Post Content

National Freedom of Information Day is observed on March 16, 2018 to recognize the public’s right to information held by government agencies. Freedom of Information Day is an annual event held on the birthday of James Madison, one of our founding fathers.

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S. Code sec. 552 et seq.) was passed in 1966, and it was followed by regulations issued by federal agencies to implement the law.  The regulations indicate what type of information is kept, how to make requests, and the appeal process in the event a request is denied.  Under certain exemptions agencies are allowed to withhold records such as classified materials and personnel files.  In some instances, agencies may make a partial disclosure.  For more information about the federal laws, go to the Department of Justice .

For Massachusetts state specific information, see the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries’ webpage, Massachusetts law about freedom of information and public records. This includes the newest changes to public records law in Massachusetts, regulations and guidelines, selected case law, forms for a freedom of information request letter, and other useful resources online and in print.

“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; And a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”    – James Madison, 1822

foia-image

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 17 posted on Jan 17

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 17

Right to Keep and Bear Arms Article 17 (1780) The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 17

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 16 posted on Jan 16

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 16

Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech Article 16 (1780) The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth. Article of Amendment, Article 77 (1948) Article 16 of the   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 16

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 15 posted on Jan 15

Massachusetts Declaration of Rights - Article 15

Right to a Jury Trial in Civil Suits Article 15 (1780) In all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between two or more persons, except in cases in which it has heretofore been otherways used and practiced, the parties have a right to a   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – Article 15