Report text available as:

(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?


115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {       115-93

======================================================================



 
              FANNIE AND FREDDIE OPEN RECORDS ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 April 24, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Chaffetz, from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1694]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1694) to require additional 
entities to be subject to the requirements of section 552 of 
title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the 
Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     2
Section-by-Section...............................................     4
Explanation of Amendments........................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Roll Call Votes..................................................     5
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     5
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     5
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     5
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     5
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     6
Earmark Identification...........................................     6
Committee Estimate...............................................     6
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     6
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8
Additional Views.................................................    26

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 
2017''.

SEC. 2. APPLICABILITY OF FOIA.

  (a) Applicability to Government Sponsored Entities in 
Conservatorship.--Section 552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly 
referred to as the Freedom of Information Act), is amended by adding at 
the end the following new subsection:
  ``(n) The Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal Home 
Loan Mortgage Corporation shall comply with agency requirements under 
this section during any period such enterprise is under conservatorship 
or receivership pursuant to section 1367 of the Federal Housing 
Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 
4617).''.
  (b) Effective Date; Applicability.--The amendment made by subsection 
(a) shall be effective on the date of the enactment of this Act and 
shall apply with respect to any request filed under section 552(a)(3) 
of title 5, United States Code, on or after such effective date, 
relating to any record created before, on, or after the date of the 
enactment of this Act.

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1694, the Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017, 
applies the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Federal 
National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home 
Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) while they remain under 
the conservatorship of the Federal Housing Finance Agency 
(FHFA). The Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017 
furthers the Committee's efforts to ensure the American people 
know what activities the government performs with their 
taxpayer dollars.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are federally-chartered, for-
profit institutions. Congress created Fannie Mae in 1938 on the 
heels of the Great Depression and Freddie Mac in 1970\1\ to 
stimulate home ownership and support the expanding housing 
market.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\A 1938 amendment to the National Housing Act created Fannie Mae. 
The 1970 Emergency Home Finance Act created Freddie Mac to help thrifts 
(organizations that accept savings account deposits and invest most of 
the proceeds in mortgages) manage the challenges associated with 
interest rate risk. See, Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the 
Inspector General, A Brief History of the Housing Government-Sponsored 
Enterprises, last accessed March 12th, available at https://
www.fhfaoig.gov/Content/Files/History%20of%20the%20Government%20 
Sponsored%20Enterprises.pdf.
    \2\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To stabilize the housing market in the aftershock of the 
financial crisis, the FHFA used its authority in 2008 to place 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into its conservatorship.\3\ In 
conservatorship, the government takes control of a failing 
financial institution with the goal of returning it to 
financial health and stockholder control.\4\ In the process, 
the FHFA redirected $187.5 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie 
Mac.\5\ At the time, the taxpayer-financed Fannie and Freddie 
bailout was considered ``the most sweeping government 
intervention in private financial markets in decades.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\P.L. 110-289, Section 1117.
    \4\Congressional Research Service, ``Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and 
FOIA: Information Access Policy for the Government-Sponsored 
Enterprises'', R42080 (Nov. 10, 2011).
    \5\Bloomberg, Quick Take--Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, last accessed 
March 12th, available at https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/fannie-
mae-and-freddie-mac-irbtxzdk.
    \6\Zachary Goldfarb, Treasury to Rescue Fannie and Freddie, 
Washington Post (Sept. 7, 2008), available at http://
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/06/
AR2008090602540.html?hpid=topnews.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Enacted in 1966, the FOIA established the public's right to 
know by creating a presumption that the public has access to 
federal agency records.\7\ The statute authorizing the FHFA's 
conservatorship over Fannie and Freddie, section 4617 of title 
12, United States Code, granted the FHFA the power to exercise 
``all rights, titles, powers, and privileges of the regulated 
entity, and of any stockholder, officer, or director of such 
regulated entity with respect to the regulated entity and the 
assets of the regulated entity.''\8\ As such, when the FHFA 
took over as conservator, Fannie and Freddie's records became 
the equivalent of FHFA's ``agency records'' for purposes of 
FOIA. H.R. 1694 will allow the FHFA to withhold agency records 
under FOIA's nine exemptions. Under the bill, Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac will be treated like any other agency for purposes 
of section 552 of title 5, United States Code. The exemptions 
to disclosure in subsection (b) and the presumption of openness 
under subsection (a)(8) are equally applicable to Fannie Mae 
and Freddie Mac as any other agency required to comply with 
FOIA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552, and Pub. L. 
110-175, 121 Stat. 2524, and Pub. L. 111-83, Section 564, 123, Stat. 
2142, 2184; see also, U.S. Congress, House Committee of the Whole House 
on the State of the Union, Clarifying and Protecting the Right of the 
Public to Information, 89th Cong. 2nd sess. May 9, 1966, H.Rpt. 1497 
(Washington: GPO, 1966).
    \8\See 12 U.S.C. Sec. 4617(b)(2)(A)(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is precedent for applying FOIA to a nongovernmental 
entity. Congress conferred FOIA applicability to a quasi-
governmental entity--the National Railroad Passenger 
Corporation (Amtrak)--when it amended the Rail Passenger 
Service Act to include a provision explicitly applying FOIA to 
Amtrak. The bill report for the amendment stated, ``in view of 
the substantial Federal funds which are going to Amtrak, the 
taxpaying public is entitled to access the information about 
the conduct of Amtrak affairs.''\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Wendy Ginsberg and Eric Weiss, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and 
FOIA: Information Access Policy for the Government-Sponsored 
Enterprises (Nov. 10, 2011), available at file:///C:/Users/mdoocy/
Downloads/nps61-073012-38%20(7).pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On March 23, 2017, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), 
Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform, introduced H.R. 1694, the Fannie and Freddie Open 
Records Act of 2017, with Representatives Ron DeSantis (R-FL), 
Steve Russell (R-OK), John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), Thomas Massie 
(R-KY), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), James Comer (R-KY), Rod Blum 
(R-IA), and Darrell Issa (R-CA). H.R. 1694 was referred to the 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. On March 23, 
2017, the Committee held a hearing entitled, ``Legislative 
Proposals for Fostering Transparency.'' H.R. 1694 was one of 
three bills discussed. The Committee considered H.R. 1694 at a 
business meeting on March 28, 2017 and ordered the bill 
reported favorably, as amended, by voice vote.
    On January 5, 2017, Representative Chaffetz introduced a 
related bill, H.R. 298, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 
Transparency Act of 2017, with Representative Thomas Massie (R-
KY). H.R. 298 was referred to the House Committee on Financial 
Services. Representative Chaffetz introduced identical bills in 
the 114th, 112th, and 111th Congresses.
    In the 114th Congress, Representative Chaffetz introduced 
H.R. 1577, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Transparency Act of 
2015, on March 24, 2015. H.R. 1577 was referred to the House 
Committee on Financial Services.
    In the 112th Congress, Representative Chaffetz introduced 
H.R. 463, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Transparency Act of 
2011 on January 26, 2011, with Representatives Darrell Issa (R-
CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Ron Paul (R-TX), 
Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Todd Platts (R-PA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Mike 
Rogers (R-MI), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Connie Mack (R-FL), and 
Mike Quigley (D-IL). There were 19 total cosponsors of H.R. 
463. H.R. 463 was referred to the House Committee on Financial 
Services and subsequently to the Subcommittee on Capital 
Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. On May 25, 2011, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing on H.R. 463. The Subcommittee 
considered H.R. 463 at a mark-up session on July 12, 2011 and 
referred the bill to the Full Committee by voice vote.
    In the 111th Congress, Representative Chaffetz introduced 
H.R. 5539, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Transparency Act of 
2010, on June 16, 2010, with Representatives John Conyers (D-
MI), Lamar Smith (R-TX), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Spencer Bachus 
(R-AL), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Edward Royce (R-CA), Bob 
Goodlatte (R-VA), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), 
and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). There were 22 total cosponsors of 
H.R. 5539. The bill was referred to the House Committee on 
Financial Services.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    The short title of the bill is the ``Fannie and Freddie 
Open Records Act of 2017.''

