On Tuesday, September 9, the House passed H.R. 6575, the Over-Classification Reduction Act to reduce over-classification across the federal government. Previously, the House passed H.R. 4806, the Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2008, which applies only to the Department of Homeland Security. Both bills establish random audits of classified information, set up processes by which employees can challenge original classification decisions, and institute a series of penalties for employees and contractors who fail to comply with the policies. OpenTheGovernment.org prepared a side-by-side comparison and analysis of the two bills. For additional commentary on ways to address over-classification, see the Secrecy News blog.
[Posted by Emily Feldman]