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The exemption was intended to incorporate common-law privileges against discovery. Of all such privileges, the one most frequently encountered by public interest requesters is based on the concept of "executive" privilege which protects recommendations and advice which are part of the "deliberative process" involved in governmental decision-making. The rationale being to protect the integrity of agency decision-making by encouraging both full and frank discussions of policy proposals and to prevent premature disclosure of policies under review.
Exemption 8 protects information that is contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by or for a bank supervisory agency such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, or similar agencies.
Generally, current employees, former employees, or applicants for employment to positions in the executive branch of government in both the competitive and the excepted service, as well as positions in the Senior Executive Service, are considered covered employees. 4 However, those positions that are excepted from the competitive service because of their “confidential, policy-determining, policymaking, or policy-advocating character,” 5 and any positions exempted by the President based on a determination that it is necessary and warranted by conditions of good administration, 6 are not protected by the whistleblower statute.