Derivative classifiers play a critical role in the protection of sensitive and classified information within the government and other organizations. Their responsibilities include evaluating, marking, and safeguarding classified information to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure. However, there are certain tasks that derivative classifiers are not responsible for. In this article, we will explore the responsibilities of derivative classifiers and identify the exceptions to their duties.
Responsibilities of Derivative Classifiers:
Derivative classifiers are individuals who are authorized to apply classification markings to information based on the guidance provided in the original classification authority (OCA) guidelines. They are responsible for ensuring that the classified information they handle is appropriately marked and protected. Some key responsibilities of derivative classifiers include:
1. Applying Classification Markings: One of the primary responsibilities of derivative classifiers is to apply classification markings to documents, files, or any other form of information. This involves identifying the appropriate classification level (e.g., Top Secret, Secret, Confidential) and applying the corresponding markings in accordance with the classification guidance.
2. Safeguarding Classified Information: Derivative classifiers are responsible for ensuring that classified information is properly safeguarded at all times. This includes implementing physical and technical security measures to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure of classified information.
3. Marking Declassification or Declassification Instructions: Derivative classifiers must also apply declassification or declassification instructions to classified information as directed by the OCA. This ensures that the information is properly managed and declassified when the appropriate conditions are met.
4. Providing Training on Classification Requirements: Another important responsibility of derivative classifiers is to provide training and guidance to individuals who handle classified information. This helps to ensure that everyone understands the classification requirements and complies with the necessary security procedures.
5. Assisting in Classification Reviews: Derivative classifiers often assist in the review of classified information to determine if the classification level is still appropriate. They may provide recommendations for reclassification or declassification based on the sensitivity of the information.
Exceptions to the Responsibilities of Derivative Classifiers:
While derivative classifiers have a wide range of responsibilities, there are certain tasks that are not within their purview. These exceptions are important to understand in order to ensure that the proper handling of classified information is maintained. Some of the exceptions to the responsibilities of derivative classifiers include:
1. Original Classification Authority (OCA) Responsibilities: The primary responsibility for determining the initial classification of information lies with the OCA. Derivative classifiers do not have the authority to create new classifications or modify existing ones without OCA approval.
2. Creation of Classification Guidance: Derivative classifiers are not responsible for creating classification guidance. This task falls within the domain of the OCA, who establishes the criteria and guidelines for classifying information.
3. Determining Need-to-Know: While derivative classifiers are responsible for marking information with the appropriate classification level, they are not typically responsible for determining the “need-to-know” of individuals. This task is usually left to the information owner or the designated authority.
4. Overriding Classification Decisions: Derivative classifiers do not have the authority to override classification decisions made by the OCA. If there is a disagreement or question about the classification level of certain information, it must be referred back to the OCA for resolution.
5. Changing Declassification Instructions: Derivative classifiers are not authorized to change declassification instructions without the approval of the OCA. Any changes to declassification instructions must be coordinated with the OCA to ensure compliance with established procedures.
In conclusion, derivative classifiers play a vital role in the protection and management of classified information. Their responsibilities include applying classification markings, safeguarding classified information, and providing training on classification requirements. However, it is important to recognize the exceptions to their responsibilities, such as the authority of the OCA, the creation of classification guidance, and the determination of need-to-know. By understanding these exceptions, organizations can ensure that classified information is handled in a secure and responsible manner.