created. New forms are reviewed and, if approved, prescribed at the highest proper echelon with a prescribing publication. Forms are consolidated and standardized. Costs related to filling in, using, and filing forms are reduced. Costs related to printing, duplicating, storing, and distributing forms are reduced. Electronic generation of forms is encouraged when appropriate. Data elements in forms are standardized to facilitate the flow of data between information systems. Design forms, produce camera-ready copy, control and analyze forms for duplication and redundancy, create and maintain forms inventories and files, produce forms catalogs and management reports, electronically store, print, and distribute forms.
What is a form?
A form is a fixed arrangement of captioned spaces designed for entering and extracting prescribed information, regardless of media. This definition includes certificates and scoring keys for tests. Printed items such as labels, stickers, tags, test booklets, instructions and file cover sheets do not require insertion of information; however, you may consider them as forms if they meet the standards for size, item sequence, wording, design and construction given in this pamphlet. These are "non-form items" that need to be identified and controlled for reference, printing, stocking, distributing and use with other forms. Some uses for forms (printed and electronic) are as follows:
Forms are important management tools used to collect, organize, transmit and record information. They can save or waste work and time depending on how well they are analyzed, developed, designed, managed and integrated into the system. Forms promote efficiency, cost effectiveness and accuracy by standardizing tasks and procedures and will often guide the flow of work through an office or entire organization.
Types of forms and construction
- Department of the Army (DA) forms: These forms are approved by the U.S. Army Publications and Printing Command (USAPPC) for use throughout the Army
- Department of Defense (DD) forms: These forms are approved by the Director for Information Operations and Reports, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (OASD(C))
- U.S. Government Standard Forms (SFs): These forms are approved by the General Services Administration (GSA) and are designed and prescribed for mandatory use by two or more government agencies.
- U.S. Government Optional Forms (OFs): These forms are developed for use by two or more federal agencies and approved by GSA for non mandatory use throughout the government
- Other government agency forms: These forms are approved by other government agencies such as the Treasury Department, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Veterans Affairs. They may be required for use by the Army in matters related to the functions of these agencies.
- Command and agency forms: These forms originate at the headquarters of a command or agency. They are prescribed for use at that headquarters and at subordinate echelons within that command or agency. Example "TRADOC Form XXXX" Command and agency forms cannot be prescribed in DA publications. These forms may not be referenced in DA publications unless approved by Commander, USAPPC, ATTN: ASQZ-PD, Alexandria, VA 22331-0302.
- Local forms: These forms are prescribed for use only within a particular headquarters such as an installation or activity headquarters. Example "Fort Meade Form XXXX'' local forms cannot be prescribed in DA publications.
- Reporting forms: These forms are prescribed for collecting internal information (within the federal government) or external information (outside the federal government).
- Forms requiring the General Accounting Office (GAO) approval: Forms relating to fiscal operations may require GAO approval before publication and use.
- Forms subject to the Privacy Act of 1974: These forms are used to collect personal data from an individual.
Stocked forms (used Army-wide) are stored and distributed by St. Louis U.S. Army Publications Distribution Center (USAPDC). Stocked forms have high usage (100,000 or more forms used Army-wide in a one year period). Command, agency and local forms. These forms are maintained at a stockroom or centralized location for access by all users.
Stocked and issued forms: (Army-wide forms) are normally stocked and made available by the form proponent. Command, agency and local forms. These forms are stocked by the forms management officer (FMO) or form proponent and are usually issued to users on an "as needed" basis.
Locally reproducible forms: Army-wide forms: These forms are not stocked by the USAPDCs. Unless otherwise provided, reproducible copies are usually contained within the prescribing publication for local reproduction by the user. Command, agency, and local forms. These forms are contained within command, agency, or local publications for local reproduction or are usually provided to the user by the local FMO or form proponent.
Agency, command, and local forms: A Fort Meade Garrison local form may be required for use by two or more elements of an installation or activity. If so, a prescribing publication is required. If a form is used by only one organizational element, such as an office, a prescribing publication is not required.
Official Mail and Distribution Center
The OMDC hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. A drop-off box is located outside the building 375 for after hours use.
The Fort George G. Meade Official Mail and Distribution Center provides services of outgoing and incoming mail and distribution for the installation. The OMDC meters all outgoing official mail, and deliver official mail and distribute to the administrative office of each garrison activity. All tenant units will pick up mail from their boxes inside the OMDC. Internal distribution of official mail and distribution within an organization is the responsibility of that organization. Outgoing distribution and official mail properly packaged and prepared for metering or distribution will be gathered internally within such offices and passed to the OMDC courier for further processing. We also provide Express and Accountable mail.
Administrative assistants, mail clerks, personnel producing forms publications and periodicals, and OMDC personnel will receive training within four months after assignment to the installation on the following subjects:
- Private express statutes
- Material that cannot be mailed
- Classification of mail
- Special postal services and discounts
- International mail requirements
- Postage and fees required
- Penalties for private use of official mail
- Protection of mail
- Performing mail surveys
- Addressing mail
- Cost-saving methods to include other methods of communicating and shipping material.
Note: Training is held once a month. Please call the FGGM official mail manager at 301-677-7128 or DSN 622-7128, for scheduled dates.
Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act requests.