[AfriAm-Smith] ***SPAM*** Freedom of Information Act - OnDemand Webinar

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Freedom of Information Act
View at your convenience 24/7, for 90 days - 91 min

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The Freedom of Information Act, enacted in 1966, was the first law that gave Americans the right to access the records of federal agencies. FOIA establishes a legal right of access to government records and information on the basis of the principles of openness and accountability in government. In 1974, after the Watergate scandal the act was amended to force greater agency compliance. In 1991 the General Accounting Office reported over 1.9 million FOIA requests. The number of requests that 
agencies received increased by 71 percent from 2002 to 2004. In his 2009 FOIA Memorandum, President Obama wrote, The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. This presumption has two important implications. First, an agency should not withhold information simply because it may do so legally. An agency should not withhold records merely because it can demonstrate, as a technical matter, that the records fall within the 
scope of a FOIA exemption. Second, whenever an agency determines that it cannot make full disclosure of a requested record, it must consider whether it can make partial disclosure. Agencies should always be mindful that the FOIA requires them to take reasonable steps to segregate and release nonexempt information. Even if some parts of a record must be withheld, other parts either may not be covered by a statutory exemption, or may be covered only in a technical sense unrelated to the actual 
impact of disclosure. This on-demand webinar will help those inside and outside government understand the ever evolving requirements and limitations involved in the disclosure of public records.

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				Jeffrey H. Pearlman   New York State Senate Democratic Conference 


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