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Executive Services Directorate

The Executive Services Directorate (ESD) provides knowledge management and visual information services across OSD and the Fourth Estate.

ESD oversees legally mandated programs as well as providing executive services to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, OSD components, the Joint Staff, and the Fourth Estate.

Mandated Programs – Includes the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, the Federal Records Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, Executive Order 13526, and programs relating to classification and declassification reviews.

Executive Services – Includes managing the DoD issuances program, managing correspondence for the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Correspondence & Task Management System (CATMS), managing Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit and follow-up missions, tracking DoD Inspector General audit recommendations, and designing visual information products.


The Executive Services Directorate (ESD) has eight internal offices providing these services:

Correspondence Management Division (CMD) Administers policies and processes designed to efficiently and effectively capture and preserve unclassified and classified official correspondence for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense. CMD directly supports the Executive Secretary in controlling, tasking, and tracking all Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Executive Secretary of Defense actions. Key activities include:  

  • Control, task, edit and review correspondence; distribute responses; archive and retrieve correspondence; and, report metrics.
  • Compile and provide SD and DSD with collection of their unclassified papers of historical value upon departure from office (i.e., "Chronicle of Tenure").
  • Provide courier services; oversee the screening and delivery of personal (house) mail for SD and DSD.
  • Correspondence and Tasks Management System (CATMS) Functional Representative.

Additional information is available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/CMD/.

Defense Office of Prepublication and Security Review (DOPSR) Manages an accurate and timely security and policy review process to ensure that information is available to the Congress, the Department of Defense and its employees (military and civilian), other Government Agencies, and the general public to help them understand Defense policy, Defense strategy, national security issues, and Defense activities.  It also: 

  • Evaluates private sector requests to review potentially controlled technical data protected under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
  • Reviews classified data for possible declassification/release of DoD equities in connection with The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, which is published by the Department of State.
  • Supports DoD Member (USD(I)) on the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which handles classification appeals. Key Activities include:

• Security Review (DoD submissions; industry submissions; manuscripts)
• Congressional Review (Testimony; QFR's; IFR's; APQ's; Transcripts)
• ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) Review
• ISCAP (Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel) - Liaison
• FRUS (Foreign Relations of the United States) Review
• Additional information is available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/DOPSR/.

Directives Division (DD) provides customers with ready access to essential information by enabling the establishment of DoD policy and guidance, managing the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) engagements with DoD and facilitating the timely response to requests for information and the implementation of GAO recommendations, facilitating the implementation or closure of DoD Inspector General recommendations, and overseeing the collection of information in the most efficient manner possible to effectively fulfill a mission or obtain or provide a service.

Key activities include:

  • Oversight of DoD Issuances Program (Title 31, U.S.C./ Section 1123; DoDD 5105.02; DoDD 5105.53; and DoDI 5025.01.
  • Developing and overseeing DoD policy, standards, and procedures to provide methodical and structured approach to manage life-cycle of DoD issuances.      
  • Overseeing the DoD Information Collections Program (44 U.S.C., chapter 35; 5 CFR 1320; DoDD 5110.04; DoDI 8910.01; DoDM 8910.01-V1 & V2; and SecDef memo, "Track Four Efficiency Initiative").  
  • Developing and implementing DoD standards and procedures to manage internal and public information collections
  • DoD Forms Management Program (41 CFR Parts 102-193 & 102-194, DoDD 5110.04, DoDI 7750.07, DoDI 7750.07-M, and AI 86). 
  • Developing and implementing DoD standards and procedures to manage Department of Defense (DD), Secretary of Defense (SD), Deputy Chief Management Office (DCMO), and Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) forms.
  • DoD Plain Language Program (Public Law 111-274, DoDD 5110.04, and DoDI 5025.13). 
  • Developing DoD policy, standards, and procedures to oversee the Plain Writing Act.
  • Standardization of Military and Associated Terminology (DoDD 5105.53 and DoD! 5025.12).
  • Developing and overseeing DoD policy on compiling and publishing standardized DoD military terminology.
  • DoD GAO Audits.
  • Additional information is available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/DD/

Executive Business Division (EBD) Provides superior customer service to ESD, the WHS Immediate Office staff, and select WHS-serviced Components in a variety of administrative areas including human resources, contracting, performance management, information technology, CATMS, time & attendance, training, travel, parking, and government purchase card.  WHS-serviced Components include the White House Military Office, The National Security Council, White House Photo Office, the Defense Digital Services, and others. Similar services are also provided to various Boards, Commissions, and Task Forces. 

Freedom of Information Division (FOID) Provides comprehensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) subject matter expertise, guidance and oversight to designated DoD    Components and other DoD Agencies, through conscientious information management, clear customer communication, and training in the legal and procedural requirements of the FOIA.Key activities include:

  • Receiving, analyzing and staffing initial FOIA request, referrals and consultations for OSD/Joint Staff and selected Defense Agency records; review Component determinations to evaluate compliance; reply directly to FOIA requesters and/or Agency Components.
  •  Implementing the FOIA transparency regime as well as the Justice Department FOIA guidance (to include website maintenance). 
  • Additional information is available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/FOID/.

OSD Graphics and Presentations Division (GPD) Provides professional visual communication products and services to ensure mission success for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Defense Agencies, DoD Field Activities, and Defense Components.

Key activities include:

  • Creating visual aids for briefings and presentations
    • Custom Artwork
    • Creating displays and exhibits
    • Indoor/Outdoor Signage
    • Computer-graphics and web design
    • Publications design
    • Branding and Logo design
    • Poster design
    • Additional information is available at https://www.esd.whs.mil/GPD/.

Records, Privacy and Declassification Division (RPDD) Oversees the operation, execution, and sustainment of proper information management practices for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) through the Records and Information Management Program, Declassification Program, and Privacy Program.  RPDD is focused on the life-cycle management of records and information regardless of form and content, as well as the protection of the rights and interests of OSD, its employees, and the American public.