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Office of Senate Security

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The U.S. Senate established an Office of Senate Security (OSS) in 1987, the result of a bipartisan effort over two Congresses. It is charged with consolidating information and personnel security. Located in the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Security Office sets and implements uniform standards for handling and safeguarding classified and other sensitive information in the Senate's possession.

The Security Office's standards, procedures, and requirements — detailed in its Senate Security Manual, first issued in 1988 — "are binding upon all employees of the Senate." These cover committee and Member office staff and officers of the Senate as well as consultants and contract personnel — but not Members themselves. The regulations extend to a wide range of matters on safeguarding classified information: physical security requirements; procedures for storing materials; mechanisms for protecting communications equipment; security clearances and nondisclosure agreements for all Senate staff needing access; and follow-up investigations of suspected security violations by employees.

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