The Solicitor’s Office for the Department of the Interior recently clarified the National Park Service’s policy on releasing the annual gross revenues received by concessioners in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). NPS’ attorney stated that the agency will only release this revenue data in two situations: (1) for purposes of preparing a prospectus or (2) if a concessioner does not object to it being released.
The agency’s attorney also asserted that a prior statement by NPS’ Intermountain Region that NPS’ “policy is to release to the public both gross receipts and gross receipts by department” was wrong. In that situation, the agency received a FOIA request for a concessioner’s gross revenues and informed the concessioner that the agency’s position was that this information had to be released under the law. The concessioner did not object to the release given the agency’s assertion. However, because the agency’s statement as to its policy was not correct, apparently NPS would have withheld the information had the concessioner objected.