Bush's memorandum, signed on the eve of his daughter Jenna's wedding, introduced "Controlled Unclassified Information" as a new government category that will replace "Sensitive but Unclassified."
Such information -- though it does not merit the well-known national security classifications "confidential," "secret" or "top secret" -- is nonetheless "pertinent" to U.S. "national interests" or to "important interests of entities outside the federal government," the memo says.
The Archives was asked to create a single set of policies and procedures on the way materials should be marked, stored safely and disseminated. There are to be three categories of dissemination -- standard, specified and enhanced specified. The latter two require measures to reduce possible disclosure.
Designating information as CUI is left to the "head of the originating department or agency," based on "mission requirements, business prudence, legal privilege, the protection of personal or commercial rights, safety, or security."
The Archives will establish "enforcement mechanisms and penalties for improper handling of CUI." The "controlled" classification "may inform," but will not determine, whether information can be made public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
All CUI information, either produced by or for the federal government, is to be marked "controlled," regardless of how it is conveyed. Bush's memo specifically requires that "oral communications should be prefaced with a statement describing the controls when necessary to ensure that recipients are aware of the information's status."