The Manhattan Project Resources

U.S. Department of Energy

Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security

Office of History and Heritage Resources

Increased Public Participation in the Declassification Process

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC 20585


Increased Public Participation in the Declassification Process

Table of Contents

Specifically
Background
Benefits
Who Are the Key Stakeholders
Contact
Attachments
Questions and Answers

The Department of Energy has actively sought public input regarding the declassification process in keeping with President Clinton's and Secretary O'Leary's commitment to openness in Government. President Clinton stated that it is a "fundamental principle that an informed citizenry is essential to the democratic process and that the more the American people know about their Government the better they will be governed. Openness in government is essential to accountability . . . ." Further, President Clinton called upon "all Federal departments and agencies to renew their commitment to the . . . underlying principles of government openness . . . ." Secretary O'Leary affirmed these principles at her confirmation hearing by stating that she is ". . . committed to a Departmental culture of openness and straight talk."

Specifically

Stakeholder meetings provide an opportunity for Department of Energy management to listen and respond to its customers in a fair and open process that encourages participation.

The Department received many suggestions for proposed declassifications from the public. All of the stakeholder suggestions were reviewed and many of them resulted in the declassifications which are being announced today. Some of the suggestions require further study and some still require continued classification. Regardless, this effort does not end today. It is an ongoing effort, and we continue to solicit proposed declassifications from the public. Additional stakeholders meetings were held as follows:

Background

Benefits

Who Are the Key Stakeholders

Contact

U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Public Affairs
Contract: Sam Grizzle
(202) 586-5806


Attachments

Increased Public Participation in the Declassification
Process -- Stakeholder Meetings

Stakeholders Areas of Interest/Concern
(%)


U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the Press Secretary, Washington, DC 20585


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q. How many people have participated in these stakeholder meetings?

A. Attendance at the various stakeholder meetings and workshops has totaled more than 1,000 people. In addition, many of the participants were from organizations which represent many thousands of people.

Q. What areas of concern and interest have been addressed by stakeholders so far?

A. Stakeholder requests for both document and information declassifications run the gamut. A detailed breakdown appears in the attached chart. The top three areas of concern or interest to our stakeholders are accessibility to more information in general, environmental, safety, and health issues, and declassification proposals.

Q. How is input received at these meetings?

A. Information is received orally or in writing using special forms provided at each meeting. In addition, many people write directly to the Secretary of Energy and the Office of Declassification.

Q. How will stakeholder input be used?

A. Many stakeholder suggestions for proposed declassification of information were implemented except for information requiring continued classification under law, treaty, and regulation in the interest of nuclear nonproliferation and national security. Many of these declassifications are being announced today, but some warrant further study. In addition, input from stakeholders helps the Department of Energy to prioritize our activities and to improve the declassification process. Stakeholder input is a vital part of reinventing declassification policies and procedures in a wide variety of areas such as review of the Atomic Energy Act, the National Academy of Sciences study, and classification policy review.


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