Review of Senate Resolution 474

B-199689: Published: Aug 4, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 1980.

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GAO reviewed Senate Resolution 474 which relates to public access to Senate records at the National Archives. GAO believes the resolution will make Senate records available for scholarly research in a timely fashion. It also affords adequate protection for records of a personal nature by restricting access for 50 years and allows for protecting the records in accordance with existing laws. Access to records can be restricted by vote of a Senate committee or by the Secretary of State. Passage of this resolution should clarify conditions for public access to Senate records. To date, access has been governed by each committee, resulting in conflicting timeframes and procedures which frustrate the use of this material by researchers. This resolution should improve access to a significant source of information while adequately protecting sensitive records.

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