ATTACHMENT B --1974 Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act
93rd Congress, H. R. 12471
November 21, 1974
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) the fourth sentence of section 552(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: "Each agency shall also maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current indexes providing identifying information for the public as to any matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and required by this paragraph to be made available or published. Each agency shall promptly publish, quarterly or more frequently, and distribute (by sale or otherwise) copies of each index or supplements thereto unless it determines by order published in the Federal Register that the publication would be unnecessary and impracticable, in which case the agency shall nonetheless provide copies of such index on request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication.".
(b)(1) Section 552(a)(3) of title 5, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
"(3) Except with respect to the records made available under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, each agency, upon any request for records which (A) reasonably describes such records and (B) is made in accordance with published rules stating the time, place, fee (if any), and procedures to be followed, shall made the records promptly available to any person.".
(2) Section 552(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by redesignating paragraph (4) and all references thereto, as paragraph (5) and by inserting immediately after paragraph (3) the following new paragraph:
"(4)(A) In order to carry out the provisions of this section, each agency shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to notice and receipt of public comment, specifying a uniform schedule of fees applicable to all constituent units of such agency. Such fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges for document search and duplication and provide for recovery of only the direct costs of such search and duplication. Documents shall be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge where the agency determines that waiver or reduction of the fees is in the public interest because furnishing the information can be considered as primarily benefitting the general public.
"(B) On complaint, the district court of the United States in the district in which the complainant resides, or has his principal place of business, or in which the agency records are situated, or in the District of Columbia, has jurisdiction to enjoin the agency from withholding agency records and to order the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the complainant. In such a case the court shall determine the matter de novo, and may examine the contents of such agency records in camera to determine whether such records or any part thereof shall be withheld under any of the exemptions set forth in subsection (b) of this section, and the burden is on the agency to sustain its action.
"(C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the defendant shall serve an answer or otherwise plead to any complaint made under this subsection within thirty days after service upon the defendant of the pleading in which such complaint is made, unless the court otherwise directs for good cause shown.
"(D) Except as to cases the court considers of greater importance, proceedings before the district court, as authorized by this subsection, and appeals therefrom, take precedence on the docket over all cases and shall be assigned for hearing and trial or for argument at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way.
"(E) The court may assess against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in any case under this section in which the complainant has substantially prevailed.
"(F) Whenever the court orders the production of any agency records improperly withheld from the complainant and assesses against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs, and the court additionally issues a written finding that the circumstances surrounding the withholding raise questions whether agency personnel acted arbitrarily or capriciously with respect to the withholding, the Civil Service Commission shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether disciplinary action is warranted against the officer or employee who was primarily responsible for the withholding. The Commission, after investigation and consideration of the evidence submitted, shall submit his findings and recommendations to the administrative authority of the agency concerned and shall send copies of the findings and recommendations to the officer or employee or his representative. The administrative authority shall take the corrective action that the Commission recommends.
"(G) In the event of noncompliance with the order of the court, the district court may punish for contempt the responsible employee, and in the case of a uniformed service, the responsible member.".
(c) Section 552(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following paragraph:
"(6)(A) Each agency, upon any request for records made under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, shall-
"(i) determine within ten days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt of any such request whether to comply with such request and shall immediately notify the person making such request of such determination and the reasons therefor, and of the right of such person to appeal to the head of the agency any adverse determination; and
"(ii) make a determination with respect to any appeal within twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt of such appeal. If on appeal the denial of the request for records is in whole or in part upheld, the agency shall notify the person making such request of the provisions for judicial review of that determination under paragraph (4) of this subsection.
"(B) In unusual circumstances as specified in this subparagraph, the time limits prescribed in either clause (i) or clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) may be extended by written notice to the person making such request setting forth the reasons for such extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No such notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more than ten working days. As used in this subparagraph, 'unusual circumstances' means, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular request--
"(i) the need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;
"(ii) the need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request; or
"(iii) the need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject-matter interest therein.
