Title 41 Part 105-62
Title 41 → Subtitle C → Chapter 105 → Part 105-62
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 41 Part 105-62
PART 105-62—DOCUMENT SECURITY AND DECLASSIFICATION
§105-62.000 Scope of part.
§105-62.202 Review of classified materials for declassification purposes.
Authority: Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390; 40 U.S.C. 486(c); and E.O. 12065 dated June 28, 1978.
Source: 44 FR 64805, Nov. 8, 1979, unless otherwise noted.
§105-62.000 Scope of part.
This part prescribes procedures for safeguarding national security information and material within GSA. They explain how to identify, classify, downgrade, declassify, disseminate, and protect such information in the interests of national security. They also supplement and conform with Executive Order 12065 dated June 28, 1978, subject: National Security Information, and the Implementing Directive dated September 29, 1978, issued through the Information Security Oversight Office.
Subpart 105-62.1—Classified Materials
§105-62.101 Security classification categories.
As set forth in Executive Order 12065, official information or material which requires protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of the national defense or foreign relations of the United States (hereinafter collectively termed “national security”) shall be classified in one of three categories: Namely, Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential, depending on its degree of significance to the national security. No other categories shall be used to identify official information or material as requiring protection in the interests of national security except as otherwise expressly provided by statute. The three classification categories are defined as follows:
(a) Top Secret. Top Secret refers to that national security information which requires the highest degree of protection, and shall be applied only to such information as the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security. Examples of exceptionally grave damage include armed hostilities against the United States or its allies, disruption of foreign relations vitally affecting the national security, intelligence sources and methods, and the compromise of vital national defense plans or complex cryptologic and communications systems. This classification shall be used with the utmost restraint.
(b) Secret. Secret refers to that national security information or material which requires a substantial degree of protection, and shall be applied only to such information as the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security. Examples of serious damage include disruption of foreign relations significantly affecting the national security, significant impairment of a program or policy directly related to the national security, and revelation of significant military plans or intelligence operations. This classification shall be used sparingly.
(c) Confidential. Confidential refers to other national security information which requires protection, and shall be applied only to such information as the unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable damage to the national security.
§105-62.102 Authority to originally classify.
(a) Top secret, secret, and confidential. The authority to originally classify information as Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential may be exercised only by the Administrator and is delegable only to the Director, Information Security Oversight Office.
(b) Limitations on delegation of classification authority. Delegations of original classification authority are limited to the minimum number absolutely required for efficient administration. Delegated original classification authority may not be redelegated.
[47 FR 5416, Feb. 5, 1982]
§105-62.103 Access to GSA-originated materials.
Classified information shall not be disseminated outside the executive branch of the Government without the express permission of the GSA Security Officer except as otherwise provided in this §105-62.103.
(a) Access by historical researchers. Persons outside the executive branch who are engaged in historical research projects, may be authorized access to classified information or material, provided that:
(1) A written determination is made by the Administrator of General Services that such access is clearly consistent with the interests of national security.
(2) Access is limited to that information over which GSA has classification jurisdiction.
(3) The material requested is reasonably accessible and can be located with a reasonable amount of effort.
(4) The person agrees to safeguard the information and to authorize a review of his or her notes and manuscript for determination that no classified information is contained therein by signing a statement entitled “Conditions Governing Access to Official Records for Historical Research Purposes.”
(5) An authorization for access shall be valid for a period of 2 years from the date of issuance and may be renewed under the provisions of this §105-62.103(a).
(b) Access by former Presidential appointees. Persons who previously occupied policymaking positions to which they were appointed by the President may not remove classified information or material upon departure from office as all such material must remain under the security control of the U.S. Government. Such persons may be authorized access to classified information or material which they originated, received, reviewed, signed, or which was addressed to them while in public office, provided that the GSA element having classification jurisdiction for such information or material makes a written determination that access is consistent with the interests of national security, approval is granted by the GSA Security Officer, and the individual seeking access agrees:
(1) To safeguard the information,
(2) To authorize a review of his or her notes for determination that no classified information is contained therein, and
(3) To ensure that no classified information will be further disseminated or published.
