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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 9, 2019

Title 36Chapter XIISubchapter DPart 1260 → Subpart D


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 1260—DECLASSIFICATION OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION


Subpart D—Automatic Declassification


Contents
§1260.50   How are records at NARA reviewed as part of the automatic declassification process?
§1260.52   What are the procedures when agency personnel review records in NARA's legal and physical custody?
§1260.54   Will NARA loan accessioned records back to the agencies to conduct declassification review?
§1260.56   What are NARA considerations when implementing automatic declassification?

§1260.50   How are records at NARA reviewed as part of the automatic declassification process?

(a) Consistent with the requirements of section 3.3 of Executive Order 13526 on automatic declassification, NARA staff may review for declassification records for which the originating agencies have provided written authority to apply their approved declassification guides. The originating agency must review records for which this authority has not been provided.

(b) Agencies may choose to review their own records that have been transferred to NARA's legal custody, by sending personnel to the NARA facility where the records are located to conduct the declassification review.

(c) Classified materials in the Presidential Libraries may be referred to agencies holding equity in the records through the RAC Project.

§1260.52   What are the procedures when agency personnel review records in NARA's legal and physical custody?

(a) NARA will:

(1) Make the records available to properly cleared agency reviewers;

(2) Provide space for agency reviewers in the facility in which the records are located to the extent that space is available; and

(3) Provide training and guidance for agency reviewers on the proper handling of archival materials.

(b) Agency reviewers must:

(1) Follow NARA security regulations and abide by NARA procedures for handling archival materials;

(2) Use the Standard Form (SF) 715 and follow NARA procedures for identifying and documenting records that require exemption, referral, or exclusion in accordance with section 3.3 of the Order or 32 CFR 2001.30(p); and

(3) Obtain permission from NARA before bringing into a NARA facility computers, scanners, tape recorders, microfilm readers, and other equipment necessary to view or copy records. NARA will not allow the use of any equipment that poses an unacceptable risk of damage to archival materials. See 36 CFR part 1254 for more information on acceptable equipment.

(4) Provide NARA with information, as requested by the Archivist and/or NDC Director, on their review so as to facilitate the processing of referrals and archival processing.

§1260.54   Will NARA loan accessioned records back to the agencies to conduct declassification review?

In rare cases, when agency reviewers cannot be accommodated at a NARA facility, NARA will consider a request to loan records back to an originating agency in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area for declassification review. Each request will be judged on a case-by-case basis. The requesting agency must:

(a) Ensure that the facility in which the documents will be stored and reviewed passes a NARA inspection to ensure that the facility maintains:

(1) The correct archival environment for the storage of permanent records; and

(2) The correct security conditions for the storage and handling of classified national security materials.

(b) Meet NARA requirements for ensuring the safety of the records;

(c) Abide by NARA procedures for handling of archival materials;

(d) Identify and mark documents that cannot be declassified in accordance with NARA procedures; and

(e) Obtain NARA approval for use of any equipment such as scanners, copiers, or cameras to ensure that they do not pose an unacceptable risk of damage to archival materials.

§1260.56   What are NARA considerations when implementing automatic declassification?

(a) Integral File Blocks. Classified records within an integral file block that have not been reviewed and properly exempted from declassification, or referred to an equity holder, will be automatically declassified on December 31 of the year that is 25 years from the date of the most recent record within the file block, except as specified in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. For the purposes of automatic declassification, integral file blocks shall contain only records dated within 10 years of the oldest record in the block. The records of each Presidential Administration will be treated as an integral file block and will be scanned for declassification review through the RAC Project.

(b) Special media records. After consultation with the Director of the National Declassification Center and before the records are subject to automatic declassification, an agency head or senior agency official may delay automatic declassification for up to five additional years for classified information contained in media that make a review for possible declassification exemptions more difficult or costly. NARA, through the NDC, will coordinate processing of referrals made in these special media records as part of its overall prioritization strategy.

(c) Referrals. The IRC at the NDC will provide official notification for Federal records, while the RAC Project will provide formal notification for Presidential records. For agencies which fail to act on their referrals after formal notification by the IRC or the RAC Project, NARA will automatically declassify their information in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3)(B) of the Order.

(d) Additional referrals. Agencies will identify referrals in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of the Order. NARA will delay automatic declassification for up to 1 year for classified records that have been identified by the originating agency or by NARA as having classified information that requires referral that were not identified by the primary reviewing agency.

(e) Other circumstances. Information from another agency that has not been properly identified and referred is not subject to automatic declassification. When NARA identifies information, in accordance with section 3.3 of the Order, that agency will have up to 1 year from the date of formal notification to review its information for declassification.

(f) Discovery of information inadvertently not reviewed. When NARA identifies a file series or collection in its physical and legal custody that contains classified information over 25 years old and that was inadvertently not reviewed before the effective date of automatic declassification, NARA must report the discovery to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) and to the responsible agency head or senior agency official within 90 days of discovery. ISOO, the responsible agency, and NARA will consult on a delay of up to three years to review the records.

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