DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT COUNCIL
SECTION 1. PURPOSE.
This Order establishes and prescribes the functions of the Department of Commerce (the Department) Freedom of Information Act Council (FOIA Council).
SECTION 2. AUTHORITY.
This Order is issued under the authority of 5 United States Code 552, as amended; Executive Order 13392; President Obama’s FOIA Memorandum, dated January 20, 2009; and Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines, dated March 19, 2009.
SECTION 3. POLICY.
In providing access to Federal records to requesters, the FOIA Council will work to improve customer service through better collaboration across the Department, streamlined FOIA processes, and increased transparency.
SECTION 4. STRUCTURE AND OPERATION.
.01 The FOIA Council is chaired by the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, with the General Counsel serving as the vice chair.
.02 The Chief Privacy Officer and Director of Open Government will serve as the Executive Director of the FOIA Council.
.03 Other members of the FOIA Council include the Director of Public Affairs, Secretarial Officers, and heads of operating units, or their designees.
.04 The Inspector General or designee may attend Council meetings (or appropriate portions thereof) upon invitation and with Inspector General concurrence that programmatic matters will not be addressed.
.05 The FOIA Council will convene on a regular basis to be determined by the chair and vice chair, in consultation with the Executive Director.
SECTION 5. FUNCTIONS.
.01 The FOIA Council will work to strengthen Department FOIA policies and procedures to ensure that they reflect the goals, values, and policies that the Department advocates. Toward that end, the FOIA Council will routinely review Department FOIA policies and procedures and identify opportunities for strengthening, clarifying, and otherwise improving them.
.02 The Council will assist operating units by providing advice on addressing staffing needs, responding appropriately to FOIA requests, improving processing times, and reducing the backlog.
.03 The FOIA Council will identify and recommend FOIA and other relevant training opportunities for Department employees, as appropriate.
Signed By: Secretary of Commerce