Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal... more +
The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal agency records and enforce that right in a court of law. However, not all agency records can be requested; there are nine exempt categories of information. In addition to the federal law, many states have passed their own freedom of information acts. These acts are often similar but not always identical to the federal version.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA (Part Three): Trying To Do The Right Thing Is A Good Thing Under The FOIA

In our latest posting on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], we confirm that the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has a heart, and may sometimes forgive technical non-compliance by public agencies and their...more

We Really Mean It This Time: Recently Enacted FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 Mandates

On June 13, Congress passed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, and President Obama signed the bill into law on June 30, nearly 50 years after the original Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) was first enacted. The new law was...more

EEO-1 Pay Data Rule: The EEOC Listened (Sort of)

In our February 29, 2016 blog, we warned of concerns employers should have about the EEOC’s proposal to begin collecting pay data as part of the EEO-1 form, currently filed by employers with more than 100 employees and some...more

See You In Court! - July/August 2016

Out of the blue, Nancy Newshound, longtime reporter for the Nutmeg Bugle called Mr. Superintendent. “I understand that a student hacked the district’s system and changed a bunch of grades,” she stated. “What can you tell me...more

Illinois Appellate Court finds FOIA does not apply to the IHSA and School District cannot be used to obtain non-public records...

Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court (First District) issued its decision in Better Government Association v. Illinois High School Association and Consolidated High School District 230 affirming the lower court’s dismissal...more

Michigan Court of Appeals Clarifies When Documents Produced Under FOIA Are Due

Michigan's Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") has, from its enactment, expressly provided that a public body must respond to a proper request for documents within five business days of when the request is received (subject...more

EEOC to Publish Update to EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting Proposal

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released an update with revisions to its proposed EEO-1 pay data collection report. The proposal would have employers with at least 100 employees submitting to the EEOC all...more

New OFCCP Scheduling Letter: Everything You Say May Be Used Against You.

And you don’t have the right to remain silent. On July 1 the federal Office of Management and Budget published the OFCCP’s revised Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing that is issued to federal contractors to begin...more

The Freedom of Information Act Amended: Process and Pitfalls

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-185, which made significant changes to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, et seq. (“FOIA”). FOIA can be a great...more

Federal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) Amendments Seek to Increase Transparency and Streamline Process

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the FOIA Improvement Act, amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) designed to improve the agency FOIA response process and limit the types of documents the federal...more

President Obama Signs Bill Reforming Freedom of Information Act Requests

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed a bill into law that seeks to encourage disclosure by agencies and bring the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) into the digital age. Widely seen as a response to criticism by...more

Court Clarifies Public Bodies Requirement to Provide Documents Under FOIA

A public body must respond to a FOIA request within five days, but the Michigan Court of Appeals has opined that there is no obligation to produce the requested information within that timeframe. In a June 23, 2016,...more

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds And The FOIA (Part Two): Can You See My Notes (And Calendar)?

For those who still cannot get enough after my latest post on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], here are more nuggets from the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. Today, we focus on written notes and calendar...more

SEC Adopts Resource Extraction Issuer Disclosure Rule – Changes From the Proposed Rule and Take-aways for Issuers

On June 27, the SEC adopted Rule 13q-1 under the Exchange Act and related amendments to Form SD. Under the Rule, public companies are required to annually report on payments made to foreign governments and the U.S. federal...more

Controversial “Climate Change” Video Results in Significant FOIA Decision by DC Circuit

On July 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an important ruling interpreting the reach ofemail. the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the case of Competitive Enterprise...more

President Signs Freedom of Information Act Reforms

Obtaining government documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) should become somewhat easier under a law signed by President Obama on June 30, 2016. The law, known as the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 337),...more

Open Wide: FOIA Reform Expands Public Access to U.S. Government Information

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the bipartisan Freedom of Information Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 337). The bill most notably requires that the government operate under a “presumption of openness” in federal law and...more

Training slides can attract legal professional privilege

The Information Commissioner held that a set of training slides provided to a public authority were not protected by legal advice privilege. However, this decision was overturned by the Tribunal, meaning that – in certain...more

IRS makes exempt organizations’ Form 990 data available in machine-readable format

On June 16, 2016, the IRS announced that it will be making Form 990s available in machine-readable format through Amazon Web Services. While this information has always been available to the public, it was previously only...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – June 2016 #2

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last month, the fifth grade classes at my school went on a field trip to a canning factory. In hindsight, it was not my finest moment as a principal. I was late in having the teachers send out the...more

Rule Change Would Let Law Enforcement Access Computers Remotely Regardless of Location

The Supreme Court recently adopted a proposed change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure that would allow a federal judge to issue warrants authorizing government agents to access computers located in any...more

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds and The FOIA: More Interesting Cases From The FOIC (Part One)

Dropping thermometers did not diminish the heated action occurring before Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. It should also go without saying that the accompanying snow, ice and other perils of winter...more

Business and privacy law

Recently a wealthy and high profile entertainer has gone all the way to the Supreme Court in a successful attempt to prevent publication of an account of their private life. The unnamed claimant was relying on basic human...more

FAA FOIA Request Sheds Light on Fines Against Drone Operators Across the Country

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, releasing the list of drone pilots (individual and commercial) who have been fined for flying drones recklessly or...more

See You In Court - June 2016

Given the chronic underfunding of education in Nutmeg by the Board of Finance and its irascible Chairperson, Seymour Dollars, the Nutmeg Board of Education has had to be careful in its spending on discretionary issues,...more

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