Information Security Oversight Office

Information Security Oversight Office
Agency overview
Formed December 1, 1978
Preceding agency
  • Interagency Classification Review Committee
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.
Parent agency National Archives and Records Administration
Key document

The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) is responsible to the President for policy and oversight of the government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program in the US.

The ISOO is a component of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and receives policy and program guidance from the National Security Council (NSC).


The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) was established by President Jimmy Carter with the signing of Executive Order 12065, "National Security Information," on December 1, 1978.

ISOO replaced the Interagency Classification Review Committee (ICRC) which was created by Executive Order 11652, "Classification and Declassification of National Security Information and Material," issued by President Richard Nixon in 1972. The ICRC was composed of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Justice and State; the predecessor to the United States Department of Energy, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the Central Intelligence Agency. John Eisenhower chaired the ICRC, which met monthly at the White House. After Mr. Eisenhower resigned in 1973, the administrative function of the ICRC was moved to the National Archives and Records Service, a component of the General Services Administration, with the Archivist of the United States, James Rhodes, named as acting chairman. William L. Brown, an attorney with the Atomic Energy Commission, was appointed Executive Director in October 1973 and served until December, 1975. The committee continued to meet monthly in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Former Congressman Michael Blouin from Iowa served as the first Director of ISOO. When Mr. Blouin stepped down in 1980, President Carter appointed Steven Garfinkel as ISOO's second Director. Mr. Garfinkel served as Director until his retirement in January 2002. In May 2002, the Archivist of the United States appointed J. William Leonard as Director with the approval of President Bush. Mr. Leonard served as Director until his retirement in January 2008. William J. Bosanko was named the acting Director in January 2008 and was formally appointed as Director by the Archivist of the United States, with the approval of President Bush, on April 16, 2008. Mr. Bosanko served as Director until March 2011. On August 1, 2011, the Archivist of the United States appointed John P. Fitzpatrick as ISOO's fifth Director, with the approval of President Obama. Mr. Fitzpatrick served as Director until January 10, 2016.

Government openness and public access

The ISOO strives to provide for an informed American public by ensuring that the minimum information necessary to the interest of national security is classified and that information is declassified as soon as it no longer requires protection. This is carefully balanced by the imperative to hold certain information in confidence in order to protect from harm America's citizens, its democratic institutions, and its participation in the community of nations.

ISOO Components

The Classification Management Staff

Develops security classification policies for classifying, declassifying and safeguarding national security information generated in Government and industry.

The Operations Staff

Evaluates the effectiveness of the security classification programs established by Government and industry to protect information vital to our national security interests.

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Office

Develops standardized CUI policies and procedures that appropriately protect sensitive information through effective data access and control measures.[1]




ISOO has three directorates and a staff of approximately 28 people.

See also

Notes and references

External links

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