Freedom of Information Act Exemptions
All agency records must be made available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), except for records that are:
- Properly classified as secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.
- Related solely to internal personnel rules and practices.
- Specifically exempted by other statutes.
- Concerning trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that is privileged or confidential.
- Privileged interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters, except under certain circumstances.
- Personnel and medical files and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
- Investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes.
- Contained in or related to certain examination, operating, or condition reports concerning financial institutions.
- Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.
The "Justice Department Guide to the Freedom of Information Act" provides more detail on these exemptions as well as FOIA law enforcement record exclusions and certain procedures.