Q&A - Disclosure Authority and Need-to-Know for Non-Contract Related Visits
Executive Order (EO) 12958, Classified National Security Information, was signed by the President on April 17, 1995 and became effective on October 14, 1995. The Order presents an updated system for managing the protection of national security information.
The Order reaffirms both of the two basic classification processes: original classification and derivative classification, and the three levels of classified information (TS, S, C). But it also sets new standards. The original classification authority must now be able to identify or describe the damage to national security that would be expected if the information were improperly disclosed. Also, information will normally be classified only for 10 years, and will require specific action to extend classification beyond those 10 years, if necessary.
The Order eliminates the "OADR" declassification
instruction. Original classifiers may no longer use the indefinite
duration indicator, "Originating Agency's Determination Required
(OADR)." Specific declassification instructions - most often
a date or event -must now be shown. However, derivative classifiers
may temporarily continue to use OADR under certain circumstances.
EO 12958 requires more detailed document marking. All government agencies must now portion mark documents unless relieved from this requirement by the Information Security Oversight Office. Original classifiers must be identified by name and position title, or by a specific personal identifier, and a concise reason for the classification must be provided. In derivative classification, the source or sources of classification must continue to be shown, as well as declassification instructions.
This Order also authorizes and encourages individuals to challenge the classification of information if they believe the classification is inaccurate or improper.
Until a NISPOM change is published, contractors can use the following general guidelines:
In Industry there is no original classification authority; therefore, there is also no original declassification authority; therefore, contractors shall not automatically declassify anything unless they have obtained, and are following, User Agency Guidance.
When preparing derivatively classified documents, contractors shall use only the "DERIVED FROM" line and the "DECLASSIFY ON" line.
When source documents are marked "OADR," documents derivatively prepared from them shall be marked "SOURCE MARKED OADR, DATED (date of source)"
EO 12958 does not apply to RESTRICTED DATA and FORMERLY RESTRICTED DATA.