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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

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

Title 36Chapter XIISubchapter DPart 1260 → Subpart F


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


Subpart F—Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR)


Contents
§1260.70   How does a researcher submit an MDR request?
§1260.72   What procedures does NARA follow when it receives a request for Executive Branch records under MDR?
§1260.74   What are agency responsibilities after receiving an MDR request forwarded by NARA?
§1260.76   What are NARA's procedures after it has received the agency's declassifications determination?
§1260.78   What is the appeal process when an MDR request for Executive Branch information in NARA's legal custody is denied in whole or in part?

§1260.70   How does a researcher submit an MDR request?

(a) For Federal records in NARA's physical and legal custody, requests for MDR should be submitted to: National Archives at College Park, ANDC (Attn: MDR Staff), 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2600, College Park MD 20740 or specialaccess__foia@nara.gov;

(b) For Presidential records, Nixon Presidential materials, or donated presidential materials in the custody of the Presidential Libraries, MDR requests should be submitted to the Presidential Library with physical and legal custody of the records;

(c) For Congressional records in NARA's custody, MDR requests should be submitted to: The Center for Legislative Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20408 or legislative.archives@nara.gov.

(d) For all records in NARA's physical and legal custody, MDR requests must describe the record or material with sufficient specificity to enable NARA to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort. If NARA is unable to locate the record or material, or requires additional information, NARA will inform the requester.

§1260.72   What procedures does NARA follow when it receives a request for Executive Branch records under MDR?

(a) NARA will review the requested records and determine if they have already been released. If not, NARA will refer copies of the records to the originating agency and to agencies that may have an interest or activity with respect to the classified information for declassification review. Agencies may also send personnel to a NARA facility where the records are located to conduct a declassification review, or may delegate declassification authority to NARA.

(b) When the records were originated by a defunct agency that has no successor agency, NARA is responsible for making the declassification determinations, but will consult with agencies having interest in or activity with respect to the classified information.

(c) If the document or information has been reviewed for declassification within the past 2 years, NARA may opt not to conduct a second review and may instead inform the requester of this fact and of the prior review decision and advise the requester of appeal rights in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.33.

(d) If NARA determines that a requester has submitted a request for the same information under both MDR and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as amended, NARA will notify the requester that he/she is required to elect one process or the other. If the requester fails to elect one or the other, the request will be treated under the FOIA, unless the requested information or materials are subject only to mandatory review.

(e) In every case, NARA will acknowledge receipt of the request and inform the requester of the action taken. If additional time is necessary to make a declassification determination on material for which NARA has delegated authority, NARA will tell the requester how long it will take to process the request and advise the requester of available appeal rights. NARA may also inform the requester if part or all of the requested information is referred to other agencies for declassification review in accordance with section 3.6(a) and (b) of the Executive Order.

(f) If NARA fails to provide the requester with a final decision on the mandatory review request within one year of the original date of the request, the requester may appeal to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).

§1260.74   What are agency responsibilities after receiving an MDR request forwarded by NARA?

(a) The agency receiving the referral will promptly process and review the referral for declassification and public release on a line-by-line basis in accordance with section 3.5(c) of the Order and communicate its review decisions to NARA.

(b) The agency must notify NARA of any other agency to which it forwards the request in those cases requiring the declassification determination of another agency to which NARA has not already sent a referral for review.

(c) The agency must return to NARA a complete copy of each referred document with the agency determination clearly stated to leave no doubt about the status of the information and the authority for its continued classification or its declassification.

§1260.76   What are NARA's procedures after it has received the agency's declassifications determination?

(a) If a document cannot be declassified in its entirety, the agency must return to NARA a copy of the document with those portions that require continued classification clearly marked. If a document requires continued classification in its entirety, the agency must return to NARA a copy of the document clearly so marked.

(b) NARA will notify the requester of the results of its review and make available copies of documents declassified in full and in part. If the requested information cannot be declassified in its entirety, NARA will send the requester a notice of the right to appeal the determination within 60 calendar days to the Deputy Archivist of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. Additional information on appeals is located in 36 CFR Part 1264 and in Appendix A to 32 CFR Part 2001 (Article VIII).

§1260.78   What is the appeal process when an MDR request for Executive Branch information in NARA's legal custody is denied in whole or in part?

(a) NARA shall respond to the requester in writing that her/his mandatory declassification review request was denied in full or in part and the rationale for the denial by using the appropriate category in either section 1.4 of the Order for information that is less than 25 years old, or section 3.3 of the Order for information that is older than 25 years, or 32 CFR 2001.30(p) for information governed by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the National Security Act of 1947, as amended. NARA will send the requester a notice of the right to appeal the determination within 60 calendar days to the Deputy Archivist of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD. If a final decision on the appeal is not made within 60 working days of the date of the appeal, the requester may appeal to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).

(b) NARA will process all appeals in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.33(a)(2)(iii). NARA will inform all agencies with equity interests in the denied information. Those agencies will assist NARA in the appellate process and provide NARA with final declassification review decisions in a timely manner and consistent with 32 CFR 2001.33(a)(2)(iii).

(c) NARA will also notify the requester of the right to appeal denials of access to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, Attn: Mandatory Declassification Review Appeals, c/o Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 503, Washington, DC 20408; iscap@nara.gov.

(d) The pertinent NARA office or Presidential Library will coordinate the potential release of information declassified by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).

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