Attorney General Issues New FOIA Guidelines

The Attorney General today set out new Freedom of Information guidelines pursuant to President Obama's memorandum directing all executive branch departments and agencies to maintain a presumption of openness in releasing information requested from them. In the memorandum, the Attorney General strongly encouraged agencies to make discretionary disclosures of information to the fullest extent possible. Rescinding the FOIA Memorandum of October 12, 2001, the Attorney General stated that the Justice Department will defend a FOIA request only if the disclosure would harm an interest protected by a statutory exemption or its disclosure is prohibited by law. The memorandum also directs that each agency is fully accountable for its administration of FOIA and should be mindful of their obligation to work "in a spirit of cooperation." For more information, see EPIC's Open Government page.

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