Code of the District of Columbia

§ 2–534. Exemptions from disclosure.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on September 24, 2024. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Past Permanent Version.*

(a) The following matters may be exempt from disclosure under the provisions of this subchapter:

(1) Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from outside the government, to the extent that disclosure would result in substantial harm to the competitive position of the person from whom the information was obtained;

(2) Information of a personal nature where the public disclosure thereof would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(2A) Any body-worn camera recordings recorded by the Metropolitan Police Department:

(A) Inside a personal residence; or

(B) Related to an incident involving domestic violence as defined in § 4-551(1), stalking as defined in § 22-3133, or sexual assault as defined in § 23-1907(a)(7).

(3) Investigatory records compiled for law-enforcement purposes, including the records of Council investigations and investigations conducted by the Office of Police Complaints, but only to the extent that the production of such records would:

(A) Interfere with:

(i) Enforcement proceedings;

(ii) Council investigations; or

(iii) Office of Police Complaints ongoing investigations;

(B) Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;

(C) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(D) Disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case of a record compiled by a law-enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source;

(E) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures not generally known outside the government; or

(F) Endanger the life or physical safety of law-enforcement personnel;

(4) Inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters, including memorandums or letters generated or received by the staff or members of the Council, which would not be available by law to a party other than a public body in litigation with the public body.

(5) Test questions and answers to be used in future license, employment, or academic examinations, but not previously administered examinations or answers to questions thereon;

(6) Information specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than this section), provided that such statute:

(A) Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue; or

(B) Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;

(7) Information specifically authorized by federal law under criteria established by a presidential executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy which is in fact properly classified pursuant to such executive order;

(8) Information exempted from disclosure by § 28-4505;

(9) Information disclosed pursuant to § 5-417;

(10) Any specific response plan, including any District of Columbia response plan, as that term is defined in § 7-2301(1), and any specific vulnerability assessment, either of which is intended to prevent or to mitigate an act of terrorism, as that term is defined in § 22-3152(1);

(11) Information exempt from disclosure by § 47-2851.06;

(12) Information, the disclosure of which would reveal the name of an employee providing information under subchapter XV-A of Chapter 6 of Title 1 [§ 1-615.51 et seq.] and subchapter XII of Chapter 2 of this title [2-233.01 et seq.], unless the name of the employee is already known to the public;

(13) Information exempt from disclosure by § 7-2271.04;

(14) Information that is ordered sealed and restricted from public access pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 16;

(15) Any critical infrastructure information or plans that contain critical infrastructure information for the critical infrastructures of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority or companies that are regulated by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia;

(16) Information exempt from disclosure pursuant to §  38-2615;

(17) Information exempt from disclosure pursuant to § 50-301.29a(13)(C)(i);

(18) Information exempt from disclosure pursuant to § 24-481.07(a);

(19) Information exempt from disclosure under subchapter XIV of Chapter 1A of Title 41; and

(20) Information withheld from disclosure under § 10-551.07e(e)(2).

(a-1)(1) The Council may assert, on behalf of any public body from which it obtains records or information, any exemption listed in subsection (a) of this section that could be asserted by the public body pertaining to the records or information.

(2) Disclosure of any public record, document, or information from a District of Columbia government agency, official, or employee to the following persons or entities shall not constitute a waiver of any privilege or exemption that otherwise could be asserted by the District of Columbia to prevent disclosure to the general public or in a judicial or administrative proceeding:

(A) The Council;

(B) A Council committee;

(C) A member of the Council acting in an official capacity;

(D) The District of Columbia Auditor;

(E) An employee of the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor; or

(F) The Ombudsperson for Children or an employee of the Office of the Ombudsperson for Children.

(b) Any reasonably segregable portion of a public record shall be provided to any person requesting the record after deletion of those portions which may be withheld from disclosure pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. In each case, the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing, and the extent of the deletion shall be indicated on the portion of the record which is made available or published, unless including that indication would harm an interest protected by the exemption in subsection (a) of this section under which the deletion is made. If technically feasible, the extent of the deletion and the specific exemptions shall be indicated at the place in the record where the deletion was made.

(c) This section does not authorize withholding of information or limit the availability of records to the public, except as specifically stated in this section. This section is not authority to withhold information from the Council of the District of Columbia. This section shall not operate to permit nondisclosure of information of which disclosure is authorized or mandated by other law.

(c-1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no document or information described in § 2-536(a)(6A) that was created on or after December 7, 2004, shall be exempt from disclosure pursuant to subsections (a)(4) and (e) of this section.

(d)[(1)] The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to vital records covered by Chapter 2 of Title 7 or Chapter 2A of Title 7.

[(2)] The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to:

(A) The Violence Fatality Review Committee, established by § 5-1431.01;

(B) The Child Fatality Review Committee, established by § 4-1371.03;

(C) The Maternal Mortality Review Committee, established by § 7-671.02; and

(D) The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, established by § 16-1052.

(d-1) Not Funded.

(d-2) Not Funded.

(e) All exemptions available under this section shall apply to the Council as well as agencies of the District government. The deliberative process privilege, the attorney work-product privilege, and the attorney-client privilege are incorporated under the inter-agency memoranda exemption listed in subsection (a)(4) of this section, and these privileges, among other privileges that may be found by the court, shall extend to any public body that is subject to this subchapter.