DATE: September 28, 2023
SUBJECT: The Freedom of Information Act, As Amended
- PURPOSE. This Directive provides policy and assigns responsibilities for carrying out the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as amended. This Directive also authorizes the issuance of Treasury Department Publication (TD P) 25-05, "Freedom of Information Act Handbook."
- SCOPE. This Directive applies to all bureaus, offices, and organizations of the Department of the Treasury, including the offices of Inspectors General. The provisions of this Order shall not be construed to interfere with or impede the authorities or independence of the offices of Inspectors General.
- POLICY. It is the policy of the Department of the Treasury to implement the FOIA uniformly and consistently, and to provide maximum allowable disclosure of agency records upon request by any individual. Records shall be withheld only if it is reasonably foreseeable that their disclosure would harm an interest protected by one or more of the FOIA exemptions or exclusions, or if disclosure is prohibited by law.
- The Chief FOIA Officer (CFO), Assistant Secretary for Management (ASM) is the Treasury Senior Agency Official (SAO) responsible for leadership, planning, policy, reporting, training, and general oversight of the Department’s FOIA program Treasury wide. They appoint FOIA Public Liaisons while serving as the principal contact for the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of Government Information Services and the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy. The ASM reserves the right to delegate the duties of the CFO as they see fit.
- The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Privacy, Transparency, and Records (DASPTR) serves as the principal advisor to the ASM in their role as the CFO. The DASPTR is designated by the ASM to carry out all responsibilities of the CFO. DASPTR, or their designee, are the Appeal Official responsible for making appellate determinations with respect to FOIA responses of the Departmental Offices (DO), with the exception of appellate determinations made by the offices of Inspectors General.
- The Departmental Office Director of FOIA and Transparency in the Office of Privacy, Transparency and Records (PTR) serves as the DO’s FOIA Officer and reports to the CFO, or their designee, on all Departmental matters relating to the Act, and shall:
- 1) serve as the DO’s initial denial authority;
- 2) carry out the implementation of the Act within the Department;
- 3) oversee FOIA compliance;
- 4) revise, as needed, Treasury regulations implementing the Act and review proposed changes to bureau FOIA regulations;
- 5) furnish policy, technical advice, and assistance to bureaus on their implementation of the Act; and
- 6) collect, review, consolidate, and submit data for FOIA compliance reporting requirements on behalf of the Department, as needed.
- The FOIA Public Liaison is a supervisory agency representative to whom a requester can raise concerns about the service a requester has received from an agency during the FOIA process. The FOIA Public Liaison shall:
- 1) assist in reducing delays;
- 2) increase transparency into the status of FOIA requests; and
- 3) assist in the resolution of FOIA disputes.
- The Departmental Office Heads are responsible for identifying Points of Contact to liaise with the DO FOIA Office, who shall:
- 1) scope FOIA requests to determine if a reasonable search can be performed;
- 2) coordinate searches within their program office to identify records responsive to the FOIA request, and return those results to the DO FOIA Office for processing; and
- 3) provide internal program office with awareness on the release of records through the Act.
- The Heads of Bureaus, or their designees, are the SAOs that serve as the FOIA Officers and initial denial authorities for their respective bureau, and shall:
- 1) carry out the implementation of the Act at their bureau;
- 2) identify Points of Contact to liaise with the Department’s FOIA programs;
- 3) develop and update their bureau’s FOIA regulations;
- 4) provide regular and proper training to their workforce that explains the importance of FOIA and every individual's role in administering it;
- 5) submit to the CFO, or their designee, their bureau’s data, and feedback on FOIA compliance for Departmental reporting requirements; and
- 6) ensure that Treasury’s records management policies are followed.
- The Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552);
- 31 CFR Subtitle A, Part 1, Subpart A, Freedom of Information Act (regulations);
- CANCELLATION. TD 25-05, "The Freedom of Information Act," dated March 1, 2000, is superseded.
- OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST. FOIA and Transparency, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Privacy, Transparency, and Records, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management.
Anna Canfield Roth
Assistant Secretary for Management