Improved Executive Branch Oversight Needed for the Government's National Security Information Classification Program

LCD-78-125: Published: Mar 9, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 1979.

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There is a need for better control of the government's classification program, particularly as to classifying less information and declassifying it sooner. The National Security Council (NSC) was directed to monitor implementation of the National Security Information Classification Program with the assistance of an Interagency Classification Review Committee (ICRC). An evaluation of the ICRC monitoring system was made.

Oversight of the program has been ineffective because NSC and ICRC did not enforce compliance and the ICRC staff did not make indepth reviews of the classification process. The total number of classification actions is at least 70 million, but it could be over 100 million. The declassification status of the 4.5 million actions ICRC reported was not shown, but review indicated that most were exempt from the general declassification schedule.

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