Obama Administration To Review Declassification and CUI Policies

On May 27, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum directing an internal executive branch review of federal declassification policies and procedures for handling Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).

Review of Executive Order 12958, as amended

Within 90 days the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs is ordered to review Executive Order (EO) 12958, as amended (addressing Classified National Security Information), and submit recommendations and proposed revisions to the EO to the president for his consideration.

The recommendations and proposed revisions will address:

  • Establishment of a National Declassification Center to bring appropriate agency officials together to perform collaborative declassification review under the administration of the Archivist of the United States;
  • Effective measures to address the problem of over classification, including the possible restoration of the presumption against classification.
  • Changes needed to facilitate greater sharing of classified information among appropriate parties;
  • Prohibition of reclassification of material that has been declassified and released to the public under proper authority
  • Appropriate classification, safeguarding, accessibility, and declassification of electronic information.

Creation of an Interagency Task Force and Review of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI):

Within 90 days, a task force made up of the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Archivist of the United States, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and other federal intelligence officials is directed to submit recommendations to the president regarding the development of executive branch procedures for designating, marking and handling Controlled Unclassified Information.