Prioritization and the National Declassification Center

In our 2014 supplemental report, Setting Priorities: An Essential Step in Transforming Declassification, the PIDB advocated for a coordinated, government-wide approach to declassifying information based on those records most sought after and of most historical significance to the public.  To this end, we believe topic-based prioritization is a viable alternative to prioritizing records simply by age and level of difficulty and effort to review.  Prioritization is one component of the overall transformation needed to sustain declassification given the growth of information across government and the dwindling resources available to agencies.

We are looking forward to participating in the upcoming NDC public forum.  This forum will focus on the topic of prioritization for improved declassification.  A member of the PIDB plans to discuss the six recommendations from our Setting Priorities supplemental report and provide comments on next steps in making topic-based prioritization a possibility in government.

The NDC completed the quality assurance review of over 351 million pages of records, commonly referred to as the “backlog,” in February 2014.  We are pleased to know the NDC is using this forum as a way to involve the public and stakeholders to improve its processes now that the “backlog” has been retired.  With this large challenge completed, there is an opportunity to rethink how the NDC and agencies operate and how they may prioritize records for declassification review so that those of most importance to the public are processed first.  We are thankful for the opportunity to begin dialog on this topic and look forward to the NDC public forum.

Please continue to follow our blog, Transforming Classification, to learn more details about our participation in the upcoming NDC public forum.

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