484 F.2d 820
157 U.S.App.D.C. 340
Robert G. VAUGHN, Appellant,
Bernard ROSEN, Executive Director, United States Civil
Service Commission, et al.
United States Court of Appeals,
District of Columbia Circuit.
Argued June 7, 1973.
Decided Aug. 20, 1973.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 18, 1973.
Ronald L. Plesser, Washington, D. C., with whom Alan B. Morrison, Washington, D. C., was on the brief, for appellant.
John C. Lenahan, Asst. U. S. Atty., with whom Harold H. Titus, Jr., U. S. Atty., John A. Terry and Derek I. Meier, Asst. U. S. Attys., were on the brief, for appellees.
Before ROBINSON and WILKEY, Circuit Judges, and FRANK A. KAUFMAN, District Judge for the District of Maryland.
WILKEY, Circuit Judge:
Appellant sought disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act of various government documents, purportedly evaluations of certain agencies' personnel management programs. The District Court denied disclosure, presumably on the ground the documents fell within one or more exemptions to the FOIA. The scant record makes it impossible to determine if the information sought by appellant is indeed exempt from disclosure; we must remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.
Overall responsibility to evaluate, oversee, and regulate the personnel management activities of the various federal agencies rests with the Civil Service Commission. The Bureau of Personnel Management, the arm of the Civil Service Commission for this task, works with the agencies in evaluating their personnel management programs. After each evaluation is complete, the Bureau issues a report entitled Evaluation of Personnel Management. These evaluations assess the personnel policies of a particular agency and set forth recommendations and policies customarily adopted by both agencies and Commission. Appellant, a law professor doing research into the Civil Service Commission, sought disclosure of these evaluations and certain other special reports of the Bureau of Personnel Management.
The Director of the Bureau of Personnel Management Evaluation declined to release the documents sought. This refusal to disclose was sustained by the Executive Director of the Civil Service Commission, who asserted that the information was exempt from disclosure because it (1) related solely to the internal rules and practices of an agency; (2) constituted inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency; and (3) was composed of personal and medical files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.