Press Release
May 29, 2012

Information Security Oversight Office Releases 32nd Annual Report to the President

Washington, DC…The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) today released its Report to the President for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. The Report is online at [].

The Report profiles data on the Government-wide security classification program during Fiscal Year 2011. This report is the 32nd Annual Report to the President issued by ISOO. The first Report, covering FY 1979, was transmitted to President Carter in April of 1980.

ISOO noted several positive developments:

  • The number of persons granted original classification authority is at its lowest recorded level, standing at 2,362.
  • Agencies reported a 43 percent reduction in original classification activity.
  • Agencies also reported to ISOO that they assigned a classification duration of ten years or less in 70 percent of their original classification decisions.
  • Reviews of agency declassification programs show continuous improvement since these programs started in FY 2008. In FY 2011, 13 of the 15 agencies assessed received a score of 90 or above, and no agencies received a failing grade. Since FY 2008, the average score has increased by over 21 percent and the number of agencies receiving scores of 90 or above has increased 125 percent.

The report highlights two new efforts:

  • Following the widely publicized WikiLeaks episode, ISOO partnered with the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive to assist agencies in reviewing policies and procedures for safeguarding classified national security information against unauthorized disclosure. ISOO now participates in government-wide oversight processes established under Executive Order 13587, “Structural Reforms to Improve the Security of Classified Networks and the Responsible Sharing and Safeguarding of Classified Information.”
  • The first executive branch-wide Fundamental Classification Guidance Review was launched in FY 2011. It will conclude at the end of June 2012

Other report highlights include:

  • Executive branch agencies reported 2,362 original classification authorities.
    • This is the lowest number ever reported, and a 43 percent decrease from FY 2010.
    • Agencies reported 127,072 original classification decisions.
    • This increase reflects increased use of classification guides and greater adherence to Executive Order guidance on using original decisions in classification guides.
  • Agencies reported using the ten-year-or-less declassification instruction for 70 percent of original classification decisions.
  • Executive branch agencies reported 92,064,862 derivative classification decisions. This increase reflects the expanding capability of counting decisions in the electronic environment.


  • Under automatic, systematic, and discretionary declassification review, agencies reviewed 52,760,524 pages and declassified 26,720,121 pages of historically valuable records.
  • Agencies received 10,439 initial mandatory declassification review (MDR) requests.
  • Agencies reviewed 493,372 pages under MDR, and declassified 285,312 pages in their entirety, declassified 143,421 pages in part, and retained classification of 64,639 pages in their entirety.
  • Agencies received 283 MDR appeals and processed 229 appeals.
  • Agencies reviewed 4,405 pages under MDR appeal and declassified 1,298 pages in their entirety, declassified 1,937 pages in part, and retained classification of 1,170 pages in their entirety.

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), established in 1978, is responsible to the President for overseeing the Government-wide security classification program, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council. ISOO has been part of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995. ISOO consists of three parts:

  • The Classification Management Staff develops security classification policies for classifying, declassifying and safeguarding national security information generated in Government and industry.
  • The Operations Staff evaluates the effectiveness of the security classification programs established by Government and industry to protect information vital to our national security interests.
  • The Controlled Unclassified Information Office develops standardized Controlled Unclassified Information policies and procedures to protect sensitive information through effective data access and control measures.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

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For press information please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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