March 27, 2014
Review of Controls Over the Department's Classification of National Security Information
The Department of Energy handles and manages a broad spectrum of classified information, including National Security Information (NSI). The Office of Health, Safety and Security's Office of Classification, manages the Department-wide classification program and establishes policies to conform with Federal classification requirements. Implementation of classification requirements is shared among various organizations within the Department. In addition, the Department's Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence is required to follow NSI policies and procedures instituted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Similarly, the Department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) separately develops and implements policies and procedures, in coordination with the Office of Classification, for the protection and security of classified information at NNSA sites.
Our inspection revealed that the Department had established and implemented critical elements of its classified NSI program. However, our review revealed that certain aspects of the NSI program could be improved. For instance, our inspection determined that a classification marking tool embedded in the classified email system at an NNSA site automatically marked emails as Secret//Restricted Data, regardless of content. The classification related issues we observed occurred, in part, because of ineffective oversight of classification activities and inadequate training and guidance.
In general, we found management's comments and planned corrective actions to be generally responsive to our report findings and recommendations.
Topic: National Security & Safety