Freedom of Information Act:

Noncompliance With Affirmative Disclosure Provisions

GGD-86-68: Published: Apr 15, 1986. Publicly Released: May 22, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated federal agencies' compliance with the affirmative disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which require that federal agencies make available certain information on their organizations, operations, and regulations.

GAO found that: (1) in 13 instances, agencies did not publish or keep current information on their central and field organizations; (2) in 6 instances, their published statements on where the public could obtain information were out of date; and (3) one agency did not publish procedural information on its system of hearings and appeals. GAO also found that: (1) one organization did not index final opinions for cases that it did not consider as precedent, although it did index the final opinions it considered as precedent; (2) in 5 instances, agencies made required materials available at locations other than those specified in the Federal Register; (3) one organization did not have all of its required materials available in its designated reading facility; (4) one organization's published rule on the availability of required material and indexes did not identify the locations where the indexes and materials were available to the public; (5) in 10 instances, agencies did not keep complete indexes of required materials or update them at least quarterly, as the statute required; and (6) two organizations did not publish their indexes or their required statements in the Federal Register to advise that publication of their indexes was considered unnecessary and impracticable, although they did maintain unpublished indexes.

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