This guide explains the history behind the act, why it came about, the different areas, changes being made to accommodate new technology and also goes into different legal aspects. It details all of the exemptions to the FOIA and why the exist. It explains the rules agencies must follow to comply with the law. The guide has the full text of the Freedom of Information Act, the complete text of the President's and the Attorney General's memorandums of the Act.
I read through the introduction and the history section. The FOIA was enacted in 1966 after years of arguments between public interest groups and federal agencies. After a full decade, they revised the public disclosure section of the Administrative Procedure Act. While this section was suppose to help disclose information, it actual became known for being more of a withholding statute. Under the FOIA, all records of a federal Executive Branch agency must be available to the public in some form unless it falls under one of the exemptions. The Act was substantially amended in 11974. There were more changes in 1976, 1986, 1996, 2002 and 2007. Some of the changes narrowed the exemptions while others dealt with areas of information that may not have existed when the original text was approved. President Obama has been a big supporter of transparency calling on agencies to "take affirmative steps to make information public and not to wait for specific requests from the public" (Guide to Freedom of Information Act, 7).
This and much more can be found between the covers of this item. Stop by and check it out!