FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Nat'l Highway Traffic Safety Administration to amend FOIA regulation concerning confidential business information

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

The NHTSA is proposing to amend its FOIA regulation with respect to the submission and processing of requests for confidential treatment, according to a notice to be published in the Federal Register on January 4, 2016.  In sum, the proposed regulation would make the following changes:

  1.  NHTSA will defer acting on requests for confidential treatment until the agency receives a FOIA request for the information at issue, unless it decides that making a determination is necessary or in the public interest. 
  2. Submitters will be instructed to affirmatively specify whether the materials for which confidential treatment is sought were voluntarily submitted and provide an adequate basis for their claim of voluntariness.
  3. Submitters will be provided the option of electronically submitting their requests for confidential treatment and the materials accompanying those requests.

The deadline for submitting comments to NHTSA's proposed regulation is March 4, 2016.