Personnel and Document Security - USDA Desktop Reference for Classified Information
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(PDF; 1051 Kb)

silhouette of two people shaking hands, collaboratingThis booklet (PDF; 1051 Kb) was developed by the Information Security Staff (ISS) to assist USDA employees and contractor personnel to properly classify information and handle classified information.



The President designated the Secretary of Agriculture to classify information originally as “Secret”.

Federal Agencies receive their classification guidance from the President of the United States through an Executive Order. The Executive Order for National Security Information is EO 13526, dated April 17, 1995, and was signed by Former President William Clinton. During his administration, the EO was amended twice, EO 12972, dated September 18, 1995, and EO 13142, dated November 19, 1999.

On March 25, 2003, President Bush further amended EO 13526 with EO 13292. This amendment is the largest change in classification and declassification since 1995.

This booklet (PDF; 1051 Kb) covers EO 13526, as amended. The term “agency” is used throughout the EO and the booklet. For the purpose of this booklet, consider the term “Agency” equal to the term “Department” as used in “Department of Agriculture”.

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