B-202648.OM, JUL 16, 1982

B-202648.OM: Jul 16, 1982

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

CONCLUDE "THAT SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION MAY BE TRANSMITTED OVERSEAS BY SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED PERSONNEL AND ANY RESTRICTIONS AS TO THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ARE TO BE ESTABLISHED BY EACH AGENCY.". WE DID NOT STATE IN OUR EARLIER MEMORANDUM THAT GAO DOES NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR HANDCARRYING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OVERSEAS VIA COMMERCIAL CARRIERS. WE SAID THAT THERE WAS NO SUCH AUTHORITY UNDER THE APPLICABLE GAO ORDER IN EFFECT AT THE TIME WE PREPARED OUR MEMORANDUM. WE DID NOT WISH TO CONVEY THE UNDERSTANDING THAT GAO DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR SUCH HANDCARRYING IF THE OFFICE CHOSE TO DO SO. AS YOU ARE NO DOUBT AWARE. GAO ORDER 0930.1 WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 1.

B-202648.OM, JUL 16, 1982

SUBJECT: TRANSPORTATION OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OVERSEAS B-202648-O.M.

DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF FAFELY AND SECURITY:

THIS RESPONDS TO YOUR MEMORANDUM QUESTIONING WHETHER THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) HAS AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH SECURITY PROCEDURES PERMITTING EMPLOYEES TO HANDCARRY CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OVERSEAS ABOARD COMMERCIAL AIRLINERS. YOU READ OUR NOVEMBER 9, 1981, MEMORANDUM, B-202648, AS STATING THAT GAO HAS NO AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH SUCH PROCEDURES. YOU REFER TO SECTION 4-103 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 12065 AND PARAGRAPH G OF SECTION IV OF THE INFORMATION SECURITY OVERSIGHT OFFICE'S DIRECTIVE WHICH IMPLEMENTS THE ORDER, AND CONCLUDE "THAT SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION MAY BE TRANSMITTED OVERSEAS BY SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED PERSONNEL AND ANY RESTRICTIONS AS TO THE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ARE TO BE ESTABLISHED BY EACH AGENCY."

WE AGREE. WE DID NOT STATE IN OUR EARLIER MEMORANDUM THAT GAO DOES NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR HANDCARRYING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OVERSEAS VIA COMMERCIAL CARRIERS. RATHER, WE SAID THAT THERE WAS NO SUCH AUTHORITY UNDER THE APPLICABLE GAO ORDER IN EFFECT AT THE TIME WE PREPARED OUR MEMORANDUM. HOWEVER, BY STATING THAT THE ORDER AS THEN IN EFFECT DID NOT PERMIT THE HANDCARRYING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OVERSEAS ABOARD COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, WE DID NOT WISH TO CONVEY THE UNDERSTANDING THAT GAO DID NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR SUCH HANDCARRYING IF THE OFFICE CHOSE TO DO SO. AS YOU ARE NO DOUBT AWARE, AFTER WE SENT OUR MEMORANDUM TO YOU, GAO ORDER 0930.1 WAS ISSUED ON DECEMBER 1, 1981, WITH REVISIONS.

THE REVISED ORDER NOW ALLOWS APPROPRIATELY CLEARED PERSONNEL TO TRANSPORT CLASSIFIED MATERIAL OVERSEAS ABOARD COMMERCIAL AIRLINERS IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME NOR ANY OTHER MEANS AVAILABLE TO MOVE THE INFORMATION IN ORDER TO MEET OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES. PARAGRAPH 2A(3) OF CHAPTER 7 PROVIDES THAT THE DIRECTOR OF OSS AND FOREIGN BRANCH MANAGERS MAY AUTHORIZE PERSONAL DELIVERY OF SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION " *** FROM, TO, OR WITHIN AREAS OTHER THAN THE 50 STATES, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, PUERTO RICO, AND CANADA, *** SUBJECT TO PARAGRAPHS 4 AND 5, ***." PARAGRAPH 4 AUTHORIZES HANDCARRYING GENERALLY BY CLEARED PERSONNEL AS SPECIFIED IN PARAGRAPH 1 (RELATING TO TOP SECRET INFORMATION) AND PARAGRAPH 2 (RELATING TO SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION). PARAGRAPH 5 SETS FORTH THE REQUIREMENTS WHICH MUST BE MET WHEN HANDCARRYING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION ABOARD COMMERICAL PASSENGER AIRCRAFT.

YOU PROVIDED EXCERPTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) INFORMATION SECURITY PROGRAM REGULATION, DOD 5200.1-R CHAPTER VIII, AS FURTHER SUPPORT FOR THE VIEW THAT THE HANDCARRYING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION VIA COMMERCIAL AIRLINERS OVERSEAS IS ACCEPTABLE. THE DEPARTMENT'S REGULATION AUTHORIZES SUCH HANDCARRYING WITHIN THE DOD. WE PRESUME THAT YOU MEANT TO IMPLY THAT SINCE THE DEPARTMENT HAS A REGULATION PERMITTING THE TRANSPORTATION OF CLASSIFIED MATERIAL OVERSEAS VIA COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT, THE PRACTICE MUST BE ACCEPTABLE. WE AGREE THAT DOD'S REGULATION IS EVIDENCE THAT THE PRACTICE IN QUESTION SUFFICIENTLY SAFEGUARDS NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION. THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERAGENCY CLASSIFICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE HAS ADVISED US INFORMALLY THAT THE INFORMATION SECURITY OVERSIGHT OFFICE (WHICH IS CHARGED WITH OVERSEEING THE SAFEGUARDING OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH) HAS SPECIALLY APPROVED DOD'S REGULATION INCLUDING ITS PROVISION FOR HANDCARRYING CLASSIFIED MATERIAL ON COMMERCIAL AIRLINERS ABROAD. ACCORDINGLY, THE FACT THAT THE PRACTICE HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE OFFICE WHICH SETS THE STANDARDS FOR INSURING THAT EXECUTIVE BRANCH EMPLOYEES PROPERLY HANDLE NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION FURTHER INDICATES THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE.