Biden reinstates visitor log policy, will be first administration to post records from first full year in office

The Biden administration on Friday posted visitor logs from January 2021, saying that visitor log disclosures will occur on a monthly basis. The Biden administration will be the first administration to post visitor logs from its first full year in office.  

“This release was made in accordance with the reinstated policy to voluntarily disclose White House visitor logs. These logs give the public a look into the visitors entering and exiting the White House campus for appointments, tours, and official business — making good on President Biden’s commitment to restore integrity, transparency, and trust in government,” the White House said in a statement. “This set, from January 20 to 31, 2021, include only 400 records. As vaccinations increase and the pandemic response continues to make progress, we look forward to welcoming many more visitors onto the White House campus and back into the People’s House.”

The White House added that “in keeping with the Obama-Biden administration’s policy, select records that implicate privacy, national security, or other concerns will be withheld.” 

(To learn more about the policy, read the voluntary disclosure policy.  To view visitor log records, view our disclosure page.”

The White House added: Voluntary Disclosure Policy

“As previously announced, President Biden is reinstating a policy to voluntarily disclose White House visitor logs.  These logs will include appointment information for individuals who have been processed to enter the White House complex, including the White House, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and New Executive Office Building.  Naval Observatory records related to White House business will also be released when they are generated. 

“The voluntary disclosure policy will apply to records created for appointments after 12:00 p.m. on January 20, 2021. 

“The White House considers these records to be subject to the Presidential Records Act or the Federal Records Act and will continue to preserve them accordingly.

“This policy will be subject to the following exceptions:

  • The White House will not release fields within the access records that implicate personal privacy or law enforcement concerns (e.g., dates of birth, social security numbers, and contact phone numbers).
  • The White House will not release access records of staff members (e.g., staff processed through the visitor system to enter the complex before being issued their badge).
  • The White House will not release access records whose release would threaten national security interests.
  • The White House will not release access records related to purely personal guests of the First and Second Families (i.e., visits that do not involve any official or political business).
  • The White House will not release access records related to a small group of particularly sensitive meetings (e.g., visits of potential Supreme Court nominees).  The White House will disclose each month the number of records withheld on this basis, if any, and it will release such records once they are no longer sensitive.”
Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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