"(C)(i) Any person making a request to any agency for records under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection shall be deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies with respect to such request if the agency fails to comply with the applicable time limit provisions of this paragraph. If the Government can show exceptional circumstances exist and that the agency is exercising due diligence in responding to the request, the court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency additional time to complete its review of the records. Upon any determination by an agency to comply with a request for records, the records shall be made promptly available to such person making such request. Any notification of denial of any request for records under this subsection shall set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial of such request.
SEC. 2. (a) Section 552(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
"(1)(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;"
(b) Section 552(b)(7) of title 5, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
(7) investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such records would (A) interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) disclose the identity of a confidential source, and in the case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source, (E) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or (F) endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel:".
(c) Section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: "Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided to any person requesting such record after deletion of the portions which are exempt under this subsection.".
Sec. 3 Section 552 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsections:
"(d) On or before March 1 of each calendar year, each agency shall submit a report covering the preceding calendar year to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and President of the Senate for referral to the appropriate committees of the Congress. The report shall include--
"(1) the number of determinations made by such agency not to comply with requests for records made to such agency under subsection (a) and the reasons for each such determination;
"(2) the number of appeals made by persons under subsection (a)(6), the result of such appeals, and the reason for the action upon each appeal that results in a denial of information;
"(3) the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial of records requested under this section, and the number of instances of participation for each;
"(4) the results of each proceeding conducted pursuant to subsection (a)(4)(F), including a report of the disciplinary action taken against the officer or employee who was primarily responsible for improperly withholding records or an explanation of why disciplinary action was not taken;
"(5) a copy of every rule made by such agency regarding this section;
"(6) a copy of the fee schedule and the total amount of fees collected by the agency for making records available under this section; and
"(7) such other information as indicates efforts to administer fully this section.
The Attorney General shall submit an annual report on or before March 1 of each calendar year which shall include for the prior calendar year a listing of the number of cases arising under this section, the exemption involved in each case, the disposition of such case, and the cost, fees, and penalties assessed under subsections (a)(4)(E), (F), and (G). Such report shall also include a description of the efforts undertaken by the Department of Justice to encourage agency compliance with this section.
"(e) For purposes of this section, the term 'agency' as defined in section 551(1) of this title includes any executive department, military department; Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency.".
Sec. 4. The amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the ninetieth day beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
James O. Eastland
President of the Senate pro tempore.
November 20, 1974.
The House of Representatives having proceeded to reconsider the bill (H.R. 12471) entitled "An Act to amend section 552 of title 5, United States Code, known as the Freedom of Information Act," returned by the President of the United States with his objections, to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, it was
Resolved, That the said bill pass, two-thirds of the House of Representatives agreeing to pass the same.
W. PAT JENNINGS
By W. Raymond Colley
I certify that this Act originated in the House of Representatives.
W. Pat Jennings
By W. Raymond Colley
November 21, 1974
The Senate having proceeded to reconsider the bill (H.R. 12471) entitled "An Act to amend section 552 of title 5, United States Code, known as the Freedom of Information Act," returned by the President of the United States with his objections, to the House of Representatives, in which it originated, it was
Resolved, That the said bill pass, two-thirds of the Senators present having voted in the affirmative.
FRANCIS R. VALEO
No. 93-876 (Comm. On Government Operations) and No. 93-1380 (Comm. of Conference).
No. 93-854 accompanying S. 2543 (Comm. On the Judiciary) and No. 93-122 (Comm. On Conference).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 120 (1974):
Mar. 14, considered and passed House.
May 30, considered and passed Senate, amended in lieu of S. 2543
Oct. 1, Senate agreed to conference report.
Oct. 7, House agreed to conference report.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 10, No. 42:
Oct. 17, vetoed; Presidential message.
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 120 (1974):
Nov. 20, House overrode veto.
Nov. 21, Senate overrode veto.