FOIA Advisory Committee Meets on December 10

Your National Archives (NARA ID: 12065)

The following post is from Kimberlee Ried of NARA’s Museum Programs Division who is detailed to OGIS to assist with FOIA Advisory Committee work. 

The next meeting of the 2020-2022 term of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee is on Thursday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.  This virtual meeting is open to the public and registration is required. Please register here by 11:59 p.m ET on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 to receive an email with instructions for accessing the meeting via WebEx. In addition, we will livestream the meeting on the National Archives and Records Administration’s YouTube channel (with a slight transmission delay). We will monitor the chat function via WebEx and YouTube, and read aloud questions and comments from the public during the public comments portion of the meeting. Members of the public participating in the meeting via WebEx may comment or raise questions via the telephone lines that we will open during the last 15 minutes of the meeting. You are also welcome to submit written comments at any time.

The Committee will receive a briefing on FOIA and classified records from William P. Fischer, Director of the National Declassification Center (NDC), and John Powers, Associate Director for Classification Management, Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) both part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

NDC’s role within NARA is to streamline declassification processes; facilitate quality assurance measures; and implement standardized training regarding the declassification of records determined to have permanent historical value. The NDC was established in 2009 under Executive Order 13526 and to advance the declassification and public release of historically valuable permanent records while maintaining national security.

ISOO is responsible to the President for policy and oversight of the government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program. ISOO receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council and focuses on three areas: security classification policies, evaluating the effectiveness of security classification programs within the government, and developing standardized policies and procedures that protect sensitive information. ISOO also coordinates the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel which adjudicates appeals to Mandatory Declassification Review actions. 

Additional items on the meeting agenda include discussion of the four subcommittee mission statements and the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on FOIA processing. 

At its inaugural meeting in September, the fourth term of the FOIA Advisory Committee formed four subcommittees (Process, Classification, Technology and Legislation); and received an update from the co-chairs of the Chief FOIA Officers Council’s Technology Committee.

All meeting materials are posted on the FOIA Advisory Committee website.