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Department of Defense


NUMBER 7650.1

September 11, 1997

Certified Current as of November 21, 2003


SUBJECT:  General Accounting Office (GAO) and Comptroller General Access to Records

References: (a)  DoD Directive 7650.1, "General Accounting Office Access to Records," August 26, 1982 (hereby canceled)

(b)  DoD Directive 7650.2, "General Accounting Office Audits and Reports," July 19, 1985

(c)  DoD Instruction 7650.4, "Procedures for Responding to General Accounting Office (GAO) and Comptroller General Requests for Access to Records," September 9, 1997

(d)  Section 716 of title 31, United States Code, "Availability of Information and Inspection of Records"


This Directive reissues and updates reference (a), establishes policy, and assigns responsibilities for responding to requests for access to records from the GAO.


This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Military Departments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, and the DoD Field Activities (hereafter referred to collectively as "the DoD Components").


It is the policy of the Department of Defense to cooperate with the GAO and to respond quickly and as completely as practicable in connection with GAO requests for records related to announced surveys or reviews (reference (b)), and to allow the GAO full access to all records that are not exempt from disclosure to the GAO.


4.1.  The Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer shall:

4.1.1.  Establish and supervise the execution of all policies and procedures for responding to GAO requests for access to records, including access to budgetary material.

4.1.2.  Issue, maintain, and make necessary updates to reference (c).

4.2.  The General Counsel of the Department of Defense shall:

4.2.1.  With respect to the OSD, and the chief legal officer of a DoD Component, with respect to that Component, review and provide advice on any DoD Component denial of access to records, other than a denial of a written Comptroller General request for access to records.

4.2.2.  Review and provide advice on any denial of a written Comptroller General request for access to records.  No denial of a written Comptroller General request by any DoD Component may be made without the concurrence of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (GC, DoD).

4.3.  The Inspector General of the Department of Defense shall:

4.3.1.  Be the principal point of contact between the Department of Defense and the GAO in accordance with the provisions of DoD Directive 7650.2 (reference (b)).

4.3.2.  Provide advice and assistance in connection with GAO and Comptroller General requests for records and shall work with DoD Component liaison officials concerning access requests from the GAO and meetings between DoD and GAO personnel concerning such access requests.

4.4.  The Heads of the DoD Components shall:

4.4.1.  Implement the requirements of this Directive and DoD Instruction 7650.4 (reference (c)).

4.4.2.  Establish all necessary procedures within their Component for ensuring that all GAO requests for records are processed promptly.

4.4.3.  Ensure that any contemplated denial of access to records by that Component, or a request for an exemption to a disclosure requirement under 31 U.S.C. 716 (d)(1)(C) (reference (d)), is timely, accurate, and completely explained, and that it is reviewed and coordinated with the chief legal officer of the DoD Component and the GC, DoD.

4.4.4.  Make exemption determinations concerning records related to activities that the President has designated as intelligence or counterintelligence activities or are otherwise exempt from disclosure under the provisions of section 716(d)(1)(B) of reference (d).

4.4.5.  Inform the GAO that a record is subject to special handling requirements under Section 716 of reference (d) when a record being released contains personal information, the disclosure of which could constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy and, therefore, must be kept in a way that prevents unwarranted invasions of personal privacy.


This Directive is effective immediately.

Signed by: John J. Hamre, Deputy Secretary of Defense