The Federal Information Manual: How the Government Collects, Manages, and Discloses Information under FOIA and Other Statutes

If your work involves seeking, using, or sharing information in the hands of the U.S. government, The Federal Information Manual is the comprehensive guide you need to understand the maze of laws, regulations, and orders that govern this information.

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Are you or a client faced with a request for information from a federal agency, or are you seeking information from an agency? If your work involves seeking, using, or sharing information in the hands of the U.S. government, The Federal Information Manual is the comprehensive guide you need to understand the maze of laws, regulations, and orders that govern this information.

The Federal Information Manual provides an easy-to-navigate and accessible explanation of the most well-known of these statues, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It contains useful information for practitioners, including explaining how to submit a successful FOIA request and checklists to use in preparing the request. This edition considers the significant legal developments since the first edition, including several Supreme Court decisions involving FOIA, one of which dramatically changed how one FOIA exemption is applied; statutory amendments to; a change in presidential administrations bringing about substantial changes in policies, guidance, and executive orders relating to FOIA and a host of other federal information statutes.

This edition has been updated to include recent federal case law applying FOIA and other information statutes and agency revisions to their FOIA regulations and practices as well as discussion of new trends such as data breach response and litigation involving federal records. Yet this guide covers more than FOIA, looking at all federal laws dealing with information handling and disclosure. These are varied and often obscure, ranging from the Federal Records Act to the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Classified Information Procedures Act, and a web of other statutes, cases, regulations, judicial decisions, executive orders, and policies that govern federal information. Among the topics covered in this book are:

  • The collection and management of information
  • Electronic records
  • How to successfully complete and submit a request under FOIA
  • Classified information
  • Litigation involving federal records
  • Homeland security
  • The trend toward more government secrecy

Because the Environmental Protection Agency has many different statutory authorities to request information from outside parties, some that either complement or overlap each other, this is an especially useful book for environmental practitioners. It explains the details of the authority included in all major environmental statutes, including CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, TSCA, and FIFRA. Useful tools include glossaries of abbreviations and federal information statutes; table of cases; appendices; checklists; list of useful public websites; and a comprehensive index.

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