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Research data access

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Federal agencies that award grant money may charge a "reasonable user fee" to individuals who invoke the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data created under government funding, according to a proposed revision to Office of Management & Budget Circular A-110, published in the Feb. 4 Federal Register. Under the proposal, no fee could be charged if the data "were used by the federal government in developing policy or rules." The FY 1999 omnibus appropriations law contained a provision, inserted by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), to allow public access to data produced under federal funding awards. FoIA carries some exemptions, however, including one for "personnel and medical files." Comments on the proposal will be accepted by OMB until April 5

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