Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Key Elements of Executive Order 13556 "Controlled Unclassified Information"

  • Scope: Executive Order 13556 "Controlled Unclassified Information" (CUI EO) establishes a program for managing all unclassified information in the Executive branch that requires safeguarding or dissemination controls, pursuant to and consistent with applicable law, regulations, and government-wide policies.

  • Registry: The Executive Agent (EA) will create a public registry of all CUI terms utilized by the Executive branch. This registry will consist of categories, subcategories, and markings of CUI and their definitions, along with applicable safeguarding, dissemination, and decontrol procedures.

  • Designation: Information can only be considered CUI pursuant to and consistent with law, regulation, or government-wide policy.

  • Agency responsibility: Each department and agency will identify a mechanism, i.e., office or individual(s), responsible for administering CUI policy. Agencies will also develop tailored CUI policies to meet agency-specific needs, as well as establish an internal oversight mechanism to promote consistent practices.

  • Openness: The CUI registry and implementing directives will be available to the public. The EA will consult with interested stakeholders and the public before publishing the registry or directives.

  • Training: Agencies are responsible for ensuring that their personnel are properly trained in practices related to CUI.

  • Oversight: The EA will be responsible for oversight, managing the CUI program, and drafting an annual report detailing the Executive branch’s progress in implementing and using CUI during the first 5 years and biennially thereafter.

  • Appeals: If any department or agency desires to appeal an EA decision, it will be appealed to the President through the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

  • FOIA: The mere fact that information is designated as CUI shall not have a bearing on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests or determinations. The CUI program makes no changes to the FOIA process.

  • Implementation strategy: Departments and agencies will review all categories, subcategories, and markings used to designate unclassified information for safeguarding and dissemination controls and submit proposed categories, subcategories, and markings to the EA for review and approval.

The EA will consult with affected agencies and take the steps necessary to develop and issue such directives as are necessary to implement the CUI EO. After consulting with stakeholders and the general public, the Executive Agent will issue initial implementation directives within 180 days of the signing of the CUI EO. Phased implementation of the CUI EO will take place based on deadlines established between the EA and the departments and agencies.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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