28 CFR 17.30: Classification challenges.
(a) Authorized holders of information classified by the Department who, in good faith, believe that specific information is improperly classified or unclassified are encouraged and expected to challenge the classification status of that information pursuant to section 1.9 of Executive Order 12958. Authorized holders may submit classification challenges in writing to the DRC, through the Office of Information and Privacy, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530. The challenge need not be more specific than a question as to why the information is or is not classified, or is classified at a certain level.
(b) The DRC shall redact the identity of an individual challenging a classification under paragraph (a) of this section and forward the classification challenge to the original classification authority for review and response.
(c) The original classification authority shall promptly, and in no case later than 30 days, provide a written response to the DRC. The original classification authority may classify or declassify the information subject to challenge or state specific reasons why the original classification determination was proper. If the original classification authority is not able to response within 30 days, the DRC shall inform the individual who filed the challenge in writing of that fact, and the anticipated determination date.
(d) The DRC shall inform the individual challenging the classification of the determination made by the original classification authority and that individual may appeal this determination to the DRC. Upon appeal, the DRC may declassify, or direct the classification of, the information. If the DRC is not able to act on any appeal within 45 days of receipt, the DRC shall inform the individual who filed the challenge in writing of that fact, and the anticipated determination date.
(e) The DRC shall provide the individual who appeals a classification challenge determination with a written explanation of the basis for the DRC decision and a statement of his or her right to appeal that determination to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP) pursuant to section 5.4 of Executive Order 12958 and the rules issued by the ISCAP pursuant to section 5.4 of Executive Order 12958.
(f) Any individual who challenges a classification and believes that any action has been taken against him or her in retribution because of that challenge shall report the facts to the Office of the Inspector General or the Office of Professional Responsibility, as appropriate.
(g) Requests for review of classified material for declassification by persons other than authorized holders are governed by § 17.31.