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FOIA exemptions and exclusions

A request for records may be denied if the requested record contains information which falls into one or more of the nine categories listed below. If the requested record contains both exempt and nonexempt information, the nonexempt portions, which may reasonably be segregated from the exempt portions, will be released to the requester.

Categories of exempt information

  • Exemption 1: Those records properly and currently classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, as specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order.
  • Exemption 2: Records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of FCSIC, including matters which are for the guidance of agency personnel.
  • Exemption 3: Records specifically exempted from disclosure by statute which permits no discretion on the issue.
  • Exemption 4: Records containing commercial or financial information obtained from any person or organization that is privileged or confidential.
  • Exemption 5: Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a party in litigation with FCSIC.
  • Exemption 6: Personnel and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
  • Exemption 7: Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information:

    a. Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;

    b. Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;

    c. Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

    d. Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source;

    e. Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or

    f. Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.

  • Exemption 8: Records of or related to examination, operation, reports of condition and performance, or reports of or related to Farm Credit System institutions or institutions that are regulated and/or examined by FCA that are prepared by, on behalf of, or for the agency's use.
  • Exemption 9: Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.


Congress also provided special protection in the FOIA for three narrow categories of law enforcement and national security records. The provisions protecting those records are known as “exclusions.”

  1. The first exclusion protects the existence of an ongoing criminal law enforcement investigation when the subject of the investigation is unaware that it is pending and disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.
  2. The second exclusion is limited to criminal law enforcement agencies and protects the existence of informant records when the informant’s status has not been officially confirmed.
  3. The third exclusion is limited to the FBI and protects the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records when the existence of such records is classified.

Records falling within an exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA. So when FCSIC responds to FOIA requests, it will limit its response to those records that are subject to the FOIA

Page updated: April 16, 2017