Record Display for the EPA National Library Catalog


Main Title Access to government information in the United States
Author Relyea, Harold C.
Publisher Congressional Research Services, Library of Congress,
Year Published 2005
OCLC Number 65190481
Subjects Freedom of information--United States ; Executive privilege (Government information)--United States ; Government information--United States ; Public records--Access control--United States ; Separation of powers--United States
Additional Subjects United States--Freedom of Information Act ; United States--Privacy Act of 1974
Internet Access
Description Access URL
Library Call Number Additional Info Location Last
EJBM  Z1223.R45 2005 Headquarters Library/Washington,DC 08/17/2007
Collation 4 p. ; 28 cm.
"Updated January 7, 2005."
Contents Notes
The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes -- the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) -- and two meetings access statutes -- the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) and the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b). Moreover, due to the American separation of powers model of government, interbranch conflicts over the accessibility of information are neither unexpected nor necessarily destructive. The federal courts, historically, have been reluctant to review and resolve "political questions" involving information disputes between Congress and the executive branch. Although there is considerable interbranch cooperation, such conflicts will probably continue to occur on occasion.