Document classification increased despite goal of public access, agency report says
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite an agency goal of “promoting declassification and public access,” classification of government secrets increased during 1993 according to the agency that oversees information security programs for both the government and industry.
The Information Security Oversight Office, which is part of the U.S. General Services Administration, released its 1993 annual report to the president in late May.
The total of all classification actions for fiscal year 1993 increased by 1 percent over 1992. According to the report, 81,986 pages were declassified in full, 146,796 pages were partly declassified and 18,121 pages were kept classified in full.
Information Office Director Steven Garfinkel said in a letter to President Clinton accompanying the report that, “The data that we report here continue to support the need for reform.”
Garfinkel noted that the agency was in the final stages of shaping a post-Cold War security classification system. He said that the new system would reduce significantly the amount of information that is classified in the first place and to declassify the amount of older classified information that has built up though the decades.
According to the report, the Department of Defense accounted for 58 percent of all classification decisions. The CIA and Justice Department accounted for 25 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
(Information Security Oversight Office’s 1993 Report to the President)