FAQ Topic

Please explain the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) and their role in Declassification?

ISOO, a component of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and is responsible to the President for policy and oversight of the government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program. It receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council (NSC), and its authority from:

· E.O. 13526, "Classified National Security Information" 
· E.O. 12829, as amended "National Industrial Security Program"

ISOO develops security classification policies for classifying, declassifying and safeguarding national security information generated in Government and industry; evaluates the effectiveness of the security classification programs established by Government and industry to protect information vital to our national security interests; and develops standardized CUI policies and procedures that appropriately protect sensitive information through effective data access and control measures.
Amongst other taskings, ISOO reviews and approves classification and declassification guides prepared by Executive Branch agencies; and drafted 32 CFR Part 2001, the implementing directive for E.O. 13526, which includes procedures to be used by MDR requesters wishing to bring cases to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP).


What is the difference between Suitland Records Center and the National Archives?

The Washington National Records Center at Suitland, Maryland, is a component of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), holds federal records that have not been accessioned by NARA, and are thus still owned by the agency of origin. Those records may be temporary records that will never be accessioned by NARA, or they may be permanent records over which the originating agency desires to retain ownership because of a continuing referral need. In the case of temporary records, they will remain at Suitland until their scheduled destruction date is reached. In the case of permanent records, they will be accessioned by NARA after the originating agency agrees to give up ownership and NARA schedules the records for transfer to their College Park facility. The National Archives at College Park is a repository for Executive Branch records that have permanent historical value (PHV).


Why are the boxes AFDO declassified still in the classified stacks at NARA?

While the Air Force has reviewed millions & millions of pages--most of these pages continue to reside in the Security Classified Stacks or Vaults of the National Archives simply because of the lack of resources to process these pages. Read what NARA is doing to remedy this situation http://www.archives.gov/declassification/. Read about the process for requesting documents withdrawn from a box at NARA http://www.archives.gov/research/declassification/.


Why does the National Archives have Air Force documents?

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper http://www.archives.gov/about/. Air Force Records described as permanent either for historical or legal reasons are sent to NARA for retention. The dispositions of Air Force records are detailed in Air Force Records Information Management System (AFRIMS). For more information on Air Force Records Management