22 CFR § 9.8 - Classification challenges.

§ 9.8 Classification challenges.

(a) Challenges. Authorized holders of information pertaining to the Department of State who believe that its classification status is improper are expected and encouraged to challenge the classification status of the information. Such persons making challenges to the classification status of information shall not be subject to retribution for such action. Informal, usually oral, challenges are encouraged. Formal challenges to classification actions shall be in writing to an original classification authority (OCA) with jurisdiction over the information and a copy of the challenge shall be sent to the Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS) of the Department of State, SA-2, 515 22nd St. NW., Washington, DC 20522-8100. The Department (either the OCA or IPS) shall provide an initial response in writing within 60 calendar days.

(b) Appeal procedures and time limits. A negative response may be appealed to the Department's Appeals Review Panel (ARP) and should be sent to: Chairman, Appeals Review Panel, c/o Director, Office of Information Programs and Services/Appeals Officer, at the IPS address given above. The appeal shall include a copy of the original challenge, the response, and any additional information the appellant believes would assist the ARP in reaching its decision. The ARP shall respond within 90 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. A negative decision by the ARP may be appealed to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) referenced in section 5.3 of Executive Order 13526. If the Department fails to respond to a formal challenge within 120 calendar days or if the ARP fails to respond to an appeal within 90 calendar days, the challenge may be sent directly to the ISCAP.

(c) Pre-publication review materials. The provisions for classification challenges do not apply to material required to be submitted for pre-publication review, or other administrative action, pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement.