FOREWORD

The first provision of the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act of 1974, D.C. Code Ann. § 2-531 et seq. ("D.C. Act"), emphasizes the public policy of open government that underlies the law. The D.C. Act provides that the

public policy of the District of Columbia is that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees. To that end, provisions of this subchapter shall be construed with the view toward expansion of public access and the minimization of costs and time delays to persons requesting information.

D.C. Code Ann. § 2-531.

This provision was included in the D.C. Act "to make clear that any actions should serve the purpose of access and that any restriction on that access should be construed narrowly." Comm. on the Judiciary and Criminal Law, Report on Bill No. 1-119, the "D.C. Freedom of Information Act of 1975," at 6 (Sept. 1, 1976) ("Comm. on Judiciary Report"). This policy of openness requires courts to construe all exemptions narrowly and to resolve all doubts in favor of disclosure. Newspapers Inc. v. Metro. Police Dep't, 546 A.2d 990, 993 (D.C. 1988); Barry v. Washington Post Co., 529 A.2d 319, 321 (D.C. 1987).

The D.C. Act has been the subject of few reported cases, discussed infra. See Donahue v. Thomas, 618 A.2d 601 (D.C. 1992); McReady v. Dep't of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, 618 A.2d 609 (D.C. 1992); Hines v. Board of Parole, 567 A.2d 909 (D.C. 1989); Washington Post v. Minority Bus. Opportunity Comm'n, 560 A.2d 517 (D.C. 1989); Wolf v. Regardie, 553 A.2d 1213 (D.C. 1989); Newspapers Inc. v. Metro. Police Dep't, 546 A.2d 990 (D.C. 1988); Barry v. Washington Post Co., 529 A.2d 319 (D.C. 1987); Dunhill v. Dir., D.C. Dep't of Transp., 416 A.2d 244 (D.C. 1980). The D.C. Act, however, is patterned on and construed in accordance with the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C.A. § 552. See Barry v. Washington Post Co., 529 A.2d at 321. Thus, when litigating a question involving the D.C. Act, reliance upon applicable federal law is appropriate.