Freedom of Information Act Exclusions

May 12, 2017

5 U.S.C. § 552(c)(1) - (c)(3)

Under three exceptional circumstances, the SEC is authorized to treat records as not subject to the requirements of the FOIA. When the SEC applies an exclusion, the FOIA requester will receive a response indicating that the Office of FOIA Services was unable to locate or identify any responsive records.

Three Exclusions

(c)(1) Exclusion

Where the subject of a criminal investigation or proceeding is unaware of the existence of records concerning a pending investigation and disclosure of such records would interfere with the investigation.

(c)(2) Exclusion:

Where there are informant records maintained by a criminal law enforcement agency and the individual's status as an informant is not known.

(c)(3) Exclusion:

Where there are classified FBI records pertaining to foreign intelligence, counterintelligence or international terrorism records.

The SEC Office of FOIA Services will:

(1) consult with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Information Policy (OIP) prior to using an exclusion to ensure that the exclusion is warranted and that exclusions are consistently applied, and
(2) publicly report each year on the number of times, if any, that an exclusion was used.

For additional information concerning the FOIA exclusions, please access OIP guidance at

Last Reviewed or Updated: Oct. 2, 2012