NARA and Declassification

About the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)


Section 6741 of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020; Section 311 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014; Section 365 of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010; Section 2 of the Public Interest Declassification Board Reauthorization Act of 2012; Section 602 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007; and Section 1102 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 extended and modified the PIDB as established by the Public Interest Declassification Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-567, title VII, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2856).


Advises and provides recommendations to the President and other executive branch officials on the systematic, coordinated, and comprehensive identification, collection, review for declassification, and release of declassified records and materials of historic value, including records and materials of extraordinary public interest that does not undermine the national security of the U.S.

Promotes the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities in order to support the oversight and legislative functions of Congress; support the policymaking role of the executive branch; respond to the public interest on national security matters; and promote reliable historical analysis and new avenues of historical study in national security matters.

Advises the President and other executive branch officials on policies deriving from Executive Orders regarding the classification and declassification of national security information.

Reviews and makes recommendations to the President with respect to any Congressional request, made by the committee of jurisdiction, to declassify certain records or to reconsider a rejection to declassify specific records.


The Public Interest Declassification Board has been recognized for its efforts in promoting public information access:

In May of 2013, the PIDB received the Director’s Awarded for Superior Public Service from the American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP).  ASAP is a professional, educational society dedicated to advancing awareness of many government information issues.  ASAP has a history of publicizing the PIDB’s work.

The PIDB also assisted the President in the review of Executive Order 12958, as amended, “Classified National Security Information.” In June of 2009, the National Security Advisor asked the PIDB to assist in this review by soliciting recommendations for revisions to the Order to ensure adequate public input as the review moves forward.  You may view more information below under “ Transforming Classification Policy Forum.”