Declassification

Overview of declassification (see Classified evidence in a court martial):

military-defense-lawyersPope_Field_OverheadDeclassification must be done by the OCA, by its successor in title, a supervisor of either or a person to whom that authority was delegated by an agency head or senior agency official. Automatic declassification of information occurs upon the occurrence of a date or event or at the end of a lapse of time determined by the OCA. Declassification during a review of information contained in records that the Archivist of the United States deems to have historical value is systematic declassification.

Mandatory declassification occurs as a response to a request for declassification, upon the OCAs determination that the public’s need for disclosure outweighs the importance of protecting the information. A request for review must describe the document with enough specificity to allow the OCA to locate it. Agency Heads must develop procedures for review with a right of appeal. The request must be made to the OCA; if an agency receives a request for a document that was classified by another agency, they must transmit that request to the OCA.