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Witness Information Sheet

The following is a summary of some of the pertinent rules and procedures applicable to witnesses testifying before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

" Witnesses should provide 100 copies of their written testimony to Earley Green, Chief Clerk, 2157 Rayburn House Office Building, no later than 10:00 am two business days prior to the hearing. Witnesses should also provide their statement by this date in electronic format, either as a CD or via email to eal'ley.green@mail.holjSe.gov.

III At the hearing, each witness will be asked to summarize his or he!' written testimony in five minutes or less in order to maximize the time available for discussion and questions.

" House Rule XI clause 2(g)(4) requires that witnesses appearing in a nongovernmental capacity submit to the Committee in advance ofthe hearing "a curriculum vitae and a disclosure ofthe amount and source (by agency and program) of each Federal grant (or subgrant thereof) received during the current fiscal year or either of the two previous fiscal years by the witness or by an entity represented by the witness."

., The Committee does not provide financial reimbursement for witness travel or accommodations. Witnesses with extenuating circumstances, however, may submit a written request for such reimbursements to Robin Butler, Financial Administrator, 2] 57 Rayburn House Office Building, at least one week prior to the hearing. Reimbursements will not be made without prior approval.

" Witnesses with disabilities should contact Committee staff to arrange any necessary accommodations.

.. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, the Committee has legislative jurisdiction over a number of subjects affecting the management of government operations and activities. The specific jurisdiction of the Committee is set forth in House Rule X clauses I (m), 2, 3(i), and 4(c).

.. The Committee rules governing this hearing are online at www.oversight.house.gov/rules/.

For inquiries regarding these rules and procedures, please contact the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at (202) 225-5051.



Information Security Oversight Office

NariolUli Archives and Records Administration


Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20408


The Honorable Fred F. Counsel to the President The White House Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr.

In response to the enclosed to the for an as to whether the

Office. of the Vice of the United States (OVP) is an agency as defined in §6.1(b) of

Executive Order "Classified (the Order), and

thus responsible to fulfill the of an agency as set forth in the Order, I was provided

the enclosed included your letter to the States

The letter to Senator per the "the Executive Order deals with the

President and the Vice President from agency heads and thus the Vice

F"G'~'r'''''' like the President's an Order" (emphasis added).

In view of my responsibilities under the Order as Director ofthe Security Oversight

Office (1500), I am concerned that this raises additional questions as to the extent to which the

Order and its Executive branch-wide implementing at 32 C.F.R Part 2001, "Classified

National Security Information No.1" (the applies to White House staff

members. Given the importance of the issues and the for unintended consequences, I am

...... , ... ,,""""" additional clarification.

[ must stress that from the this issue has never been with to the status of

the President and Vice President. has always been whether the OVP staff who

handle classified national when they are the Vice President in the

performance of executive duties are an entity within the executive branch that comes into possession

of classified information and for purposes an agency.

While the Order separately from agency

it does not President is not an "

As you know, the definition of an agency 6. encompasses

more than statutory or even within the executive branch," in that it

states: agency,' as defined in 5 any 'Military

department' as defined in 5 U.S.C. 1 and any other within the executive branch that comes

into the of classified information"



This definition was purposefully not and has

Executive branch and bind them to a uniform

un'",,,.,,u to encompass all safeguarding, and

classified national was

broadened to ensure that White House entities were by the Order and the Directive, in

response to the position that the argued, and subsequently prevailed, in v

Executive Office of the President that National Council was not an for

purposes of the Federal Records Act and Freedom of Act. intentionally broad

definition has been in effect since the Order 1995 and was not changed

when the Order was most amended in 2003.

In addition, while the Order deals with the President and the Vice President separareiy from agency

it also deals with "the President's White House in the performance of

executive the incumbent President and

incumbent Vice President in section the staffs from

the mandatory declassification review

The not an agency ferpurposes of the Order has practical and

consequences. For section 5. of the Order ISOO to issue directives that

""I>11,-,''''',n the Order and establish Executive branch-wide standards for classification, safeguarding, declassification and related issues. The Order goes on to state that these directives "shall be binding upon the (emphasis IfOVP not constitute an agency for purposes of the

then none ofthe rules that appear in the Directive how to handle and "U"v5~U'

classified among other would be upon OVP staff.

In view of the above, if the Directive is not binding upon OVP

rules similar or dissimilar from the uniform Where are these rules published? How do

other become of the manner in which their classified information will

handled and protected when it is shared with OVP What are the implications for holding

OVP staff accountable for the of classified if the

Executive branch-wide uniform rules for handling and them?

i\,1(wp,(nn'r if the OVP is notan agency, it is no staff who have

access to classified information are to obtain clearances in accordance with

Executive Order 12968, "Access to Information," states in 1.2(a) that "[n]o

employee shall be access to unless employee has been determined

to be eligible in accordance with this order and to possess a need-to-know." Section 1.1 of that order

defines as "a person, other than the and Vice by, detailed

or assigned to, an agency," and defines ill the same as E.O. 1 as amended, to

include "any other within the executive branch that comes the of classified


The letter to Senator Brownback by also that "the President's

office ... is not an 'agency' purposes of the Order." It is not clear what is . by the

term "President's office." If it is intended to encompass the entire Executive Office of the President




has up to now been which includes the

To address and make it clear that the OVP is not an would that the

Order be amended. While I do not this approach, the OVP itself has recommended such a

Specifically, on March 1,2007 Mr. formally recommended that the

definition of an agency set forth in 6.1 (b) be to read:

"Agency" means any agency,

as defined in 5 U.S,C,

~~~~~~~=~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~u other entity the possession of classified information.

111e problem with this change is that it would exempt em,HH:S

with the core ~"'''~'nftt of the Directive

safeguarding classified

"w'"",'" the current from having to submit annual

inspections, then I would recommended by

this office: specifically, that the administer for the

entire EOP (to include OVP) the under the

Order. Such a and administered program could include centralized

a for the entire EOP, and and would

allow the EOP to lead by example than exception.

A hallmark of the modern is

whereas the substance of protected information remains secret, the nrr>l~""'" employed, the number of

times it has been invoked, and the number of people to it been

Such transparency is critical in order to foster the trust people, which is in turn

essential for the classification to properly function. It would be truly unfortunate to depart

from that tradition at this point in time.



cannot without clear and

I therefore look forward to a clarification of the issues

to ensure the utmost effectiveness of the classification

to assist in any way

critical national tool.


The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales General

Assistant to the President For


and stand


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