Section 2. Applicability of FOIA

    Section 2 amends section 552 of title 5, (the Freedom of 
Information Act, or FOIA), United States Code, by adding a new 
subsection (n) to clarify that section 552 applies to the 
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the 
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) during any 
period during which either entity is under conservatorship or 
receivership of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
    Subparagraph (b) makes the date of enactment of the bill 
the date of effect. The records that are applicable to FOIA are 
``any record[s] created before, on, or after the date of 
enactment of this Act.''

                       Explanation of Amendments

    During Committee consideration of the bill, Chairman Jason 
Chaffetz offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to 
address technical drafting concerns and more appropriately 
reflect the bill's intent. The amendment in the nature of a 
substitute was adopted by voice vote.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 28, 2017, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 1694, as amended, by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.

                            Roll Call Votes

    There were no roll call votes requested or conducted during 
Full Committee consideration of H.R. 1694.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill applies the Freedom of Information Act to Fannie Mae 
and Freddie Mac while they remain under the conservatorship of 
the FHFA. As such, this bill does not relate to employment or 
access to public services and accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of this bill is to require additional 
entities to be subject to the requirements of section 552 of 
title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the 
Freedom of Information Act), and for other purposes.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    In accordance with clause 2(c)(5) of rule XIII no provision 
of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a program of the 
Federal Government known to be duplicative of another Federal 
program, a program that was included in any report from the 
Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting this bill does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of section 551 or title 5, United States Code.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of Section 5(b) of the appendix to title 5, 
United States Code.

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement 
as to whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement, the Committee 
has included below a letter received from the Congressional 
Budget Office.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, which the Committee has included below.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 21, 2017.
Hon. Jason Chaffetz,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1694, the Fannie 
and Freddie Open Records Act 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Aurora 
Swanson.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1694--Fannie and Freddie Open Records Act of 2017

    H.R. 1694 would amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 
to make its provisions apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when 
the two entities are in federal conservatorship or 
receivership. Under current law, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 
(the entities) are not subject to FOIA because they are not 
federal agencies. Under the bill, the two entities would be 
directed to accept and process FOIA requests from the public 
and to release information to satisfy those requests as long as 
they are in federal conservatorship.
    Based on information provided by the two entities, the 
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and annual FOIA costs 
incurred by other federal agencies, CBO estimates that 
administrative costs for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHFA 
would increase under the bill. All of the net costs would be 
borne by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because FHFA would assess 
fees on the two entities to cover its costs. CBO estimates that 
enacting the legislation would increase direct spending by $10 
million over the 2018-2027 period; therefore, pay-as-you go 
procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
    Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's administrative costs would 
increase because each entity would need to hire staff to review 
FOIA requests, gather relevant information, evaluate the 
information to determine if it is exempt from disclosure under 
FOIA, and release the nonexempt information to satisfy such 
requests. Each entity also would need to expand data processing 
tools and systems to electronically search and compile relevant 
data and documents. Finally, the entities would need to hire 
staff to handle appeals that arise when information is withheld 
because the entity considers it to be exempt from disclosure 
under FOIA.
    Based on an analysis of information provided by the 
entities and FHFA, and the costs incurred by federal agencies 
to comply with FOIA, CBO estimates that administrative costs 
would increase by $40 million in 2018 because Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac likely would employ outside firms to accept, 
evaluate, and respond to FOIA requests while simultaneously 
building internal capacity to perform that work with their own 
employees. Once the organization's internal FOIA offices are 
operating, administrative costs would total about $30 million 
annually, CBO estimates. Those estimates include additional 
costs for FHFA to review requests received by Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac that include information FHFA has shared with them 
in its capacity as their regulator. In total, CBO estimates 
that over the next 10 years Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's 
administrative costs would increase by $310 million.
    Administrative costs for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHFA 
in recent years have totaled about $5 billion annually. Under 
the bill, CBO expects that the entities would cover the 
increase in costs by reducing other administrative expenses (by 
about $20 million per year), increasing fees charged for 
providing loan guarantees (by about $10 million a year), and 
reducing the portion of fees that would be available to cover 
the costs of its loan guarantees. On that basis, CBO estimates 
that enacting the bill would increase Fannie Mae's and Freddie 
Mac's subsidy costs by about $10 million over the 2018-2027 
period.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Under the Federal Credit Reform Act the cost of loan guarantees 
is recorded in the federal budget by estimating a subsidy cost for 
those guarantees. The subsidy cost is calculated by estimating all 
future cash flows associated with a guarantee, including the potential 
for default and fees paid in exchange for the guarantee, and converting 
those cash flows into a present value figure. CBO estimates the subsidy 
cost of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's guarantees using a fair-value 
methodology to discount future cash flows associated with those 
guarantees. For a more detailed description of how CBO accounts for the 
cost of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the budget, see Congressional 
Budget Office, CBO's Budgetary Treatment of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, 
Background Paper (January 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 establishes budget-
reporting and enforcement procedures for legislation affecting 
direct spending or revenues. The net changes in outlays that 
are subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the 
following table.

  CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 1694, AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM ON MARCH 28, 2017
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2017    2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026    2027   2017-2022  2017-2027
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               NET INCREASE IN THE DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact............       0       2       1       1       1       1       1       1       0       0       0         6         10
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1694 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 
billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods 
beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1694 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Aurora Swanson. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

TITLE 5, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



PART I--THE AGENCIES GENERALLY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 5--ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER II--ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 552. Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, 
                    and proceedings

  (a) Each agency shall make available to the public 
information as follows:
  (1) Each agency shall separately state and currently publish 
in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public--
          (A) descriptions of its central and field 
        organization and the established places at which, the 
        employees (and in the case of a uniformed service, the 
        members) from whom, and the methods whereby, the public 
        may obtain information, make submittals or requests, or 
        obtain decisions;
          (B) statements of the general course and method by 
        which its functions are channeled and determined, 
        including the nature and requirements of all formal and 
        informal procedures available;
          (C) rules of procedure, descriptions of forms 
        available or the places at which forms may be obtained, 
        and instructions as to the scope and contents of all 
        papers, reports, or examinations;
          (D) substantive rules of general applicability 
        adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general 
        policy or interpretations of general applicability 
        formulated and adopted by the agency; and
          (E) each amendment, revision, or repeal of the 
        foregoing.
Except to the extent that a person has actual and timely notice 
of the terms thereof, a person may not in any manner be 
required to resort to, or be adversely affected by, a matter 
required to be published in the Federal Register and not so 
published. For the purpose of this paragraph, matter reasonably 
available to the class of persons affected thereby is deemed 
published in the Federal Register when incorporated by 
reference therein with the approval of the Director of the 
Federal Register.
  (2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall 
make available for public inspection in an electronic format--
          (A) final opinions, including concurring and 
        dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the 
        adjudication of cases;
          (B) those statements of policy and interpretations 
        which have been adopted by the agency and are not 
        published in the Federal Register;
          (C) administrative staff manuals and instructions to 
        staff that affect a member of the public;
          (D) copies of all records, regardless of form or 
        format--
                  (i) that have been released to any person 
                under paragraph (3); and
                  (ii)(I) that because of the nature of their 
                subject matter, the agency determines have 
                become or are likely to become the subject of 
                subsequent requests for substantially the same 
                records; or
                  (II) that have been requested 3 or more 
                times; and
          (E) a general index of the records referred to under 
        subparagraph (D);
unless the materials are promptly published and copies offered 
for sale. For records created on or after November 1, 1996, 
within one year after such date, each agency shall make such 
records available, including by computer telecommunications or, 
if computer telecommunications means have not been established 
by the agency, by other electronic means. To the extent 
required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal 
privacy, an agency may delete identifying details when it makes 
available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, 
interpretation, staff manual, instruction, or copies of records 
referred to in subparagraph (D). However, in each case the 
justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in 
writing, and the extent of such deletion shall be indicated on 
the portion of the record which is made available or published, 
unless including that indication would harm an interest 
protected by the exemption in subsection (b) under which the 
deletion is made. If technically feasible, the extent of the 
deletion shall be indicated at the place in the record where 
the deletion was made. Each agency shall also maintain and make 
available for public inspection in an electronic format current 
indexes providing identifying information for the public as to 
any matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, 
and required by this paragraph to be made available or 
published. Each agency shall promptly publish, quarterly or 
more frequently, and distribute (by sale or otherwise) copies 
of each index or supplements thereto unless it determines by 
order published in the Federal Register that the publication 
would be unnecessary and impracticable, in which case the 
agency shall nonetheless provide copies of such index on 
request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication. 
Each agency shall make the index referred to in subparagraph 
(E) available by computer telecommunications by December 31, 
1999. A final order, opinion, statement of policy, 
interpretation, or staff manual or instruction that affects a 
member of the public may be relied on, used, or cited as 
precedent by an agency against a party other than an agency 
only if--
          (i) it has been indexed and either made available or 
        published as provided by this paragraph; or
          (ii) the party has actual and timely notice of the 
        terms thereof.
  (3)(A) Except with respect to the records made available 
under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, and except as 
provided in subparagraph (E), each agency, upon any request for 
records which (i) reasonably describes such records and (ii) is 
made in accordance with published rules stating the time, 
place, fees (if any), and procedures to be followed, shall make 
the records promptly available to any person.
  (B) In making any record available to a person under this 
paragraph, an agency shall provide the record in any form or 
format requested by the person if the record is readily 
reproducible by the agency in that form or format. Each agency 
shall make reasonable efforts to maintain its records in forms 
or formats that are reproducible for purposes of this section.
  (C) In responding under this paragraph to a request for 
records, an agency shall make reasonable efforts to search for 
the records in electronic form or format, except when such 
efforts would significantly interfere with the operation of the 
agency's automated information system.
  (D) For purposes of this paragraph, the term ``search'' means 
to review, manually or by automated means, agency records for 
the purpose of locating those records which are responsive to a 
request.
  (E) An agency, or part of an agency, that is an element of 
the intelligence community (as that term is defined in section 
3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 401a(4))) 
shall not make any record available under this paragraph to--
          (i) any government entity, other than a State, 
        territory, commonwealth, or district of the United 
        States, or any subdivision thereof; or
          (ii) a representative of a government entity 
        described in clause (i).
  (4)(A)(i) In order to carry out the provisions of this 
section, each agency shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to 
notice and receipt of public comment, specifying the schedule 
of fees applicable to the processing of requests under this 
section and establishing procedures and guidelines for 
determining when such fees should be waived or reduced. Such 
schedule shall conform to the guidelines which shall be 
promulgated, pursuant to notice and receipt of public comment, 
by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and 
which shall provide for a uniform schedule of fees for all 
agencies.
  (ii) Such agency regulations shall provide that--
          (I) fees shall be limited to reasonable standard 
        charges for document search, duplication, and review, 
        when records are requested for commercial use;
          (II) fees shall be limited to reasonable standard 
        charges for document duplication when records are not 
        sought for commercial use and the request is made by an 
        educational or noncommercial scientific institution, 
        whose purpose is scholarly or scientific research; or a 
        representative of the news media; and
          (III) for any request not described in (I) or (II), 
        fees shall be limited to reasonable standard charges 
        for document search and duplication.
In this clause, the term ``a representative of the news media'' 
means any person or entity that gathers information of 
potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its 
editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct 
