TITLE 50 - US CODE - SUBCHAPTER VI - ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

50 USC 435 - Procedures

(a) Not later than 180 days after October 14, 1994, the President shall, by Executive order or regulation, establish procedures to govern access to classified information which shall be binding upon all departments, agencies, and offices of the executive branch of Government. Such procedures shall, at a minimum
(1) provide that, except as may be permitted by the President, no employee in the executive branch of Government may be given access to classified information by any department, agency, or office of the executive branch of Government unless, based upon an appropriate background investigation, such access is determined to be clearly consistent with the national security interests of the United States;
(2) establish uniform minimum requirements governing the scope and frequency of background investigations and reinvestigations for all employees in the executive branch of Government who require access to classified information as part of their official responsibilities;
(3) provide that all employees in the executive branch of Government who require access to classified information shall be required as a condition of such access to provide to the employing department or agency written consent which permits access by an authorized investigative agency to relevant financial records, other financial information, consumer reports, travel records, and computers used in the performance of Government duties, as determined by the President, in accordance with section 436 of this title, during the period of access to classified information and for a period of three years thereafter;

Advertisement
view counter
(4) provide that all employees in the executive branch of Government who require access to particularly sensitive classified information, as determined by the President, shall be required, as a condition of maintaining access to such information, to submit to the employing department or agency, during the period of such access, relevant information concerning their financial condition and foreign travel, as determined by the President, as may be necessary to ensure appropriate security; and
(5) establish uniform minimum standards to ensure that employees in the executive branch of Government whose access to classified information is being denied or terminated under this subchapter are appropriately advised of the reasons for such denial or termination and are provided an adequate opportunity to respond to all adverse information which forms the basis for such denial or termination before final action by the department or agency concerned.
(b) 
(1) Subsection (a) of this section shall not be deemed to limit or affect the responsibility and power of an agency head pursuant to other law or Executive order to deny or terminate access to classified information if the national security so requires. Such responsibility and power may be exercised only when the agency head determines that the procedures prescribed by subsection (a) of this section cannot be invoked in a manner that is consistent with the national security.
(2) Upon the exercise of such responsibility, the agency head shall submit a report to the congressional intelligence committees.

50 USC 435a - Limitation on handling, retention, and storage of certain classified materials by the Department of State

(a) Certification regarding full compliance with requirements 
The Director of Central Intelligence shall certify to the appropriate committees of Congress whether or not each covered element of the Department of State is in full compliance with all applicable directives of the Director of Central Intelligence relating to the handling, retention, or storage of covered classified material.
(b) Limitation on certification 
The Director of Central Intelligence may not certify a covered element of the Department of State as being in full compliance with the directives referred to in subsection (a) of this section if the covered element is currently subject to a waiver of compliance with respect to any such directive.
(c) Report on noncompliance 
Whenever the Director of Central Intelligence determines that a covered element of the Department of State is not in full compliance with any directive referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Director shall promptly notify the appropriate committees of Congress of such determination.
(d) Effects of certification of non-full compliance 

(1) Subject to subsection (e) of this section, effective as of January 1, 2001, a covered element of the Department of State may not retain or store covered classified material unless the Director has certified under subsection (a) of this section as of such date that the covered element is in full compliance with the directives referred to in subsection (a) of this section.
(2) If the prohibition in paragraph (1) takes effect in accordance with that paragraph, the prohibition shall remain in effect until the date on which the Director certifies under subsection (a) of this section that the covered element involved is in full compliance with the directives referred to in that subsection.
(e) Waiver by Director of Central Intelligence 

