Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO)

About ISOO

Our Mission:

We support the President by ensuring that the Government protects and provides proper access to information to advance the national and public interest. We lead efforts to standardize and assess the management of classified and controlled unclassified information through oversight, policy development, guidance, education, and reporting.

Our Vision:

  • A Government whose information is properly shared, protected and managed to serve the national interest.
  • An informed American public that has trust in its Government.

Our Values:

Our performance is guided by integrity, collective expertise, and leadership. We value our contribution to national security, public trust, and meeting constituent needs.

Enabling Values Institutional Values
Integrity: We act in accordance with the highest standards of conduct. We are honest, transparent, and accountable in our efforts to protect national security and public interest. National Security: We advance national security by ensuring the proper classification, safeguarding, sharing, and declassification of information pertaining to national defense or foreign relations of the United States
Collective Expertise: Our success depends on the expertise of our team. We value and respect the knowledge and skills that each of us brings to our work and collaborate to achieve our mission and goals. Public Trust: We strive to uphold the public's confidence in open, effective government by assessing and improving programs intended to protect, share, and release information.
Leadership: We enable, motivate, and inspire each other and the executive branch to properly safeguard and provide access to U.S. Government information. Constituent Needs: We value the input of our partners and are committed to advising, assisting, and advocating for the American public; federal, state, local, and tribal governments; industry; and private sector entities.

Our Functions:

Implementing Directives, Instruction, and Regulations:
ISOO develops, coordinates and issues implementing directives and instructions regarding Executive Order 13526 (PDF Format), Order 12829 (PDF Format), that are binding on executive branch agencies. ISOO also reviews and approves the implementing regulations issued by the agencies.

Liaison, Inspections and General Oversight:
ISOO's analysts maintain continuous liaison with their agency counterparts on all matters relating to the Government-wide security classification program and the National Industrial Security Program. ISOO also conducts on-site inspections and special classified document reviews to monitor agency compliance with the Order.

Security Education and Training:
In addition to monitoring each agency's security education and training program, ISOO develops and disseminates security education materials for Government and industry. ISOO's tools include its Marking Booklet and its  classified national security information training aids

Complaints, Appeals and Suggestions:
ISOO receives and takes action on complaints, appeals, and suggestions from persons inside or outside the executive branch regarding any aspect of the administration of Executive Order 13526, and Executive Order 12829, as amended.

Statistical Collection, Analysis, and Reporting:
Each year ISOO gathers relevant statistical data regarding each agency's security classification program and cost estimates for security classification activities. ISOO analyzes these data and reports them, along with other relevant information, in its Annual Report to the President and its Cost Report. Copies of these reports are available upon request or for download in the section ISOO Reports.

Spokesperson for the Government's Security Classification Program:
The Director of ISOO serves as the Government's spokesperson to Congress, the media, special interest groups, professional organizations, and the public on matters related to the security classification program.

Special Studies and Projects:
ISOO conducts special studies on identified or potential problem areas and develops remedial approaches for program improvement. ISOO also develops and issues standardized security forms designed to promote the uniform implementation of the program and to reduce costs by eliminating duplication.

Policy Changes:
ISOO recommends policy changes to the President through the National Security Council. As appropriate, ISOO convenes and chairs interagency meetings to discuss matters, including possible policy changes, pertaining to the security classification program.

Our Goals:

  1. Promote and enhance the system that protects the national security information that safeguards the American government and its people.
  2. 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.
  3. Promote and enhance concepts that facilitate the sharing of information in the fulfillment of mission-critical functions related to national security.
  4. Provides expert advice and guidance pertinent to the principles of information security.