Other government agencies, and individual members of the public, frequently request that classified information in OMB files be reviewed for possible declassification and release. This subpart prescribes the procedures for such review and subsequent release or denial. It is issued under the authority of Executive Order 12958 (60 FR 19825, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 333), as implemented by Information Security Oversight Office Directive No. 1 (32 CFR part 2001).
All requests for the mandatory declassification review of classified information in OMB files should be addressed to the Associate Director (or Assistant Director) for Administration, who will acknowledge receipt of the request. When a request does not reasonably describe the information sought, the requester shall be notified that unless additional information is provided, or the scope of the request is narrowed, no further action will be taken. All requests will receive a response within 180 days of receipt of the request.
Information contained in OMB files and under the exclusive declassification jurisdiction of the office will be reviewed by the office of primary interest to determine whether, under the declassification provisions of the Order, the requested information may be declassified. If so, the information will be made available to the requestor unless withholding is otherwise warranted under applicable law. If the information may not be released, in whole or in part, the requestor shall be given a brief statement as to the reasons for denial, a notice of the right to appeal the determination to the Deputy Director, OMB, and a notice that such an appeal must be filed within 60 days in order to be considered.
When a request is received for information that was classified by another agency, the Associate Director (or Assistant Director) for Administration will forward the request, along with any other related materials, to the appropriate agency for review and determination as to release. Recommendations as to release or denial may be made if appropriate. The requester will be notified of the referral, unless the receiving agency objects on the grounds that its association with the information requires protection.
Appeals received as a result of a denial, see § 1312.34, will be routed to the Deputy Director who will take action as necessary to determine whether any part of the information may be declassified. If so, he will notify the requester of his determination and make that information available that is declassified and otherwise releasable. If continued classification is required, the requestor shall be notified by the Deputy Director of the reasons thereafter. Determinations on appeals will normally be made within 60 working days following receipt. If additional time is needed, the requestor will be notified and this reason given for the extension. The agency's decision can be appealed to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.
There will normally be no fees charged for the mandatory review of classified material for declassification under this section.