Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on the Policy for Release of Sensitive Information Derived From Federally Funded Research

September 27, 1985

President Reagan has issued guidance to the various agencies of the Federal Government which outlines procedures concerning the releasability of scientific, technical, and engineering information generated as a result of federally funded fundamental research in universities, colleges, and laboratories. This policy addresses a widespread concern that efforts to reduce the flow of sensitive technologies to potential adversaries could restrain free and open exchange of fundamental scientific information. It is included in a directive to the heads of executive branch departments and agencies.

The new policy states that: It is the policy of this administration that, to the maximum extent possible, the products of fundamental research remain unrestricted. It is also the policy of this administration that, where the national security requires control, the mechanism for control of information generated during federally funded fundamental research in science, technology, and engineering at colleges, universities, and laboratories is classification. Each Federal Government agency is responsible for: (a) determining whether classification is appropriate prior to the award of a research grant, contract, or cooperative agreement and, if so, controlling the research results through standard classification procedures; (b) periodically reviewing all research grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements for potential classification. No restrictions may be placed upon the conduct or reporting of federally funded fundamental research that has not received national security classification, except as provided in applicable U.S. statutes.

Our goal is to maintain the free and open exchange of unclassified research so necessary to a free society and an expanding economy.