Delegation of the Authority To Invoke the Deliberative-Process Privilege

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 85 Issue 2 (Friday, January 3, 2020)
[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 2 (Friday, January 3, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Page 409]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-28386]
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DEPARTMENT OF STATE
[Delegation of Authority No. 479]
Delegation of the Authority To Invoke the Deliberative-Process
Privilege
Authority
    By virtue of the authority vested in the Secretary of State,
including section 1 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act, as
amended (22 U.S.C. 2651a), and to the extent authorized by law, I
hereby delegate the authority to assert the deliberative-process
privilege in judicial and administrative proceedings.
Delegation
    This authority is delegated to the Assistant Secretaries of State
and their equivalents. For purposes of this delegation, equivalents
include but are not limited to Ambassadors-at-Large, Special Envoys,
and the Legal Adviser.
    The authority delegated herein may be re-delegated to Deputy
Assistant Secretaries of State and their equivalents.
Guidelines
    The deliberative-process privilege may be invoked only with respect
to internal or inter-agency records, information, and communications
that are pre-decisional and deliberative. Records, information, and
communications are pre-decisional if they were created or shared prior
to the adoption of the policy being discussed, regardless of whether
the policy was ever implemented. Records, information, and
communications are deliberative if their release would expose opinions,
assessments, advice, or recommendations offered in the course of agency
decision-making, or the internal process of agency decision-making.
    The deliberative-process privilege may be invoked only if
disclosure of the records, information, or communications at issue
would harm or inhibit Department deliberations or decision-making or
would otherwise harm legitimate Department interests. The privilege may
not be asserted for the purpose of avoiding embarrassment. The
privilege may be asserted only in coordination with the Office of the
Legal Adviser.
    The individual invoking the privilege must personally review the
records, information, or communications at issue, and must have
intimate familiarity with the underlying subject matter. The individual
invoking the privilege may consult with other individuals or offices,
as appropriate, to obtain the required familiarity and make the
required determinations.
Exclusions
    The authority to invoke other discovery privileges, such as the
state-secrets privilege, is not delegated herein.
Implementation
    The Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretaries may exercise
the authority delegated herein. This delegation does not repeal or
affect any delegation of authority currently in effect.
    This delegation does not rescind or disapprove of any of the
Department's prior invocations of the deliberative-process privilege.
    This delegation of authority shall be published in the Federal
Register.
    Dated: December 17, 2019.
Michael R. Pompeo,
Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2019-28386 Filed 1-2-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4710-08-P