The Declassification of Presidential Papers and Records
The declassification of Presidential papers and records presents some unique issues and concerns which normally require a page-by-page review and referral to the originating agency rather than declassification by using guidance delegated to the Archivist. These factors include:
- Presidential papers, because of their highest policy and classification level, often contain equities, information in which a classifying agency has an interest and needs to review before declassification. Therefore, little declassification authority for these records has been delegated to the Archivist.
- The records often contain multiple agency equities requiring referral to more than one agency. Several equities can be present in a single Presidential document.
- A majority of these papers and records are located around the country in Presidential Libraries, far away from the classifying agency or agencies authorized to declassify them.
- The statutory authorities governing Presidential papers and records usually require a page-by-page review for other concerns such as statutory restrictions and privacy.