Home FBI Records/FOIA Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)

Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)

Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)

Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)

  • Mission: to effectively plan, develop, direct and manage responses to requests for access to FBI records and information. The requests and disclosure comply with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (Title 5, United States Code, Section 552 and 552a), Executive Order 12958, as amended, Presidential, Attorney General, and FBI policies and procedures, judicial decisions, and other Presidential and Congressional directives. In furtherance of this mission, RIDS efforts are directed to appropriately release information in an efficient and effective manner protecting legitimate law enforcement, foreign policy, and national security and defense interests and to remain forthcoming to the American public.
  • Staff: RIDS currently employs approximately 300 employees, most of whom are Legal Administrative Specialists. RIDS consists of 10 units and two field operational service units whose shared function is to intake, review, process, and release information in response to FOIA and Privacy Act requests.
  • Use of technology to expedite customer service: We’ve moved to paperless processing through our FOIPA Document Processing Systems (FDPS), compliant with the legal requirements under E-FOIA for the electronic processing of requests for documents classified at the “Secret” level or below. The FDPS allows the FBI to scan official FBI paper files, documents, and correspondence, and then process them electronically rather than by the traditional method of redacting information manually on paper. RIDS is using the system for all new FOIA and Privacy Act requests.
  • Maintenance of FOIA reading rooms: RIDS maintains the FBI Reading Room in FBI Headquarters. RIDS maintains more than 3,000 PDF documents in our Electronic Reading Room website called The Vault.

Backlog Reduction Goals

Fiscal YearNumber of Pending Requests at Beginning of FYEstimated Number of Requests Incoming During FYAgency's Goal for Number of Requests to be Processed During FYAgency's Goal for Number of Requests Pending Beyond Statutory Time Period (i.e., Backlog) at End of FY
2008 1,954 13,200 13,200 1,500*
Fiscal YearProjected Number of Appeals Beyond Statutory Time Period (Backlog) at the Beginning of FYEstimated Number of Requests Incoming During FYAgency's Goal for Number of Requests to be Processed During FYAgency's Goal for Number of Requests Pending Beyond Statutory Time Period (i.e.,Backlog) at End of FY
2009 1,500 13,200 13,200 1,500*
2010 1,500 13,200 13,500 1,300*


*The FBI has a comprehensive program to enhance its record keeping processes, including the development of the new Central Records Complex (CRC) in Winchester, Virginia. These initiatives will significantly improve search and record-retrieval capabilities by increasing search accuracy; by decreasing search time; and by reducing lost files, missing serials, and the manual movement of files. When complete, the overall impact will be to reduce even further the FBI's pending Freedom of Information/Privacy Act numbers and processing times.