Message #90:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Actively Disseminate Information


[This information was presented at the AZSITE Consortium's Workshop
held in Phoenix on February 20 and 21st, 1997. 
http://archaeology.la.asu.edu/azsite/.  Ms. Day provide the
information to the SASIG for redistribution.

Ms. Day's information petains to federal FOIA requests related to
archaeological databases.

Ken Rozen (Arizona State Land Department) and Tim Seaman (New Mexico
Historic Preservation Division) have additional information on 'FOIA'
requests related to archaeological data at the state level -- SASIG Ed.]


From: Pat A Day, FOIA Officer, BLM,
National Training Center
9828 N. 31st Ave, Phoenix  85051
Phone:   906-5539  FAX  906-5656

FOIA Overview
AZSITE Consortium Workshop, February 21, 1997
	
Just a brief overview on the FOIA and how it pertains to archaeological
data.

A. FOIA enacted in 1966 -- 5 U.S.C. 552 and it provides that any person
has a right of access to the information in federal agency records.

C. FOIA was enacted to ensure that citizens were informed and..... that
your government had no secret laws

D. The FOIA provides that agency records must be disclosed unless exempt
or excluded

E. or if there is a public interest in withholding --for example
national security, business, privacy, law enforcement exemptions.

F. The FOIA has been amended several times --1986 (fees & exclusions)

G. In 1993 President Clinton issued a memorandum directing all federal
agencies to take steps to ensure that they comply with both the letter
and the spirit of FOIA.  -----In this memo.... the president encourages
agencies to use discretion in releasing information even if a FOIA
exemption allows the withholding of that information.  -----If there is
no foreseeable harm in releasing, then release.

For example, FOIA, exemption 5 allows agencies to withhold internal
draft memoranda, but -----if there is no harm in releasing, then the new
rule is to release the document.

H. The latest change in the FOIA law was enacted in October of 96. The
Electronic Freedom of Information Act.  The bill addresses
electronically stored information. 
The electronic FOIA bill addresses issues that were never dreamed of
back in 1966, -----such as access to data bases, the virtual office,
electronic mail and even voice mail.

- The new electronic foia bill requires agencies to provide an index of
their databases to the public.

- The bill allows the public to request records in the format of their
choice, electronically and through the internet.

- The bill requires agencies make frequently requested foia information
available to the public without having to invoke the FOIA.  --------In
the department, if we receive the same FOIA request for information 3 or
more times a year --that information will be made available over the
internet or in our public reading rooms.


Exempt 3 applies to  release of site locations of archeological
artifacts.

The protection of this information falls under FOIA exemption 3.  

This exemption allows an agency to withhold records that are
specifically exempt from disclosure by other federal statutes.

Information may be withheld only if the statute--

- requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner
as to leave no discretion on the issue     OR  

- establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to
particular types of matters to be withheld.


The statute which covers archaeological data is the

"Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979  16 U.S.C. 470hh(a)
"National Historic Preservation Act Amendments   16 U.S.C. 470w-3 1988

This statute prohibits release and allows for NO discretion for release
this information.  The statute states that the Governor and Federal land
managers will adequately protect the confidentiality of such information
to protect the resource from commercial exploitation.

Access to data base information:

------ some key points to remember are:

1. Portions of your data are protected from release under the
Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

2. If we should receive a FOIA request for data, we will deny the
request for any sensitive data based upon Exemption 3 of the FOIA.

3. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act leaves no discretion - we
must withhold the sensitive data - under penalty of law.

4. Some suggestions to think about when maintaining your information:

- design access to the data base to make any non sensitive information
available,......  but lock out access to sensitive information (site
locations) 

- AND Provide as much public information available up front...possibly
an internet home page of information.  This way you are actively
disseminating information....rather than having people request things
they can=t have.

SLIDES

FOIA enacted in 1966 -- 5 U.S.C. 552.  It provides that any person has a
right of access to the information in federal agency records.  FOIA was
enacted to ensure that citizens were informed and that your government
had no secret laws.  The FOIA provides that agency records must be
disclosed unless exempt or excluded or if there is a public interest in
withholding the information (i.e., national security, business, privacy,
law enforcement exemptions)

FOIA amendments

1986 (fees & exclusions)
1993 President Clinton memo directing all federal agencies to take steps
to ensure that they comply with both the letter and the spirit of FOIA.  
October of 96  The Electronic Freedom of Information Act.  
Agencies to provide an index of their databases to the public.
The public may request agency records in the format of their choice
Requires agencies make frequently requested FOIA information available
to the public without having to invoke the FOIA.

Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act
Allows an agency to withhold records that are specifically exempt from
disclosure by other federal statutes.
Information may be withheld only if the statute--
Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner
as to leave no discretion on the issue     OR  
Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular
types of matters to be withheld.

The statute which covers archaeological data 

"Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979  16 U.S.C. 470hh(a)
"National Historic Preservation Act Amendments   16 U.S.C. 470w-3 1988

Key points to remember :
Portions of your data are protected from release under the
Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
Public requests for sensitive data will be denied based upon Exemption 3
of the FOIA.
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act leaves no discretion - we
must withhold the sensitive data - 

Suggestions to think about when maintaining your information:

Design access to the data base to make any non sensitive information
available while locking out access to sensitive information (site
locations) 

Provide as much public information available up front.  Actively
disseminate information, rather than have people request information
they can't have.