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Questions for UCNI Reviewing Officials

What guidance can a Reviewing Official use, and how does a Reviewing Official get copies of guidance?

A Reviewing Official can use the UCNI guidance that falls within the subject areas of their authority. A list of UCNI guidance can be found in the Index of DOE Classification Guidance (Sections B and C). The Index also contains information on how to get copies of guidance. At Headquarters, you can get a copy of the appropriate form to request guidance from the Office of Classification's Technical Guidance Administrator at (301) 903-3688. If you are a Reviewing Official at Headquarters, you may also contact your Headquarters Classification Representative for assistance. If you are a Reviewing Official in the field, consult your Classification Officer to find out which UCNI guidance is available and how to get copies.

How does a Reviewing Official use guidance?

The Reviewing Official evaluates the information in a document or material and determines if it falls within the scope of a topic in guidance that specifies that the information is UCNI.

What do typical UCNI guidance topics look like?

Topic Number Topic Determination
314.2 Security plans for the XYZ Plutonium Production Plant UCNI

This is the simplest form of a topic. It states that certain specifically identified information is UCNI.

Topic Number Topic Determination
602.23 Security plans for any UCNI sensitive facility on the Rockville Site UCNI

Some topics in UCNI guidance state that information is UCNI if it concerns an "UCNI sensitive facility" or an "UCNI facility." These terms are just older terms for an UCNI production facility or an UCNI utilization facility. Contact your Classification Officer to find out which facilities at your site are UCNI production or utilization facilities.

Topic Number Topic Determination
299.8 Security plans for any facility on the Rockville Site OUO/UCNI

Guidance topics that identify that a specified fact is either UCNI or Official Use Only (OUO) information usually concern security at a facility. In such cases, the fact is UCNI if the Classification Officer has determined that the facility is an UCNI production or utilization facility. Contact your Classification Officer to find out which facilities at your site are UCNI production facilities or UCNI utilization facilities. If the facility is not either, the specified fact is OUO information.

Topic Number Topic Determination
271.8 Security plans for the ABC Plutonium Fabrication Plant UCNI/CNSI

NOTE: Classified if plans reveal a vulnerability.

This topic states that information might be either UCNI or classified depending on whether the plans reveal a security vulnerability. Therefore, the document under review should first be reviewed by a Derivative Classifier, who will determine whether the document is classified. If the document is unclassified, the UCNI Reviewing Official can use this topic as the basis for the determination that the document contains UCNI. Obviously, if the Reviewing Official is also a Derivative Classifier, this problem goes away!

How does a Reviewing Official review a newly created document or material for UCNI?

In most cases, a Reviewing Official will only review newly created documents or material for UCNI. Prior to making an UCNI determination, the Reviewing Official must ensure that the document or material is not classified.

In general, any document or material that concerns a classified subject area must first be reviewed for classified information (DOE O 475.2A, Attachment 4, paragraph 1). A classified subject area is any subject area for which classification guidance is issued (DOE O 475.2A, Attachment 9, 2e).

  • If the document is classified, an UCNI review is required
    • if the document is to be portion marked since each unclassified portion containing UCNI must be identified (§1017.16(a)(3)) or
    • if a redacted version of the document is being created.
  • If the document or material is unclassified, the remaining steps in this section apply.

If the document is unclassified, the Reviewing Official follows the standard process detailed in §1017.15(a). See DOE O 471.1B,4d for supplemental information.

How does a Reviewing Official review an existing, unmarked document or material for UCNI?

In most cases, a Reviewing Official will review newly created documents or material for UCNI. However, on rare occasions, he or she may be asked to review an existing document or material. Certain special rules and limitations apply to such reviews.

Prior to making an UCNI determination, the Reviewing Official must ensure that the document or material is not classified.

If the document is not classified, but contains information that falls under an UCNI topic, the Reviewing Official must determine if the document is widely disseminated. If it is widely disseminated, it cannot be UCNI.

Note: The determination concerning wide dissemination in the public domain is on a document level. Even if a document or material cannot be UCNI because it is currently publicly available, other documents or material containing the same information that is in the widely publicly disseminated document or material can still be UCNI.

CAUTION: The absence of UCNI in a document or material does not mean that the document or material can be publicly released.

What is the process for becoming a Reviewing Official?

An organization that has access to UCNI will probably need to have an UCNI Reviewing Official if it intends to generate UCNI documents. However, an organization that does not intend to generate UCNI documents may still need a Reviewing Official to review drafts to ensure that the documents don't contain UCNI.

The qualifications and process for nominating an individual as an UCNI Reviewing Official are detailed in DOE O 471.1B, 4b (1) and (2).