Open Government Authorities, Laws, Policies and Guidance

These are the current authorities under which the Open Government program is operating.


  • The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions.
  • The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, provides privacy protections for records containing information about individuals (i.e., citizen and legal permanent resident) that are collected and maintained by the federal government and are retrieved by a personal identifier. The Act provides safeguards against invasion of personal privacy through the misuse of records by Federal Agencies and requires agencies to safeguard information contained in a system of records.
  • The Open Government Act of 2007, promotes accessibility, accountability, and openness in Government by strengthening 5 U.S.C. § 552.  Also codifies several provisions of Executive Order 13,392, "Improving Agency Disclosure of Information."
  • The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (amends the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, 44 U.S.C. § 3541), requires agencies to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide information security for the information and information systems that support the operations and assets of an agency.

  • The Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1905, establishes criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of certain confidential business information.
  • Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) is designed to reduce the public’s burden of answering unnecessary, duplicative, and burdensome government surveys.

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Executive Orders (E.O.) (click here for listing of E.O.)


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Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memoranda (click here for listing of all OMB Memos)


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Commerce Open Government Policy


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Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Open Government program to


Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Page last updated:August 15, 2016