(1) The Director of Central Intelligence may waive the applicability of the prohibition in subsection (d) of this section to an element of the Department of State otherwise covered by such prohibition if the Director determines that the waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
(2) The Director shall submit to appropriate committees of Congress a report on each exercise of the waiver authority in paragraph (1).
(3) Each report under paragraph (2) with respect to the exercise of authority under paragraph (1) shall set forth the following:
(A) The covered element of the Department of State addressed by the waiver.
(B) The reasons for the waiver.
(C) The actions that will be taken to bring such element into full compliance with the directives referred to in subsection (a) of this section, including a schedule for completion of such actions.
(D) The actions taken by the Director to protect any covered classified material to be handled, retained, or stored by such element pending achievement of full compliance of such element with such directives.
(f) Definitions 
In this section:
(1) The term appropriate committees of Congress means the following:
(A) The Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
(B) The Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives.
(2) The term covered classified material means any material classified at the Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) level.
(3) The term covered element of the Department of State means each element of the Department of State that handles, retains, or stores covered classified material.
(4) The term material means any data, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including written or printed matter, automated information systems storage media, maps, charts, paintings, drawings, films, photographs, engravings, sketches, working notes, papers, reproductions of any such things by any means or process, and sound, voice, magnetic, or electronic recordings.
(5) The term Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) level, in the case of classified material, means a level of classification for information in such material concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes that requires such information to be handled within formal access control systems established by the Director of Central Intelligence.

50 USC 435b - Security clearances

(a) Definitions 
In this section:
(1) The term agency means
(A) an executive agency (as that term is defined in section 105 of title 5);
(B) a military department (as that term is defined in section 102 of title 5); and
(C) an element of the intelligence community.
(2) The term authorized investigative agency means an agency designated by the head of the agency selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section to conduct a counterintelligence investigation or investigation of persons who are proposed for access to classified information to ascertain whether such persons satisfy the criteria for obtaining and retaining access to such information.
(3) The term authorized adjudicative agency means an agency authorized by law, regulation, or direction of the Director of National Intelligence to determine eligibility for access to classified information in accordance with Executive Order 12968.
(4) The term highly sensitive program means
(A) a government program designated as a Special Access Program (as that term is defined in section 4.1(h) of Executive Order 12958 or any successor Executive order); or
(B) a government program that applies restrictions required for
(i) restricted data (as that term is defined in section 2014 (y) of title 42;[1] or
(ii) other information commonly referred to as sensitive compartmented information.
(5) The term current investigation file means, with respect to a security clearance, a file on an investigation or adjudication that has been conducted during
(A) the 5-year period beginning on the date the security clearance was granted, in the case of a Top Secret Clearance, or the date access was granted to a highly sensitive program;
(B) the 10-year period beginning on the date the security clearance was granted in the case of a Secret Clearance; and
(C) the 15-year period beginning on the date the security clearance was granted in the case of a Confidential Clearance.
(6) The term personnel security investigation means any investigation required for the purpose of determining the eligibility of any military, civilian, or government contractor personnel to access classified information.
(7) The term periodic reinvestigations means investigations conducted for the purpose of updating a previously completed background investigation
(A) every 5 years in the case of a top secret clearance or access to a highly sensitive program;
(B) every 10 years in the case of a secret clearance; or
(C) every 15 years in the case of a Confidential Clearance.
(8) The term appropriate committees of Congress means
(A) the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committees on Armed Services, Homeland Security, Government Reform, and the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and
(B) the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committees on Armed Services, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Judiciary of the Senate.
(b) Selection of entity 
Not later than 90 days after December 17, 2004, the President shall select a single department, agency, or element of the executive branch to be responsible for
(1) directing day-to-day oversight of investigations and adjudications for personnel security clearances, including for highly sensitive programs, throughout the United States Government;
(2) developing and implementing uniform and consistent policies and procedures to ensure the effective, efficient, and timely completion of security clearances and determinations for access to highly sensitive programs, including the standardization of security questionnaires, financial disclosure requirements for security clearance applicants, and polygraph policies and procedures;
(3) serving as the final authority to designate an authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency;
(4) ensuring reciprocal recognition of access to classified information among the agencies of the United States Government, including acting as the final authority to arbitrate and resolve disputes involving the reciprocity of security clearances and access to highly sensitive programs pursuant to subsection (d) of this section;
(5) ensuring, to the maximum extent practicable, that sufficient resources are available in each agency to achieve clearance and investigative program goals; and
(6) reviewing and coordinating the development of tools and techniques for enhancing the conduct of investigations and granting of clearances.
(c) Performance of security clearance investigations 

