The Department of Justice has established a new office, the Office of Information and Privacy (OIP), to help discharge its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, and related access statutes. Formed through the merger of the Office of Information Law and Policy and the Office of Privacy and Information Appeals, the new OIP will remain within the Department's larger Office of Legal Policy, headed by Assistant Attorney General Jonathan C. Rose.
All functions of the two predecessor offices, including publication of FOIA Update and the Freedom of Information Case List, have been assumed by the new OIP. In addition to the policy and administrative appeal responsibilities, OIP attorneys will also handle some government-wide FOIA and Privacy Act litigation.
"The consolidation of these functions into a single office will strengthen the Justice Department's ability to discharge its statutory responsibilities and to implement the Administration's FOIA policies," stated Assistant Attorney General Rose. The Office of Information and Privacy will have a combined personnel strength of 33, including 16 attorneys and eight paralegals.
The new office is headed by two co-directors, Richard L. Huff and Daniel J. Metcalfe, who served as acting directors of the predecessor offices in recent months.
Huff, a 1968 graduate of Hastings College of the Law, also holds a master of laws degree from Georgetown University. He was named deputy director of the Office of Privacy and Information Appeals in 1978 and became acting director of that office in 1981. Before joining the Justice Department in 1976, Huff served in the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Army.
Metcalfe is a 1976 graduate of the George Washington University Law School, where he was on the editorial board of the law review. He served as law clerk to Judge Oliver Gasch of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia during 1976-77. Before being named acting director of the Office of Information Law and Policy in late 1981, Metcalfe was a trial attorney in the Civil Division of the Justice Department for four years, specializing in FOIA and Privacy Act litigation.
Jean K. FitzSimon, who became acting deputy director of the Office of Privacy and Information Appeals in 1981, will continue to serve as the deputy director of OIP. Miriam M. Nisbet will continue to serve as chief of the Classification Review Unit within OIP. Both will also assist in the supervision of OIP litigation.
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