Parliament Sitting on 10 September 2018

QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER


11. Mr Kok Heng Leun:
To ask the Minister for Communications and Information what is the standard operating procedure for the declassification of Government documents.

Answer:

Under the NLB Act, public records which are more than 25 years old become a part of the public archives. The NAS facilitates the public’s access to the archived government documents for the purpose of reference or research, subject to conditions or restrictions imposed by Public agencies.

2 The standard operating procedure for the declassification of government documents is as follows:

a) The National Archives of Singapore (NAS) digitises government documents in their existing formats, whether they are microfilm or paper records. 
b) NAS sends the digitised government documents to the relevant agency for declassification.  
c) The agency will review the government documents and decide if the documents can be released for viewing, citation and reproduction.  
d) During the review of documents, the agency will take into account national security concerns, confidentiality obligations and personal privacy considerations.
e) If the documents can be released, their metadata will be made available through NAS’ Archives Online, so that the documents can be made searchable.