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Frequently Asked Questions Assessment Policy

Does OPM have any regulations, guidelines, or policies that state that we are not able to share assessment questions or content with applicants?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, http://www.foia.gov/) can be employed to protect agency examining materials regardless of the basis for filing a disclosure request.  5 U.S.C. § 552a (k)(6) (http://www.justice.gov/opcl/1974tenexemp.htm) protects agencies from mandatory disclosure of "testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process." 

Courts have ruled that "agency testing or employee rating materials" are covered by Exemption 2 (DOJ's FOIA Guide contains a summary of Exemption 2 case law, available at: http://www.justice.gov/oip/foia_guide09.htm).  The Delegated Examining Operations Handbook, (Chapter 7, Section B - Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts) contains general policy and guidance as well:  http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/hiring-authorities/competitive-hiring/deo_handbook.pdf

Also, please check with your agency as how to handle FOIA requests when the examining material at issue is in litigation.

For more information regarding FOIA and assessment content, please contact Assessment_Information@opm.gov.

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