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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 4, 2019

Title 36Chapter XIISubchapter CPart 1256 → Subpart E


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 1256—ACCESS TO RECORDS AND DONATED HISTORICAL MATERIALS


Subpart E—Access to Materials Containing National Security-Classified Information


Contents
§1256.70   What controls access to national security-classified information?
§1256.72   What are FOIA requests and mandatory review requests?
§1256.74   How does NARA process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for classified information?
§1256.76   How do I request mandatory review of classified information under Executive Order 12958, as amended?
§1256.78   How does NARA handle my mandatory review request?
§1256.80   How does NARA provide classified access to historical researchers and former Presidential appointees?

§1256.70   What controls access to national security-classified information?

(a) The declassification of and public access to national security-classified information, hereinafter referred to as “classified information” is governed by Executive Order 12958 of April 17, 1995 (3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 333) and as amended by Executive Order 13292 of March 25, 2003 (68 FR 15315, 3 CFR, 2003 Comp. 196), 32 CFR part 2001, and the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).

(b) Public access to documents declassified in accordance with this regulation may be restricted or denied for other reasons under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b) for accessioned agency records; §§1256.30 through 1256.36 of this part for donated historical materials; 44 U.S.C. 2111, 44 U.S.C. 2201 et seq., and 36 CFR part 1270 for Presidential records; and 44 U.S.C. 2111 note and 36 CFR part 1275 for Nixon Presidential materials.

§1256.72   What are FOIA requests and mandatory review requests?

(a) You may file a FOIA request for Executive Branch agency records, regardless of whether they contain classified information. The FOIA also applies to Presidential records as cited in §1256.74(b). The FOIA does not apply to records of the Judicial and Legislative Branches or to donated historical materials.

(b) You may only file a mandatory review request if the records contain classified information. NARA handles mandatory review requests for records we hold for the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches as well as donated historical materials under E.O. 12958, as amended, section 3.5.

§1256.74   How does NARA process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for classified information?

(a) NARA processes FOIA requests for access to classified information in Federal records in accordance with the provisions of 36 CFR part 1250. Time limits for responses to FOIA requests for classified information are those provided in the FOIA, rather than the longer time limits provided for responses to mandatory review requests specified by Executive Order 12958, Classified National Security Information (3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 333), as amended by Executive Order 13292 (68 FR 15315, 3 CFR, 2003 Comp., p. 196).

(b) NARA processes requests for access to classified information in Presidential records under the FOIA and the Presidential Records Act (PRA) in accordance with the provisions of part 1270 of this chapter. Time limits for responses to FOIA requests for classified information are those provided in the FOIA, the PRA, and Executive Order 13233, Further Implementation of the Presidential Records Act (3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 815).

§1256.76   How do I request mandatory review of classified information under Executive Order 12958, as amended?

(a) You may request mandatory review of classified information that is in the legal custody of NARA, as well as in legislative and judicial records NARA holds. Your mandatory review request must describe the document or material containing the information with sufficient specificity to enable NARA to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort. When possible, a request must include the name of the originator and recipient of the information, as well as its date, subject, and file designation. Information we reviewed within the previous 2 years is not subject to mandatory review. We notify you if this provision applies to your request.

(b) You must address your mandatory review request to the appropriate staff in the following table.

If the documents are .  .  ..  .  . then address your request to
(1) Presidential records and donated historical materials at a Presidential libraryThe appropriate library cited in 36 CFR part 1253.
(2) Nixon Presidential materialsDirector, Nixon Presidential Materials Staff (NLNS), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001.
(3) Presidential materials maintained in the Washington, DC, areaDirector, Presidential Materials Staff (NLMS), 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20408.
(4) Federal records, donated historical materials related to Federal records, judicial records, legislative records maintained in the Washington, DC, areaChief, Special Access/FOIA Staff (NWCTF), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001.
(5) Federal records and judicial records maintained at a regional archivesThe appropriate regional archives cited in 36 CFR part 1253.

§1256.78   How does NARA handle my mandatory review request?

(a) You may find our procedures for mandatory review and appeals of denials in part 1260 of this chapter, Declassification of National Security Information.

(1) When agencies provide declassification guidance and delegate declassification authority to the Archivist of the United States, NARA reviews for declassification and releases the requested information or those declassified portions of the request that constitute a coherent segment unless withholding is otherwise warranted under applicable law.

(2) When we do not have guidance from agencies, we coordinate the declassification review with the original classifying agency or agencies under the provisions of part 1260, subchapter D of this chapter.

(b) If we cannot identify the information you seek from the description you provide or if the volume of information you seek is so large that processing it would interfere with our capacity to serve all requesters on an equitable basis, we notify you that, unless you provide additional information or narrow the scope of your request, we cannot take further action.

§1256.80   How does NARA provide classified access to historical researchers and former Presidential appointees?

(a) In accordance with the requirements of section 4.4 of E.O. 12958, as amended, we may grant access to classified information to certain eligible persons. These persons are engaged in historical research projects or previously occupied policy-making positions to which they were appointed by the President. If you seek permission to examine materials under this special historical researcher/Presidential appointees access program, you must contact NARA in advance. We need at least 4 months before you wish to have access to the materials to permit time for the responsible agencies to process your request for access. If you seek access to classified Presidential records under section 4.4 of E.O. 12958, you must first qualify under special access provisions of 44 U.S.C. 2205. NARA informs you of the agencies to which you have to apply for permission to examine classified information, including classified information originated by the White House or classified information in the custody of the National Archives which was originated by a defunct agency.

(b) You may examine records under this program only after the originating or responsible agency:

(1) Determines in writing that access is consistent with the interest of national security; and

(2) Takes appropriate steps to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure or compromise, and ensures that the information is safeguarded in a manner consistent with Executive Order 12958, as amended.

(c) The originating or responsible agency limits the access granted to former Presidential and Vice Presidential appointees to items that the person originated, reviewed, signed, or received while serving as an appointee.

(d) To protect against the possibility of unauthorized access to restricted documents, a director may issue instructions supplementing the research room rules provided in 36 CFR part 1254.

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