work, and distributes that work to an audience. In this clause, 
the term ``news'' means information that is about current 
events or that would be of current interest to the public. 
Examples of news-media entities are television or radio 
stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of 
periodicals (but only if such entities qualify as disseminators 
of ``news'') who make their products available for purchase by 
or subscription by or free distribution to the general public. 
These examples are not all-inclusive. Moreover, as methods of 
news delivery evolve (for example, the adoption of the 
electronic dissemination of newspapers through 
telecommunications services), such alternative media shall be 
considered to be news-media entities. A freelance journalist 
shall be regarded as working for a news-media entity if the 
journalist can demonstrate a solid basis for expecting 
publication through that entity, whether or not the journalist 
is actually employed by the entity. A publication contract 
would present a solid basis for such an expectation; the 
Government may also consider the past publication record of the 
requester in making such a determination.
  (iii) Documents shall be furnished without any charge or at a 
charge reduced below the fees established under clause (ii) if 
disclosure of the information is in the public interest because 
it is likely to contribute significantly to public 
understanding of the operations or activities of the government 
and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the 
requester.
  (iv) Fee schedules shall provide for the recovery of only the 
direct costs of search, duplication, or review. Review costs 
shall include only the direct costs incurred during the initial 
examination of a document for the purposes of determining 
whether the documents must be disclosed under this section and 
for the purposes of withholding any portions exempt from 
disclosure under this section. Review costs may not include any 
costs incurred in resolving issues of law or policy that may be 
raised in the course of processing a request under this 
section. No fee may be charged by any agency under this 
section--
          (I) if the costs of routine collection and processing 
        of the fee are likely to equal or exceed the amount of 
        the fee; or
          (II) for any request described in clause (ii) (II) or 
        (III) of this subparagraph for the first two hours of 
        search time or for the first one hundred pages of 
        duplication.
  (v) No agency may require advance payment of any fee unless 
the requester has previously failed to pay fees in a timely 
fashion, or the agency has determined that the fee will exceed 
$250.
  (vi) Nothing in this subparagraph shall supersede fees 
chargeable under a statute specifically providing for setting 
the level of fees for particular types of records.
  (vii) In any action by a requester regarding the waiver of 
fees under this section, the court shall determine the matter 
de novo: Provided, That the court's review of the matter shall 
be limited to the record before the agency.
  (viii)(I) Except as provided in subclause (II), an agency 
shall not assess any search fees (or in the case of a requester 
described under clause (ii)(II) of this subparagraph, 
duplication fees) under this subparagraph if the agency has 
failed to comply with any time limit under paragraph (6).
  (II)(aa) If an agency has determined that unusual 
circumstances apply (as the term is defined in paragraph 
(6)(B)) and the agency provided a timely written notice to the 
requester in accordance with paragraph (6)(B), a failure 
described in subclause (I) is excused for an additional 10 
days. If the agency fails to comply with the extended time 
limit, the agency may not assess any search fees (or in the 
case of a requester described under clause (ii)(II) of this 
subparagraph, duplication fees).
  (bb) If an agency has determined that unusual circumstances 
apply and more than 5,000 pages are necessary to respond to the 
request, an agency may charge search fees (or in the case of a 
requester described under clause (ii)(II) of this subparagraph, 
duplication fees) if the agency has provided a timely written 
notice to the requester in accordance with paragraph (6)(B) and 
the agency has discussed with the requester via written mail, 
electronic mail, or telephone (or made not less than 3 good-
faith attempts to do so) how the requester could effectively 
limit the scope of the request in accordance with paragraph 
(6)(B)(ii).
  (cc) If a court has determined that exceptional circumstances 
exist (as that term is defined in paragraph (6)(C)), a failure 
described in subclause (I) shall be excused for the length of 
time provided by the court order.
  (B) On complaint, the district court of the United States in 
the district in which the complainant resides, or has his 
principal place of business, or in which the agency records are 
situated, or in the District of Columbia, has jurisdiction to 
enjoin the agency from withholding agency records and to order 
the production of any agency records improperly withheld from 
the complainant. In such a case the court shall determine the 
matter de novo, and may examine the contents of such agency 
records in camera to determine whether such records or any part 
thereof shall be withheld under any of the exemptions set forth 
in subsection (b) of this section, and the burden is on the 
agency to sustain its action. In addition to any other matters 
to which a court accords substantial weight, a court shall 
accord substantial weight to an affidavit of an agency 
concerning the agency's determination as to technical 
feasibility under paragraph (2)(C) and subsection (b) and 
reproducibility under paragraph (3)(B).
  (C) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the defendant 
shall serve an answer or otherwise plead to any complaint made 
under this subsection within thirty days after service upon the 
defendant of the pleading in which such complaint is made, 
unless the court otherwise directs for good cause shown.
  (E)(i) The court may assess against the United States 
reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs reasonably 
incurred in any case under this section in which the 
complainant has substantially prevailed.
  (ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, a complainant has 
substantially prevailed if the complainant has obtained relief 
through either--
          (I) a judicial order, or an enforceable written 
        agreement or consent decree; or
          (II) a voluntary or unilateral change in position by 
        the agency, if the complainant's claim is not 
        insubstantial.
  (F)(i) Whenever the court orders the production of any agency 
records improperly withheld from the complainant and assesses 
against the United States reasonable attorney fees and other 
litigation costs, and the court additionally issues a written 
finding that the circumstances surrounding the withholding 
raise questions whether agency personnel acted arbitrarily or 
capriciously with respect to the withholding, the Special 
Counsel shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine 
whether disciplinary action is warranted against the officer or 
employee who was primarily responsible for the withholding. The 
Special Counsel, after investigation and consideration of the 
evidence submitted, shall submit his findings and 
recommendations to the administrative authority of the agency 
concerned and shall send copies of the findings and 
recommendations to the officer or employee or his 
representative. The administrative authority shall take the 
corrective action that the Special Counsel recommends.
  (ii) The Attorney General shall--
          (I) notify the Special Counsel of each civil action 
        described under the first sentence of clause (i); and
          (II) annually submit a report to Congress on the 
        number of such civil actions in the preceding year.
  (iii) The Special Counsel shall annually submit a report to 
Congress on the actions taken by the Special Counsel under 
clause (i).
  (G) In the event of noncompliance with the order of the 
court, the district court may punish for contempt the 
responsible employee, and in the case of a uniformed service, 
the responsible member.
  (5) Each agency having more than one member shall maintain 
and make available for public inspection a record of the final 
votes of each member in every agency proceeding.
  (6)(A) Each agency, upon any request for records made under 
paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection, shall--
          (i) determine within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, 
        Sundays, and legal public holidays) after the receipt 
        of any such request whether to comply with such request 
        and shall immediately notify the person making such 
        request of--
                  (I) such determination and the reasons 
                therefor;
                  (II) the right of such person to seek 
                assistance from the FOIA Public Liaison of the 
                agency; and
                  (III) in the case of an adverse 
                determination--
                          (aa) the right of such person to 
                        appeal to the head of the agency, 
                        within a period determined by the head 
                        of the agency that is not less than 90 
                        days after the date of such adverse 
                        determination; and
                          (bb) the right of such person to seek 
                        dispute resolution services from the 
                        FOIA Public Liaison of the agency or 
                        the Office of Government Information 
                        Services; and
          (ii) make a determination with respect to any appeal 
        within twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and 
