Classified Information in The United States - Levels of Classification Used By The U.S. Government - Unclassified - Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

One of the 9/11 Commission findings was that "the government keeps too many secrets. To address this problem, the Commission recommended that 'he culture of agencies feeling they own the information they gathered at taxpayer expense must be replaced by a culture in which the agencies instead feel they have a duty . . . to repay the taxpayers' investment by making that information available.'"

Due to over 100 designations in use by the U.S. government for unclassified information at the time, President George W. Bush issued a Presidential memorandum on May 9, 2008, in an attempt to consolidate the various designations in use into a new category known as Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The CUI categories and subcategories were hoped to serve as the exclusive designations for identifying unclassified information throughout the executive branch not covered by Executive Order 12958 or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (as amended) but still required safeguarding or dissemination controls, pursuant to and consistent with any applicable laws, regulations, and government-wide policies in place at the time. CUI would replace categories such as For Official Use Only (FOUO), Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) and Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES).

The Presidential memorandum also designated the National Archives as responsible for overseeing and managing the implementation of the new CUI framework.

This memorandum has since been rescinded by Executive Order 13556 of November 4, 2010 and the guidelines previously outlined within the memo were expanded upon in a further attempt to improve the management of information across all federal agencies as well as establish a more standard, government-wide program regarding the controlled unclassification designation process itself.

The U.S. Congress has also taken steps to address this still evolving issue. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Reducing Information Control Designations Act H.R. 1323 on March 17, 2009. The bill is now pending before the U.S. Senate.

Read more about this topic:  Classified Information In The United States, Levels of Classification Used By The U.S. Government, Unclassified

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