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 180 days after December 17, 2004, the President shall, in consultation with the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, select a single agency of the executive branch to conduct, to the maximum extent practicable, security clearance investigations of employees and contractor personnel of the United States Government who require access to classified information and to provide and maintain all security clearances of such employees and contractor personnel. The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may designate other agencies to conduct such investigations if the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section considers it appropriate for national security and efficiency purposes.
(2) The agency selected under paragraph (1) shall
(A) take all necessary actions to carry out the requirements of this section, including entering into a memorandum of understanding with any agency carrying out responsibilities relating to security clearances or security clearance investigations before December 17, 2004;
(B) as soon as practicable, integrate reporting of security clearance applications, security clearance investigations, and determinations of eligibility for security clearances, with the database required by subsection (e) of this section; and
(C) ensure that security clearance investigations are conducted in accordance with uniform standards and requirements established under subsection (b) of this section, including uniform security questionnaires and financial disclosure requirements.
(d) Reciprocity of security clearance and access determinations 

(1) All security clearance background investigations and determinations completed by an authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency shall be accepted by all agencies.
(2) All security clearance background investigations initiated by an authorized investigative agency shall be transferable to any other authorized investigative agency.
(3) 
(A) An authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency may not establish additional investigative or adjudicative requirements (other than requirements for the conduct of a polygraph examination) that exceed requirements specified in Executive Orders establishing security requirements for access to classified information without the approval of the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may establish such additional requirements as the head of such entity considers necessary for national security purposes.
(4) An authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency may not conduct an investigation for purposes of determining whether to grant a security clearance to an individual where a current investigation or clearance of equal level already exists or has been granted by another authorized adjudicative agency.
(5) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may disallow the reciprocal recognition of an individual security clearance by an agency under this section on a case-by-case basis if the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section determines that such action is necessary for national security purposes.
(6) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall establish a review procedure by which agencies can seek review of actions required under this section.
(e) Database on security clearances 

(1) Not later than 12 months after December 17, 2004, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall, in cooperation with the heads of the entities selected pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, establish and commence operating and maintaining an integrated, secure, database into which appropriate data relevant to the granting, denial, or revocation of a security clearance or access pertaining to military, civilian, or government contractor personnel shall be entered from all authorized investigative and adjudicative agencies.
(2) The database under this subsection shall function to integrate information from existing Federal clearance tracking systems from other authorized investigative and adjudicative agencies into a single consolidated database.
(3) Each authorized investigative or adjudicative agency shall check the database under this subsection to determine whether an individual the agency has identified as requiring a security clearance has already been granted or denied a security clearance, or has had a security clearance revoked, by any other authorized investigative or adjudicative agency.
(4) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall evaluate the extent to which an agency is submitting information to, and requesting information from, the database under this subsection as part of a determination of whether to certify the agency as an authorized investigative agency or authorized adjudicative agency.
(5) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may authorize an agency to withhold information about certain individuals from the database under this subsection if the head of the entity considers it necessary for national security purposes.
(f) Evaluation of use of available technology in clearance investigations and adjudications 

(1) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall evaluate the use of available information technology and databases to expedite investigative and adjudicative processes for all and to verify standard information submitted as part of an application for a security clearance.
(2) The evaluation shall assess the application of the technologies described in paragraph (1) for
(A) granting interim clearances to applicants at the secret, top secret, and special access program levels before the completion of the appropriate full investigation;
(B) expediting investigations and adjudications of security clearances, including verification of information submitted by the applicant;
(C) ongoing verification of suitability of personnel with security clearances in effect for continued access to classified information;
(D) use of such technologies to augment periodic reinvestigations;
(E) assessing the impact of the use of such technologies on the rights of applicants to verify, correct, or challenge information obtained through such technologies; and
(F) such other purposes as the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section considers appropriate.
(3) An individual subject to verification utilizing the technology described in paragraph (1) shall be notified of such verification, shall provide consent to such use, and shall have access to data being verified in order to correct errors or challenge information the individual believes is incorrect.
(4) Not later than one year after December 17, 2004, the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall submit to the President and the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the results of the evaluation, including recommendations on the use of technologies described in paragraph (1).
(g) Reduction in length of personnel security clearance process 