        legal public holidays) after the receipt of such 
        appeal. If on appeal the denial of the request for 
        records is in whole or in part upheld, the agency shall 
        notify the person making such request of the provisions 
        for judicial review of that determination under 
        paragraph (4) of this subsection.
The 20-day period under clause (i) shall commence on the date 
on which the request is first received by the appropriate 
component of the agency, but in any event not later than ten 
days after the request is first received by any component of 
the agency that is designated in the agency's regulations under 
this section to receive requests under this section. The 20-day 
period shall not be tolled by the agency except--
          (I) that the agency may make one request to the 
        requester for information and toll the 20-day period 
        while it is awaiting such information that it has 
        reasonably requested from the requester under this 
        section; or
          (II) if necessary to clarify with the requester 
        issues regarding fee assessment. In either case, the 
        agency's receipt of the requester's response to the 
        agency's request for information or clarification ends 
        the tolling period.
  (B)(i) In unusual circumstances as specified in this 
subparagraph, the time limits prescribed in either clause (i) 
or clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) may be extended by written 
notice to the person making such request setting forth the 
unusual circumstances for such extension and the date on which 
a determination is expected to be dispatched. No such notice 
shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more 
than ten working days, except as provided in clause (ii) of 
this subparagraph.
  (ii) With respect to a request for which a written notice 
under clause (i) extends the time limits prescribed under 
clause (i) of subparagraph (A), the agency shall notify the 
person making the request if the request cannot be processed 
within the time limit specified in that clause and shall 
provide the person an opportunity to limit the scope of the 
request so that it may be processed within that time limit or 
an opportunity to arrange with the agency an alternative time 
frame for processing the request or a modified request. Refusal 
by the person to reasonably modify the request or arrange such 
an alternative time frame shall be considered as a factor in 
determining whether exceptional circumstances exist for 
purposes of subparagraph (C). To aid the requester, each agency 
shall make available its FOIA Public Liaison, who shall assist 
in the resolution of any disputes between the requester and the 
agency, and notify the requester of the right of the requester 
to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of 
Government Information Services.
  (iii) As used in this subparagraph, ``unusual circumstances'' 
means, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to the 
proper processing of the particular requests--
          (I) the need to search for and collect the requested 
        records from field facilities or other establishments 
        that are separate from the office processing the 
        request;
          (II) the need to search for, collect, and 
        appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate 
        and distinct records which are demanded in a single 
        request; or
          (III) the need for consultation, which shall be 
        conducted with all practicable speed, with another 
        agency having a substantial interest in the 
        determination of the request or among two or more 
        components of the agency having substantial subject-
        matter interest therein.
  (iv) Each agency may promulgate regulations, pursuant to 
notice and receipt of public comment, providing for the 
aggregation of certain requests by the same requestor, or by a 
group of requestors acting in concert, if the agency reasonably 
believes that such requests actually constitute a single 
request, which would otherwise satisfy the unusual 
circumstances specified in this subparagraph, and the requests 
involve clearly related matters. Multiple requests involving 
unrelated matters shall not be aggregated.
  (C)(i) Any person making a request to any agency for records 
under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of this subsection shall be 
deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies with 
respect to such request if the agency fails to comply with the 
applicable time limit provisions of this paragraph. If the 
Government can show exceptional circumstances exist and that 
the agency is exercising due diligence in responding to the 
request, the court may retain jurisdiction and allow the agency 
additional time to complete its review of the records. Upon any 
determination by an agency to comply with a request for 
records, the records shall be made promptly available to such 
person making such request. Any notification of denial of any 
request for records under this subsection shall set forth the 
names and titles or positions of each person responsible for 
the denial of such request.
  (ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, the term 
``exceptional circumstances'' does not include a delay that 
results from a predictable agency workload of requests under 
this section, unless the agency demonstrates reasonable 
progress in reducing its backlog of pending requests.
  (iii) Refusal by a person to reasonably modify the scope of a 
request or arrange an alternative time frame for processing a 
request (or a modified request) under clause (ii) after being 
given an opportunity to do so by the agency to whom the person 
made the request shall be considered as a factor in determining 
whether exceptional circumstances exist for purposes of this 
subparagraph.
  (D)(i) Each agency may promulgate regulations, pursuant to 
notice and receipt of public comment, providing for multitrack 
processing of requests for records based on the amount of work 
or time (or both) involved in processing requests.
  (ii) Regulations under this subparagraph may provide a person 
making a request that does not qualify for the fastest 
multitrack processing an opportunity to limit the scope of the 
request in order to qualify for faster processing.
  (iii) This subparagraph shall not be considered to affect the 
requirement under subparagraph (C) to exercise due diligence.
  (E)(i) Each agency shall promulgate regulations, pursuant to 
notice and receipt of public comment, providing for expedited 
processing of requests for records--
          (I) in cases in which the person requesting the 
        records demonstrates a compelling need; and
          (II) in other cases determined by the agency.
  (ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), regulations under this 
subparagraph must ensure--
          (I) that a determination of whether to provide 
        expedited processing shall be made, and notice of the 
        determination shall be provided to the person making 
        the request, within 10 days after the date of the 
        request; and
          (II) expeditious consideration of administrative 
        appeals of such determinations of whether to provide 
        expedited processing.
  (iii) An agency shall process as soon as practicable any 
request for records to which the agency has granted expedited 
processing under this subparagraph. Agency action to deny or 
affirm denial of a request for expedited processing pursuant to 
this subparagraph, and failure by an agency to respond in a 
timely manner to such a request shall be subject to judicial 
review under paragraph (4), except that the judicial review 
shall be based on the record before the agency at the time of 
the determination.
  (iv) A district court of the United States shall not have 
jurisdiction to review an agency denial of expedited processing 
of a request for records after the agency has provided a 
complete response to the request.
  (v) For purposes of this subparagraph, the term ``compelling 
need'' means--
          (I) that a failure to obtain requested records on an 
        expedited basis under this paragraph could reasonably 
        be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or 
        physical safety of an individual; or
          (II) with respect to a request made by a person 
        primarily engaged in disseminating information, urgency 
        to inform the public concerning actual or alleged 
        Federal Government activity.
  (vi) A demonstration of a compelling need by a person making 
a request for expedited processing shall be made by a statement 
certified by such person to be true and correct to the best of 
such person's knowledge and belief.
  (F) In denying a request for records, in whole or in part, an 
agency shall make a reasonable effort to estimate the volume of 
any requested matter the provision of which is denied, and 
shall provide any such estimate to the person making the 
request, unless providing such estimate would harm an interest 
protected by the exemption in subsection (b) pursuant to which 
the denial is made.
  (7) Each agency shall--
          (A) establish a system to assign an individualized 
        tracking number for each request received that will 
        take longer than ten days to process and provide to 
        each person making a request the tracking number 
        assigned to the request; and
          (B) establish a telephone line or Internet service 
        that provides information about the status of a request 
        to the person making the request using the assigned 
        tracking number, including--
                  (i) the date on which the agency originally 
                received the request; and
                  (ii) an estimated date on which the agency 
                will complete action on the request.
  (8)(A) An agency shall--
