From The National Archives Legislative Branch – The Center for Legislative Archives
January 14, 2009
FAQs on the 9/11 Commission Records
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, was an independent, bipartisan commission created by Congress. The Commission’s mandate was to provide a “full and complete accounting” of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and to provide recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future. The Commission, extant from 2003 – 2004, held hearings, conducted interviews, and produced a report.
When the 9/11 Commission closed on August 21, 2004, it transferred legal custody of its records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Commission encouraged the release of its records to the fullest extent possible in January 2009. Because the Commission was part of the legislative branch its records are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Approximately 35% of the Commission’s archived textual records are now publicly available. Due to the collection’s volume and the large percentage of national security classified files, NARA staff was unable to process the entire collection by January 2009. Review and processing focused on the portion of the collection that contains unique documents created by the Commission and those that reveal the most about the scope of the investigation and the internal workings of the Commission and its staff.