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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 22, 2020

Title 36Chapter XIISubchapter DPart 1260 → Subpart C

Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property

Subpart C—The National Declassification Center (NDC)

§1260.30   What is the NDC?
§1260.32   How is the NDC administered?
§1260.34   What are the responsibilities of the NDC?
§1260.36   What are agency responsibilities with the NDC?
§1260.38   How does the NDC ensure the quality of declassification reviews?
§1260.40   What types of referrals will the NDC process?
§1260.42   How does the NDC process referrals of Federal Records?
§1260.44   How does the NDC process RAC Project referrals?
§1260.46   How does the Department of Defense process referrals?

§1260.30   What is the NDC?

The National Declassification Center (NDC) is established within NARA to streamline declassification processes, facilitate quality-assurance measures, and implement standardized training for declassification of records determined to have permanent historical value.

§1260.32   How is the NDC administered?

(a) The NDC is administered by a Director, who shall be appointed by the Archivist of the United States, in consultation with the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence.

(b) The Archivist, in consultation with the representatives of the participants in the NDC and after receiving comments from the general public, shall develop priorities for declassification activities under the responsibility of the NDC that are based upon researcher interest and likelihood of declassification.

§1260.34   What are the responsibilities of the NDC?

The NDC shall coordinate the following activities:

(a) Referrals, to include:

(1) Timely and appropriate processing of all referrals in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of Executive Order 13526; and

(2) The exchange among agencies of detailed declassification guidance to enable referrals as identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) General interagency declassification activities as necessary to fulfill the requirements of sections 3.3 and 3.4 of the Order;

(c) The development of effective, transparent, standard declassification work processes, training, and quality assurance measures;

(d) The development of solutions to declassifying information contained in electronic records and special media; and planning for solutions for declassifying information as new technologies emerge;

(e) The documentation and publication of declassification review decisions; and support of NDC declassification responsibilities by linking and using existing agency databases; and

(f) Storage, and related services, on a reimbursable basis, for Federal records containing classified national security information.

§1260.36   What are agency responsibilities with the NDC?

Agency heads shall fully cooperate with the Archivist and the activities of the NDC and provide the following resources for NDC operations:

(a) Adequate and current declassification guidelines to process referrals in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of the Order and as indicated in §1260.54(a); and

(b) Assignment of agency personnel to the NDC, at the request of the Archivist, with delegated authority by the agency head to review and exempt or declassify information originated by that agency found in records accessioned into the National Archives of the United States; and

(c) Coordination with the NDC of the establishment of any agency centralized facilities and internal operations to conduct declassification reviews to ensure that such agencies conduct internal declassification reviews of records of permanent historical value.

§1260.38   How does the NDC ensure the quality of declassification reviews?

An interagency team of experienced declassification reviewers, established by NDC, conducts a sampling of reviewed records according to a sampling regime approved by a separate interagency program management team. The interagency team will verify that each series of agency reviewed records complies with the requirements of the Special Historical Records Review Plan (Supplement) dated March 3, 2000 (DOE-NARA Plan), pursuant to the requirements of Public Law 105-261 (112 Stat. 2259) and Public Law No. 106-65 (113 Stat. 938). Record series that cannot be verified to have been reviewed in accordance with the DOE-NARA Plan will not proceed through the NDC verification process until verification is received by the NDC. The DOE will participate on the interagency team to conduct the quality control reviews required by the DOE-NARA Plan in accordance with priorities established by the NDC.

§1260.40   What types of referrals will the NDC process?

The NDC processes referrals of both Federal records and Presidential records. Referrals identified in accessioned Federal records will be processed by the Interagency Referral Center (IRC); referrals identified in records maintained by the Presidential Libraries will be processed by the Remote Archives Capture (RAC) Project. (The RAC Project is a collaborative program to facilitate the declassification review of classified records in the Presidential Libraries in accordance with section 3.3 of the Order. In this project, classified Presidential records at the various Presidential Libraries are scanned and brought to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area in electronic form for review by equity-holding agencies.)

§1260.42   How does the NDC process referrals of Federal Records?

(a) All referrals are processed through the IRC.

(b) Agencies will have one year from the time they receive formal notification of referrals by the NDC to review their equity in the records. If an agency does not complete its review within one year of formal notification, its information will be automatically declassified in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3)(B) of the Order unless the information has been properly exempted by an equity holding agency under section 3.3 of the Order.

(c) Once notified, the agencies will coordinate their review with the NDC so the NDC can properly manage the workflow of the IRC.

§1260.44   How does the NDC process RAC Project referrals?

(a) The Presidential Libraries use the RAC Project to process referrals.

(b) Agencies will be notified of RAC Project referrals according to an annual prioritization schedule via the NDC.

(c) The RAC Project identifies the primary agency with equity in the record.

(d) The primary agency will have up to one year from the time it is notified of their referral to complete the review of its equity and identify all other agencies (“secondary agencies”) with an interest in the record. If an agency does not complete its review in one year, its equity will be automatically declassified.

(e) Secondary agencies receiving notification of their referrals through the RAC Project will have up to one year from the date of notification to complete their review.

§1260.46   How does the Department of Defense process referrals?

(a) The Department of Defense (DOD) established the Joint Referral Center (JRC) to review DOD agencies' records and all DOD equities within those records for declassification in accordance with section 3.3 of the Order.

(b) The JRC shall include sufficient quality assurance review policies that are in accordance with policies at the NDC and will provide the NDC with sufficient information on the results of these reviews to facilitate non-DOD agency referral processing and final archival processing for public release.

(c) NARA may loan accessioned records to the JRC for this purpose.

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