          (i) withhold information under this section only if--
                  (I) the agency reasonably foresees that 
                disclosure would harm an interest protected by 
                an exemption described in subsection (b); or
                  (II) disclosure is prohibited by law; and
          (ii)(I) consider whether partial disclosure of 
        information is possible whenever the agency determines 
        that a full disclosure of a requested record is not 
        possible; and
          (II) take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and 
        release nonexempt information; and
          (B) Nothing in this paragraph requires disclosure of 
        information that is otherwise prohibited from 
        disclosure by law, or otherwise exempted from 
        disclosure under subsection (b)(3).
  (b) This section does not apply to matters that are--
          (1)(A) specifically authorized under criteria 
        established by an Executive order to be kept secret in 
        the interest of national defense or foreign policy and 
        (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such 
        Executive order;
          (2) related solely to the internal personnel rules 
        and practices of an agency;
          (3) specifically exempted from disclosure by statute 
        (other than section 552b of this title), if that 
        statute--
                  (A)(i) requires that the matters be withheld 
                from the public in such a manner as to leave no 
                discretion on the issue; or
                  (ii) establishes particular criteria for 
                withholding or refers to particular types of 
                matters to be withheld; and
                  (B) if enacted after the date of enactment of 
                the OPEN FOIA Act of 2009, specifically cites 
                to this paragraph.
          (4) trade secrets and commercial or financial 
        information obtained from a person and privileged or 
        confidential;
          (5) inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or 
        letters that would not be available by law to a party 
        other than an agency in litigation with the agency, 
        provided that the deliberative process privilege shall 
        not apply to records created 25 years or more before 
        the date on which the records were requested;
          (6) personnel and medical files and similar files the 
        disclosure of which would constitute a clearly 
        unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
          (7) records or information compiled for law 
        enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the 
        production of such law enforcement records or 
        information (A) could reasonably be expected to 
        interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would 
        deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an 
        impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be 
        expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of 
        personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to 
        disclose the identity of a confidential source, 
        including a State, local, or foreign agency or 
        authority or any private institution which furnished 
        information on a confidential basis, and, in the case 
        of a record or information compiled by criminal law 
        enforcement authority in the course of a criminal 
        investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful 
        national security intelligence investigation, 
        information furnished by a confidential source, (E) 
        would disclose techniques and procedures for law 
        enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would 
        disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations 
        or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be 
        expected to risk circumvention of the law, or (F) could 
        reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical 
        safety of any individual;
          (8) contained in or related to examination, 
        operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf 
        of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the 
        regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or
          (9) geological and geophysical information and data, 
        including maps, concerning wells.
Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided 
to any person requesting such record after deletion of the 
portions which are exempt under this subsection. The amount of 
information deleted, and the exemption under which the deletion 
is made, shall be indicated on the released portion of the 
record, unless including that indication would harm an interest 
protected by the exemption in this subsection under which the 
deletion is made. If technically feasible, the amount of the 
information deleted, and the exemption under which the deletion 
is made, shall be indicated at the place in the record where 
such deletion is made.
  (c)(1) Whenever a request is made which involves access to 
records described in subsection (b)(7)(A) and--
          (A) the investigation or proceeding involves a 
        possible violation of criminal law; and
          (B) there is reason to believe that (i) the subject 
        of the investigation or proceeding is not aware of its 
        pendency, and (ii) disclosure of the existence of the 
        records could reasonably be expected to interfere with 
        enforcement proceedings,
the agency may, during only such time as that circumstance 
continues, treat the records as not subject to the requirements 
of this section.
  (2) Whenever informant records maintained by a criminal law 
enforcement agency under an informant's name or personal 
identifier are requested by a third party according to the 
informant's name or personal identifier, the agency may treat 
the records as not subject to the requirements of this section 
unless the informant's status as an informant has been 
officially confirmed.
  (3) Whenever a request is made which involves access to 
records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
pertaining to foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or 
international terrorism, and the existence of the records is 
classified information as provided in subsection (b)(1), the 
Bureau may, as long as the existence of the records remains 
classified information, treat the records as not subject to the 
requirements of this section.
  (d) This section does not authorize withholding of 
information or limit the availability of records to the public, 
except as specifically stated in this section. This section is 
not authority to withhold information from Congress.
  (e)(1) On or before February 1 of each year, each agency 
shall submit to the Attorney General of the United States and 
to the Director of the Office of Government Information 
Services a report which shall cover the preceding fiscal year 
and which shall include--
          (A) the number of determinations made by the agency 
        not to comply with requests for records made to such 
        agency under subsection (a) and the reasons for each 
        such determination;
          (B)(i) the number of appeals made by persons under 
        subsection (a)(6), the result of such appeals, and the 
        reason for the action upon each appeal that results in 
        a denial of information; and
          (ii) a complete list of all statutes that the agency 
        relies upon to authorize the agency to withhold 
        information under subsection (b)(3), the number of 
        occasions on which each statute was relied upon, a 
        description of whether a court has upheld the decision 
        of the agency to withhold information under each such 
        statute, and a concise description of the scope of any 
        information withheld;
          (C) the number of requests for records pending before 
        the agency as of September 30 of the preceding year, 
        and the median and average number of days that such 
        requests had been pending before the agency as of that 
        date;
          (D) the number of requests for records received by 
        the agency and the number of requests which the agency 
        processed;
          (E) the median number of days taken by the agency to 
        process different types of requests, based on the date 
        on which the requests were received by the agency;
          (F) the average number of days for the agency to 
        respond to a request beginning on the date on which the 
        request was received by the agency, the median number 
        of days for the agency to respond to such requests, and 
        the range in number of days for the agency to respond 
        to such requests;
          (G) based on the number of business days that have 
        elapsed since each request was originally received by 
        the agency--
                  (i) the number of requests for records to 
                which the agency has responded with a 
                determination within a period up to and 
                including 20 days, and in 20-day increments up 
                to and including 200 days;
                  (ii) the number of requests for records to 
                which the agency has responded with a 
                determination within a period greater than 200 
                days and less than 301 days;
                  (iii) the number of requests for records to 
                which the agency has responded with a 
                determination within a period greater than 300 
                days and less than 401 days; and
                  (iv) the number of requests for records to 
                which the agency has responded with a 
                determination within a period greater than 400 
                days;
