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Title 49

Displaying title 49, up to date as of 9/17/2021. Title 49 was last amended 9/13/2021.

Title 49

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Subpart B - Classification/Declassification of Information
§ 8.9 Information Security Review Committee.

(a) The Department of Transportation Information Security Review Committee has the authority to:

(1) Act on all suggestions and complaints not otherwise resolved with respect to the Department's administration of Executive Order 13526 and implementing directives, including those regarding overclassification, failure to declassify, or delay in declassifying;

(2) Act on appeals of requests for classification reviews, and appeals of requests for records under 5 U.S.C. 552 (Freedom of Information Act) when the initial, and proposed final, denials are based on continued classification of the record; and

(3) Recommend to the Secretary, when necessary, appropriate administrative action to correct abuse or violation of any provision of Executive Order 12598 and implementing directives.

(b) The Information Security Review Committee will be composed of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, who will serve as Chair; the General Counsel; and the Director of Security. When matters affecting a particular Departmental component are at issue, the Associate Administrator for Administration for that component (or for the Federal Aviation Administration, the Associate Administrator for Security and Hazardous Materials Safety) will participate as an ad hoc member, together with the Chief Counsel of that component. Any regular member may designate a representative with full power to serve in his/her place.

(c) In carrying out its responsibilities to review decisions to revoke or not to issue clearances, or to deny access to classified information, the Committee will establish whatever procedures it deems fit.

[62 FR 23661, May 1, 1997, as amended at 81 FR 45981, July 15, 2016]

§ 8.11 Authority to classify information.

(a) Presidential Order of December 29, 2009, “Original Classification Authority” confers upon the Secretary of Transportation the authority to originally classify information as SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL with further authorization to delegate this authority.

(b) The following delegations of authority originally to classify information as “Secret” or “Confidential”, which may not be redelegated, are hereby made:

(1) Office of the Secretary of Transportation. The Deputy Secretary; Assistant Secretary for Administration; Director of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response; Director of Security.

(2) Federal Aviation Administration. Administrator; Associate Administrator for Security and Hazardous Materials Safety.

(3) Maritime Administration. Administrator.

(c) Although the delegations of authority set out in paragraph (b) of this section are expressed in terms of positions, the authority is personal and is invested only in the individual occupying the position. The authority may not be exercised “by direction of” a designated official. The formal appointment or assignment of an individual to one of the identified positions or a designation in writing to act in the absence of one of these officials, however, conveys the authority to originally classify information as SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL.

(d) Previous delegations and redelegations of authority within the Department of Transportation originally to classify information are hereby rescinded.

[62 FR 23661, May 1, 1997, as amended at 76 FR 19708, Apr. 8, 2011; 81 FR 45981, July 15, 2016]

§ 8.13 Authority to downgrade or declassify.

Information originally classified by the Department may be specifically downgraded or declassified by either the official authorizing the original classification, if that official is still serving in the same position, the originator's current successor in function, a supervisory official of either, officials delegated declassification authority in writing by the Secretary, or by the Departmental Information Security Review Committee.

§ 8.15 Mandatory review for classification.

(a) Mandatory declassification review requests will be processed in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.33.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph b of section 3.5 of Executive Order 13526, all information classified by the Department of Transportation under Executive Order 13526 or predecessor orders shall be subject to a review for declassification if:

(1) The request for review describes the information with sufficient specificity to enable its location with a reasonable amount of effort;

(2) The information has not been reviewed for declassification within the prior two years. If the information has been reviewed within the prior two years, or the information is the subject of pending litigation, the requestor will be informed of this fact, and of the Department's decision not to declassify the information and of his/her right to appeal the Department's decision not to declassify the information to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP);

(3) The document or material containing the information responsive to the request is not contained within an operational file exempted from search and review, publication, and disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552 in accordance with law; and

(4) The information is not the subject of pending litigation.

(c) All information reviewed for declassification because of a mandatory review will be declassified if it does not meet the standards for classification in Executive Order 13526. The information will then be released unless withholding is otherwise authorized and warranted under applicable law.

(d) Mandatory declassification review requests for information that has been classified by the Department of Transportation may be addressed to the Director of Security, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, DC 20590. The Director will forward the request to the appropriate Departmental Original Classification Authority for processing.

(e) Denied requests may be appealed to the DOT Information Security Review Committee (DISRC) through the Director of Security within 60 days of receipt of the denial. If the DISRC upholds the denial, it will inform the requestor of his or her final appeal rights to the ISCAP.

[81 FR 45981, July 15, 2016]

§ 8.17 Classification challenges.

(a) Authorized holders of information classified by the Department of Transportation who, in good faith, believe that its classification status is improper are encouraged and expected to challenge the classification status of the information before the Original Classification Authority (OCA) having jurisdiction over the information. A formal challenge must be in writing, but need not be any more specific than to question why information is or is not classified, or is classified at a certain level.

(b) Classification challenges to DOT information must be addressed to the DOT Original Classification Authority (OCA) who is responsible for the information. If unsure of the OCA, address the challenge to the DOT Director of Security.

(c) Classification challenges will be processed according to 32 CFR 2001.14.

[81 FR 45981, July 15, 2016]

§ 8.19 [Reserved]
§ 8.21 Burden of proof.

For the purpose of determinations to be made under §§ 8.15 and 8.17, the burden of proof is on the originating Departmental component to show that continued classification is warranted.

[62 FR 23661, May 1, 1997, as amended at 81 FR 45981, July 15, 2016]

§ 8.23 Classified information transferred to the Department of Transportation.

(a) Classified information officially transferred to the Department in conjunction with a transfer of functions, and not merely for storage purposes, will be considered to have been originated by the Department.

(b) Classified information in the custody of the Department originated by another department or agency that has ceased to exist and for whom there is no successor agency will be deemed to have been originated by the Department. This information may be declassified or downgraded by the Department after consultation with any other agency that has an interest in the subject matter of the information. Such agency will be allowed 30 calendar days in which to express an objection, if it so desires, before action is taken. A difference of opinion that cannot be resolved at a lower level will be referred to the Departmental Information Security Review Committee, which will consult with its counterpart committee for the other agency.

(c) Classified information transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will be declassified or downgraded by the Archivist of the United States in accordance with Executive Order 13526, directives issued pursuant to Executive Order 13526, Departmental classification guides, and any existing procedural agreement between NARA and the Department. The Department will take all reasonable steps to declassify information contained in records determined to have permanent historical value before they are accessioned into the National Archives .

(d) To the extent practicable, the Department will adopt a system of records management that will facilitate the public release of documents at the time such documents are declassified under the provisions for automatic declassification in section 3.3 of Executive Order 13526 and its implementing directives. To the maximum extent possible without destroying the integrity of the Department's files, all such material will be segregated or set aside for public release upon request. The Department will cooperate with the Archivist in efforts to establish a Government-wide database of information that has been declassified.

[62 FR 23661, May 1, 1997, as amended at 81 FR 45981, July 15, 2016]