Procedures for Disclosure of Records Under the Freedom of Information Act

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 165 (Monday, August 26, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 165 (Monday, August 26, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 44565-44566]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18326]
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POSTAL SERVICE
39 CFR Part 265
Procedures for Disclosure of Records Under the Freedom of
Information Act
AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
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SUMMARY: The Postal Service proposes to amend its Freedom of
Information Act (``FOIA'') regulations regarding fee waivers. These
changes would improve clarity and more closely align the regulations
with both the relevant guidance from the Department of Justice's Office
of Information Policy and the relevant statute.
DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 25, 2019.
ADDRESSES: Mail or deliver written comments to: Associate General
Counsel and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW,
Room 6000, Washington, DC 20260-1135. Email and faxed comments are not
accepted. You may inspect and photocopy all written comments, by
appointment only, at USPS[supreg] Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant
Plaza SW, 11th Floor North, Washington, DC 20260. These records are
available for review on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., by
calling 202-268-2904. All submitted comments and attachments are part
of the public record and subject to disclosure. Do not enclose any
material in your comments that you consider to be confidential or
inappropriate for public disclosure.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ruth B. Stevenson, Attorney, Federal
Compliance, [email protected], 202-268-6627.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service proposes to amend 39 CFR
part 265 to improve clarity and to more closely align the regulations
with both the relevant guidance from the Department of Justice's Office
of Information Policy and the relevant statute, 5 U.S.C.
552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The portion of the regulations being amended
concerns fee waivers. Generally speaking, fees for a FOIA request will
be waived ``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.'' 5 U.S.C.
552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The guidance from the Department of Justice
elucidates a six-factor test from this rule--two of which of which
relate to the commercial interest of the requester. The amendment to 39
CFR 265.9(j)(3)(i) clarifies that the first commercial interest factor
is to determine whether a commercial interest exists. The amendment to
39 CFR 265.9(j)(3)(ii) incorporates the balancing test from the statute
as the second part of the commercial interest factor, along with adding
a presumption concerning news media requesters.
List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 265
    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of
information, Government employees.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Postal Service proposes
to amend 39 CFR chapter I as follows:
PART 265--[AMENDED]
0
1. The authority citation for part 265 continues to read as follows:
    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. App. 3; 39 U.S.C. 401, 403,
410, 1001, 2601; Pub. L. 114-185.
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2. Amend Sec.  265.9 to revise paragraphs (j)(3)(i) and (ii) to read as
follows:
Sec.  265.9   Fees.
* * * * *
    (j) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) Whether there is a commercial interest, as defined in paragraph
(b)(1) of this section, that would be furthered by the requested
disclosure. If so, then the requester will be given an opportunity to
provide explanatory information regarding this consideration.
    (ii) Whether any identified commercial interest of the requester in
disclosure outweighs the public interest, as defined in paragraph
(j)(1)(i) of this section, in disclosure. If so, then the disclosure is
``primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.'' The
component ordinarily shall presume that if a news media requester has
satisfied the public interest standard, the public interest is the
primary interest served by the requested disclosure. Disclosure to data
brokers or others who merely compile and market government information
for direct
[[Page 44566]]
economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the public
interest.
* * * * *
Ruth Stevenson,
Attorney, Federal Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2019-18326 Filed 8-23-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7710-12-P