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FOI/PA Exemptions-Exclusion


Disclosure mandates of the Freedom of Information Act do not apply to matters that are:

  • (b)(1) specifically authorized and properly classified pursuant to an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;
  • (b)(2) related solely to the internal rules and practices of an agency;
  • (b)(3) specifically exempted from disclosure by another statute;
  • (b)(4) privileged or confidential trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person;
  • (b)(5) predicational information, including attorney work-product and attorney-client material, reflective of the deliberative process and contained in inter-agency or intra-agency correspondence which is not routinely available to a private party in litigation with an agency;
  • (b)(6) personnel, medical and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
  • (b)(7) records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes to the extent that the production of such records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and , in the case of a record or information 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, information furnished by a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigation or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.

PRIVACY ACT (5 U.S.C. § 552a)

  • (d)(5) Nothing in the Privacy Act shall allow an individual access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of civil action or proceeding.

Further, an agency may exempt from the access provisions and other provisions of the Privacy Act:

  • (j)(2) Material related to the enforcement of criminal laws including efforts to prevent, control or reduce crime or to apprehend criminals;
  • (k)(1) Material specifically authorized and properly classified pursuant to an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy;
  • (k)(2) Material compiled during civil investigations for law enforcement purposes;
  • (k)(5) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, the disclosure of which would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the source's identity would be held in confidence, or pursuant to an implied promise of confidentiality if such information was furnished prior to September 27, 1975.
  • (k)(6) Testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service.


For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c ) (2006), and Supp. IV (2010). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.