46 CFR § 503.59 - Safeguarding classified information.

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§ 503.59 Safeguarding classified information.

(a) All classified information shall be afforded a level of protection against unauthorized disclosure commensurate with its level of classification.

(b) Whenever classified material is removed from a storage facility, such material shall not be left unattended and shall be protected by attaching an appropriate classified document cover sheet to each classified document.

(c) Classified information being transmitted from one Commission office to another shall be protected with a classified document cover sheet and hand delivered by an appropriately cleared person to another appropriately cleared person.

(d) Classified information shall be made available to a recipient only when the authorized holder of the classified information has determined that:

(1) The prospective recipient has a valid security clearance at least commensurate with the level of classification of the information; and

(2) The prospective recipient requires access to the information in order to perform or assist in a lawful and authorized governmental function.

(e) The requirement in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, that access to classified information may be granted only to individuals who have a need-to-know the information, may be waived for persons who:

(1) Are engaged in historical research projects, or

(2) Previously have occupied policy-making positions to which they were appointed by the President.

(f) Waivers under paragraph (e) of this section may be granted when the Commission Senior Agency Official:

(1) Determines in writing that access is consistent with the interest of national security;

(2) Takes appropriate steps to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure or compromise, and ensures that the information is properly safeguarded; and

(3) Limits the access granted to former presidential appointees to items that the person originated, reviewed, signed, or received while serving as a presidential appointee.

(g) Persons seeking access to classified information in accordance with paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section must agree in writing:

(1) To be subject to a national security check;

(2) To protect the classified information in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 13526; and

(3) Not to publish or otherwise reveal to unauthorized persons any classified information.

(h) Except as authorized by the originating agency, or otherwise provided for by directives issued by the President, the Commission shall not disclose information originally classified by another agency.

(i) Only appropriately cleared personnel may receive, transmit, and maintain current access and accountability records for classified material.

(j) Each office which has custody of classified material shall maintain:

(1) A classified document register or log containing a listing of all classified holdings, and

(2) A classified document destruction register or log containing the title and date of all classified documents that have been destroyed.

(k) An inventory of all documents classified higher than confidential shall be made at least annually and whenever there is a change in classified document custodians. The Senior Agency Official shall be notified, in writing, of the results of each inventory.

(l) Reproduced copies of classified documents are subject to the same accountability and controls as the original documents.

(m) Combinations to dial-type locks shall be changed only by persons having an appropriate security clearance, and shall be changed whenever such equipment is placed in use; whenever a person knowing the combination no longer requires access to the combination; whenever a combination has been subject to possible compromise; whenever the equipment is taken out of service; and at least once each year. Records of combinations shall be classified no lower than the highest level of classified information to be stored in the security equipment concerned. One copy of the record of each combination shall be provided to the Senior Agency Official.

(n) Individuals charged with the custody of classified information shall conduct the necessary inspections within their areas to insure adherence to procedural safeguards prescribed to protect classified information. The Commission Senior Agency Official shall conduct periodic inspections to determine if the procedural safeguards prescribed in this subpart are in effect at all times.

(o) Whenever classified material is to be transmitted outside the Commission, the custodian of the classified material shall contact the Commission Senior Agency Official for preparation and receipting instructions. If the material is to be hand carried, the Senior Agency Official shall ensure that the person who will carry the material has the appropriate security clearance, is knowledgeable of safeguarding requirements, and is briefed, if appropriate, concerning restrictions with respect to carrying classified material on commercial carriers.

(p) Any person having access to and possession of classified information is responsible for protecting it from persons not authorized access to it, to include securing it in approved equipment or facilities, whenever it is not under the direct supervision of authorized persons.

(q) Employees of the Commission shall be subject to appropriate sanctions, which may include reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions in accordance with applicable law and agency regulation, if they:

(1) Knowingly, willfully, or negligently disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified under Executive Order 13526 or predecessor orders;

(2) Knowingly and willfully classify or continue the classification of information in violation of Executive Order 13526 or any implementing directive; or

(3) Knowingly and willfully violate any other provision of Executive Order 13526 or implementing directive.

(r) Any person who discovers or believes that a classified document is lost or compromised shall immediately report the circumstances to his or her supervisor and the Commission Senior Agency Official, who shall conduct an immediate inquiry into the matter.

(s) Questions with respect to the Commission Information Security Program, particularly those concerning the classification, declassification, downgrading, and safeguarding of classified information, shall be directed to the Commission Senior Agency Official.

[49 FR 44401, Nov. 6, 1984; 49 FR 47395, Dec. 4, 1984, as amended at 64 FR 23548, May 3, 1999; 76 FR 10264, Feb. 24, 2011]