Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (Reported in the House)
SEC. 1035. EXPENDITURES FOR DECLASSIFICATION ACTIVITIES.
(a) IDENTIFICATION IN BUDGET MATERIALS OF AMOUNTS FOR DECLASSIFICATION ACTIVITIES- Section 230 of title 10, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by striking `, as a budgetary line item'; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new sentence: `Identification of such amounts in such budget justification materials shall be in a single display that shows the total amount for the Department of Defense and the amount for each military department and Defense Agency.'.
(b) LIMITATION ON EXPENDITURES- The total amount expended by the Department of Defense during fiscal year 2001 to carry out declassification activities under the provisions of sections 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6 of Executive Order 12958 (50 U.S.C. 435 note) and for special searches (including costs for document search, copying, and review and imagery analysis) may not exceed $30,000,000.
(c) COMPILATION AND ORGANIZATION OF RECORDS- The Department of Defense may not be required, when conducting a special search, to compile or organize records that have already been declassified and placed into the public domain.
(d) SPECIAL SEARCHES- For the purpose of this section, the term `special search' means the response of the Department of Defense to any of the following:
(1) A statutory requirement to conduct a declassification review on a specified set of agency records.
(2) An Executive order to conduct a declassification review on a specified set of agency records.
(3) An order from the President or an official with delegated authority from the President to conduct a declassification review on a specified set of agency records.
FLOYD D. SPENCE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001
Committee Report - House Rpt. 106-616
SECTION 1035--EXPENDITURES FOR DECLASSIFICATION ACTIVITIES
This section would require that any future budget request submitted to Congress by the Department of Defense (DOD) specifically identify, in a single display, funds being requested for the Department, each military department, and each defense agency to be used to declassify records to comply with declassification requirements of any statute or executive order. This section would also limit the expenditure of funds by the Department of Defense for the declassification of records during fiscal year 2001 to no more than $30.0 million.
The review or records for potential declassification and release to the public can be quite costly. The Department estimates that records review for declassification and public release will cost the Department $34.0 million from operation and maintenance (O&M) accounts during fiscal year 2000. The committee is concerned about the drain on operations and maintenance resources resulting from the declassification process. The O&M accounts, and the readiness accounts in particular, have been dramatically underfunded for years, a serious problem that is exacerbated by almost annual unbudgeted contingency operations. The committee believes that record declassification is a significantly lower priority for already scarce O&M funds and believes these funds should be spent addressing shortfalls in higher priority areas such as maintenance, training, spare parts, and other key readiness activities. Consequently, this section would limit the amount of funds available for the Department's fiscal year 2001 records declassification effort to $30.0 million, the amount the Department estimates will be necessary for planned record reviews.
In addition, section 230 of title 10, United States Code provides that the Secretary of Defense shall provide in budget justification materials submitted to Congress `specific identification, as a budgetary line item, of the amounts required to carry out' declassification activities. The Department of Defense failed to provide in the fiscal year 2001 budget request the required declassification line item. Parts of the declassification budget request were scattered across more than 10 budget accounts, and other portions of the declassification budget request were invisible, having been imbedded in other budget lines. The committee believes it is necessary that the full DOD declassification budget be visible in the annual budget request, so Congress will be better able to establish appropriate levels for such expenditures. Therefore, this section would require the Department to include in future budget request materials a single display reflecting the total amount requested for records declassification.