Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) & FBI Background Checks
Requesting FBI Records
FBI records can be requested through both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act. The Freedom of Information Act allows any person — except fugitives, federal agencies, and foreign intelligence agencies — to request information about organizations, businesses, investigations, historical events, incidents, groups, or deceased persons.
FBI Criminal Background Checks
An FBI Identification Record—often referred to as a criminal history record or a “rap sheet”—is a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions retained by the FBI in connection with arrests and, in some instances, federal employment, naturalization, or military service. The process of responding to an Identification Record request is generally known as a criminal background check.
If the fingerprints are related to an arrest, the Identification Record includes name of the agency that submitted the fingerprints to the FBI, the date of the arrest, the arrest charge, and the disposition of the arrest, if known to the FBI. All arrest data included in an Identification Record is obtained from fingerprint submissions, disposition reports, and other information submitted by agencies having criminal justice responsibilities.
Reference FBI.gov 18-Jan-2012