The Executive Services Directorate (ESD) provides comprehensive administrative management and graphics services to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and executes federally mandated and regulatory programs, including Freedom of Information Act, Security Review, Privacy Act, Records Management, Directives, Forms, Declassification Review, and Information Collection, on behalf of the Secretary within the Department and externally to other agencies and the general public. ESD is also responsible for valuable key information collection and distribution services, including the Pentagon Library and Pentagon Post Office.
Please also visit our official Executive Services Directorate web page.
WHS administers correspondence management policies and processes for Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense correspondence. WHS efficiently and effectively preserves documents, providing archive, and ediscovery research and retrieval services.
DoD Directives Program
WHS develops and maintains DoD policy and oversees the preparation, coordination, approval, publication, and preservation of DoD issuances (Directives, Instructions, Manuals, Directive-Type Memorandums, and Administrative Instructions) used to codify the DoD’s foundational policies, assignment of responsibilities, and delegations of authority to implement Federal law, Executive orders, Secretary of Defense and Presidential Directives. Up-to-date DoD issuances are available on the DoD Directives Program [external link] website.
DoD Lead for eRulemaking
WHS manages the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS), www.regulations.gov. This system gives Federal agencies and citizens the ability to submit comments on proposed federal regulations. In addition, agencies and citizens can search, view, and download comments on proposed regulations, final regulations, notices and other information. The FDMS implements the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act which requires agencies to accept comments electronically and make information, including comments and rulemaking materials, publicly available online.
Freedom of Information Act
WHS implements the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policy throughout the DoD. WHS assists other FOIA offices with litigation, and adjudicates FOIA appeals. WHS prepares Annual Reports, and operates a FOIA Public Liaison Service and FOIA Hotline.
- DoD Forms Management — WHS maintains the official version of Department of Defense (DD) and Secretary of Defense (SD) forms. WHS establishes policies and procedures for the DoD Forms Management Program. DoD forms satisfy a valid need; essential to accomplish a mission and necessary for the efficient and economical operation of the DoD. Additional information is available on the DoD Forms Management Program website.
- DoD Internally-Generated Information Collection Program — WHS oversees the Secretary of Defense initiative to manage, control, license, and track all DoD internally-generated information collections to ensure resources are efficiently executed to prevent redundant and obsolete information collection requirements.
- DoD Public Collection Program — WHS provides a listing of approved, under review, and recently expired public information collections. WHS provides guidance for processing public information collection requests for approval by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Public information collections are collections of information where 10 or more public respondents are involved and the questions are standardized in nature. Additional information is available on the DoD Public Collection Program website.
- DoD Regulatory Program — WHS provides a listing of DoD rules and guidance for processing rules and notices for publication in the Federal Register and codification in the Code of Federal Regulations. Rules apply to and have legal affect on the public. Notices announce information of public interest, such as meetings or a statement of availability. Additional information is available on the DoD Regulatory Program website.
Official Mail Services
WHS processes inbound and outbound official mail for the Pentagon and Mark Center, and manages the Digital Delivery of Mail Program (DDMP).
OSD Graphics and Presentations
WHS provides design, and production services for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), DoD Field Activities, Defense agencies, and DoD commissions and task forces. Its services include exhibit design, production, and maintenance; visual aids for briefings and presentations; agency branding, including logo and web page design; electronic prepress for books, reports, and a variety of other publications; indoor and outdoor signage production; and special presentation services, including the set-up of public displays for Pentagon special events.
OSD Records Management
WHS oversees and administers the Records Management Program, Declassification & Historical Research Program for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and related agencies and components.
- Research Services – WHS manages the Pentagon Library, which provides research services to Department of Defense personnel working at the Pentagon and in the National Capital Region. Experienced reference librarians assist with informational and in-depth research queries and identify topics of interest. Staff members assist with interlibrary loans, desktop access to electronic content, and orientation to library policies, programs, and services. Workstations are available to registered members for online research.
- Physical and Virtual Collections – WHS manages the Pentagon Library, which acquires books, technical reports, government and military documents, periodicals, DVDs, audio books, atlases, and legislative materials in the following areas: Military Arts and Science, Naval Science, Military History, Policy Making, International Law, Political Science, Leadership and Management, Law and Legislation, Organizational and Behavioral Psychology, Speech Writing and Training, Travel, and Foreign Languages. The virtual library also provides full text access to books and reports, scholarly and professional articles, military regulations, and commercial and government databases.
- Circulation – WHS manages the Pentagon Library, which provides circulating materials that can be checked out for two weeks at a time. Registered members may use the online catalog at www.whs.mil/library to reserve items for pickup at the Circulation Desk, or to renew materials. Library staff members are available to answer questions, and assist authorized personnel with membership and registration.
- Programs and Events – WHS manages the Pentagon Library, which frequently hosts guest authors, speakers, and trainers; and arranges other special events. Notices of special events are posted at www.whs.mil/library, the “WHS Pipeline” newsletter, and InfoNet displays throughout the Pentagon and Conference Center
Plain Writing Act
WHS implements the Plain Writing Act of 2010 to improve DoD’s internal and external effectiveness and accountability by promoting clear communications; monitors and reports on DoD implementation and compliance, and solicits and responds to public inquiries concerning the Plain Writing Act.
Prepublication and Security Review
WHS supports the protection of National Security by conducting prepublication security and policy reviews for clearance of unclassified information proposed for official public release. These reviews, conducted on behalf of the Secretary of Defense, preclude the release of classified or sensitive information and make accurate, unclassified information available to the public and Congress, to clarify Defense strategy and national security issues. These include:
- Prepublication review of manuscripts and books
- Congressional reviews of testimony and President’s budget-related information
- Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) statutorialy mandated reviews
- International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) technical data reviews
Privacy Act and Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
WHS implements the DoD Privacy Program throughout the Offices of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff (OSD/JS). WHS assists OSD/JS Component Privacy offices and program managers with developing documentation required by statute and regulation and adjudicating Privacy appeals. WHS prepares quarterly and annual reports.
To learn more about the Executive Services Directorate, including specific service and contact information, visit the official Executive Services Directorate web page.