4 CFR 81.6 - Records which may be exempt from disclosure.
The public disclosure of GAO records contemplated by this part does not apply to records, or parts thereof, within any of the categories listed below. Unless precluded by law, the Chief Quality Officer may nevertheless release records within these categories.
(a) Records relating to work performed in response to a congressional request (unless authorized by the congressional requester), congressional correspondence, and congressional contact memoranda.
(b) Records specifically required by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy. An example of this category is a record classified under Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information.
(c) Records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency. This category includes, in addition to internal matters of personnel administration, internal rules and practices which cannot be disclosed without prejudice to the effective performance of an agency function. Examples within the purview of this exemption are guidelines and procedures for auditors, investigators, or examiners, and records concerning an agency's security practices or procedures.
(d) Records specifically exempted from disclosure by statute provided that such statute:
(1) Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or
(2) Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld.
(e) Records containing trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential. This exemption may include, but is not limited to, business sales statistics, inventories, customer lists, scientific or manufacturing processes or development information.
(f) Personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which could constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. This exemption excludes from disclosure all personnel and medical files, and all private or personal information contained in other files, which, if disclosed to the public, would amount to a clearly unwarranted invasion of the privacy of any person. An example of such other files within the exemption would be files compiled to evaluate candidates for security clearance.
(h) Records having information contained in or related to examination, operation, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.
(i) Records containing geological and geophysical information and data (including maps) concerning wells.
(j) Inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda, letters, or other materials that are part of the deliberative process. For example, this exemption includes internal communications such as GAO or other agency draft reports, and those portions of internal drafts, memoranda and workpapers containing opinions, recommendations, advice, or evaluative remarks of GAO employees. This exemption seeks to avoid the inhibiting of internal communications, and the premature disclosure of documents which would be detrimental to an agency decision making.
(k) Records in addition to those described in paragraph (j) of this section containing information customarily subject to protection as privileged in a court or other proceedings, such as information protected by the doctor-patient, attorney-work product, or lawyer-client privilege.
(l) Records GAO has obligated itself not to disclose, including but not limited to, records for which GAO officials have made a pledge of confidentiality, and records the release of which would adversely impact significant property interests or negatively affect public safety.
(m) Unsolicited records containing information submitted by any person to GAO in confidence. Records obtained by the GAO Forensic Audits and Special Investigations (GAO FraudNet) are an example of records that could contain information covered by this exemption.