36 CFR 902.55 - Intragovernmental exchanges.
(a) Any record prepared by a Government officer or employee (including those prepared by a consultant or advisory body) for internal Government use is within the statutory exemption to the extent that it contains -
(1) Opinions, advice, deliberations, or recommendations made in the course of developing official action by the Government, but not actually made a part of that official action, or
(2) Information concerning any pending proceeding or similar matter including any claim or other dispute to be resolved before a court of law, administrative board, hearing officer, or contracting officer.
(b) This section has two distinct purposes. One is to protect the full and frank exchange of ideas, views, and opinions necessary for the effective functioning of the Government and to afford this protection both before and after any action is taken. This judicially recognized privilege of protection against disclosure in litigation or elsewhere is intended to assure that these resources will be fully and readily available to those officials upon whom the responsibility rests to take official and final Corporation action. However, the action itself, any memoranda made part of that action, and the facts on which it is based are not within this protection. The other purpose is to protect against the premature disclosure of material that is in the development stage if premature disclosure would be detrimental to the authorized and appropriate purposes for which the material is being used, or if, because of its tentative nature, the material is likely to be revised or modified before it is officially presented to the public.
(c) Examples of records covered by this section include minutes to the extent they contain matter described in paragraph (a) of this section; staff papers containing advice, opinions, suggestions, or exchanges of views, preliminary to final agency decision or action; budgetary planning and programming information; advance information on such things as proposed plans to procure, lease, or otherwise hire and dispose of materials, real estate, or facilities, documents exchanged preparatory to anticipated legal proceedings; material intended for public release at a specified future time, if premature disclosure would be detrimental to orderly processes of the Corporation; records of inspection, investigations, and surveys pertaining to internal management of the Department; and matters that would not be routinely disclosed under disclosure procedures in litigation and which are likely to be the subject of litigation. However, if such a record also contains factual information, that information must be made available under subpart E of this part unless the facts are so inextricably intertwined with deliverative or policymaking processes, that they cannot be separated without disclosing those processes.