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In chartering the Special Subcommittee on Government Information, Congressman William L. Dawson, chairman of the House Committee on Government Operations, directed a study of the growing restrictions on information from Federal Executive Departments and Independent Agencies. The Subcommittee was instructed to "ascertain the trend in the availability of government information” and 'scrutinize the information practices of executive agencies and officials in the light of their propriety, fitness, and legality.” (Subcommittee Hearings, Part I, November 7, 1955, p. 2.)

The Subcommittee discovered early in its study that many Federal agencies had no clear knowledge of their legal authority or lack of it-to withhold information from the public, from the Congress or from other government agencies. Until the withholdings were effectively challenged, Federal officials seldom had to cite legal authority for restrictions on information.

This compilation of Federal statutes on the availability of information includes statutory authorities for both the dissemination and the restriction of information under the control of Federal Executive Departments and Independent Agencies. It does not cover the large number of Federal regulations which may affect the availability of information or does it cover Executive Orders except by occasional reference in a citation. With the passage of time there are minor but perceptible changes in Federal information statutes due to the lapse of a statute, to the consolidation of statutory requirements, to the reallocation of functions by reorganization or other reasons. This compilation represents the best ascertainable information on the state of the law at the time of publication, but it does not purport to cover all of the Federal statutes.

The Federal statutes on the availability of information were compiled initially by Miss Elizabeth Elward, American Law Division, Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress. The volume was edited, arranged and annotated by the staff of the Special Subcommittee on Government Information. The index was prepared by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Buck, Exhibits and Publications Branch, National Archives.

The compilation is arranged in three major groupings: statutes on information to Congress, statutes on information for other public officials, and statutes affecting the availability of information to the public. The list of information statutes by title and section (p. 277) is arranged in numerical order. The comprehensive index (p. 285) lists subjects covered and Federal agencies affected by information statutes.






5 U.S.C., § 105a. Information furnished Committees of Congress on

request. Every executive department and independent establishment of the Government shall, upon request of the House Committee on Government Operations, or of any seven members thereof, or upon request of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, or any five members thereof, furnish any information requested of it relating to any matter within the jurisdiction of said committee. (May 29, 1928, ch. 901, § 2, 45 Stat. 996.) 5 U.S.C., $ 115a. Same; furnishing list of recipients to Congress.

The Secretary of State is directed to furnish to * * * each alternate Congress * * * a list of those retired officers or employees of the United States for whom the Department of State under the provisions of section 115 of this title, is holding decorations, orders, medals, or presents tendered them by foreign governments. (June 27, 1934, ch. 850, $ 2, 48 Stat. 1267.) 5 U.S.C., $ 118i. Executive Employees; use of official authority;

political activity; penalties; reports to Congress.

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(c) At the end of each fiscal year the Civil Service] Commission shall report to the President for transmittal to the Congress the names, addresses, and nature of employment of all persons with respect to whom action has been taken by the Commission (for Hatch Act violations under the terms of this section, with a statement of the facts upon which action was taken, and the penalty imposed. (Aug. 2, 1939, 11:50 a.m., E.S.T., ch. 410, 89, 53 Stat. 1148; July 19, 1940, ch. 640, § 2, 54 Stat. 767; Mar. 27, 1942, ch. 199, title VII, § 701, 56 Stat. 181; Aug. 8, 1946, ch. 904, 60 Stat. 937; Aug. 25, 1950, ch. 784,

1, 64 Stat. 475.) 5 U.S.C., & 282. Establishment of Bureau; commissioner; appoint

ment; annual report. * * * The Commissioner fof Narcotics) shall make an annual report to Congress. (June 14, 1930, ch. 488, § 1, 46 Stat. 585; Oct. 15, 1949, ch. 695, $ 6(a), 63 Stat. 881; July 31, 1956, 804, title I, § 107(a), 70 Stat. 739.)


TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS With certain specified exceptions, all functions of all officers of the Department of the Treasury, and all functions of all agencies and employees of the Department, were transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury, with power vested in him to authorize their performance or the performance of any of his functions by any of such officers, agencies, and employees, by 1950 Reorg. Plan No. 26, 88 1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280. 5 U.S.C., 171a-1. Report of Reserve Forces Policy Board on status,

of reserve programs. The semiannual report of the Secretary of Defense as required by the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, shall contain a chapter which shall be a report of the Reserve Forces Policy Board on the Status of the reserve programs of the Department of Defense including a review of the effectiveness of the Reserve Officer Personnel Act of 1954. (July 9, 1952, ch. 608, pt. II, § 257(e), 66 Stat. 497; Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1257, title VII, § 702(c), 68 Štat. 1189.) 5 U.S.C., $ 172b. Performance budgets.

(b) Conversion to new budget practices; transfers and adjustments between appropriations; reports to Congress.

* * Reports of transfers and adjustments [to new budget practices by the Secretary of each military department] made pursuant to the authority of this subsection shall be made currently by the Secretary of Defense to the President and the Congress. (July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title IV, § 403, as added Aug. 10, 1949, ch. 412, § 11, 63 Stat. 585.) 5 U.S.C., 557. Reports.

The Secretary of Agriculture shall annually make a general report in writing of his acts to the President *** [and] make special reports on particular subjects whenever required to do so by the President or either House of Congress, or when he shall think the subject in his charge requires it. (R.S. $8 528, 529; May 29, 1928, ch.901, $ 1,45 Stat. 993; Aug. 30, 1954, ch. 1076, § 1(6), 68 Stat. 966.) 5 U.S.C., 8 630g. General Supply Fund.

(e) Annual audit; surplus; report to Congress.

*** and the Comptroller General shall report to the Congress annually the results of the audit [of the General Supply Fund), together with such recommendations as he may have regarding the status and operations of the fund.

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(June 30, 1949, ch. 288, title I, $ 109, 63 Stat. 382; Sept. 5, 1950, ch. 849; $$ 1-2(a), (b), 3, 64 Stat. 578; July 12, 1952, ch. 703, § 1(c-e), 66 Stat. 593.) 5 U.S.C., $ 642a. Reports to Congress of additional personnel require

ments; contents of report; Central Intelligence Agency. (a) Each * * * communication, of an official nature, of any


* * * of the Federal Government agency

* * which



sion *


(1) relates to pending * * legislation which * * * will entail an estimated annual expenditure * * * in excess of $1,000,000,

(2) is submitted or transmitted to the Congress or any committee thereof * * * and (3) officially proposes or recommends the creation or expan

* * of any function, activity, or authority of * * * such

shall contain a statement * * * for each of the first five fiscal
years during which each such additional or expanded function,
activity, or authority so proposed or recommended is to be in
effect, disclosing the following information:
(A) the estimated maximum additional-

(i) man-years of civilian employment * *
(ii) expenditures for personal services, and

(iii) expenditures for all purposes other than personal services which are attributable to such * * * activity * * * and which will be required to be effected by such * * *


* * * in connection with the performance of such *

* * activity or authority, and (B) such other * * * information as may be deemed advisable by the appropriate authority of the executive branch or which may be required by the Congress or a

committee thereof. (b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the Central Intelligence Agency. (Jan. 16, 1883, ch. 27, 811, as added July 25, 1956, ch. 730, § 1, 70 Stat. 652.) 5 U.S.C., & 1105a. Same; report to Congress.

(a) The United States Civil Service Commission, the Librarian of Congress, the Comptroller General of the United States, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice *** shall submit * * * to the Congress, not later than February 1 of each year, a report which sets forth

(i) the total number of such positions allocated to or placed in all of such grades (grades 16, 17, 18] during the immediately preceding calendar year * * *

(2) the name, rate of compensation, and description of the qualifications of each incumbent of each such position, * * *

(3) the position or positions in or outside the Federal Government held by each such incumbent * * *

(4) such other information as the Commission, officer, or other appropriate authority submitting such report may deem appropriate or which may be required by the Congress or a committee

thereof. * * * (b) In any instance in which the Commission, officer, or other appropriate authority so required to submit such report may find full public disclosure of any or all of the above-specified items to be detrimental to the national security, such Commission, officer, or authority is authorized

(1) to omit in such annual report those items with respect to which full public disclosure is found to be detrimental to the national security,

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