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

See You In Court – October 2016

For years now, Bob Bombast, veteran member of the Nutmeg Board of Education, has been perplexed by and concerned about the State formula for providing funds for education. Accordingly, he has watched carefully – and...more

Blog: No more “Tandy” letters from Corp Fin staff

Corp Fin has just announced that it will no longer require companies to include “Tandy” language in company responses to staff comment letters. “Tandy” language is a written representation from the company acknowledging that...more

Five things academic scientists should know when pursuing their first patent – Five-Part Series

Patent law has many surprises in store for academic scientists pursuing a patent for the first time. Many patent attorneys were once researchers just like you—we understand it can be intimidating. This blog series provides...more

Regulations in Trouble

Problems are mounting for the Treasury’s business of issuing tax regulations. One lawyer in a prominent law firm is personally suing the Treasury for failing to provide within two months of his Freedom of Information Act...more

Municipal Legal News

On September 21, Governor Snyder signed a package of bills (2016 PA 281-283) that significantly expands the types of medical marijuana facilities permitted under state law, and establishes a licensing scheme similar to the...more

EEOC Follows Through: Comp Data Will Be Required In EEO-1 Reports

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced yesterday that it will require employers with 100 or more employees to include compensation data in their annual EEO-1 reports. Employers will be required to provide this...more

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the...more

Ballard Spahr Partner Dee Spagnuolo Joins CFPB OMWI Director on Panel at ABA Meeting

Ballard Spahr Partner Dee Spagnuolo joined Director Stuart Ishimaru of the CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion and other industry leaders for the panel discussion "Diversity and Dodd-Frank Section 342," on September...more

Ballard Spahr partner Dee Spagnuolo joins CFPB OMWI Director on panel at ABA meeting

Members of Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services group recently participated in the American Bar Association Business Law Section Annual Meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts. On September 8, Ballard partner, Dee...more

CFSA FOIA request to CFPB yields positive comments from payday loan customers

The Consumer Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) issued a statement in which it reported that documents it received from the CFPB in response to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request filed on December 31, 2015...more

2016 Legislative Update: Summary of Changes in School Law

BOARDS OF EDUCATION - ENFORCEMENT OF BINDING PUBLIC ACCESS COUNSELOR OPINIONS - Public Act 99-586 - Effective Date: January 1, 2017 - Individuals who file lawsuits to enforce binding opinions from the PAC...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - August 2016

Is Your Police Department Ready for Body Cameras? - Police use of force has been heavily scrutinized for more than a year. In May 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was providing $20 million in grants...more

Lawsuits Question Procedure and Substance of H-1B Lottery

Late this spring, two lawsuits were filed against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about and challenging the administration of the H-1B visa...more

Public Bodies Not Required to Create New Records to Respond to FOIA Request

The Second District Appellate Court recently addressed the question of when an electronic record is a public record subject to FOIA and when a public agency is required to release information from an electronic database. In...more

Don’t Picture This: The FOIA And The Use Of Smartphones As A Substitute For Paying For Copies

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”] generally permits public agencies to charge for copies (usually, $0.50/page) when complying with FOIA requests. One exception to this fee requirement is that an individual may...more

The FOIA “Five” – After 50 Years, Changes in the Freedom of Information Act That (Might) Matter

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 1966, “established a policy of openness toward information within the control of the Executive Branch, and a presumption that such records...more

Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees' Personal Emails Are Public Records - Messages Pertaining to Public Business in Personal...

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that email messages sent or received through public employees' personal email accounts may be public...more

Blog: OFCCP Tweaks Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing, but Diminishes Confidentiality Protection

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that, as of July 1, 2016, it is using a new Scheduling Letter and Itemized Listing when it commences compliance reviews of federal contractors. Although...more

Local Government Travel and Entertainment Expenses Come Under Greater Scrutiny with New Law

Over the past few years there has been no shortage of FOIA requests and media attention on how school districts and other units of local government spend or reimburse spending on conferences, dining, and travel. Last week...more

Criminal Mugshots Are Privacy-Protected Says Divided Sixth Circuit Panel

A deeply divided en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that federal authorities can withhold criminal booking photos requested by the public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”)....more

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

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