Prepared Statement ofMr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to represent the Army and provide testimony on this important subject.
Col. Lewis H. Thompson
Commander, 902nd Military Intelligence Group
U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command
at a hearing of the
Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology
House Government Reform Committee
"Implementation of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act"June 27, 2000
I am Colonel Lew Thompson, the commander of the 902d Military Intelligence Group, United States Army Intelligence and Security Command. My Group conducts the Army's strategic counterintelligence mission. My Group also contains the Army's Investigative Records Repository (IRR).
With me today are two substantive experts, Lieutenant Colonel Jasey Briley, the Commander of the 3lOth Military Intelligence Battalion that houses the Investigative Records Repository (IRR), and Mr. Andy Swicegood, from the Battalion operations section.
The Investigative Records Repository, is the Army's repository for some intelligence and all counter-intelligence related investigative files. It contains over 1.9 million paper and microfilm files, some of which date back to World War II. These aging files and film have been deteriorating for many years. Recognizing their historical value, the Army initiated efforts in 1992 to digitize all IRR holdings.
In 1995, the President signed Executive Order 12958, requiring the review for declassification determination of all classified holdings 25 years of age or older, to be completed not later than April 21, 2000. In October, 1998 the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act (Public Law No. 105-246) was signed, requiring us to review all IRR holdings, declassify to the maximum extent possible related files, and provide those files to the National Archives and Records Administration.
The digitization of IRR files that began in 1992 is not directly related to the Executive Order or Public Law, but facilitates our compliance with both. In order to comply with the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, we must review over 1.9 million files, subsequently releasing what we currently estimate to be 15,000 files pertinent to the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act. Without the digitization initiative, we estimate the process would take more than 181 man-years of effort to complete. With digitization, we estimate we will be able to complete the task in about seven months. In order to facilitate this effort, the Secretary of the Army has made $1.3 million available to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) for the conversion of the reels of microfilm to optical disk.
I currently have over 100 military and civilian employees dedicated to this effort working three shifts around the clock six days a week, with the seventh day allocated to system maintenance and backup. We are working toward a completion date of October 1, 2000.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimony today. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.