FAS Note: In an April 1, 2002, letter to Congress, the Department of Defense proposed to eliminate dozens of statutory reporting requirements that it deemed unnecessary or counterproductive. Among them was a 1999 requirement to report on declassification spending, as described in the following excerpt.
The Secretary of Defense must include in the budget justification materials submitted to Congress in support of the Department of Defense budget for any fiscal year (as submitted with the President's budget under section 1105(a) of title 31) specific identification of the amounts required to carry out programmed activities during that fiscal year to declassify records pursuant to Executive Order No. 12958 (50 U.S.C. 435 note) or any successor Executive order or to comply with any statutory requirement, or any request to declassify government records. Identification of such amounts in such budget justification materials must 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.

Reason the Report Should be Repealed: This requirement was enacted in 1999 at a time when the congressional defense committees and the Department were concerned that the cumulative effect of recent statutes, Executive orders, and pending legislation requiring increased levels of effort to declassify DoD records could result in an unwarranted financial burden on the Department. Congress enacted annual expenditure caps for declassification activities in the fiscal year 2000 and 2001 authorization acts. Since that time, improved accounting practices have provided a better insight into the Department's declassification expenses. We also now have the benefit of several years of additional experience in this activity. Both DoD and the Congress now understand that the concerns that resulted in section 230 of title 10 did not materialize. Congress reflected this in not enacting a cap on declassification expenses in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002. Since this issue is resolved, the provision serves no further purpose and is unnecessary.

Source documents:

April 1, 2002, cover letter from DoD General Counsel William J. Haynes II [PDF Document]

Attached list of reports proposed for deletion [WordPerfect Document]