The eighteenth year of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 1 witnessed a continuation of the trend toward restricting public access to government information. 2 Congress amended the National Security Act of 1947, 3 exempting entire systems of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) files from search and review and declaring that the Privacy Act 4 is not an exemption 3 statute. 5 Congress again considered, but failed to pass, a bill to reform the FOIA; this proposal 6 would have substantially altered fees and waivers, 7 time limits for responding to requests, 8 business confidentiality procedures, 9 and law enforcement exemptions. 10 In addition, bills wee introduced in both houses to create an exemption 3 statute to protect information concerning corporate research and development projects reported by business entities. 11 But Congress also considered a bill that would have made it more difficult for the executive branch to classify documents and protect them from disclosure. 12 In several instances, administrative agencies took actions which altered the operation of the FOIA. In order to protect valuable business information from disclosure and to make it more difficult for a requester to obtain information from an agency without bearing the cost of the search, 13 the Department of Justice (DOJ) revised its guidelines for responding to requests made under the FOIA and the Privacy Act. 14 The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued new guidelines involving public disclosure of product information. 15 The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which ...

Included in

Law Commons