Electronic FOIA Library

Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires FOIA Reading Rooms contain four distinct categories of records. The four categories of Reading Room records are:

      1. "final opinions [and] . . . orders" made in the adjudication of cases;
      2. specific agency policy statements;
      3. "administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public"; and
      4. records disclosed in response to a FOIA request that "the agency determines have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records."

These records are available through this page. Please check the Library before submitting a FOIA request.

Department of Commerce Policy Statements

Department Organization Orders (DOOs) prescribe the basic management structure and organizational arrangements of the Department of Commerce. DOOs are issued for each Secretarial Officer, Departmental Office, and Operating Unit of the Department of Commerce.

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Department of Commerce Administrative Staff Manuals

Department Administrative Orders (DAOs) are used to document and mandate continuing policies, standards requirements, and procedures prescribed by the Office of the Secretary for Departmentwide application or for application to two or more major program areas of the Department. The DAOs cover substantive program matters as well as administrative management, legal, or special staff functions.

FOIA Reports

All agencies are required by law to report to the Department of Justice on their FOIA compliance through submission of Annual FOIA Reports and Chief FOIA Officer Reports. All agencies are also required to provide quarterly reporting of four key FOIA statistics to the Department of Justice that will be posted on FOIA.gov.

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Frequesntly Requested Records

Frequently requested records are copies of records that have been released to any person in response to a FOIA request and that have been requested, or that the Department anticipates will be requested, at least three times under the FOIA.

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Privact Impact Assessments

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is analysis of how information in identifiable form is collected, maintained, stored, and disseminated, in addition to examining and evaluating the privacy risks and the protections and processes for handling information to mitigate those privacy risks.

Listing of PIAs.

Systems of Records Notices

A system of records is a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish notice of its systems of records in the Federal Register. This notice is generally referred to as a System of Records Notice or SORN.

SORNs are intended to inform the public about what kinds of personal information federal agencies maintain; to limit the uses and disclosures of the information to those compatible with the law permitting its collection; and to describe how an individual might request access to their information or to seek redress otherwise.

Listing of SORNs.

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Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Open Government program to eFOIA@doc.gov.

 

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Page last updated: October 28, 2016