(c) Access during judicial proceedings. Classified information will not normally be released in the course of any civilian judicial proceeding. In special circumstances however, and upon the receipt of an order or subpoena issued by a Federal court, the Administrator may authorize the limited release of classified information if he or she determines that the interests of justice cannot otherwise be served. Appropriate safeguards will be established to protect such classified material released for use in judicial proceedings.
(d) Access to material in NARS custody. The Archivist of the United States prepares procedures governing access to materials transferred to NARS custody. These procedures are issued by the Administrator of General Services in 41 CFR part 105-61.
(e) Access by the General Accounting Office and congressional committees. Classified information may be released to the General Accounting Office (GAO) and congressional committees when specifically authorized by the GSA Security Officer except as otherwise provided by law.
Subpart 105-62.2—Declassification and Downgrading
§105-62.201 Declassification and downgrading.
(a) Authority to downgrade and declassify. The authority to downgrade and declassify national security information or material shall be exercised as follows:
(1) Information or material may be downgraded or declassified by the GSA official authorizing the original classification, by a successor in capacity, by a supervisory official of either, or by the Information Security Oversight Committee on appeal.
(2) Downgrading and declassification authority may also be exercised by an official specifically authorized by the Administrator.
(3) In the case of classified information or material officially transferred to GSA by or under statute or Executive order in conjunction with a transfer of functions and not merely for storage purposes, GSA shall be deemed the originating agency for all purposes under these procedures including downgrading and declassification.
(4) In the case of classified information or material held in GSA not officially transferred under paragraph (a)(3) of this section but originated in an agency which has since ceased to exist, GSA is deemed the originating agency. Such information or material may be downgraded and declassified 30 calendar days after consulting with any other agencies having an interest in the subject matter.
(5) Classified information or material under the final declassification jurisdiction of GSA which has been transferred to NARS for accession into the Archives of the United States may be downgraded and declassified by the Archivist of the United States in accordance with Executive Order 12065, directives of the Information Security Oversight Office, and the systematic review guidelines issued by the Administrator of General Services.
(6) It is presumed that information which continues to meet classification requirements requires continued protection. In some cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified. When such questions arise they shall be referred to the Administrator, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, or in accordance with the procedures for mandatory review described in §105-62.202(b).
(b) Declassification. Declassification of information shall be given emphasis comparable to that accorded classification. Information classified under Executive Order 12065 and prior orders shall be declassified as early as national security considerations permit. Decisions concerning declassification shall be based on the loss of sensitivity of the information with the passage of time or on the occurrence of an event which permits declassification. When information is reviewed for declassification it shall be declassified unless the declassification authority established in §105-62.202 determines that the information continues to meet the classification requirements prescribed despite the passage of time.
(c) Downgrading. Classified information that is marked for automatic downgrading is downgraded accordingly without notification to holders. Classified information that is not marked for automatic downgrading may be assigned a lower classification designation by the originator or by an official authorized to declassify the same information. Notice of downgrading shall be provided to known holders of the information.
§105-62.202 Review of classified materials for declassification purposes.
(a) Systematic review for declassification. Except for foreign government information, classified information constituting permanently valuable records of GSA as defined by 44 U.S.C. 2103, and information in the possession and under control of NARA, under 44 U.S.C. 2107 or 2107 note, shall be reviewed for declassification as it becomes 20 years old. Transition to systematic review at 20 years shall be implemented as rapidly as practicable and shall be completed by December 1, 1988. Foreign government information shall be reviewed for declassification as it becomes 30 years old.
(b) Mandatory review for declassification. All classified information upon request by a member of the public or a Government employee or agency to declassify and release such information under the provisions of Executive Order 12065 shall be reviewed by the responsible GSA element for possible declassification in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (c) through (g) of this section.
(c) Submission of requests for review. Requests for mandatory review of classified information shall be submitted in accordance with the following:
(1) Requests originating within GSA shall in all cases be submitted directly to the service or staff office that originated the information.
(2) For expeditious action, requests from other governmental agencies or from members of the public should be submitted directly to the service or staff office that originated the material, or, if the originating element is not known, or no longer exists, the requester shall submit the request to the GSA Security Officer who shall cause such request to be reviewed.
