Freedom of Information Act

Definition of Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C.A. § 552) provides for making information held by Federal agencies available to the public unless it comes within one of the specific categories of matters exempt from public disclosure. Virtually all agencies of the executive branch of the Federal Government have issued regulations to implement the Freedom of Information Act. These regulations inform the public where certain types of information may be readily obtained, how other information may be obtained on request, and what internal agency appeals are available if a member of the public is refused requested information. This Act is designed to prevent abuse of discretionary power of federal agencies by requiring them to make public certain information about their workings and work product.

That's the definition of Freedom of Information Act in Black's Law Dictionary 6th Edition. Courtesy of