(1) The head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall, within 90 days of selection under that subsection, develop, in consultation with the appropriate committees of Congress and each authorized adjudicative agency, a plan to reduce the length of the personnel security clearance process.
(2) 
(A) To the extent practical the plan under paragraph (1) shall require that each authorized adjudicative agency make a determination on at least 90 percent of all applications for a personnel security clearance within an average of 60 days after the date of receipt of the completed application for a security clearance by an authorized investigative agency. Such 60-day average period shall include
(i) a period of not longer than 40 days to complete the investigative phase of the clearance review; and
(ii) a period of not longer than 20 days to complete the adjudicative phase of the clearance review.
(B) Determinations on clearances not made within 60 days shall be made without delay.
(3) 
(A) The plan under paragraph (1) shall take effect 5 years after December 17, 2004.
(B) During the period beginning on a date not later than 2 years after December 17, 2004, and ending on the date on which the plan under paragraph (1) takes effect, each authorized adjudicative agency shall make a determination on at least 80 percent of all applications for a personnel security clearance pursuant to this section within an average of 120 days after the date of receipt of the application for a security clearance by an authorized investigative agency. Such 120-day average period shall include
(i) a period of not longer than 90 days to complete the investigative phase of the clearance review; and
(ii) a period of not longer than 30 days to complete the adjudicative phase of the clearance review.
(h) Reports 

(1) Not later than February 15, 2006, and annually thereafter through 2011, the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report on the progress made during the preceding year toward meeting the requirements of this section.
(2) Each report shall include, for the period covered by such report
(A) the periods of time required by the authorized investigative agencies and authorized adjudicative agencies for conducting investigations, adjudicating cases, and granting clearances, from date of submission to ultimate disposition and notification to the subject and the subjects employer;
(B) a discussion of any impediments to the smooth and timely functioning of the requirements of this section; and
(C) such other information or recommendations as the head of the entity selected pursuant to subsection (b) of this section considers appropriate.
(i) Authorization of appropriations 
There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2005 and each fiscal year thereafter for the implementation, maintenance, and operation of the database required by subsection (e) of this section.
[1] So in original. There probably should be a closing parenthesis before the semicolon.

50 USC 436 - Requests by authorized investigative agencies

(a) Generally 

(1) Any authorized investigative agency may request from any financial agency, financial institution, or holding company, or from any consumer reporting agency, such financial records, other financial information, and consumer reports as may be necessary in order to conduct any authorized law enforcement investigation, counterintelligence inquiry, or security determination. Any authorized investigative agency may also request records maintained by any commercial entity within the United States pertaining to travel by an employee in the executive branch of Government outside the United States.
(2) Requests may be made under this section where
(A) the records sought pertain to a person who is or was an employee in the executive branch of Government required by the President in an Executive order or regulation, as a condition of access to classified information, to provide consent, during a background investigation and for such time as access to the information is maintained, and for a period of not more than three years thereafter, permitting access to financial records, other financial information, consumer reports, and travel records; and
(B) 
(i) there are reasonable grounds to believe, based on credible information, that the person is, or may be, disclosing classified information in an unauthorized manner to a foreign power or agent of a foreign power;
(ii) information the employing agency deems credible indicates the person has incurred excessive indebtedness or has acquired a level of affluence which cannot be explained by other information known to the agency; or
(iii) circumstances indicate the person had the capability and opportunity to disclose classified information which is known to have been lost or compromised to a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.
(3) Each such request
(A) shall be accompanied by a written certification signed by the department or agency head or deputy department or agency head concerned, or by a senior official designated for this purpose by the department or agency head concerned (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Secretary or Assistant Director), and shall certify that
(i) the person concerned is or was an employee within the meaning of paragraph (2)(A);
(ii) the request is being made pursuant to an authorized inquiry or investigation and is authorized under this section; and
(iii) the records or information to be reviewed are records or information which the employee has previously agreed to make available to the authorized investigative agency for review;
(B) shall contain a copy of the agreement referred to in subparagraph (A)(iii);
(C) shall identify specifically or by category the records or information to be reviewed; and
(D) shall inform the recipient of the request of the prohibition described in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Prohibition of certain disclosure 

