The Government Secrecy Act
On March 25, 1998, the Committee on Governmental Affairs held a legislative hearing on S. 712, the Government Secrecy Act. The Committee had held a hearing on May 7, 1997 to review the final report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy. That same day, Senator Moynihan and Senator Helms introduced S. 712, a bill to implement the recommendations of the Commission. The purpose of the bill is to codify the principles and standards for deciding what information is classified; enhancing the declassification process; and providing for greater accountability for classification and declassification decisions in order to promote the more effective use of government resources to protect information truly needing to be protected and also promote greater openness. The Committee heard from six witnesses from within and outside the government with expertise in national security information classification and declassification who testified specifically concerning the provisions of S. 712.