Source: House Armed Services Committee


			ON H.R. 1735

		[excerpts on classification policy]


Report on Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Declassification Procedures

The committee is encouraged by the progress the new Defense POW/MIA
Accounting Agency (DPAA) has made in integrating the former accounting agencies,
the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command and the Defense
Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office. In its effort to streamline the personnel
accounting community and provide more transparency to the families of those
missing, the committee urges the Secretary of Defense to pay particular attention to
how DPAA communicates and shares information with family members, regardless
of whether the family member is a part of a formal organization, and the
declassification procedures for documents more than 25 years old that have a
reasonable expectation of aiding in the location of persons missing in action.

Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense, as part of the
reorganization of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, to submit a report to
the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and the House of Representatives
by March 1, 2016, identifying specific inefficiencies with regard to the process for
the declassification of documents that if addressed, could better guide recovery

The report shall include the identification of challenges in current
declassification procedures; recommendations to expedite procedures for
interagency declassification; recommendations for procedures to declassify redacted
portions of previously released documents; recommendations of safeguards to
prevent the declassification of documents where such declassification may be
harmful to national security; recommendations for an expedited procedure for
private citizens to request an explanation of documents that will remain classified;
and recommendations for procedures to facilitate communication with foreign
agencies responsible for the recovery of persons missing in action.


Classification guidance

The committee notes the Department of Energy Inspector General's
February 2015 report (DOE/IG-0935) that reviewed Los Alamos National
Laboratory's (LANL) classification program found that LANL's, "Classification
Officer had not always adequately protected and controlled classified information
resulting in the misclassification and improper disclosure of sensitive, national
security information." The Inspector General's investigation revealed six incidents
in which LANL documents were misclassified. The report concluded that the
classification officer had not always ensured that derivative classifiers had
appropriate and updated classification bulletins, including detailed interpretive
guidance; had not classified information properly; and had not always reported
security incidents as required.

The committee notes the importance, across the nuclear security enterprise
and particularly at a national security laboratory, of consistent and rigorous
application of classification standards. The committee is concerned about the
inadequate response by LANL leadership on this problem and the lack of awareness
of National Nuclear Security Administration officials. The committee directs the
Administrator for Nuclear Security to provide a briefing to the House Committee on
Armed Services, not later than July 31, 2015, on the measures taken to improve the
effectiveness of the classification process and related oversight.