PRA Special Access Requests from Congress
Media Alert · Monday, August 28, 2023
When NARA receives a “special access request” from a Congressional committee for Presidential records, NARA responds in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA), NARA’s implementing regulations, and the governing Executive Order. To the extent necessary and appropriate, NARA utilizes the well established “accommodation process” between the executive and legislative branches. Please see below for more information on PRA special access requests.
Congressional special access requests for Presidential and Vice Presidential records are governed by section 2205(2)(C) of the Presidential Records Act (44 U.S.C. 2201-2209)
NARA’s PRA implementing regulations are at 36 C.F.R. Part 1270, and section 1270.44 (Exceptions to restricted access) applies to special access requests.
Executive Order 13489 on Presidential Records also governs this process.
For general information on the accommodation process between the executive and legislative branches, please see the following from the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel:
- Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, from Ronald Reagan, Re: Procedures Governing Responses to Congressional Requests for Information (Nov. 4, 1982);
- Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) Opinion on Congressional Requests for Confidential Executive Branch Information, (June 19, 1989);
- Statement of OLC Assistant AG Schroeder re The Office of Legal Counsel’s Role in Shaping Executive Privilege Doctrine (Oct. 18, 2022).
For more information, clarification, or additional questions, please contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications staff via email at email@example.com.
This page was last reviewed on August 29, 2023.
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