Obama Administration Seeks Public Input On Declassification Policy

On May 27, 2009, President Obama signed a Memorandum ordering the review of Executive Order 12958, as amended, “Classified National Security Information.” On June 2, 2009, the National Security Advisor asked the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) to assist in the review by soliciting public input for revisions to the Order. The Declassification Policy Forum opened on June 29, 2009, and can be accessed on the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) Blog. The public comment period has been extended until July 19th.

The Declassification Policy Forum will be used to solicit recommendations for revisions to the Order in four topical areas: Declassification Policy (June 29 – July 1), a National Declassification Center (July 2 – July 4), Classification Policy (July 5 – July 7), and Technology Challenges and Opportunities (July 8 – July 10).

Once posted, each topic will be available for comments for three days. At the conclusion of the third day, the comment function on the topic will be turned off and the next topic will begin the following day. After each topic closes, a concluding summary will be posted. The Declassification Policy Forum requires registration to participate. Participants may make suggestions or comments, vote on previous postings, and flag topics that are off-topic.

In December 2007, the PIDB issued a comprehensive report to President Bush which made a series of recommendations that address the broad topical areas that are the subjects of the Policy Forum.

In addition to the online discussion, the Board will also accept input via email (PIDB@nara.gov), fax (202-357-5907), and US mail (Public Interest Declassification Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20408-0001).

The PIDB is also holding a public meeting to solicit input concerning recommendations and proposed revisions to the classification and declassification policies found in Executive Order 12958, as amended.

The public meeting will be held on July 8, 2009, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 105, Washington, DC 20408.

To ensure that the Board may hear from all interested parties, individuals interested in addressing the Board may be limited to 10 minutes. Due to space limitations and access procedures, the name and telephone number of individuals planning to attend must be submitted to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) via e-mail, PIDB@nara.gov, no later than July 2, 2009. ISOO will provide additional instructions for gaining access to the location of the meeting.

For further information contact: Julie A. Agurkis, PIDB Staff, Information Security Oversight Office at (202) 357-5308.

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