A CITIZEN'S GUIDE ON USING THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
AND THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 TO REQUEST GOVERNMENT RECORDS
[ table of contents ] [ next section ]
F. 2. Exemption 2.--Internal Personnel Rules and Practices
The second FOIA exemption covers matters that are related solely to an agency's internal personnel rules and practices. As interpreted by the courts, there are two separate classes of documents that are generally held to fall within exemption 2.
First, information relating to personnel rules or internal agency practices is exempt if it is trivial administrative matter of no genuine public interest. A rule governing lunch hours for agency employees is an example.
Second, an internal administrative manual can be exempt if disclosure would risk circumvention of law or agency regulations. In order to fall into this category, the material will normally have to regulate internal agency conduct rather than public behavior.