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U.S. Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (2013 Edition)

The United States Department of Justice Guide to the Freedom of Information Act, published by the Office of Information Policy, serves as a comprehensive legal treatise on the FOIA containing detailed discussions of the FOIA’s procedural requirements, including the fee and fee waiver provisions, exemptions, discretionary releases and waiver, as well as litigation considerations. Each section contains a detailed analysis of the key judicial opinions issued on the FOIA, as well as relevant OIP Guidance.  The Guide is a unique FOIA resource relied upon by both agency FOIA professionals, agency personnel, and the public. 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 source material, and will provide users the ability to conduct searches throughout the entire Guide. Today OIP is posting the first chapter of the 2013 Guide, which is the chapter on Exemption 2.  Given the significant changes in the interpretation of this statutory exemption, OIP chose Exemption 2 as the first chapter to be updated for inclusion in the 2013 Guide.  Other chapters of the Guide will be posted on a rolling basis as they are finalized. The 2009 edition of the Guide will continue to be available for reference and use while updates are made 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 chapter of the new edition is posted. Be sure to continue reading FOIA Post for more information on OIP’s activities during Sunshine Week 2013 and the Department’s continued efforts to improve both transparency and understanding of the FOIA.
Updated August 6, 2014