(1) If an authorized investigative agency described in subsection (a) certifies that otherwise there may result a danger to the national security of the United States, interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interference with diplomatic relations, or danger to the life or physical safety of any person, no governmental or private entity, or officer, employee, or agent of such entity, may disclose to any person (other than those to whom such disclosure is necessary to comply with the request or an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request) that such entity has received or satisfied a request made by an authorized investigative agency under this section.
(2) The request shall notify the person or entity to whom the request is directed of the nondisclosure requirement under paragraph (1).
(3) Any recipient disclosing to those persons necessary to comply with the request or to an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request shall inform such persons of any applicable nondisclosure requirement. Any person who receives a disclosure under this subsection shall be subject to the same prohibitions on disclosure under paragraph (1).
(4) At the request of the authorized investigative agency, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the requesting official of the authorized investigative agency the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, except that nothing in this section shall require a person to inform the requesting official of the identity of an attorney to whom disclosure was made or will be made to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request under subsection (a).
(c) Records or information; inspection or copying 

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law (other than section 6103 of title 26), an entity receiving a request for records or information under subsection (a) of this section shall, if the request satisfies the requirements of this section, make available such records or information within 30 days for inspection or copying, as may be appropriate, by the agency requesting such records or information.
(2) Any entity (including any officer, employee, or agent thereof) that discloses records or information for inspection or copying pursuant to this section in good faith reliance upon the certifications made by an agency pursuant to this section shall not be liable for any such disclosure to any person under this subchapter, the constitution of any State, or any law or regulation of any State or any political subdivision of any State.
(d) Reimbursement of costs 
Any agency requesting records or information under this section may, subject to the availability of appropriations, reimburse a private entity for any cost reasonably incurred by such entity in responding to such request, including the cost of identifying, reproducing, or transporting records or other data.
(e) Dissemination of records or information received 
An agency receiving records or information pursuant to a request under this section may disseminate the records or information obtained pursuant to such request outside the agency only
(1) to the agency employing the employee who is the subject of the records or information;
(2) to the Department of Justice for law enforcement or counterintelligence purposes; or
(3) with respect to dissemination to an agency of the United States, if such information is clearly relevant to the authorized responsibilities of such agency.
(f) Construction of section 
Nothing in this section may be construed to affect the authority of an investigative agency to obtain information pursuant to the Right to Financial Privacy Act (12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.) or the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).

50 USC 437 - Exceptions

Except as otherwise specifically provided, the provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to the President and Vice President, Members of the Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, and Federal judges appointed by the President.

50 USC 438 - Definitions

For purposes of this subchapter
(1) the term authorized investigative agency means an agency authorized by law or regulation to conduct a counterintelligence investigation or investigations of persons who are proposed for access to classified information to ascertain whether such persons satisfy the criteria for obtaining and retaining access to such information;
(2) the term classified information means any information that has been determined pursuant to Executive Order No. 12356 of April 2, 1982, or successor orders, or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 [42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.], to require protection against unauthorized disclosure and that is so designated;
(3) the term consumer reporting agency has the meaning given such term in section 1681a of title 15;
(4) the term employee includes any person who receives a salary or compensation of any kind from the United States Government, is a contractor of the United States Government or an employee thereof, is an unpaid consultant of the United States Government, or otherwise acts for or on behalf of the United States Government, except as otherwise determined by the President;
(5) the terms financial agency and financial institution have the meanings given to such terms in section 5312 (a) of title 31 and the term holding company has the meaning given to such term in section 3401 (6) of title 12;
(6) the terms foreign power and agent of a foreign power have the same meanings as set forth in sections[1] 1801(a) and (b), respectively, of this title;
(7) the term State means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, and any other possession of the United States; and
(8) the term computer means any electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions, and includes any data storage facility or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device and any data or other information stored or contained in such device.
[1] So in original. Probably should be “section”.