          (H) the average number of days for the agency to 
        provide the granted information beginning on the date 
        on which the request was originally filed, the median 
        number of days for the agency to provide the granted 
        information, and the range in number of days for the 
        agency to provide the granted information;
          (I) the median and average number of days for the 
        agency to respond to administrative appeals based on 
        the date on which the appeals originally were received 
        by the agency, the highest number of business days 
        taken by the agency to respond to an administrative 
        appeal, and the lowest number of business days taken by 
        the agency to respond to an administrative appeal;
          (J) data on the 10 active requests with the earliest 
        filing dates pending at each agency, including the 
        amount of time that has elapsed since each request was 
        originally received by the agency;
          (K) data on the 10 active administrative appeals with 
        the earliest filing dates pending before the agency as 
        of September 30 of the preceding year, including the 
        number of business days that have elapsed since the 
        requests were originally received by the agency;
          (L) the number of expedited review requests that are 
        granted and denied, the average and median number of 
        days for adjudicating expedited review requests, and 
        the number adjudicated within the required 10 days;
          (M) the number of fee waiver requests that are 
        granted and denied, and the average and median number 
        of days for adjudicating fee waiver determinations;
          (N) the total amount of fees collected by the agency 
        for processing requests;
          (O) the number of full-time staff of the agency 
        devoted to processing requests for records under this 
        section, and the total amount expended by the agency 
        for processing such requests;
          (P) the number of times the agency denied a request 
        for records under subsection (c); and
          (Q) the number of records that were made available 
        for public inspection in an electronic format under 
        subsection (a)(2).
  (2) Information in each report submitted under paragraph (1) 
shall be expressed in terms of each principal component of the 
agency and for the agency overall.
  (3) Each agency shall make each such report available for 
public inspection in an electronic format. In addition, each 
agency shall make the raw statistical data used in each report 
available in a timely manner for public inspection in an 
electronic format, which shall be made available--
          (A) without charge, license, or registration 
        requirement;
          (B) in an aggregated, searchable format; and
          (C) in a format that may be downloaded in bulk.
  (4) The Attorney General of the United States shall make each 
report which has been made available by electronic means 
available at a single electronic access point. The Attorney 
General of the United States shall notify the Chairman and 
ranking minority member of the Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform of the House of Representatives and the 
Chairman and ranking minority member of the Committees on 
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Judiciary of 
the Senate, no later than March 1 of the year in which each 
such report is issued, that such reports are available by 
electronic means.
  (5) The Attorney General of the United States, in 
consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and 
Budget, shall develop reporting and performance guidelines in 
connection with reports required by this subsection by October 
1, 1997, and may establish additional requirements for such 
reports as the Attorney General determines may be useful.
  (6)(A) The Attorney General of the United States shall submit 
to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee on the Judiciary of the 
Senate, and the President a report on or before March 1 of each 
calendar year, which shall include for the prior calendar 
year--
          (i) a listing of the number of cases arising under 
        this section;
          (ii) a listing of--
                  (I) each subsection, and any exemption, if 
                applicable, involved in each case arising under 
                this section;
                  (II) the disposition of each case arising 
                under this section; and
                  (III) the cost, fees, and penalties assessed 
                under subparagraphs (E), (F), and (G) of 
                subsection (a)(4); and
          (iii) a description of the efforts undertaken by the 
        Department of Justice to encourage agency compliance 
        with this section.
  (B) The Attorney General of the United States shall make--
          (i) each report submitted under subparagraph (A) 
        available for public inspection in an electronic 
        format; and
          (ii) the raw statistical data used in each report 
        submitted under subparagraph (A) available for public 
        inspection in an electronic format, which shall be made 
        available--
                  (I) without charge, license, or registration 
                requirement;
                  (II) in an aggregated, searchable format; and
                  (III) in a format that may be downloaded in 
                bulk.
  (f) For purposes of this section, the term--
          (1) ``agency'' as defined in section 551(1) of this 
        title includes any executive department, military 
        department, Government corporation, Government 
        controlled corporation, or other establishment in the 
        executive branch of the Government (including the 
        Executive Office of the President), or any independent 
        regulatory agency; and
          (2) ``record'' and any other term used in this 
        section in reference to information includes--
                  (A) any information that would be an agency 
                record subject to the requirements of this 
                section when maintained by an agency in any 
                format, including an electronic format; and
                  (B) any information described under 
                subparagraph (A) that is maintained for an 
                agency by an entity under Government contract, 
                for the purposes of records management.
  (g) The head of each agency shall prepare and make available 
for public inspection in an electronic format, reference 
material or a guide for requesting records or information from 
the agency, subject to the exemptions in subsection (b), 
including--
          (1) an index of all major information systems of the 
        agency;
          (2) a description of major information and record 
        locator systems maintained by the agency; and
          (3) a handbook for obtaining various types and 
        categories of public information from the agency 
        pursuant to chapter 35 of title 44, and under this 
        section.
  (h)(1) There is established the Office of Government 
Information Services within the National Archives and Records 
Administration. The head of the Office shall be the Director of 
the Office of Government Information Services.
  (2) The Office of Government Information Services shall--
          (A) review policies and procedures of administrative 
        agencies under this section;
          (B) review compliance with this section by 
        administrative agencies; and
          (C) identify procedures and methods for improving 
        compliance under this section.
  (3) The Office of Government Information Services shall offer 
mediation services to resolve disputes between persons making 
requests under this section and administrative agencies as a 
nonexclusive alternative to litigation and may issue advisory 
opinions at the discretion of the Office or upon request of any 
party to a dispute.
  (4)(A) Not less frequently than annually, the Director of the 
Office of Government Information Services shall submit to the 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, 
and the President--
          (i) a report on the findings of the information 
        reviewed and identified under paragraph (2);
          (ii) a summary of the activities of the Office of 
        Government Information Services under paragraph (3), 
        including--
                  (I) any advisory opinions issued; and
                  (II) the number of times each agency engaged 
                in dispute resolution with the assistance of 
                the Office of Government Information Services 
                or the FOIA Public Liaison; and
          (iii) legislative and regulatory recommendations, if 
        any, to improve the administration of this section.
  (B) The Director of the Office of Government Information 
Services shall make each report submitted under subparagraph 
(A) available for public inspection in an electronic format.
  (C) The Director of the Office of Government Information 
Services shall not be required to obtain the prior approval, 
comment, or review of any officer or agency of the United 
States, including the Department of Justice, the Archivist of 
the United States, or the Office of Management and Budget 
before submitting to Congress, or any committee or subcommittee 
thereof, any reports, recommendations, testimony, or comments, 
if such submissions include a statement indicating that the 
views expressed therein are those of the Director and do not 
necessarily represent the views of the President.
  (5) The Director of the Office of Government Information 
Services may directly submit additional information to Congress 
and the President as the Director determines to be appropriate.
  (6) Not less frequently than annually, the Office of 
