Information Security:

Federal Agency Use of Nondisclosure Agreements

NSIAD-91-106FS: Published: Jan 18, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on federal agencies' implementation of classified information nondisclosure agreements, focusing on the: (1) number and cost of nondisclosure agreements executed by federal and contractor employees; (2) number and cost of prepublication reviews performed by federal agencies; and (3) Information Security Oversight Office's expenditures to implement Standard Form 312.

GAO found that 48 federal agencies reported that: (1) government and contractor employees signed about 144,000 and 98,000 nondisclosure agreements, respectively, between October 1, 1989, and March 31, 1990; (2) implementation costs for those agreements were about $433,000 for government employees and about $12,000 for contractor employees; (3) government and contractor employees signed about 338,000 and 1,279,000 nondisclosure agreements, respectively, during 1988; and (4) government employees signed about 241,000 agreements and contractor employees signed about 176,000 agreements in 1989. GAO also found that the: (1) increases in the nondisclosure agreements signed by government employees in 1986 and 1987, and by contractor employees in 1988 were the result of agencies' efforts to meet December 31, 1987 and 1988 deadlines for having all employees requiring access to classified information to sign the agreements; and (2) Information Security Oversight Office estimated that it spent about $402,000 to implement the Standard Form 312, with $276,000 for salaries of Oversight Office employees who worked on the form and about $126,000 in publication costs.