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Citizens Guide to Freedom of Information Act

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  1. Freedom of Information
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The Citizen’s Guide to the Freedom of Information Act, first published in 1977, was updated by the House Committee on Government Reform and released as House Report 109-226, on Sept. 20, 2005. In its introduction, the committee report states that the FOIA “establishes a presumption that records in the possession of agencies and departments … are accessible to the people.” Agencies, it says, should withhold documents only when it can reasonably foresee harm from disclosure. And it directly contradicts the Oct. 12, 2001 “Ashcroft” memo to agencies, saying: “The standard should not be to allow the withholding of information whenever there is merely a sound legal basis for doing so.”

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