Not all records requested under the Freedom of Information Act are released to the public. The NEA may withhold information if it falls within one of the nine exemptions established under the Freedom of Information Act:
- Exemption 1: National defense and foreign relations information that has been classified pursuant to an Executive order.
- Exemption 2: Internal agency personnel rules and practices.
- Exemption 3: Information that is prohibited from disclosure by federal statute.
- Exemption 4: Trade secrets and other commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.
- Exemption 5: Inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges. These privileges include the deliberative process privilege, the attorney-client privilege, the attorney-work product privilege, and the Presidential communications privilege.
- Exemption 6: Information that, if released to the public, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
- Exemption 7: Certain records and information compiled for law enforcement purposes.
- Exemption 8: Information relating to the supervision of financial institutions.
- Exemption 9: Geological and geophysical information on wells.
Will I be able to tell whether a substantial amount of information has been deleted from the records I receive? Yes, your records will indicate that information has been deleted unless doing so would harm an interest protected by the list of FOIA exemptions. If a record is being released in part, the redacted portion will be labeled with one of the FOIA exemptions listed above. If a record is being withheld in full, the cover letter will generally indicate the number of pages being withheld and the FOIA exemption that applies.