Administrative Law - CFR - 28 CFR 17.27: Declassification and downgrading.


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28 CFR 17.27: Declassification and downgrading.

(a) Classified information shall be declassified as soon as it no longer meets the standards for classification. Declassification and downgrading is governed by § 3.1-3.3 of Executive Order 12958, implementing ISOO directives at 32 CFR 2001, subpart E, and applicable internal Department of Justice direction provided by the Department Security Officer.

(b) Information shall be declassified or downgraded by the official who authorized the original classification if that official is still serving in the same position, the originator's successor, or a supervisory official of either, or by officials delegated such authority in writing by the Attorney General or the Assistant Attorney General for Administration.

(c) It is presumed that information that continues to meet the classification requirements under Executive Order 12958 requires continued protection. In some exceptional cases during declassification reviews, the need to protect classified information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified. If it appears that the public interest in disclosure of the information may outweigh the need to protect the information, the declassification reviewing official shall refer the case with a recommendation for decision to the DRC. The DRC shall review the case and make a recommendation to the Attorney General on whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure. The Attorney General shall decide whether to declassify the information. The decision of the Attorney General shall be final. This provision does not amplify or modify the substantive criteria or procedures for classification or create any substantive or procedural rights subject to judicial review.

(d) Each component shall develop schedules for declassification of records in the National Archives. The Department shall cooperate with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Presidential Libraries to ensure that declassification is accomplished in a timely manner.