Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Recommendations)

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A decade has passed since the Administrative Conference of the United States last evaluated implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.1

The goals of the Act have been widely accepted within the government and society,...

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows public access to the records of federal agencies, whether such records are generated by the agencies or obtained by the agencies from other sources, including private individuals. Large numbers of FOIA requests are made by or on behalf of commercial interests seeking to utilize the government’s processes...

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and discovery provide separate mechanisms for obtaining the disclosure of Government documents. Any person may invoke at any time the release provisions of the FOIA by requesting an agency to disclose any reasonably described agency records. A requester’s need for the records and his purpose in making the...

Background

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Sec. §552, generally mandates public access to records in the possession or control of federal agencies, whether the records are generated by the agency or obtained by it from other sources. The Act contains nine exemptions, each of...

The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA) accords a substantial measure of confidentiality to oral or written communications made in a covered dispute resolution proceeding. This protection was based upon Administrative Conference Recommendation 88-11, which recognized that in promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in...

Recommendation 2011-5, “Incorporation by Reference,” addresses legal and policy issues related to agencies' incorporation by reference in the Code of Federal Regulations of standards or other materials that have been published elsewhere. Agencies have promulgated thousands of regulations that incorporate by reference standards published elsewhere. The practice raises common...

The primary role of the Federal Register is the publication, as required by the Federal Register Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, of legal documents that affect people generally, such as descriptions of agencies’ organization and functions, texts of substantive and procedural rules, notices of proposed rulemaking, and statements of general policy or interpretations...

The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, expresses important policies with respect to the availability to the public of records of Federal agencies. To achieve free access to and prompt production of identifiable government records in accordance with the terms and policies of the Act, each agency[1] should conform to the statutory policy encouraging...

The Parallel Table of Statutory Authorities and Rules (2 CFR ch. I) should be an accurate and complete listing of United States Code provisions cited as rulemaking authority in executive agency documents which prescribe general and permanent rules. The present Parallel Table is deficient. Agencies have not given sufficient time and attention to citing proper authorities and...

The manual at present falls short of its goal because the narrative text submitted by some of the agencies is outdated, unrevealing, cumbersome, or otherwise deficient. The text should be rewritten at a high level of competence.

Recommendation

1. Each agency covered by 5 U.S.C. 552 should assign the writing of material for the “U.S. Government...

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