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FOIA & Government Information

An overview of government resources available to you as a Westminster student. Celebrate Freedom of Information Day on March 16th.


Cite the author of the publication if the author is identified. Otherwise, start with the name of the national government, followed by the agency (including any subdivisions or agencies) that serves as the organizational author.

For congressional documents, be sure to include the number of the Congress and the session when the hearing was held or resolution passed as well as the report number.

US government documents are typically published by the Government Printing Office.


United States, Congress, Senate, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Hearing on the Geopolitics of Oil. Government Printing Office, 2007. 110th Congress, 1st session, Senate Report 111-8.


United States, Government Accountability Office. Climate Change: EPA and DOE Should Do More to Encourage Progress Under Two Voluntary Programs. Government Printing Office, 2006.


Courtesy of Purdue Owl, 2021, MLA 8th Ed. Gov. Docs


Federal or State Statue

Name of Act, Public Law No. (Year). URL

Example: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Publ. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010).


Report by a Government Agency

Organization Name. (Year). Title of report. URL

Example: United States Government Accountability Office. (2019). Performance and accountability report: Fiscal year 2019


Report by Individual Authors at a Government Agency

Lastname, F. M., & Lastname, F. M. (Year). Title of report. Organization Name. URL

Example: Palanker, D., Volk, J., Lucia, K., & Thomas, K. (2018). Mental health parity at risk: Deregulating the individual market and the impact on mental health coverage. National Alliance on Mental Illness. 


Work with Multiple Layers of Group Authorship

When a work has multiple layers of authorship (e.g. The Office of the Historian, which is a part of the Department of State, publishes something), list the most specific agency as the author and the parent agency as the publisher.

Example: Bureau of International Organization Affairs. (2018). U.S. contributions to international organizations, 2017 [Annual report]. U.S. Department of State.


Courtesy of Purdue Owl, 2021, APA 7th Ed. Gov. Docs