Every individual has the right to request to view his own personal file. Limited access to records on missing or deceased persons is available to near relatives for specific purposes.
The Federal Commissioner supports scholarship, civic education agencies, the press, radio and film (media) in their political and historical reappraisals of the past. Within the scope of an admissible application, records of the State Security Service will be made available on topics related to the activities of the State Security Service. Also on it's power mechanisms in both the former GDR and Soviet zone of occupation. The BStU also provides records to support research related to an examination of National Socialism.
In response to petitions from public and private agencies, the BStU will disclose whether any evidence exists to suggest that certain individuals in prominent social and political positions collaborated with the MfS. These include members of government, members of the Bundestag and state parliaments, state secretaries, judges, sports officials as well as certain groups of public service employees.
The BStU also processes petitions concerning pensions, unresolved property issues and the awarding of medals. The Federal Commissioner provides information related to cases of criminal prosecution, danger prevention as well as rehabilitation and compensation.