32 CFR 291.9 - For official use only (FOUO).
Information that has not been given a security classification pursuant to the criteria of an Executive Order, but which may be withheld from the public for one or more of the reasons cited in FOIA exemptions 2 through 9 shall be considered as being for official use only. No other material shall be considered or marked “For Official Use Only” (FOUO) and FOUO is not authorized as an anemic form of classification to protect national security interests. See DNA Instruction 5230.2A 5 for additional information regarding FOUO policy.
5 See footnote 2, to § 291.6(a)
(a) Prior FOUO application. The prior application of FOUO markings is not a conclusive basis for withholding a record that is requested under the FOIA. When such a record is requested, the information in it shall be evaluated to determine whether, under current circumstances, FOIA exemptions apply in withholding the record or portions of it. If any exemption or exemptions apply or applies, it may nonetheless be released when it is determined that no governmental interest will be jeopardized by its release.
(b) Historical papers. Records, such as notes, working papers, and drafts retained as historical evidence of DNA actions enjoy no special status apart from the exemptions under the FOIA.
(c) Time to mark records. The marking of records at the time of their creation provides notice of FOUO content and facilitates review when a record is requested under the FOIA. Records requested under the FOIA that do not bear such markings, shall not be assumed to be releaseable without examination for the presence of information that requires continued protection and qualifies as exempt from public release.
(d) Distribution statement. Information in a technical document that requires a distribution statement pursuant to DNA Instruction 5230.24A shall bear that statement and may be marked FOUO, as appropriate.
(e) Termination. The originator or other competent authority, e.g., initial denial and appellate authorities, shall terminate “For Official Use Only” markings or status when circumstances indicate that the information no longer requires protection from public disclosure. When FOUO status is terminated, all known holders shall be notified, to the extent practical. Upon notification, holders shall efface or remove the “For Official Use Only” markings, but records in file or storage need not be retrieved solely for that purpose.
(1) Nonrecord copies of FOUO materials may be destroyed by tearing each copy into pieces to preclude reconstructing, and placing them in regular trash containers. When local circumstances or experience indicates that this destruction method is not sufficiently protective of FOUO information, local authorities may direct other methods but must give due consideration to the additional expense balanced against the degree of sensitivity of the type of FOUO information contained in the records.
(2) Record copies of FOUO documents shall be disposed of in accordance with the disposal standards established under 44 U.S.C. chapter 33, as implemented by DNA instructions concerning records disposal.
(g) Unauthorized disclosure. The unauthorized disclosure of FOUO records does not constitute an unauthorized disclosure of DNA information classified for security purposes. Appropriate administrative action shall be taken, however, to fix responsibility for unauthorized disclosure whenever feasible, and appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken against those responsible. Unauthorized disclosure of FOUO information that is protected by the Privacy Act, may also result in civil and criminal sanctions against responsible persons. The DNA office that originated the FOUO information shall be informed of its unauthorized disclosure.