(d) Requirements for processing. Requests for declassification review and release of information shall be processed in accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraphs (e) through (h) of this section subject to the following conditions:
(1) The request is in writing and reasonably describes the information sought with sufficient particularity to enable the element to identify it.
(2) The requester shall be asked to correct a request that does not comply with paragraph (d)(1) of this section, to provide additional information.
(3) If within 30 days the requester does not correct the request, describe the information sought with sufficient particularity or narrow the scope of the request, the element that received the request shall notify the requester and state the reason why no action will be taken on the request.
(e) Processing of requests. Requests that meet the foregoing requirements for processing will be acted upon as follows:
(1) GSA action upon the initial request shall be completed within 60 days.
(2) Receipt of the request shall be acknowledged within 7 days.
(3) The designated service or staff office shall determine if the requested information may be declassified and shall make such information available to the requester, unless withholding it is otherwise warranted under applicable law. If the information may not be released in whole or in part, the requester shall be given a brief statement as to the reasons for denial, a notice of the right to appeal the determination to the Deputy Administrator (the notice shall include the Deputy Administrator's name, title, and address), and a notice that such an appeal must be filed with the Deputy Administrator within 60 days in order to be considered.
(f) Foreign government information. Except as provided hereinafter, requests for mandatory review for the declassification of classified documents that contain foreign government information shall be processed and acted upon in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section. If the request involves information that was initially received or classified by GSA, then the corresponding service or staff office shall be designated by the GSA Security Officer to determine whether the foreign government information in the document may be declassified and released in accordance with GSA policy or guidelines, after consulting with other agencies that have subject matter interest as necessary. If GSA is not the agency that received or classified the foreign government information, it shall refer the request to the appropriate agency. In those cases where agency policy or guidelines do not apply, consultation with the foreign originator, through the GSA Security Officer, may be made prior to final action on the request.
(g) Information classified outside the service or staff office. When a service or staff office receives a request for declassification of information in a document which is in the custody of the service or staff office but was classified by another service or staff office or by another Government agency, the service or staff office shall refer the request to the classifying service or staff office or Government agency, together with a copy of the document containing the information requested when practicable, and shall notify the requester of the referral, unless the agency that classified the information objects on the grounds that its association with the information requires protection. When a GSA service or staff office receives such a referral, it shall process the request in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph and, if so requested, shall notify the referring service, staff office, or agency of the determination made on the request.
(h) Action on appeal. The following procedures shall be followed when denials of requests for declassification are appealed:
(1) The Deputy Administrator shall, within 15 days of the date of the appeal, convene a meeting of the GSA Information Security Oversight Committee (ISOC) that shall include the GSA Security Officer, or his or her representative, and the GSA official who denied the original request (and, at the option of that official, any subordinates or personnel from other agencies that participated in the decision for denial).
(2) The ISOC shall learn from the official the reasons for denying the request, concentrating in particular upon which requirement continued classification is based and the identifiable damage that would result if the information were declassified. The ISOC shall also learn from the official the part or parts of the information that is classified and if by deleting minor segments of the information it might not then be declassified.
(3) The ISOC's decision to uphold or deny the appeal, in whole or in part, shall be based upon the unanimous opinion of its membership. In the event that unanimity cannot be attained, the matter shall be referred to the Administrator, whose decision shall be final.
(4) Based upon the outcome of the appeal, a reply shall be made to the person making the appeal that either encloses the requested information or part of the information, or explains why the continued classification of the information is required. A copy of the reply shall be sent to the GSA official who originally denied the request for declassification, to the GSA Security Officer, and to any other agency expressing an interest in the decision.
(5) Final action on appeals shall be completed within 30 days of the date of the appeal.
(i) Prohibition. No service of staff office in possession of a classified document may refuse to confirm the existence of the document in response to a request for the document under the provisions for mandatory review, unless the fact of its existence would itself be classifiable.
(j) Presidential papers. Information less than 10 years old which was originated by the President, by the White House staff, or by committees or commissions appointed by the President, or by others acting on behalf of the President, is exempted from mandatory review for declassification. Such information 10 years old or older is subject to mandatory review for declassification in accordance with procedures developed by the Archivist of the United States which provide for consultation with GSA on matters of primary subject interest to this agency.