Press/Journalists

Press Release
May 26, 2006

Information Security Oversight Office Releases FY2005 Annual Report

Washington, DC…The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has released its Report to the President for 2005. The Report is accessible on its web site, located at
www.archives.gov/isoo/reports/2005-annual-report.pdf.

Within the next two months, hard copies of the Report will be available in ISOO's offices in Room 100 of the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408-0001, or by contacting ISOO-telephone, 202-357-5250; fax, 202-357-5907; or e-mail, isoo@nara.gov.

The Report profiles data about the Government-wide security classification program, primarily during Fiscal Year 2005. In his transmittal letter to the President included in the Report, ISOO Director J. William Leonard notes:

One of the most notable developments is that the Public Interest Declassification Board is now holding regular sessions. This Board will contribute to the declassification process by identifying records on specific subjects that are of extraordinary public interest. These records will be identified when it is deemed that declassification will not undermine the national security interests of the United States.

Director Leonard notes further:

ISOO also finalized the coordination of an implementing directive for Executive Order 12829, as amended, NISP. The directive will provide additional guidance to agencies concerning NISP management.

In addition, ISOO continued to focus on evaluating Executive branch progress toward the orderly declassification of classified records of permanent historical value that are 25-years-old or older. For the most part, the Executive branch is progressing well toward the deadline of December 31, 2006, although challenges for full implementation by December 31, 2009, remain.

In the body of the report Director Leonard, in discussing the shortcomings of the current &agency-centric& Executive branch approach to reviewing records for declassification, writes:

. . . more needs to be done to develop standardized guidelines and protocols, facilitating better understanding of the various dynamics entailed in assessing and determining the appropriate action to take following a declassification review, and ensuring greater consistency in results. More than anything else, we need to streamline the multiple, inefficient, and, at times, ineffective independent agency reviews of the same material. Finally, we must also ensure that declassified records are made available for public research as soon as possible, consistent with governing laws and regulations. We must implement a better way if agencies are to fully implement the groundbreaking framework created more than 10 years ago.

Highlights of the Report also include:

  • Data on the number of authorized classifiers: The Report notes that the number of authorized original classifiers throughout the Executive branch decreased by 1 percent, to 3,959.

  • Data on Classification: The Executive branch agencies reported a 26 percent decrease in original classification to 258,633. They also reported a 9 percent decrease in derivative classification to 13,948,140.

  • Data on Declassification: Under the automatic and systematic review declassification programs, agencies declassified 29,540,603 pages of historically valuable records which was an increase of 4 percent. Under mandatory review, agencies declassified in full 66,569 pages; declassified in part 70,743 pages; and retained classification in full on 13,348 pages.

Established in 1978, ISOO 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 a component of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995. ISOO reports to the President from prior years are also accessible on its web site.

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For PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

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