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ONNSI CommuniQué
Department of Energy
Office of Nuclear and National Security Information
Vol. XIII, No. 4

August 2001

Revision of Executive Order (E.O.) 12958

An E.O. Drafting Subcommittee has been established and charged with exploring whether any revisions to E.O. 12958 should be made at this time. Ms. Laura Kimberly, Associated Director for Policy, Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), chairs the subcommittee.

This subcommittee was established under the auspices of the Classification Management Working Group, one of the several Working Groups created under the Policy Coordination Committee (PCC) for Records Access and Information Security.

The National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 1 signed by President Bush on February 13, 2001, was the first in a series of directives for communicating presidential decisions about the national security policies of the United States. It established several PCCs as the main day-to-day forum for interagency coordination of national security policy. The chair of a PCC, in consultation with the Executive Secretary, may establish subordinate working groups to assist the PCC in the performance of its duties.

The PCC for Records Access and Information Security is chaired by Mr. William H. Leary, Director for Records and Access Management, National Security Council. This PCC established the Classification Management Working Group (CMWG) chaired by Mr. Steven Garfinkel, Director, ISOO. The CMWG established the E.O. Drafting Subcommittee.

I attended the first meeting of the subcommittee held on August 9, 2001, as the DOE representative. The purpose of this initial meeting was to solicit proposed changes to E.O. 12958 from the various agencies. Based on input from the agencies, the subcommittee developed a consolidated list of proposed changes. Eight agencies proposed changes to 24 of the 34 sections in the E.O. in addition to several general comments. As can be expected, there were more proposed changes to section 3.4, "Automatic Declassification," than any other section. Distribution of the proposed changes was made to allow agencies time to evaluate the proposals. The proposed changes will be discussed at the next meeting of the subcommittee scheduled for October 2, 2001.

Proposed changes to section 3.4 was the subject of a meeting of the External Referral Working Group on September 25, 2001.

This E.O. revision process will probably continue for a year or more and further details will be forthcoming in the months ahead.

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