Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

Key Elements of the CUI Program


  • Scope: Executive Order 13556 "Controlled Unclassified Information" (the Order) 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.
  • Designation: Information can only be considered CUI pursuant to and consistent with law, regulation, or government-wide policy.
  • Registry: The Executive Agent (EA) will create a public registry of authorized categories, subcategories, and markings of CUI and their definitions, along with applicable safeguarding, dissemination, and decontrol procedures.
  • Agency responsibility: Each Executive branch 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, and establish an internal oversight mechanism to promote consistent practices.
  • Openness: The CUI Registry and implementing directives will be available to the public.
  • Training: Agencies are responsible for ensuring that their personnel are properly trained in practices related to CUI.
  • Oversight: The National Archives and Records Administration shall serve as the EA to implement and oversee agency actions to ensure compliance with the Order.
  • Appeals: If an agency and the EA cannot reach agreement on an issue related to implementation of the Order, that issue may 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: Executive branch 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 non-governmental stakeholders to develop and issue such directives as are necessary to implement the Order. Phased implementation of the Order will take place based on deadlines established by the EA, in consultation with the Office of Management and Budget, and departments and agencies.