NARA and Declassification

ISCAP Decisions

Purpose:

The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP, or “the Panel”) provides the public and users of the classification system with a forum for further review of classification decisions.

Section 5.3(b)(4) of Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information,” (the Order) requires that the ISCAP “appropriately inform senior agency officials and the public of final Panel decisions on appeals under sections 1.8 and 3.5 of this order.” This function is important for two reasons. First, the documents decided upon by the Panel for classification challenges and mandatory declassification review appeals may be of historical interest to the public, not just the appellants. Second, section 3.1(i) of the order states that, “When making decisions under sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of this order [these are the sections concerning automatic, systematic, and mandatory declassification], agencies shall consider the final decisions of the Panel.” Distribution of electronic versions of declassified documents on a publicly available web site is the most efficient way for the ISCAP to fulfill this function.

This online collection includes documents decided upon by the ISCAP starting in Fiscal Year 2012. The documents include records from the Presidential Library system of the National Archives, the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, the Department of Defense, and other agencies. The quality of the images is dependent on the quality of the original records used to create the copies provided to the Panel.

In some appeals, the ISCAP affirms the classification decision of the responsible agency. For these appeals, the documents at issue will not be posted on this site, and only a notification of that affirmed decision will be posted.

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