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2.10 Freedom of Information Act (2000)

Information Technology Laws

2.10 Freedom of Information Act (2000)

Allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government (DOJ. What is FOIA?). FOIA defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures, and grants exemptions to the statute.

The FOIA provides that when processing requests, agencies should withhold information only if they reasonably foresee that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption, or if disclosure is prohibited by law. Agencies should also consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever they determine that full disclosure is not possible and they should take reasonable steps to segregate and release nonexempt information. The Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice is responsible for issuing government-wide guidance on the FOIA as part of its responsibilities to encourage all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA.

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