22 U.S. Code § 4354 - Declassification of State Department records

(a) Deadline for declassification
(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, each classified record of permanent historical value (as determined by the Secretary of State and the Archivist of the United States) which was published, issued, or otherwise prepared by the Department of State (or any officer or employee thereof acting in an official capacity) shall be declassified not later than 30 years after the record was prepared, shall be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration, and shall be made available at the National Archives for public inspection and copying.
(2) Nothing in this subsection may be construed to require the declassification of a record wholly prepared by a foreign government.
(b) Exempted records
Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any record (or portion thereof) the publication of which the Secretary of State, in coordination with any agency that originated information in the records, determines—
(1) would compromise weapons technology important to the national defense of the United States or reveal sensitive information relating to the design of United States or foreign military equipment or relating to United States cryptologic systems or activities;
(2) would disclose the names or identities of living persons who provided confidential information to the United States and would pose a substantial risk of harm to such persons;
(3) would demonstrably impede current diplomatic negotiations or other ongoing official activities of the United States Government or would demonstrably impair the national security of the United States; or
(4) would disclose matters that are related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Department of State or are contained in personnel, medical, or similar files the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
(c) Review
(1) The Advisory Committee shall review—
(A) the State Department’s declassification procedures,
(B) all guidelines used in declassification, including those guidelines provided to the National Archives and Records Administration which are in effect on October 28, 1991, and
(C) by random sampling, records representative of all Department of State records published, issued, or otherwise prepared by the Department of State that remain classified after 30 years.
(2) In the event that the Secretary of State considers it necessary to deny access to records under paragraph (1)(C), the Secretary shall notify the Advisory Committee in writing, describing the nature of the records in question and the justification for withholding them.
(d) Annual reports by the Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee shall annually submit to the Secretary of State and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives a report setting forth its findings from the review conducted under subsection (c) of this section.
(e) Annual reports by the Secretary
(1) In general
Not later than March 1 of each year, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives on the compliance of the Department of State with the provisions of this chapter, including—
(A) the volumes published in the previous calendar year;
(B) the degree to which the Department is not in compliance with the deadline set forth in section 4351 (c) of this title; and
(C) the factors relevant to the inability of the Department to comply with the provisions of this chapter, including section 4351 (c) of this title.
(2) Form of reports
Each report required to be submitted by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, together with a classified annex if necessary.

Source

(Aug. 1, 1956, ch. 841, title IV, § 404, as added Pub. L. 102–138, title I, § 198(a),Oct. 28, 1991, 105 Stat. 687; amended Pub. L. 107–228, div. A, title II, § 205,Sept. 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 1363.)
Amendments

2002—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107–228, § 205(a), substituted “Annual reports by the Advisory Committee” for “Reporting requirement” in heading and inserted “and to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives” after “Secretary of State” in text.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–228, § 205(b), substituted “Annual reports by the Secretary” for “Report to Congress” in heading and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “Not later than 180 days after October 28, 1991, the Secretary of State shall prepare and submit a written report to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on factors relevant to compliance with this section, and the procedures to be used for implementing the requirements of this section.”
Change of Name

Committee on International Relations of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Foreign Affairs of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007.
Compliance With Declassification of State Department Records; Notification to Congressional Committees on Inability To Comply; Final Deadline

Pub. L. 102–138, title I, § 198(c)(1),Oct. 28, 1991, 105 Stat. 691, provided that: “The Secretary of State shall ensure that the requirements of section 404 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 [22 U.S.C. 4354] (as amended by this section) are met not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 28, 1991]. If the Secretary cannot reasonably meet the requirements of such section, he shall so notify the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and describe how the Department of State intends to meet the requirements of that section. In no event shall full compliance with the requirements of such section take place later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.”

 

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