2016 Press Releases

National Archives Opens Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Records
Press Release · Friday, March 11, 2016

Washington, DC

Today, the National Archives announced its first opening of Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) records, along with a detailed 1,400-page online finding aid. The records are available in the National Archives Catalog.

These records complement the material previously released by the FCIC online. Newly available FCIC records include:

  • Minutes and notes of commissioner meetings, including internal deliberations concerning the causes of the financial crisis and the drafting of the final report.
  • Interview summaries and transcripts.
  • Confidentiality agreements between the Commission and various businesses, financial institutions, and government entities governing records requested by the Commission.

As a legislative branch commission, the FCIC’s records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Researchers can request the review of specific folders or files from the finding aid by emailing legislative.archives@nara.gov.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was created to "examine the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States." The Commission was established as part of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (Public Law 111-21) passed by Congress and signed by the President in May 2009. This independent, 10-member panel was composed of private citizens with experience in areas such as housing, economics, finance, market regulation, banking, and consumer protection. The Commission’s statutory instructions set out 22 specific topics for inquiry and called for the examination of the collapse of major financial institutions that failed or would have failed if not for exceptional assistance from the government. The Commission delivered its report to the President, Congress and the American people on January 27, 2011. The Commission’s records were transferred to NARA on February 13, 2011.

The records of the FCIC consist of approximately 250 cubic feet of paper records and 13 terabytes of electronic records. The Commission requested that its records should start to become available for public access requests five years later, which has now occurred. A significant portion of these records was obtained from federal agencies involved in sensitive financial regulatory activities and subject to confidentiality agreements. The release represents a subset of the collection. NARA coordinated with these agencies in order to make this initial, pro-active release of some of the records, along with a finding aid to the collection. NARA is also coordinating with the agencies regarding the extent to which the remaining records may still contain sensitive information that will require withholding for longer periods of time.

The Center for Legislative Archives—part of the National Archives—preserves and makes available to researchers the official records of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and legislative branch commissions. Educators can use these historical documents to teach about representative democracy, how Congress works, and the important role Congress has played throughout American history. Through its public outreach and educational programs, the Center uses these historical records to promote a better understanding of Congress and the history of American representative government. Online at www.archives.gov/legislative

The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. From the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. Online at www.archives.gov

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


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