Freedom of Information Act Confidential Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EPA Can Withold Certain Wastewater Data from the Public

On March 29, 2016, a federal judge ruled that the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) exemption for “confidential business information” (“CBI”) can cover wastewater discharge information collected by the United States...more

Internal Investigative Reports That Lead to Discipline Are Not Exempt Adjudicatory Records under FOIA

An Illinois Appellate Court has further limited the public records that a public body can withhold from disclosure under Section 7(1)(n) of the Freedom of Information Act, which exempts “records relating to a public body’s...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Drafting Agendas: Three Reasons to be More Specific than “Attorney-Client Privileged Communication – Executive Session...

One of the most regularly used reasons to enter executive session is to discuss a matter that would result in the disclosure of communications that are privileged by the attorney-client relationship. The agenda item often...more

CMS Proposes Sweeping Changes to Medicare Reimbursement for Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Tests

First Data Collection Period for Clinical Laboratories Is July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 - In the October 1, 2015 Federal Register, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule...more

OFCCP Launches Class Member Locator Website, Disclosing Conciliation Agreements

Today, the Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP), launched its “Class Member Locator,” a website designed to help the agency “identify protected class members” that may have been affected by illegal...more

FERC NOPR Seeks Access to Additional Electric Reliability Data

At its September 17, 2015 Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission” or FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) that would require the North American Electric Reliability Corporation...more

PAC Finds Student Discipline Records, Even if Redacted, Identified Students and Were Exempt from FOIA

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued a non-binding opinion that provides guidance on what constitutes a school student record as provided in the Illinois School Student Records Act (ISSRA) and...more

SEE YOU IN COURT! - September 2015

The members of the Nutmeg Board of Education are a conscientious group, and they want to know everything about the operation of the Nutmeg Public Schools. For his part, Mr. Superintendent has tried to keep up with their...more

Privacy & Cybersecurity Newsletter: International Edition July 2015

Retail Tracking Update: Privacy Guidance Following Nomi Technologies - There is currently a widespread effort to quantify everything, from steps, to sleep, to batted ball exit velocity. Fifteen years ago, TV host Jeremy...more

Addressing Public Information Act Concerns in Dealings with the Government

When dealing with a governmental entity it is important to account for the possibility that information shared with that entity may be subject to disclosure under state and/or federal open records acts (e.g., the federal...more

Cooperation, the SEC and FOIA

A critical part of cooperating with an SEC or DOJ investigation for FCPA or other possible violations is the production of documents. In order for the company to assess what happened it must conduct an internal investigation...more

DEFENSES AGAINST FOIA: Non-Profit Planned Parenthood Succeeds In Keeping Operations Manual Secret

When inquiring minds want to know, non-profit organizations now have a stronger response.  Last year, we posed the question: Can a non-profit maintain trade secrets and other confidential commercial information? The First...more

SHREDDING TRADE SECRETS: Heli-Ski Operators Fret over FOIA Disclosures Releasing a Blizzard of Confidential Information

Heli-skiing: it’s the holy grail for thrill-seeking skiers and snowboarders.   Ride to the roof of the world aboard a helicopter. Descend thousands of vertical feet through fresh, untracked powder.  No lift lines, no ski...more

Proposed Revisions to the DoD’s FOIA Procedures

It is common for Government contractors to utilize the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain documents relevant to their business development, operations, and – often – claims. While FOIA requests can be a...more

Loose Lips Sink Ships: The Limits of the Attorney-Client Privilege and the Dangers of “Public” Reliance Upon Your Attorney’s...

Public agencies often secure opinions from legal counsel to guide their actions. However, these agencies should be aware that what they say in public about the advice given may jeopardize the confidentiality of the legal...more

Government Contracting and Procurement Update: Public Access to Trade Secrets in Proposals and Bid Documents in Maine

Those doing business with the State of Maine need to know their way around public records laws. What is the risk that sensitive business information included within a bid response to a request for proposal (RFP) may become...more

Iowa Case Highlights Often Overlooked Risk of Releasing Personal Emails in Public Records Requests

As a frequent advisor to school districts on freedom of information requests, the question I face most often is how a public body can protect a sensitive document from release. ...more

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