Appeal of Declassification Determinations

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Administrative Appeals

The CIA will withhold records (or any portion of them) if they are exempt from disclosure under the provisions of EO 13526. If your request is denied, in whole or in part, we must advise you in writing of the reasons (see Classification Categories under the EO) and inform you of your right to appeal to a higher decision-making level within the Agency. EO 13526 permits requesters disagreeing with an Agency decision to file an administrative appeal to the Agency Release Panel (ARP) in care of the Information and Privacy Coordinator, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, D.C. 20505, within 45 days of the date the Agency mailed its initial decision. The ARP consists of senior Agency officials, and one of them--usually the member(s) with subject matter interest--will handle your appeal request and bring it before the entire Panel for a final review.

Your appeal, either directly or through NARA or a Presidential library, must identify specific documents; however, your letter does not need to specify the factual or legal basis of your appeal, although this would be helpful. After the Panel renders its decision, the Agency Coordinator will notify you, NARA, or the particular Presidential library within 10 working days of the decision. This notification will inform you of your right to appeal to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) at the following address: Executive Secretary, Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, Attn: Mandatory Review Appeals, c/o Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration, 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 5W, Washington, D.C. 20408. ISCAP decisions are final.


Once the administrative appeal process has been exhausted, the EO does not provide for a right of judicial review.

Appeal of Historical Access Determinations

Administrative Appeals

The EO provides no appeal provision following an ARP decision on a request for access by a historical researcher or former Presidential appointee. Requests for historical access, if accepted after meeting the definitional requirement, are generally tasked by the Information and Privacy Coordinator to the appropriate components for review. The Coordinator then prepares a memorandum for the ARP outlining the request and the findings of the tasked components, and then the ARP meets to decide the issue.

On divided votes, any member of the ARP can authorize referral of the request to the CIA Historical Records Policy Board. The HRPB is chaired by the Executive Director of CIA, and the Board members consist of the Deputy Directors of the four directorates and several other senior Agency officials. The decision of the Board is final.


The EO does not provide for a right of judicial review of the Agency's determination.