(a) This directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Military Departments, the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (OJCS), the Unified and Specified Commands, and the Defense Agencies (hereafter referred to as “DoD Components”), and to all personnel of such DoD Components.

Terms Used In 32 CFR 97.2

  • Freedom of Information Act: A federal law that mandates that all the records created and kept by federal agencies in the executive branch of government must be open for public inspection and copying. The only exceptions are those records that fall into one of nine exempted categories listed in the statute. Source: OCC
  • Grand jury: agreement providing that a lender will delay exercising its rights (in the case of a mortgage,
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.

(b) This directive does not apply to the release of official information or testimony by DoD personnel in the following situations:

(1) Before courts-martial convened by the authority of the Military Departments or in administrative proceedings conducted by or on behalf of a DoD Component;

(2) Pursuant to administrative proceedings conducted by or on behalf of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), or pursuant to a negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining agreement to which the Government is a party;

(3) In response to requests by Federal Government counsel in litigation conducted on behalf of the United States;

(4) As part of the assistance required pursuant to DoD Directive 5220.6, “Industrial Personnel Security Clearance Program,” December 20 1976; or,

(5) Pursuant to disclosure of information to Federal, State, and local prosecuting and law enforcement authorities, in conjunction with an investigation conducted by a DoD criminal investigative organization.

(c) This Directive does not supersede or modify existing laws or DoD program governing the testimony of DoD personnel or the release of official DoD information during grand jury proceedings, the release of official information not involved in litigation, or the release of official information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, or the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, nor does this Directive preclude treating any written request for agency records that is not in the nature of legal process as a request under the Freedom of Information or Privacy Acts.

(d) This Directive is not intended to infringe upon or displace the responsibilities committed to the Department of Justice in conducting litigation on behalf of the United States in appropriate cases.

(e) This Directive does not preclude official comment on matters in litigation in appropriate cases.

(f) This Directive is intended only to provide guidance for the internal operation of the Department of Defense and is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law against the United States or the Department of Defense.