Garland Strengthens Public Access To Government Docs

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By Lauren Berg (March 15, 2022, 11:08 PM EDT) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday told federal government agencies to favor disclosure and transparency when responding to Freedom of Information Act requests, saying the U.S. Department of Justice won’t defend the withholding of records unless the disclosure comes with foreseeable harm.

The attorney general’s guidelines direct agencies not to withhold records unless they can point to a foreseeable harm or legal bar resulting from the disclosure and that, in case of doubt, “openness should prevail,” according to a Justice Department statement.

“At the Justice Department, and across government, our success depends upon the trust of the people we serve. That…

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