1984 – The Freedom of Information Act was passed.

Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 1984 –

Amends the Freedom of Information Act to require agencies to promulgate regulations with regard to the procedures for:

(1) designating certain information confidential; and

(2) handling requests for such confidential information. Provides for de novo judicial review by a U.S. district court of an agency decision to withhold or disclose records. Directs a court to assess attorneys fees against a submitter where the submitter’s reasons for withholding information were not substantially justified. Provides for a sliding fee schedule based upon use (commercial or non-commercial) and the nature of the requester (e.g., individual, educational or scientific institution, news organization, or governmental agency). Permits expedited access to records upon a showing of compelling need. Allows the Special Counsel of the Merit Systems Protection Board to take action against agency personnel for arbitrary and capricious behavior with regard to the withholding, removal, or alteration of a record or with regard to the fee estimate.

Requires the annual report of an agency to include: (1) the number of requests made;

(2) the number of fee waivers requested and granted; and

(3) the average length of time to comply with requests and appeals. Revises the current exemption given to law enforcement records to permit the withholding of law enforcement records if such disclosure would endanger the life or physical safety of any individual. Exempts from disclosure requirements any informant records maintained under an informant’s name or personal identifier unless the status as informant has been officially acknowledged.

Resource: govtrack.us