Under the FOIA, there is special protection for narrow categories of law enforcement and national security records. The provisions protecting those records are known as “exclusions” and are described in 5 U.S.C. 552(c). These exclusions expressly authorize Federal law enforcement agencies, under these exceptional circumstances, to treat the records as not subject to the requirements of the FOIA.
(a) Should an HHS OpDiv or StaffDiv maintain records which are subject to a FOIA exclusion, and consider employing an exclusion or have a question as to the implementation of an exclusion, the OpDiv or StaffDiv will consult with the Office of Information Policy, U.S. Department of Justice.
(b) Because records falling within an exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA, should any HHS OpDiv or StaffDiv maintain such excluded records, the OpDiv or StaffDiv will limit its response to those records that are subject to the FOIA.