Government Information Services shall conduct a meeting that is 
open to the public on the review and reports by the Office and 
shall allow interested persons to appear and present oral or 
written statements at the meeting.
  (i) The Government Accountability Office shall conduct audits 
of administrative agencies on the implementation of this 
section and issue reports detailing the results of such audits.
  (j)(1) Each agency shall designate a Chief FOIA Officer who 
shall be a senior official of such agency (at the Assistant 
Secretary or equivalent level).
  (2) The Chief FOIA Officer of each agency shall, subject to 
the authority of the head of the agency--
          (A) have agency-wide responsibility for efficient and 
        appropriate compliance with this section;
          (B) monitor implementation of this section throughout 
        the agency and keep the head of the agency, the chief 
        legal officer of the agency, and the Attorney General 
        appropriately informed of the agency's performance in 
        implementing this section;
          (C) recommend to the head of the agency such 
        adjustments to agency practices, policies, personnel, 
        and funding as may be necessary to improve its 
        implementation of this section;
          (D) review and report to the Attorney General, 
        through the head of the agency, at such times and in 
        such formats as the Attorney General may direct, on the 
        agency's performance in implementing this section;
          (E) facilitate public understanding of the purposes 
        of the statutory exemptions of this section by 
        including concise descriptions of the exemptions in 
        both the agency's handbook issued under subsection (g), 
        and the agency's annual report on this section, and by 
        providing an overview, where appropriate, of certain 
        general categories of agency records to which those 
        exemptions apply;
          (F) offer training to agency staff regarding their 
        responsibilities under this section;
          (G) serve as the primary agency liaison with the 
        Office of Government Information Services and the 
        Office of Information Policy; and
          (H) designate 1 or more FOIA Public Liaisons.
  (3) The Chief FOIA Officer of each agency shall review, not 
less frequently than annually, all aspects of the 
administration of this section by the agency to ensure 
compliance with the requirements of this section, including--
          (A) agency regulations;
          (B) disclosure of records required under paragraphs 
        (2) and (8) of subsection (a);
          (C) assessment of fees and determination of 
        eligibility for fee waivers;
          (D) the timely processing of requests for information 
        under this section;
          (E) the use of exemptions under subsection (b); and
          (F) dispute resolution services with the assistance 
        of the Office of Government Information Services or the 
        FOIA Public Liaison.
  (k)(1) There is established in the executive branch the Chief 
FOIA Officers Council (referred to in this subsection as the 
``Council'').
  (2) The Council shall be comprised of the following members:
          (A) The Deputy Director for Management of the Office 
        of Management and Budget.
          (B) The Director of the Office of Information Policy 
        at the Department of Justice.
          (C) The Director of the Office of Government 
        Information Services.
          (D) The Chief FOIA Officer of each agency.
          (E) Any other officer or employee of the United 
        States as designated by the Co-Chairs.
  (3) The Director of the Office of Information Policy at the 
Department of Justice and the Director of the Office of 
Government Information Services shall be the Co-Chairs of the 
Council.
  (4) The Administrator of General Services shall provide 
administrative and other support for the Council.
  (5)(A) The duties of the Council shall include the following:
          (i) Develop recommendations for increasing compliance 
        and efficiency under this section.
          (ii) Disseminate information about agency 
        experiences, ideas, best practices, and innovative 
        approaches related to this section.
          (iii) Identify, develop, and coordinate initiatives 
        to increase transparency and compliance with this 
        section.
          (iv) Promote the development and use of common 
        performance measures for agency compliance with this 
        section.
  (B) In performing the duties described in subparagraph (A), 
the Council shall consult on a regular basis with members of 
the public who make requests under this section.
  (6)(A) The Council shall meet regularly and such meetings 
shall be open to the public unless the Council determines to 
close the meeting for reasons of national security or to 
discuss information exempt under subsection (b).
  (B) Not less frequently than annually, the Council shall hold 
a meeting that shall be open to the public and permit 
interested persons to appear and present oral and written 
statements to the Council.
  (C) Not later than 10 business days before a meeting of the 
Council, notice of such meeting shall be published in the 
Federal Register.
  (D) Except as provided in subsection (b), the records, 
reports, transcripts, minutes, appendices, working papers, 
drafts, studies, agenda, or other documents that were made 
available to or prepared for or by the Council shall be made 
publicly available.
  (E) Detailed minutes of each meeting of the Council shall be 
kept and shall contain a record of the persons present, a 
complete and accurate description of matters discussed and 
conclusions reached, and copies of all reports received, 
issued, or approved by the Council. The minutes shall be 
redacted as necessary and made publicly available.
  (l) FOIA Public Liaisons shall report to the agency Chief 
FOIA Officer and shall serve as supervisory officials to whom a 
requester under this section can raise concerns about the 
service the requester has received from the FOIA Requester 
Center, following an initial response from the FOIA Requester 
Center Staff. FOIA Public Liaisons shall be responsible for 
assisting in reducing delays, increasing transparency and 
understanding of the status of requests, and assisting in the 
resolution of disputes.
  (m)(1) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, 
in consultation with the Attorney General, shall ensure the 
operation of a consolidated online request portal that allows a 
member of the public to submit a request for records under 
subsection (a) to any agency from a single website. The portal 
may include any additional tools the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget finds will improve the implementation of 
this section.
  (2) This subsection shall not be construed to alter the power 
of any other agency to create or maintain an independent online 
portal for the submission of a request for records under this 
section. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
shall establish standards for interoperability between the 
portal required under paragraph (1) and other request 
processing software used by agencies subject to this section.
  (n) The Federal National Mortgage Association or the Federal 
Home Loan Mortgage Corporation shall comply with agency 
requirements under this section during any period such 
enterprise is under conservatorship or receivership pursuant to 
section 1367 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial 
Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4617).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be transparent and 
accountable. Congress and taxpayers have a right to information 
about these entities. There are issues, however, that the 
Committee must work out before this bill goes to the floor for 
a vote.
    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies to government 
agencies. The law imposes a number of requirements that make 
sense in the context of an agency but that may not make sense 
in the context of private companies.
    A report issued in 2011 by the Congressional Research 
Service raised several issues that Congress should consider 
before applying FOIA to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For 
example, CRS stated:

          One basic consideration is that FOIA currently 
        applies only to executive branch government agencies 
        and certain other government entities, including the 
        U.S. Postal Service. Only one private company, Amtrak, 
        has been required to implement FOIA. . . . As part of 
        the government, agencies are subject to many other 
        laws, regulations, policies, and executive orders that 
        require formalized methods of recordkeeping and public 
        access. These requirements--which include the 
        rulemaking process, open meetings requirements, and 
        records maintenance--would add time and costs to GSE 
        operations and have not historically been required of 
        Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Congressional Research Service, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and 
FOIA: Information Access Policy for the Government Sponsored 
Enterprises (Nov. 10, 2011) (R42080).

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency also raised concerns to 
the Committee, including whether and when Fannie Mae and 
Freddie Mac would be able to use (1) exemption 4 under FOIA, 
which protects ``trade secrets and commercial or financial 
information obtained from a person,'' or (2) exemption 8 under 
FOIA, which protects records related to financial institutions.
    The Committee, if it is to act responsibly, must carefully 
consider and address these issues.
                                        Elijah E. Cummings,
                                                    Ranking Member.

                                  [all]