Senate panel approves policies for release of sensitive documents

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday approved legislation that would establish polices and procedures for the designation and release of sensitive but unclassified government information.

The draft bill, offered by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., cleared on a voice vote in a committee meeting off the Senate floor.

It would establish a Controlled Unclassified Information Office within the National Archives and Records Administration. The office would be responsible for developing and issuing polices and procedures "governing the designation, safeguarding and dissemination of controlled unclassified information" from federal agencies whether in print or electronic form.

The bill calls for the policies to be developed with the help of a new Controlled Unclassified Information Council, which would be chaired by the director of the new office and made up of officials from federal agencies.

The draft measure also would require federal departments and agencies that use sensitive but unclassified information to implement the policies developed by the new Archives' office, designate a senior officer to sit on the Controlled Unclassified Information Council and establish a process for noncompliance or misuse of sensitive unclassified data. The bill would authorize $14.5 million over five years to fund the bill's requirements.

The committee started work on the bill last week but could not take a final vote due to a lack of a quorum.

On a voice vote at the initial markup meeting, the panel adopted a substitute amendment making technical changes to the draft bill and adding language to the section dealing with the responsibilities of the new Controlled Unclassified Information Office.

The language would require that all relevant documents related to the controlled unclassified information framework called for under the bill are "made available on the Web site of the National Archives and Records Administration in a timely manner." In addition, under the provision dealing with agency requirements, the substitute added language that would require agencies to establish a process that allows agency officials or employees to challenge the use of controlled unclassified information markings.

In a May 2007 letter to several administration officials, Lieberman and ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, voiced concern over the lack of government-wide procedures for handling sensitive but unclassified government information, which they said may hamper information sharing particularly among agencies involved in deterring future terrorist attacks.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.