U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
August 27, 2009
In Reply Refer To
1278 (560) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 08/28/2009
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-203
To: ADs, SDs, and CDs
From: Assistant Director, Information Resources Management
Subject: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Policy Guidance
Program Area: FOIA.
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) issues new FOIA guidelines effective immediately in support of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) commitment to accountability and transparency for the FOIA program. The handling of FOIA requests requires that agencies fully involve all employees in the process. To maximize access by all persons to records of governmental activities, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has issued new guidelines in support of President Obama’s direction on Open Government and Transparency (See Attachment 1).
Policy/Action: The attached DOI Memorandum, dated July 2, 2009, specifically establishes new FOIA direction to the effect that:
Timeframe: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Minimal. Responding to FOIA requests is required by law.
Background: On January 21, 2009, President Obama issued new FOIA guidelines designed to improve the federal government's openness and transparency. The President’s Memorandum stated that “the Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears." In support of President Obama’s Memorandum, DOI Secretary, Ken Salazar’s Memorandum, dated July 2, 2009, called for all employees to be aggressively involved in the processing of FOIA requests. Assisting your designated FOIA coordinator with the processing of requests by all employees should no longer be considered a diversion, but rather a priority to fulfill both the letter and the spirit of the law.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: MS 1278 “External Access to BLM Information.”
Coordination: This IM was coordinated within WO-500, the DOI Office of the Solicitor, and BLM State and Center FOIA coordinators.
Contact: Ms. Laura F. Bell, FOIA Program Analyst, (202) 912-7562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Ronnie Levine Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Information Resources Management