Evaluating Need to Know for CVI

Access to or disclosure of CVI requires that an individual (1) has a need to know the information and (2) is a CVI Authorized User.

Under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) (6 CFR § 27.400), a covered person is an individual who has a need to know CVI or someone who gains access to what they know to be or reasonably know to constitute CVI.

Covered State, Local, or Tribal Officials

Under CFATS (6 CFR § 27.400(e)), a person (including a state, local, or tribal official) has a need to know when:

  • That person requires access to specific CVI to carry out chemical facility security activities approved, accepted, funded, recommended, or directed by the Department.
  • That person needs the CVI to receive training to carry out chemical facility security activities approved, accepted, funded, recommended, or directed by the Department.
  • That person needs the CVI to supervise or otherwise manage individuals carrying out chemical facility security activities approved, accepted, funded, recommended, or directed by the Department.
  • That person needs the CVI to provide technical or legal advice to a covered person, who has a need to know that CVI, regarding chemical facility security requirements of federal law.
  • DHS determines that access by that person to specific information is required under 6 CFR §§ 27.400(h) or (i) in the course of judicial or administrative proceedings.

Covered Federal and non-Federal Employees

Under CFATS, (6 CFR §§ 27.400(e)(2), (4) and (5)), federal employees, contractors, and grantees have a need to know when:

  • A federal employee has a need to know if access to the information is necessary for performance of the employee’s official duties.
  • A contractor acting in the performance of a contract with or grant from the Department has a need to know if access to the information is necessary to performance of the contract or grant.
  • Notwithstanding the other provisions of the rules, the Department may determine that only specific persons or classes of persons have a need to know specific CVI.
  • Nothing shall prevent the Department from determining, in its discretion, that a person or class of persons not otherwise listed above has a need to know CVI in a particular circumstance.

Reporting CVI Incidents

Under 6 CFR § 27.400(d), covered persons must notify the Department of any unauthorized releases of CVI and refer any requests for access to CVI by persons without a need to know to the Department.

Any disputes between persons and facilities about whether an individual or given official seeking access to the CVI has a need to know should be referred to the DHS chemical facility security inspector responsible for working with the facility in question.

Contact Information

If you have questions or need to contact the DHS chemical facility security inspector assigned to your region, call the CFATS Help Desk at 866-323-2957 Monday through Friday  (except federal holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), or email CSAT@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Published Date: August 22, 2018

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