Resources for FOIA Legal Research on the Internet
The links below provide access to legal treatises and primary legal authorities for advanced research concerning the Freedom of Information Act
- Treatises and Bulletins
- Key Statutes on Government Records
- Litigation and Judicial Decisions
- National Security and Classification
- Fees and Fee Waivers
- Presidential Records
- Government Guidance Documents and Informal Memoranda
ABA Restatement of FOIA
American Bar Association Committee document produced as part of a project to generate comprehensive and authoritative description of the current state of administrative law.
Dep’t of Justice Freedom of Information Act Guide
Comprehensive discussion of FOIA decisions and administration from the perspective of the U.S. Department of Justice.
FOIA Post from the Office of Information and Privacy
Department of Justice’s Office of Information and Privacy hosts FOIA Post, a new means of disseminating Freedom of Information Act-related information to federal agencies government wide.
OMB Watch Information Policy Page
OMB Watch provides analysis and updates on current information policy issues.
Access Reports publishes a newsletter on federal, state and international freedom of information and privacy issues.
From Cornell Legal Information Institute:
From Public Citizen Litigation Group:
DOJ compilation of judicial decisions, both published and unpublished, and articles and treatises concerning the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, the Government in the Sunshine Act, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
President Bush’s Executive Order on Safeguarding Classified Information
This Executive Order sets forth the procedures and substantive requirements for classifying information in the interest of national security, which allows agencies to withhold information under the first exemption of the FOIA. This order was issued by President Bush on March 25, 2003, and became effective immediately
President Clinton’s Executive Order on National Security Information
This order was superceded by President Bush on March 25, 2002
Executive Order 12968, Access to Classified Information
This Executive Order sets forth the personnel security program for employees who will be considered for initial or continued access to classified information.
Materials of the Information Security Oversight Office
The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) oversees the security classification programs in both Government and industry.
ISOO Directive No. 1
This Directive implements Executive 12958 by setting forth guidance to agencies on original and derivative classification, downgrading and declassification.
ISOO Directive on Safeguarding Classified National Security Information
This Directive implements provisions of Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information, that pertain to the handling, storage, distribution, transmittal, destruction of, and accounting for classified information.
Highlights of the Activities of the ISCAP, January – December 2002
The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) was established by executive order 12958 to ule on appeals from government employees who challenged agency classification policies; to approve, deny, or amend agency exemptions from automatic declassification requirements; and to rule on appeals from members of the public who have filed requests for mandatory declassification.
FAS Project on Government Secrecy
The Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy hosts an extensive archive of materials on government classification and secrecy policies.
Public Information Chapter of the 1947 Attorney General’s Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act
Prepared by the United States Department of Justice Tom C. Clark, Attorney General, 1947.
DOJ Fee Waiver Guidance, 1987
Department of Justice fee waiver policy guidance memorandum issued to the heads of all federal agencies on April 2, 1987.
Presidential Records Act
from Cornell LII
Executive Order on Further Implementation of the Presidential Records Act, Nov. 1, 2001
New Executive Order in which George Bush limits access to records covered by the Presidential Records Act by providing that the current administration will accept claims of privilege by a former president absent compelling circumstances.
Executive Order 12,667–Presidential Records
Reagan Administration Executive Order on Presidential Records that was rescinded by E.O. 13,233
Office of Information and Privacy
Department of Justice Component responsible for advising federal agencies on FOIA and Privacy issues.
Attorney General’s Guidance on the 1986 Amendments to the FOIA Concerning Law Enforcement Records
Discusses 1986 amendments which broadened the scope of FOIA’s law enforcement exemption, Exemption 7, and created special record exclusion protections or certain categories of especially sensitive law enforcement records.