Press/Journalists

Press Release
September 28, 2005

Information Security Oversight Office Releases Report to the President on Declassification

Washington, DC…The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has released its second report to the President assessing declassification in the Executive branch. The report is accessible on its web site.

Copies of the report are available in ISOO’s offices in Room 503 of the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001, or by contacting ISOO—telephone, 202-219-5250; fax, 202-219-5385; or e-mail, isoo@nara.gov.

The report provides an assessment of the progress of Executive branch agencies to declassify, exempt, exclude, refer to other interested agencies, or appropriately delay all 25-year-old and older historically valuable permanent records containing national security information prior to the deadline of December 31, 2006, as called for in Executive Order 12958, as amended. In the report, ISOO Director J. William Leonard notes:

We believe, for the most part, the Executive branch is progressing toward fulfilling its responsibilities for these records by the initial deadline…although a handful of agencies still remain at risk of not meeting this requirement.

In concluding, the report notes that:

…automatic declassification is an ongoing program that begins, not ends, on December 31, 2006, and thus requires (the) personal commitment (of all agency heads).

In addition the report contains data regarding declassification, highlights of which include:

  • Data on the estimated number of textual pages reviewed from October 1995 through December 31, 2004: 1.4 billion pages, including 44 million pages in FY 2004.

  • Data on the estimated number of pages of permanent records declassified from October 1995 through September 30, 2004: Over 1 billion pages.

  • Data on the estimated number of textual pages remaining to be reviewed by December 31, 2006: 155 million pages.

  • Data on the estimated number of pages of special media to be reviewed by December 31, 2011: 174 million pages, including an estimate that 70 percent will be declassified.

Established in 1978, ISOO, a component of the National Archives and Records Administration, is responsible for overseeing the Government-wide information security program, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council. ISOO’s first report to the President on declassification, November 30, 2004, is also accessible on its web site.

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For further information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Office at 202-501-5526.

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