28 CFR § 17.1 - Purpose.

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§ 17.1 Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to ensure that information within the Department of Justice (the “Department”) relating to the national security is classified, protected, and declassified pursuant to the provisions of Executive Orders 12958 (3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 333) and 12968 (3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 391) and implementing directives from the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives and Records Administration (“ISOO”). Executive Orders 12958 and 12968 made numerous substantive changes in the system of classification, declassification, and downgrading of classified National Security Information and the criteria for access to this information. Accordingly, this part is a revision of the Department's classified information security rules.

(a) Subpart A of this part prescribes the implementation of Executive Orders 12958 and 12968 within the Department through the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, as the senior responsible agency official. Subpart A of this part also provides for certain relationships within the Department between the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, other component heads, and the National Security Division.

(b) Subpart B of this part prescribes an orderly and progressive system for ensuring that every necessary safeguard and procedure is in place to assure that information is properly classified and that classified information is protected from unauthorized disclosure. Subpart B of this part requires original classification authorities to make classification decisions based on specific criteria; provides that most newly created classified information be considered for declassification after 10 years; provides that historically valuable information that is more than 25 years old (including information classified under prior Executive Orders) be automatically declassified, with appropriate exceptions; and establishes procedures for authorized holders of classified information to challenge the classification of information.

(c) Subpart C of this part establishes substantive standards and procedures for granting, denying, and revoking, and for appealing decisions to deny access to classified information with an emphasis on ensuring the consistent, cost-effective, and efficient protection of classified information. Subpart C of this part provides a process that is fair and equitable to those with whom classified information is entrusted and, at the same time, assures the security of the classified information.

[Order No. 2091-97, 62 FR 36984, July 10, 1997, as amended by Order No. 2865-2007, 72 FR 10069, Mar. 7, 2007]