The United States Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act is a comprehensive legal treatise on the FOIA. The Guide includes detailed discussions of the FOIA’s procedural requirements, nine exemptions, and litigation considerations. Each section contains a detailed analysis of the key judicial opinions issued on the FOIA.
As announced in the Department’s Open Government Plan version 2.0, the 2013 edition of the Guide is transitioning from a paper publication to an online resource. This new “living” document will allow OIP to update the Guide with significant new developments in the FOIA as they occur, will include links to relevant guidance, and provide users the ability to conduct searches throughout the entire Guide.
The new edition of the Guide is currently being prepared for posting by the staff of OIP. As each section of the new edition is finalized and published, it will be posted below. The 2009 edition of the Guide will continue to be available for reference and use while updates are ongoing to the new edition, after which it will be moved to the archive section of the OIP website. Announcements will appear on FOIA Post and via OIP’s Twitter account, @FOIAPost, as each section of the new edition is posted.
All sections are available as Portable Document Format files, which may be viewed with a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction (posted July 24, 2013)
President Obama’s FOIA Memorandum and Attorney General Holder’s FOIA Guidelines (posted July 02, 2013)
Procedural Requirements (updated September 4, 2013)
Fees and Fee Waivers (posted August 23, 2013)
Exemption 1 (posted August 7, 2013)
Exemption 2 (posted March 05, 2013)
Exemption 3 (posted July 24, 2013)
Exemption 5 (posted July 31, 2013)
Exemption 7(D) (posted September 4, 2013)
Exemption 7(E) (posted April 23, 2013)
Exemption 7(F) (posted August 13, 2013)
Exemption 9 (posted November 20, 2013)
Exclusions (updated November 7, 2013)
Discretionary Disclosure and Waiver
Litigation Considerations (posted November 26, 2013)
Attorney Fees (posted August 7, 2013)
Text of the Freedom of Information Act
Text of the President's Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act
Text of the Attorney General's Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act