On August 26, 2009, DHS Chief Privacy Officer issued the Proactive Disclosure Memorandum to inform the proactive disclosure process. In that memo, the Department was directed to include the following categories of records on their agency websites and link them to their respective electronic reading rooms:
- Historical daily schedules of the most senior agency officials (notated to reflect that officials may have deviated from the posted schedule and abridged as appropriate for security and privacy concerns);
- Executed contracts & grants;
- Management Directives and instructions;
- Congressional correspondence under DHS control;
- FOIA logs; and
- Any records released pursuant to a FOIA request that have been, or are likely to become, the subject of three or more requests.
The DHS FOIA Office is responsible for proactively posting documents related to headquarters activities outside of the Privacy Office, and coordinates with headquarters offices in order to continue to update the FOIA Electronic Reading Room. The FOIA Office also coordinates with and assists the components in their efforts to comply with the Proactive Disclosure Memorandum.
The Department’s Proactive Disclosure Initiative has been extremely successful. Approximately 700 documents have been proactively disclosed, and the Department plans to regularly disclose more documents in the future. For example:
- CBP has posted more than 80 documents, including Congressional correspondence, contracts, final opinions, FOIA logs, manuals and instructions, and significant records of interest.
- FLETC posted its strategic plan, organizational structure, financial reports, and training materials that are not considered law enforcement sensitive.
- The Privacy Office posted Volumes 8000-11000 of Departmental directives as well as the FOIA logs for FY 2004-2009.
In light of the continued increase of proactively disclosed documents in the FOIA Electronic Reading Room, the FOIA Office has worked diligently to enhance its Electronic Reading Room to better accommodate its robust collection of documents. The Electronic Reading Room is linked on the front page of the DHS Privacy Office website, categorized by document type, and includes a “Frequently Requested” document section.