The purpose of MCC’s declassification program is to:
- Review all historically valuable classified information, including foreign government information;
- Assess what needs to remain classified and what can be released to the public while protecting diplomatic relations between the United States and a foreign government; and
- Provide public access to information about MCC’s programs and declassified material and a mechanism for input on what types of information should be prioritized for declassification as allowed.
Executive Order 13526, as amended, “Classified National Security Information,” establishes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding and declassifying national security information. More guidance on this was later sent via memorandum to all heads of executive departments and agencies.
Information appraised as having permanent historical value is automatically declassified once it reaches its declassification date or at 25 years of age as provided in Section 3.3 of E.O. 13526, unless MCC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has determined that it falls within a narrow exemption that permits continued classification and it has been appropriately approved.
Under Section 3.5 Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR), any individual may request a review of classified information and material in MCC’s possession for declassification if:
- The request describes the documents or material containing the information with enough detail for MCC to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort. Requests with insufficient description of the material will be returned to the requester for further information.
- The information requested is not the subject of pending litigation.
- The information requested has not been reviewed for declassification in the previous two years. If so, MCC shall inform the requester of this fact and provide the requester with appeal rights in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.33(a)(2)(iii).
How to make MDR requests:
- In writing to Office of the General Counsel, MCC, 875 15th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005
- Please write “Mandatory Declassification Review" on the envelope or in the subject line of your online request.
- In your request, specifically mention MDR under E.O. 13526, and not the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act.
- Identify the document or information to be reviewed with as much specificity as possible.
All declassified records must be requested under the FOIA and are still subject to being withheld under one or more of the nine exemptions from disclosure permitted under the FOIA. Certain records, classified or not, will not be released to the public. See http://www.mcc.gov/pages/foia