Information Security Office Issues Annual Report on Federal Classification Program

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) recently released its Report to the President for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. The Report is online at []. The Report profiles data on the Government-wide security classification program during Fiscal Year 2011.

This report is the 32nd Annual Report to the President issued by ISOO. The first Report, covering FY 1979, was transmitted to President Carter in April of 1980.

ISOO noted several positive developments:

The report highlights two new efforts:

  • Following the widely publicized WikiLeaks episode, ISOO partnered with the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive to assist agencies in reviewing policies and procedures for safeguarding classified national security information against unauthorized disclosure. ISOO now participates in government-wide oversight processes established under Executive Order 13587, “Structural Reforms to Improve the Security of Classified Networks and the Responsible Sharing and Safeguarding of Classified Information.”
  • The first executive branch-wide Fundamental Classification Guidance Review was launched in FY 2011. It will conclude at the end of June 2012.

Other report highlights include:


  • Executive branch agencies reported 2,362 original classification authorities.
    This is the lowest number ever reported, and a 43 percent decrease from FY 2010.
  • Agencies reported 127,072 original classification decisions.
  • This increase reflects increased use of classification guides and greater adherence to Executive Order guidance on using original decisions in classification guides.
  • Agencies reported using the ten-year-or-less declassification instruction for 70 percent of original classification decisions.
  • Executive branch agencies reported 92,064,862 derivative classification decisions. This increase reflects the expanding capability of counting decisions in the electronic environment.


  • Under automatic, systematic, and discretionary declassification review, agencies reviewed 52,760,524 pages and declassified 26,720,121 pages of historically valuable records.
  • Agencies received 10,439 initial mandatory declassification review (MDR) requests.
  • Agencies reviewed 493,372 pages under MDR, and declassified 285,312 pages in their entirety, declassified 143,421 pages in part, and retained classification of 64,639 pages in their
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  • Agencies received 283 MDR appeals and processed 229 appeals.
  • Agencies reviewed 4,405 pages under MDR appeal and declassified 1,298 pages in their entirety, declassified 1,937 pages in part, and retained classification of 1,170 pages in their entirety.

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), established in 1978, is responsible to the President for overseeing the Government-wide security classification program, and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council. ISOO has been part of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1995.