Update May 31, 2009
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s Memorandum For Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies provides a nice summary of what the presumption of openness means. The Attorney General identifies three ingredients:
1. Only assert an exemption if nondisclosure serves the exemption’s public purpose.
2. When possible, redact exempt information rather than withhold an entire document.
3. Never assert an exemption merely to hide mistakes or because of abstract concerns.