I.3. Archives and sources
The results of the Commission's work will primarily depend on how much of the files has been preserved and, of course, on the extent to which they are accessible. Hence the Commission's most urgent desideratum is that all material relevant to our subject matter should be made accessible, wherever it may be located. Any embargo on or withholding of such materials could distort the Commission's findings, thus frustrating our mission, which is to establish the truth.
The Commission will therefore approach each of the institutions and private individuals that may hold such materials with requests to allow the necessary access. In fact, a number of organisations have already stated spontaneously their favourable attitude and readiness for close cooperation. Since the files involved will not only be Austrian, similar assurances will have to be obtained from foreign sources.
As regards the proposed new Protection of Personal Data Act, currently in the stage of a government bill (Data Protection Act 2000, Fed. Chancellery, No. 810.026/9-V/3/99, 16 Feb. 1999), the Commission understands that its Section 46, which specifically covers data which serve purposes of academic research, provides a sufficient legal basis for untrammelled research by the Commission.
In this context the Commission takes note of the new draft federal legislation on safeguarding, keeping and using archival materials, (Federal Archives Act, Fed. Chancellery, No. 180.310/9-I/8/99, 25 January 1999). The Commission considers that such legislation will facilitate its tasks. However, the Commission would like to warn that the data protection provisions in the new legislation should not be stricter than those contained in the Data Protection 2000 Bill. If Section 46 of the proposed Data Protection Act tries recognises the needs of research into recent history, the new Archives Act should not place more stringent barriers in the way of such researches.