Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NGA Public Release

What is Public Release?

Public release is the process to determine that information proposed for public release contains no protected information and is consistent with established NGA, Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Community (IC) policies. Protected information is classified, in the process of a classification determination, or unclassified, but protected by statute.

Department of Defense Instruction 5230.29, "Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release" requires that only FULL and FINAL material proposed for release into the public domain be submitted to NGA for review. Partial information (drafts) cannot be accepted.

REMINDER: Official NGA Information appearing in the public domain shall not be considered automatically UNCLASSIFIED or approved for public release. Information remains classified and must be protected until the U.S. government official with Original Classification Authority (OCA) declassifies the information.

Why Perform Public Release?

All NGA affiliates sign a non-disclosure agreement which binds them to these lifetime obligations:

  • Safeguarding protected information
  • Reporting unauthorized disclosures of protected information

An NGA affiliate is any person employed by, detailed to or assigned to NGA, including members of the U.S. Armed Forces; an expert or consultant to NGA; an industrial or commercial contractor, licensee, certificate holder, or grantee of NGA to include all subcontractors; a personal services contractor; or any other category of person who acts for or on behalf of NGA as determined by the NGA director.

All NGA personnel are subject to NGAI 5720.1, which sets forth the policy, procedures and responsibilities governing the review of official NGA information intended for public release. This policy helps to manage the risk of inadvertent disclosure of protected information.

NGA’s Office of Corporate Communications manages the public release program for NGA. 

What Should Be Reviewed?

Official information comprises any information that pertains to military or intelligence matters, national security issues or subjects of significant concern to the DoD, the IC, NGA and/or its foreign and domestic partners. This includes historical depictions by current or former affiliates of NGA or its predecessor agencies. 

Examples include the following:

  • Abstracts 
  • Articles (newspapers, magazines, professional journals, online)
  • Books (non-fiction and fiction, such as spy novels)
  • Briefings, demos and presentations
  • Posters and brochures
  • Product reviews for open house events
  • Speeches and talking points
  • Technical or academic papers 
  • Videos

EXEMPTION: Material containing no information about, or gained through, one's affiliation with NGA or the Intelligence Community in general (e.g., books about gardening, cooking, sports, crafts, etc.) is not subject to public release review.

What does the Office of Corporate Communications Not Review?

The following categories are not subject to public release review by OCC but may require additional approvals from the office responsible for the content. 

  • Contract Services-generated contract-related documents or solicitations 
  • Standard job announcements and materials for recruiting
  • Federally or DoD-mandated Web site notices such as the Privacy Act, FOIA, and System of Records notices
  • Geospatial data, products, or services under the control of NGA (whether NGA or foreign-partner produced) 
  • Personal resumes 
  • Products related to NGA production or developmental systems, plans, programs, or projects (e.g., technical reports, technical bulletins, product specifications)
  • NGA-developed software and code 
  • Anything to be used in legal proceedings 

How long will it take?

NGA policy allows a minimum of 3-30 business days to complete a review, depending on the type of product being reviewed; however, the actual review time will vary based on the current workload, the length and subject of the material submitted, as well as the amount of coordination required for the review.

If you are an NGA affiliate, past or present, and have materials to submit to public release, contact for instructions.