Washington DC—U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter received notification from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) today that his request, also supported by U.S. Representative Martha Roby, to review the Pentagon’s classification system has been accepted, with specific focus on over-classification. 

“There’s a problem with over-classification in the national security arena,” said Representative Hunter.  “There’s real classification inflation going on, putting information that should be available to the public out of view and creating a degree of exposure by widening access to sensitive information that should be limited.  The entire federal government, starting with the Department of Defense, must do better at protecting security information while ensuring the necessary systems are in place to prevent unauthorized disclosures or incorrect identifications.”

The scope of GAO’s review will include:

  • The guidance and process used by the Department of Defense to determine what information is classified versus unclassified;
  • The internal controls in place to review agency classification decisions;
  • The potential impact of inappropriate classification on information sharing;
  • The effectiveness of the declassification system.