Identification Number:
EM-20054 REV
Intended Audience:All Policy Authoring Components
Originating Office:ORDP ODEPPIN
Title:Improving the Application of the Sensitive Policy Designation
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
Retention Date: 05/02/2024

A. Purpose

    This Emergency Message (EM) informs PolicyNet authors of the revised approval process for all Sensitive EMs and Program Operations Manual System (POMS) instructions. All EMs and POMS instructions designated as Sensitive require Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) signoff (or Deputy Commissioner signoff) from the authoring component, indicating the component’s concerns with public release of the policy content.

B. Background
    The agency has considered how we apply the sensitive designation to EMs and POMS. Following the discussion, we developed the process discussed in Section C below.

C. Policy – Submitting ADC Signoff

    The Office of Data Exchange, Policy Publication, and International Negotiations (ODEPPIN) requires ADC approval and signoff on all new and revised sensitive EMs and POMS instructions.

ODEPPIN has modified the AC signoff sheet to include:
      · A checkbox for the authoring component to indicate which criteria the publication meets to justify the sensitive designation;

      · A Justification section where the authoring component must clearly explain why the publication meets the relevant criteria for sensitive designation;

      · A requirement that the authoring component highlight the specific information within the publication that is sensitive;

      · A signature line for the ADC, indicating that the ADC agrees with the sensitive designation and stated justification.

    See Policy Signoff Sheet here.

D. PolicyNet Publication Staff Review

    The Office of Retirement and Disability Policy PolicyNet Publication Staff will review the sensitivity justification, and if necessary, will request additional justification.

    The authoring component must provide a justification for the sensitive designation. That justification must be specific and must clearly show that the publication meets the relevant criteria for sensitive designation.

E. Annotate ADC Approval in the PolicyNet Publication System (PPS)

    Authoring components must request ADC approval for sensitive instructions from their ADC using the Policy Signoff Sheet. Once they receive ADC signoff, authors must upload the signoff sheet into PPS. All other signoffs will continue to use the AC Approvals screen in PPS.

F. Annotate ADC Approval for EMs

    Authors must submit ADC approvals using the Policy Signoff Sheet to the TNs mailbox.

G. If You Have Any Questions
    Authoring Central Office components - If you have any questions about this EM, please email the TNs mailbox.

    Authoring Regional Office (RO) components - Direct all program-related and technical questions to your RO support staff or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns or problems to their Central Office contacts.

EM-20054 REV - Improving the Application of the Sensitive Policy Designation - 04/02/2021