Your Right to Federal Records: Questions and Answers on the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act

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Barry Leonard
DIANE Publishing, Oct 1, 2007 - 38 pages
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The Freedom of Info. Act (FOIA), enacted in 1966, provides that any person has the right to request access to fed. agency records or info. Fed. agencies are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records that are protected from disclosure. In 1996, Congress revised the FOIA by passing the Electronic Freedom of Info. Act Amend., which provide for public access to info. in an electronic format. The Privacy Act of 1974 is another fed. law regarding fed. gov't. records or info. about individuals. This handbook provides basic guidance about the FOIA & the Privacy Act to assist people in exercising their rights. It uses a Q&A format to present info. about these laws in a clear, simple manner. Illustrations.

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Page 17 - Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying (A) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases; (B) those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency and are not published in the Federal Register...
Page 28 - ... (7) investigatory files compiled for law enforcement purposes except to the extent available by law to a party other than an agency ; (8) contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by. on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or (9) geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.
Page 38 - Judicial Review. This order is Intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agendes or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
Page 17 - To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, an agency may delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or Instruction.
Page 17 - Each agency also shall maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index providing identifying information for the public as to any matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and required by this paragraph to be made available or published.
Page 16 - Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings (a) Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows: (1) Each agency shall separately state and currently publish in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public...
Page 27 - ... could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a...
Page 31 - For purposes of this section, the term "agency" as defined in section 551(1) of this title includes any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency.
Page 21 - The court may assess against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in any case under this paragraph in which the complainant has substantially prevailed.
Page 23 - As used in this subparagraph, "unusual circumstances' means, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular requests — (I) the need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request; (II) the need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request; or (III) the need...

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