ERIC Number: ED247623
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug-9
Reference Count: 0
Statement of Carol E. Dinkins, Deputy Attorney General, before the Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Government Information, Justice, and Agriculture, House of Representatives Concerning Freedom of Information Act Amendments.
Dinkins, Carol E.
In considering the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), it is essential to keep in mind that the Act is not, and never could be, a statute with the singleminded purpose of disclosing government information. Many kinds of information that the government has in its possession must be kept confidential to protect important public interests. For example, agencies often must withhold information to protect the privacy of innocent third parties, to maintain the confidentiality of trade secrets, to avoid the disclosure of information affecting national security, or to prevent interference with pending civil, criminal, or administrative investigations, and protect the identities of confidential sources involved in any of these types of investigations. Also, since many agencies, in the course of operations, collect and maintain personal information about individuals, it is important to protect an individual's right to privacy. Senate Bill S.774 would amend the FOIA to correct the above problems and would allow agencies to charge a fair value fee for records containing commercially valuable technological information collected at public expense; establish more realistic time limits in processing requests; and establish guidelines for proper requests that would include limiting felons' requests, expediting journalists' requests, and limiting the scope of foreigners' requests. (CRH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
Identifiers: Freedom of Information Act