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Subsection (a)(2) of the FOIA ( 5 U.S.C. § 552, as amended) requires:
(2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying -
- final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;
- those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the IRS and are not published in the Federal Register;
- administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
- copies of records previously released under the FOIA, which the IRS determines may become or are likely to become the subject of future requests for substantially the same records; and
- a general index of the records referred to under subparagraph (D);
unless -- the materials are promptly published and copies offered for sale. For records created on or after November 1, 1996, within one year after such date, each agency shall make such records available, including by computer telecommunications or, if computer telecommunications means have not been established by the agency, by other electronic means. To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, an agency may delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, staff manual, instruction, or copies of records referred to in subparagraph (D). However, in each case the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing, and the extent of such 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 (b) under which the deletion is made. If technically feasible, the extent of the deletion shall be indicated at the place in the record where the deletion was made. Each agency shall also maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current indexes providing identifying information for the public as to any matter issued, adopted, or promulgated after July 4, 1967, and required by this paragraph to be made available or published. Each agency shall promptly publish, quarterly or more frequently, and distribute (by sale or otherwise) copies of each index or supplements thereto unless it determines by order published in the Federal Register that the publication would be unnecessary and impracticable, in which case the agency shall nonetheless provide copies of such index on request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication. Each agency shall make the index referred to in subparagraph (E) available by computer telecommunications by December 31, 1999. A final order, opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction that affects a member of the public may be relied on, used, or cited as precedent by an agency against a party other than an agency only if
- it has been indexed and either made available or published as provided by this paragraph; or
- the party has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof.
For any record listed in FOIA subsections (a)(2)(A) - (E) created by the IRS on or after November 1, 1996, the FOIA now requires that it be made available electronically. The IRS achieves this electronic availability through this FOIA website. Those records currently available electronically are listed by subject category in the table above.