White House Delivers Documents Committee Imposes Strict Security Procedures

WASHINGTON – Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Tuesday said he would impose strict security procedures to govern the Committee?s review of  White House documents provided in response to the Committee?s May 22 subpoena.  One box and one accordion folder of documents were delivered late Tuesday afternoon.

                ?I?m satisfied we have come to an accommodation on the security of these documents and the terms under which they might be made public, while refusing to yield the Committee?s right to conduct its investigation and inform the public of the findings of that investigation,? Lieberman said.  ?This Committee has always respected the sensitivity of all documents within its possession, as well as the privacy rights of individuals who might be mentioned in those documents.  My staff and I have agreed to extraordinary security precautions in this particular case, in an effort to put White House fears to rest.?

                According to the agreement, documents will be held in a locked room, equipped with an alarm.  Only a limited number of staff will have access to the room, all of whom will have signed confidentiality agreements.

                Documents may be made public if either the Committee Chairman or the Ranking Member determine ?that disclosure is appropriate to further the purposes of the investigation.?  Before any documents are released, 24-hour written notice must be given to the White House and, either the Chairman or the Ranking Member, depending on who is releasing the document, to allow for consultation.

                The Committee also added a provision, unsought by the White House, making clear its intent to protect personal privacy information, such as social security numbers.

                ?I?m pleased the White House has begun to deliver the documents I believe are necessary to conduct a complete investigation into the government?s oversight of Enron,? Lieberman said.  ?Thousands upon thousands of people have lost savings, pensions, and jobs, and the U.S. economy has suffered a severe loss of confidence.  I look forward to determining what, if anything, the federal government might have done differently to avoid these problems.?