Executive Order 13526
Executive Order 13526 was issued on December 29, 2009 by United States President Barack Obama. It is the latest in a series of executive orders from US Presidents outlining how classified information should be handled. It revokes and replaces the previous Executive Orders in effect for this, which were EO 12958 (text) and EO 13292 (text).
As a component of the Obama Administration's initiative to improve transparency and open-access to the Federal Government and the information it produces formally introduced upon taking office in late January 2009 and as a result of an agency-wide review and recommendation process ordered in May of that same year, the issuance of EO 13526 was ultimately prompted by several factors.
One factor was the large backlog of documents scheduled to be automatically declassified on December 31, 2009 and how to deal with that reality. Another factor was delivering on a campaign promise.
EO 13526 restated the authorized list of designees who can originate classification, in effect rescinding any previous designations made by officials or agency heads to subordinates.
A significant provision of EO 13526 is the creation of the National Declassification Center. The major focus is the idea that information should become declassified systematically as soon as practicable. Specific time limits are mentioned for different kinds of information, but there is also the provision that information that still needs to be classified can stay classified. Mechanisms are outlined for periodic reevaluation of the need to classify information, even if the result of the evaluation is to keep the information classified.
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- Classified information
- Classified information in the United States
- Previous Executive Orders covering national classified information:
- Executive Order 10290 (September 24, 1951; Harry S. Truman)
- Executive Order 10501 (November 5, 1953; Dwight D. Eisenhower)
- Executive Order 11652 (March 8, 1972; Richard Nixon)
- Executive Order 12065 (June 28, 1978; Jimmy Carter)
- Executive Order 12356 (April 2, 1982; Ronald Reagan)
- Executive Order 12958 (April 17, 1995; Bill Clinton)
- Executive Order 13292 (March 21, 2003; George W. Bush)
- Promoting Openness and Accountability by Making Classification a Two-Way Street, by William H. Leary, Special Adviser to the National Security Advisor and Senior Director for Records and Access Management, National Security Staff, 29 December 2009
- Ed O'Keefe (January 21, 2009). "New Obama Orders on Transparency, FOIA Requests". The Washington Post.
- Associated Press (May 27, 2009). "Obama Wants Classified Information Review". USA Today.
- Michael J. Sniffen (May 28, 2009). "Obama Orders Review of Top Secret Classification". Fox News (AP).
- Angie Dbronic Holan (December 30, 2009). "Executive Order Creates National Declassification Center". Tampa Bay Times (PolitiFact).
- Part 1, Sec. 1.3(a)(1) & 1.3(c)(2), Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, Classified National Security Information, Federal Register - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Vol. 75, No. 2, 5 January 2010, p.708.
- Order of December 29, 2009, Original Classification Authority, Federal Register - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Vol. 75, No. 2, 5 January 2010, p.735.
- Part 6, Sec. 6.2(g) & 6.3, Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, Classified National Security Information, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 5 January 2010