Tuesday, May 5, 2015

OMB Approves NARA Controlled Unclassified Info NPRM

Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs announced that it had approved the National Archives and Records Administration’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on controlled unclassified information (CUI). This rulemaking was directed by President Obama in his executive order on CUI; EO 13556.

This rulemaking has been very long in the making. The EO was published in November of 2010 and the NPRM was finally submitted in May of last year. The delay in OIRA was not apparently due to public or corporate pressure as there are no reports of meetings on this rulemaking on the OIRA web site.

I would assume that the pressure came from various federal agencies that are going to have to rewrite their rules and procedures (and perhaps regulations) for the various CUI programs that this rule is supposed to harmonize. It would be in their self-interest to minimize the impact of this rulemaking on their internal operations.

Programs that will be affected by this NPRM (to what degree is as of yet unknown) will include the Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information (CVI) program, the Protected Critical Infrastructure Information program (PCII) and the Sensitive Security Information (SSI) program.

At the rate things are proceeding with this rulemaking it will be a wonder if the final rule is published by the time of the next inauguration. At which time the new President will have the option to just cancel the program since there is no legislative mandate for this rationalization of the CUI programs.

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