41 CFR § 105-62.201 - Declassification and downgrading.

prev | next
§ 105-62.201 Declassification and downgrading.

(a) Authority to downgrade and declassify. The authority to downgrade and declassify national security information or material shall be exercised as follows:

(1) Information or material may be downgraded or declassified by the GSA official authorizing the original classification, by a successor in capacity, by a supervisory official of either, or by the Information Security Oversight Committee on appeal.

(2) Downgrading and declassification authority may also be exercised by an official specifically authorized by the Administrator.

(3) In the case of classified information or material officially transferred to GSA by or under statute or Executive order in conjunction with a transfer of functions and not merely for storage purposes, GSA shall be deemed the originating agency for all purposes under these procedures including downgrading and declassification.

(4) In the case of classified information or material held in GSA not officially transferred under paragraph (a)(3) of this section but originated in an agency which has since ceased to exist, GSA is deemed the originating agency. Such information or material may be downgraded and declassified 30 calendar days after consulting with any other agencies having an interest in the subject matter.

(5) Classified information or material under the final declassification jurisdiction of GSA which has been transferred to NARS for accession into the Archives of the United States may be downgraded and declassified by the Archivist of the United States in accordance with Executive Order 12065, directives of the Information Security Oversight Office, and the systematic review guidelines issued by the Administrator of General Services.

(6) It is presumed that information which continues to meet classification requirements requires continued protection. In some cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified. When such questions arise they shall be referred to the Administrator, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, or in accordance with the procedures for mandatory review described in § 105–62.202(b).

(b) Declassification. Declassification of information shall be given emphasis comparable to that accorded classification. Information classified under Executive Order 12065 and prior orders shall be declassified as early as national security considerations permit. Decisions concerning declassification shall be based on the loss of sensitivity of the information with the passage of time or on the occurrence of an event which permits declassification. When information is reviewed for declassification it shall be declassified unless the declassification authority established in § 105–62.202 determines that the information continues to meet the classification requirements prescribed despite the passage of time.

(c) Downgrading. Classified information that is marked for automatic downgrading is downgraded accordingly without notification to holders. Classified information that is not marked for automatic downgrading may be assigned a lower classification designation by the originator or by an official authorized to declassify the same information. Notice of downgrading shall be provided to known holders of the information.