36 CFR 1260.56 - What are NARA considerations when implementing automatic declassification?
(a) Integral File Blocks. Classified records within an integral file block that have not been reviewed and properly exempted from declassification, or referred to an equity holder, will be automatically declassified on December 31 of the year that is 25 years from the date of the most recent record within the file block, except as specified in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section. For the purposes of automatic declassification, integral file blocks shall contain only records dated within 10 years of the oldest record in the block. The records of each Presidential Administration will be treated as an integral file block and will be scanned for declassification review through the RAC Project.
(b) Special media records. After consultation with the Director of the National Declassification Center and before the records are subject to automatic declassification, an agency head or senior agency official may delay automatic declassification for up to five additional years for classified information contained in media that make a review for possible declassification exemptions more difficult or costly. NARA, through the NDC, will coordinate processing of referrals made in these special media records as part of its overall prioritization strategy.
(c) Referrals. The IRC at the NDC will provide official notification for Federal records, while the RAC Project will provide formal notification for Presidential records. For agencies which fail to act on their referrals after formal notification by the IRC or the RAC Project, NARA will automatically declassify their information in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3)(B) of the Order.
(d) Additional referrals. Agencies will identify referrals in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of the Order. NARA will delay automatic declassification for up to 1 year for classified records that have been identified by the originating agency or by NARA as having classified information that requires referral that were not identified by the primary reviewing agency.
(e) Other circumstances. Information from another agency that has not been properly identified and referred is not subject to automatic declassification. When NARA identifies information, in accordance with section 3.3 of the Order, that agency will have up to 1 year from the date of formal notification to review its information for declassification.
(f) Discovery of information inadvertently not reviewed. When NARA identifies a file series or collection in its physical and legal custody that contains classified information over 25 years old and that was inadvertently not reviewed before the effective date of automatic declassification, NARA must report the discovery to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) and to the responsible agency head or senior agency official within 90 days of discovery. ISOO, the responsible agency, and NARA will consult on a delay of up to three years to review the records.