At the public meeting of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee yesterday (Thursday, December 10, 2020), ISOO’s Associate Director for Classification Management presented An Overview of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Associate Director John Powers discussed the roles and responsibilities of all ISOO components under five Executive Orders, including the role of the ISOO Director as Executive Secretary for the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) and the Information Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP). He also discussed ISOO’s role in supporting the ISCAP and the PIDB and provided information on their recent activities, including the PIDB’s recent publication of a report to the President about the need to modernize the classification and declassification system. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Powers asked participants and FOIA Advisory Committee members to submit their ideas for improving classification, declassification and information security to the PIDB at firstname.lastname@example.org. The PIDB will consider and respond to public comments as it prepares to advocate for modernization in 2021.
In addition to Mr. Powers, William Fischer, Director of the National Declassification Center (NDC) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), gave a Briefing on public access requests and processing classified records at the NDC. The meeting was streamed live on the NARA YouTube Channel, and a link will be provided here when it becomes available.
NARA established the FOIA Advisory Committee in 2014 to promote public dialog and develop recommendations for improving FOIA administration across the Executive branch. The FOIA Advisory Committee provides information about its public meetings on the blog FOIA Ombudsman. For Mr. Powers’ slides on ISOO, click here. For a complete set of slides from the FOIA Advisory Committee meeting, including those presented by Mr. Powers and Mr. Fischer, visit the Events page of NARA’s Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).