Polygraph and Prepublication Review Policies of Federal Agencies

NSIAD-84-135: Published: Jun 11, 1984. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1984.

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GAO reported on the results of a questionnaire sent to Federal agencies and offices that handle classified information. The purpose of this questionnaire was to determine the effect of the provisions of the National Security Decision Directive-84 (NSDD-84) that require: (1) all individuals with sensitive compartmented information access to sign a nondisclosure agreement containing a prepublication review requirement; and (2) all agencies to revise existing policies and regulations as necessary so that employees could be required to submit to a polygraph examination during the course of an investigation of an unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

GAO determined that most Federal employees with access to sensitive compartmented information had already signed nondisclosure agreements with the prepublication review requirement before the President suspended indefinitely that provision of NSDD-84 on February 15, 1984. GAO also found that: (1) four agencies had 43 unauthorized disclosures of classified information during calendar year 1983; and (2) nine agencies gave 11,178 employees polygraph examinations in calendar year 1983, and almost all polygraph examinations given by agencies other than these nine were given in connection with criminal or specific-incident investigations.

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