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William Slany Report on Informal HAC Meeting, January 1988

A scan of the original document is available for download (PDF, 416 KB, 2pp.)

Source: Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation Files, 1957-1990 (Lot File 96 D 292), Box 5, Correspondence-1988. Drafted by Deputy Historian Neal H. Petersen (PA/HO).

Cited in Toward “Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable”: A History of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series, Chapter 10, Footnote 36

WZS Report on Results of Advisory Committee Meeting

WZS met with the Committee at a hotel after the Friday session of the regular meeting was snowed out. He reported the following to FR managers on Monday.

The FRAC is very dubious about the utility of an intelligence supplement. NHP should draft a more complete justification statement.

The FRAC wants an updated version of the 60-by-90 schedule. WZS wants a new version rather than an updated version of the old schedule, which is now overtaken by events. NHP should prepare the new schedule.

The FRAC is receptive to the idea of expert review of volumes at the planning stage and then again at the pre-publication stage. HO needs to devise a plan.

The FRAC wants to weigh in on the matter of the structure of the series. It is inclined toward comprehensiveness, in at least providing information on file location for all significant subjects. Members are turned off by the idea of not covering lesser subjects in any manner. This will be discussed at the November meeting. We will want to devise detailed tables of contents for the 1961-1963 volumes.

Some of the members are skeptical about microfiche. Some prefer microfilm. We need to integrate microfiche supplements into our overall planning in order to better explain it to the FRAC.

With regard to CDC and declassification, the Committee liked the CDC presentation, particularly Sober’s. Members still want to see withheld documents and the guidelines developed for NARA reviewers, but most feel that this year’s meeting was a step forward.

Perkins will address a letter to Redman on the failure of the Department to follow up on his meeting with Spiers in 1987. He will stress the need for dialogue and indicate that the Committee is not wedded to the concept of an “ombudsman” to monitor declassification.

The Committee was not much concerned with the decompiling process, feeling that was our business.

Most of the above was discussed with Redman and High at a meeting on Friday January 8.

There was agreement that the next Advisory Committee meeting would be held in November.