Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO)

ISOO for the Public

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) is responsible to the President for policy and oversight of the Government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program. ISOO receives its authority from:

One of ISOO's Goals is to Provide for an informed American public by ensuring that the minimum information necessary to the interest of national security is classified and that information is declassified as soon as it no longer requires protection.


While ISOO is an office within the National Archives and Records Administration, it receives policy guidance from the National Security Council. The three components of ISOO are:

  • The Classification Management Staff - Develops security classification policies for classifying, declassifying, and safeguarding national security information
  • The Operations Staff - Evaluates the effectiveness of the security classification programs established by Government and industry
  • The Controlled Unclassified Information Office - Develops standardized CUI policies and procedures that appropriately protect sensitive information through effective data access and control measures


ISOO oversees the security classification programs of over 65 Executive departments, independent agencies and offices, and their components and contractors. Main functions include:

  • Issuing Implementing Directives, Instructions, and Regulations
  • Conducting inspections and oversight of departments and agencies and providing expert liaison and advisory guidance to those departments and agencies
  • Developing and disseminating security education and training
  • Acting on complaints, appeals, and suggestions
  • Gathering statistics, analyzing data, and reporting results to the President
  • Serving as the spokesperson for the Government's security classification program
  • Conducting special studies or projects to improve the classification system
  • Recommending policy changes

Annual Report to the President

Each year we gather relevant statistical data regarding each agency's security classification program. We analyze this data and report, along with other relevant information, in our Annual Report to the President.

Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP)

As the highest appellate body for declassification decisions, the ISCAP is an essential element in the President's classification program. As such, ISCAP helps ensure that the provisions of Executive Order 13526, and its implementing directive are applied fairly and accurately to classified information.

The ISCAP provides one of the necessary checks and balances to the classification program by:.

  • Providing a venue to present appeals for declassification of classified information through the Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) process. Researchers, historians, or any member of the public, may use the MDR provisions to seek declassification of information classified by the United States Government.

The ISCAP also works with Federal employees, government contractors, and agency heads to ensure that classification standards are applied justly and that the minimum amount of information is classified for only as long as necessary.

Other Programs

  • Public Interest Declassification Board - Is an advisory committee established by Congress in order to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities.
  • National Industrial Security Program Policy Advisory Committee - (NISPPAC),comprised of both Government and industry representatives, is responsible for recommending changes in industrial security policy through modifications to Executive Order 12829, its implementing directives, and the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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