River Permits Office FOIA Policy

The River Permits Office does not release information that will allow identification of an individual. The only exception is that an individual may request identifying information about themself.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives you the right to access any National Park Service records unless the information in those records is protected by one or more of the nine exemptions (reasons an agency may withhold records from a requester) and there is a sound legal basis to withhold them.

What information is available under the FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides access to all federal agency records except for those records (or portions of those records) that are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions or three exclusions (reasons for which an agency may withhold records from a requester).

The exemptions cover:

  1. classified national defense and foreign relations information,
  2. internal agency rules and practices,
  3. information that is prohibited from disclosure by another law,
  4. trade secrets and other confidential business information,
  5. inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges,
  6. information involving matters of personal privacy,
  7. certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes,
  8. information relating to the supervision of financial institutions, and
  9. geological information on wells.

The three exclusions pertain to especially sensitive law enforcement and national security matters.

The FOIA contains two very important provisions concerning personal privacy: Exemption 6 and Exemption 7(C). They protect you from others who may seek information about you, but they also may prevent you from obtaining information about others. The FOIA's Exemption 6 permits an agency to withhold information about individuals if disclosing it would be "a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." Exemption 7(C) similarly protects personal privacy interests in law enforcement records. To decide whether to withhold information under these two FOIA privacy exemptions, an agency must balance personal privacy interests against any public interest that would be served by disclosure. Neither Exemption 6 nor Exemption 7(C) can be used to deny you access to information about yourself, only to deny you information about other persons.

Under the FOIA, you may request and receive by mail a copy of any record that is in an agency's files and is not covered by one of the exemptions or exclusions. If, on the other hand, the records you seek are about yourself, you may request them under for the FOIA and the Privacy Act of 1974. In such cases, records may be withheld only if exempt under both laws.

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