32 CFR 806.15 - FOIA exemptions.
(a) Exemption number 1. When a requester seeks records that are classified, or should be classified, only an initial classification authority, or a declassification authority, can make final determinations with respect to classification issues. The fact that a record is marked with a security classification is not enough to support withholding the document; make sure it is “properly and currently classified.” Review the record paragraph by paragraph for releasable information. Review declassified and unclassified parts before release to see if they are exempt by other exemptions. Before releasing a reviewed and declassified document, draw a single black line through all the classification markings so they are still legible and stamp the document unclassified. If the requested records are “properly and currently classified,” and the Air Force withholds from release under FOIA exemption (b)(1), and the requester appeals the withholding, include a written statement from an initial classification authority or declassification authority certifying the data was properly classified originally and that it remains properly classified per Executive Order. Examples of initial classification and declassification authority statements are included in § 806.27. Guidance on document declassification reviews is in AFI 31-401, Managing the Information Security Program, and DoD 5200.1-R, Information Security Program, January 1997.
(b) Exemption number 3. HQ AFCIC/ITC will provide the current FOIA-processed (b)(3) statutes list to the MAJCOMs.
(c) Exemption number 4. The Air Force, in compliance with Executive Order 12600, will advise submitters of contractor-submitted records when a FOIA requester seeks the release of such records, regardless of any initial determination of whether FOIA exemption (b)(4) applies. (See § 806.20(a) and § 806.31). Due to a change to Title 48 CFR, Federal Acquisition Regulations System, submitter notification is not required prior to release of unit prices contained in contracts awarded based upon solicitations issued after January 1. 1998. For solicitations issued before January 1, 1998, conduct a normal submitter notice. Unit prices contained in proposals provided prior to contract award are protected from release, as are all portions of unsuccessful proposals (before and after contract award) (10 U.S.C. 2305(g), Prohibition on Release of Contractor Proposals).
(d) Exemption number 5.
(1) Attorney-client records could include, e.g., when a commander expresses concerns in confidence to his or her judge advocate and asks for a legal opinion. The legal opinion and everything the commander tells the judge advocate in confidence qualify under this privilege. Unlike deliberative process privilege, both facts and opinions qualify under the attorney work product or attorney-client privilege. Attorney work product records are records an attorney prepares, or supervises the preparation of, in contemplating or preparing for administrative proceedings or litigation.
(2) Based on court decisions in FOIA litigation, which led to the release of results of personnel surveys, FOIA managers and IDAs should get advice from an Air Force attorney before withholding survey results under FOIA exemption (b)(5).
(e) Exemption number 6.
(1) AFI 37-132, Air Force Privacy Act Program (will convert to AFI 33-332) provides guidance on collecting and safeguarding social security numbers (SSN). It states: “SSNs are personal and unique to each individual. Protect them as FOUO. Do not disclose them to anyone without an official need to know.” Before releasing an Air Force record to a FOIA requester, delete SSNs that belong to anyone other than the requester. In any subsequent FOIA release to a different requester of those same records, make sure SSNs are deleted. When feasible, notify Air Force employees when someone submits a FOIA request for information about them. The notification letter should include a brief description of the records requested. Also include a statement that only releasable records will be provided and we will protect personal information as required by the FOIA and Privacy laws.
(2) Personal information may not be posted at publicly accessible DoD web sites unless to do so is clearly authorized by law and implementing regulation and policy. Personal information should not be posted at nonpublicly accessible web sites unless it is mission essential and appropriate safeguards have been established. See also AFIs 33-129 and 35-205.
(3) Withhold names and duty addresses of personnel serving overseas or in sensitive or routinely deployable units. Routinely deployable units normally leave their permanent home stations on a periodic or rotating basis for peacetime operations or for scheduled training exercises conducted outside the United States or United States territories. Units based in the United States for a long time, such as those in extensive training or maintenance activities, do not qualify during that period. Units designated for deployment on contingency plans not yet executed and units that seldom leave the United States or United States territories (e.g., annually or semiannually) are not routinely deployable units. However, units alerted for deployment outside the United States or United States territories during actual execution of a contingency plan or in support of a crisis operation qualify. The way the Air Force deploys units makes it difficult to determine when a unit that has part of its personnel deployed becomes eligible for denial. The Air Force may consider a unit deployed on a routine basis or deployed fully overseas when 30 percent of its personnel have been either alerted or actually deployed. In this context, alerted means that a unit has received an official written warning of an impending operational mission outside the United States or United States territories. Sensitive units are those involved in special activities or classified missions, including, for example, intelligence-gathering units that collect, handle, dispose of, or store classified information and materials, as well as units that train or advise foreign personnel.
(i) Each MAJCOM and FOA will establish a system and assign OPRs to identify United States-based units in their command qualifying for the “sensitive or routinely deployable unit” designation, under this exemption. Appropriate OPRs could include directors of operations, plans and programs, and personnel.
(ii) MAJCOM FOIA managers will ensure the list of sensitive and routinely deployable units is reviewed in January and July, and will follow that review with a memo to the Air Force Personnel Center (HQ AFPC/MSIMD), 550 C Street West, Suite 48, Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4750, either validating the current list or providing a revised listing based on the current status of deployed units at that time. This listing is in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format on a 3 1/2” (double-sided, high-density) diskette, which contains the unit's eight-position personnel accounting symbol (PAS) code, with one PAS code per line (record) (8-byte record). The MAJCOM FOIA manager will send an electronic copy of the list of nonreleasable units to HQ AFPC/MSIMD which is included in the personnel data system. The MAJCOM and HQ AFPC FOIA offices will use it to determine releasable lists of names and duty addresses. This reporting requirement is exempt from licensing with a reports control symbol (RCS) in accordance with AFI 37-124, The Information Collections and Reports Management Program; Controlling Internal, Public, and Interagency Air Force Information Collections (will convert to AFI 33-324).
(f) Exemption number 7. Guidance provided in § 806.15(e)(1) also applies to SSNs in records compiled for law enforcement purposes. Do not disclose SSNs to anyone without an official need to know.