FINDLAW: New FOIA Guidelines Issued by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder


MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES RE THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

(Washington, D.C., Mar. 19, 2009) – A memo was issued by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today directing all executive branch departments and agencies to apply a presumption of openness when responding to federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Holder tells the heads of Executive Branch departments and agencies that they “should not withhold information simply because it may do so legally.” Holder rescinded former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s October 12, 2001 FOIA memo that said the Department of Justice would withhold records “unless they lack a sound legal basis or present an unwarranted risk of adverse impact on the ability of other agencies to protect other important records.”