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113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1464

  To facilitate and enhance the declassification of information that 
            merits declassification, and for other purposes.


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                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             August 1, 2013

Mrs. Shaheen (for herself and Mr. Risch) introduced the following bill; 
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security 
                        and Governmental Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To facilitate and enhance the declassification of information that 
            merits declassification, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Preserving American Access to 
Information Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) The 1994 Joint Security Commission, convened at the 
        request of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the 
        Central Intelligence Agency stated that ``[t]he classification 
        system, largely unchanged since the Eisenhower administration 
        has grown out of control. More information is being classified 
        and for extended periods of time. Security rules proliferate, 
        becoming more complex yet remaining unrelated to the threat. . 
        . . Indeed, the classification system is not trusted on the 
        inside any more than it is on the outside. Insiders do not 
        trust it to protect information that needs protection. 
        Outsiders do not trust it to release information that does not 
        need protection''.
            (2) The Public Interest Declassification Board, notes in 
        its 2012 report that ``[a]gencies are currently creating 
        petabytes of classified information annually, which quickly 
        outpaces the amount of information the Government has 
        declassified in total in the previous seventeen years since 
        Executive Order 12958 established the policy of automatic 
        declassification for 25 year old records. Without dramatic 
        improvement in the declassification process, the rate at which 
        classified records are being created will drive an exponential 
        growth in the archival backlog of classified records awaiting 
        declassification, and public access to the nation's history 
        will deteriorate further''.

SEC. 3. DECLASSIFICATION OF INFORMATION WITH SHORT-TERM CLASSIFICATION 
              SENSITIVITY.

    (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Certain information, typically at the predecisional, 
        tactical, or operational level, is classified based on its 
        sensitivity with respect to a pertinent event. Following the 
        event, the vast majority of the associated details are no 
        longer sensitive and no longer need be classified.
            (2) This type of time-specific classified information 
        should be identified and marked at the time of classification 
        for automatic declassification without further review.
    (b) Specification of Information To Be Declassified 
Automatically.--
            (1) In general.--The heads of Federal agencies with 
        authority to classify information shall, in consultation with 
        the Information Security Oversight Office, specify the types of 
        information with short-lived sensitivity that could be 
        automatically declassified without further review.
            (2) Exclusion from specification.--The types of information 
        specified pursuant to paragraph (1) shall exclude the 
        following:
                    (A) Information on the sources, methods, tactics, 
                tradecraft, and procedures of members of the Armed 
                Forces, personnel of the intelligence community, or 
                other personnel performing associated or similar 
                security functions or activities for the United States 
                Government.
                    (B) Any other information that could endanger the 
                military, intelligence, diplomatic, or law enforcement 
                personnel, operations, or capabilities of the United 
                States.
            (3) Report.--The heads of Federal agencies described in 
        paragraph (1) shall submit to Congress a report setting forth 
        the following:
                    (A) The types of information specified under 
                paragraph (1).
                    (B) An assessment of the feasibility of 
                implementing a new classification category for the 
                types of information specified in that paragraph.
                    (C) Recommendations, if appropriate, for 
                legislative action to implement the automatic 
                declassification of information as described in that 
                paragraph.

SEC. 4. ENHANCEMENT OF THE NATIONAL DECLASSIFICATION CENTER.

    (a) In General.--The President shall take appropriate actions to 
enhance the authority and capacity of the National Declassification 
Center under Executive Order No. 13526, or any successor Executive 
order, in order to facilitate, enhance, and advance a government-wide 
strategy for the declassification of information.
    (b) Required Actions.--The actions taken under subsection (a) shall 
include the following:
            (1) A requirement that Federal agencies complete the review 
        of Presidential and Federal records proposed for 
        declassification, in accordance with priorities established by 
        the National Declassification Center, within one year of the 
        start of the declassification process, except that agencies may 
        complete such review within two years of the start of the 
        declassification process upon the written approval of the 
        Director of the National Declassification Center.
            (2) A requirement that Federal agencies with authority to 
        classify information share their declassification guidance with 
        other such Federal agencies and with the National 
        Declassification Center.

SEC. 5. PUBLIC CONSULTATION WITH ADVISORY PANEL TO THE NATIONAL 
              DECLASSIFICATION CENTER.

    (a) In General.--The Director of the National Declassification 
Center shall provide for consultation between the advisory panel to the 
National Declassification Center and the public.
    (b) Frequency.--Consultations under subsection (a) shall occur not 
less frequently than the frequency of the regular meetings of the 
advisory panel to the National Declassification Center and, to the 
extent practicable, shall occur concurrently with the meetings of the 
advisory panel.

SEC. 6. EXTENSION OF PUBLIC INTEREST DECLASSIFICATION BOARD.

    Section 710(b) of the Public Interest Declassification Act of 2000 
(50 U.S.C. 3161 note) is amended by striking ``2014'' and inserting 
``2018''.

SEC. 7. PRESERVATION AND ACCESS TO HISTORICALLY VALUABLE RECORDS.

    Federal agencies shall take appropriate actions to identify and 
designate historically valuable records as soon as possible after their 
creation in order to ensure the preservation and future accessibility 
of such documents and records.

SEC. 8. REPORTS ON PILOT PROGRAMS ON IMPROVEMENTS TO THE 
              DECLASSIFICATION PROCESSES.

    (a) Reports.--The heads of Federal agencies that classify 
information shall, in consultation with the Director of the National 
Declassification Center, submit to Congress reports setting forth 
options for various pilot programs to assess the feasibility and 
advisability of mechanisms to improve the current declassification 
capabilities of such agencies, including updates of software and 
procedures relating to declassification of information.
    (b) Mechanisms.--In selecting mechanisms to be assessed pursuant to 
the pilot programs for purposes of subsection (a), an emphasis shall be 
afforded to the selection of current technologies and practices that 
could improve current declassification capabilities, including 
commercial, off the shelf-technologies and current best practices of 
Federal agencies and the private sector.

SEC. 9. REPORTS.

    Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the head of each Federal agency that classifies information shall 
submit to Congress a report that sets forth the following:
            (1) An assessment of feasibility and advisability of 
        replacing the current classification system of such agency with 
        a two-tiered system, including an analysis and assessment of 
        restructuring necessary to align the level of protection with 
        the level of harm anticipated in the event of unauthorized 
        release of sensitive information.
            (2) If such agency possesses records with classified 
        Formerly Restricted Data (FRD), an assessment of the 
        feasibility and advisability of declassifying such records that 
        have no national security value.