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Home > Web Site Notices and Policies > Freedom of Information Act >

FOIA Exemptions and Exclusions

Exemptions
The nine FOIA exemptions authorize Federal agencies to withhold information covering the following:

  1. Classified national defense and foreign relations information

  2. Internal agency rules and practices

  3. Information that is prohibited from disclosure by another Federal law

  4. Trade secrets and other confidential business information

  5. Inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges

  6. Information involving matters of personal privacy

  7. Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, to the extent that the production of those records

    1. could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings,

    2. would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,

    3. could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,

    4. could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source,

    5. would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or

    6. could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual

  8. Information relating to the supervision of financial institutions

  9. Geological information on wells.

See the text of the FOIA for more specific information about these exemptions.

Exclusions
Congress also provided special protection in the FOIA for three narrow categories of law enforcement and national security records. The provisions protecting those records are known as “exclusions.”
  1. The first exclusion protects the existence of an ongoing criminal law enforcement investigation when the subject of the investigation is unaware that it is pending and disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

  2. The second exclusion is limited to criminal law enforcement agencies and protects the existence of informant records when the informant’s status has not been officially confirmed.

  3. The third exclusion is limited to the FBI and protects the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records when the existence of such records is classified.

Records falling within an exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA. So when FCA responds to FOIA requests, it will limit its response to those records that are subject to the FOIA.