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Official Use Only Information

Welcome to the Official Use Only (OUO) webpage. This page is designed to provide information, answer questions, and provide a point of contact for inquiries concerning OUO and Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).

OUO is a Department of Energy (DOE) category of sensitive unclassified information whose release to the wrong person could damage Governmental, commercial, or private interests. This category of information is intended to identify and protect sensitive unclassified information that is not otherwise classified or controlled. A document containing OUO information must be marked so that anyone having the document knows that it contains such information.

Examples of OUO information include:

  • Commercial/proprietary information, such as financial information related to bids, contracts, or proposals;
  • Privileged information, such as letters, memorandums, issue papers, or other documents that contain advice, opinions, or recommendations the release of which would have an adverse effect on the Government's ability to obtain advice, opinions, or recommendations in the future;
  • Personal information, such as social security numbers or performance evaluation reports; and
  • Law enforcement information, such as inspection or appraisal procedures, vulnerability assessments, or any information that could help someone who is attempting to violate a law and avoid detection.

All DOE Federal and contractor employees who deal with sensitive information should be familiar with the OUO directives, including the marking and protection requirements. The following resources will assist you in understanding OUO, making accurate OUO determinations, and ensuring that OUO information is properly protected.

If you have questions regarding the DOE's OUO program, contact the Office of Classification's Outreach Program at (301) 903-7567 or

Note: DOE O 471.3, Admin Chng1, Identifying and Protecting Official Use Only Information, and DOE M 471.3-1, Admin Chg 1, Manual for Identifying and Protecting Official Use Only Information, contain the requirements for review, identification and protection of documents or material containing OUO.  References to specific sections of the Order or Manual containing the requirements are provided in the answers to questions so that you may search the directives for the citations.