Disclosure of Information Collected Under the Export Administration Act

Headnotes: 

Information collected under the Export Administration Act which is authorized to be made available to other federal agencies under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 may be released by the Department of Commerce to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies without a prior determination that it would serve the national interest to do so.

Section 12(c) of the Export Administration Act was not intended to prohibit disclosure to other federal agencies, but merely prohibits disclosure of certain confidential trade information to the public.

Confidential information obtained pursuant to the Export Administration Act which is not covered by the Paperwork Reduction Act, and is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, may be released to federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies notwithstanding the prohibition in 18 U.S.C. § 1905, if the Secretary of Commerce determines under § 12(c) of the Export Administration Act that failure to make such disclosure would be contrary to the national interest.

In the exercise of his discretion under § 12(c), the Secretary of Commerce is subject to the review and direction of the President, and the President thus has the power, which he has previously exercised, to direct the Secretary to make a determination and authorize release of information.

Updated July 9, 2014