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National Archives

Frequently Asked Questions

Explanation of Documents Withheld from Release

All Bush presidential records as well as the vice presidential records of George Bush and Dan Quayle are/were administered in accordance with the requirements of the 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22). and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C., as amended).

The Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) require archivists to restrict certain types of information. At the George Bush Presidential Library, we have created codes to represent different types of restricted information. You will find these codes on a sheet placed in then open file (available to researchers) in the former location of withheld material. An explanation of the codes is as follows:

Restrictions Listed in the Presidential Records Act (PRA)

  • P-1 - National security classified information [(a)(1) of the PRA]
  • P-2 - Relating to the appointment to federal office [(a)(2) of the PRA]
  • P-3 - Release would violate a federal statute [(a)(3) of the PRA]
  • P-4 - Release would disclose trade secrets or confidential commercial or financial information [(a)(4) of the PRA]
  • P-5 - Release would disclose confidential advice between the president and his advisors, or between such advisors [(a)(5) of the PRA]
  • P-6 - Release would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy [(a)(6) of the PRA]

Restrictions Listed in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

  • F-1 - National security classified information [(b)(1) of the FOIA]
  • F-2 - Release would disclose the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency [(b)(2) of the FOIA]
  • F-3 - Release would violate a federal statute [(b)(3) of the FOIA]
  • F-4 - Release would disclose trade secrets or confidential commercial or financial information [(b)(4) of the FOIA]
  • F-6 - Release would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy [(b)(6) of the FOIA]
  • F-7 - Release would disclose information compiled for law enforcement purposes [(b)(7) of the FOIA]
  • F-8 - Release would disclose information concerning the regulation of financial institutions [(b)(8) of the FOIA]
  • F-9 - Release would disclose geologic or geophysical information concerning wells [(b)(9) of the FOIA]

Please note that the restrictions contained in the Presidential Records Act apply for twelve years after the end of the administration. Therefore, the PRA restrictions governing release of George Bush presidential records and Dan Quayle vice presidential records will expire on 20 January 2005. The PRA restrictions for the George H.W. Bush vice presidential records expired on 20 January 2001.

FOIA restrictions will remain in place for an indefinite period of time. Also, please note that FOIA restriction F-5 (release would disclose confidential advice between the president and his advisors, or between such advisors) does not apply to presidential records.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
Telephone: (979) 691-4000 | Facsimile: (979) 691-4050 | TTY: (979) 691-4091