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About the Board


What is the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board?
The Board is an independent, bipartisan agency within the executive branch established by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act, Pub. L. 110-53, signed into law in August 2007. Comprised of four part-time members and a full-time chairman, the Board is committed to making information available to the public through a website and, to the greatest extent possible, making its reports and recommendations available to the American people. The current iteration of the Board is a successor to the Board created within the Executive Office of the President under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

What are the Board's Authorities?
The Board is vested with two fundamental authorities: first, to review and analyze actions the executive branch takes to protect the Nation from terrorism, ensuring the need for such actions is balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties; and second, to ensure that liberty concerns are appropriately considered in the development and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies related to efforts to protect the Nation against terrorism.

What are the Board's Responsibilities?
To meet its mission, the Board must provide advice to the President and executive branch agencies and departments on policy development and implementation. This role requires that the Board oversee certain actions, regulations, policies, and procedures of the executive branch. When appropriate, the Board will coordinate the activities of federal agency privacy and civil liberties officers on relevant interagency matters. Twice each year, the Board must report to the Congress on its activities.

What Actions Can the Board Take?
The Board is authorized to access all relevant executive agency records, reports, audits, reviews, documents, papers, recommendations, and any other relevant materials, including classified information. The Board may interview, take statements from, or take public testimony from any executive branch officer or employee. Additionally, the Board may request in writing that the Attorney General subpoena on the Board's behalf persons (other than departments, agencies, and elements of the executive branch) to produce relevant information.