5 FAH-1 H-240


(CT:CH-48;   07-18-2017)
(Office of Origin:  IRM/OPS/MSO)


5 FAH-1 H-241.1  Clearing Cables

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

Users must follow established clearance procedures for all outgoing cables.

5 FAH-1 H-241.1-1  Post Clearance

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. Cables at post are cleared in accordance with specific chain of command procedures.  The IMO or section head can provide further guidance.

b. Cables must be cleared and approved before they are released.  The SMART Client does not enforce a clearance and approval process; use the existing clearance and approval process at your location to ensure proper procedures are followed before releasing a cable.

c.  After drafting the cable (the drafter also can be a Locally Employed (LE) Staff or intern), the drafter should check the RELEASER box (instead of the SELF RELEASE box) and select an authorized releaser from the pop-up GAL window.  When the Drafter clicks on the SEND button the cable will be moved to the releaser who can review, edit and release the cable if approved.

5 FAH-1 H-241.1-2  Department Clearance

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. Drafters must obtain all clearances (including those from other agencies) before the cable is released. At a minimum, the appropriate State Department office for the receiving country (see 2 FAM 1200 for general clearance instructions) must clear each cable.

b. When a draft cable is received from an outside agency, the State Department approving official obtains proper clearance before releasing the cable.

c.  Drafters and approving officers must ensure that all collective address cables, e.g., ALL AFRICAN DIPLOMATIC POSTS (ALAFD), ALL EUROPEAN DIPLOMATIC POSTS (ALEDP), etc., that require action by the posts are cleared by the executive director, staff assistant, or duty officer in each of the regional bureaus involved.  If the post(s) has not been tasked, an S/ES-O clearance is sufficient.  ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS (ALDAC), and ALL DIPLOMATIC POSTS (ALLDP) collectives must be cleared by a Senior Watch Officer (S/ES-O).

d. Cables addressed to “minimize” posts for action must be cleared by the parent geographical bureau and S/ES-O. Exceptions are MED CHANNEL, TM CHANNEL, and AFSA cables.

e  Direct any questions on domestic clearance requirements to IRM/OPS/MSO/MSMC/CIB Help Desk.

5 FAH-1 H-241.1-2(a)  Special Clearance

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. Some domestic cables require clearance by the Executive Secretariat Staff (S/ES) and the Operations Center (S/ES-O) prior to sending the cable.  For these cables, all other clearances should be gained first, and then the cable should be sent to S/ES or S/ES-O, which will provide final clearance and release the cable.

b. S/ES and S/ES-O clearance is required for:

·         Any cable authorized by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary;

·         S—The Secretary;

·         D—The Deputy Secretary;

·         Cables showing White House, OVP (Office of the Vice President), or NSC in the clearance; and

·         All cables intended for the Secretary while s/he is traveling.

c.  S/ES-O clearance is required on cables authorized by:

·         P—Under Secretary for Political Affairs;

·         E—Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment;

·         T—Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs;

·         M—Under Secretary for Management—Except MANAGEMENT CHANNEL;

·         J— Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights;

·         R—Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs;

·         C—Counselor of the Department of State

d. Cables with the following characteristics automatically are routed to S/ES-O for review prior to release:

·         AGREMENT caption (including REPEATS);

·         MANIFEST CHANNEL caption (including REPEATS);

·         NODIS and EXDIS cables (including REPEATS);

·         TASK FORCE (subject starts with TF*);

·         FLASH or NIACT IMMEDIATE precedence; and

·         ALDAC/ALLDP collectives.

e. Cables drafted by a State Department office with the ROGER CHANNEL caption must be authorized by an individual authorized to approve Roger Channel cables (the INR Watch or INR Office of Intelligence Operations can provide the list of individuals).  IRM automatically routes Roger Channel cables to INR for review prior to release.  Roger Channel cables drafted at post may be authorized by the Chief of Mission, Deputy Chief of Mission, or Chargé.

f.  Substantive cables addressed to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) TAIPEI must have the following clearances:

·         EAP/TC—for all policy and reporting cables, and all requests for U.S. Government travel to Taiwan: EAP/TC (Taiwan Coordination Staff);

·         EAP/EX—for all consular management and substantive administrative messages ("A" TAGS); and

·         AIT/W—for all other substantive messages on subjects involving AIT/W, e.g., meetings with Taiwan representatives, cooperative activities involving Taiwan, legal status of AIT, resources, etc.  Questions concerning format or clearances should be directed to EAP/TC, EAP/EX or AIT WASHDC.

5 FAH-1 H-241.1-2(b)  Qualifying Clearance

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. Drafters should qualify cable clearances by indicating how the cable was cleared using remarks in parenthesis immediately following the clearance.  Telephone clearances for classified cables must be obtained over a secure telephone link operating in the secure mode at the appropriate level of protection if classified information is discussed.

b. Clearances may be obtained other than in person.  Listed below are common clearance methods that should be indicated in parentheses after the office symbol and name of clearing officer.  These types of clearances should be annotated using the SMART Archive Message form’s Clearer Comments field. See SMART Online Help for more information.  Any text entered in this field is internal and does not appear on the cable itself.

·         (SUBS)—use to indicate that clearing officer has cleared on the substance only, not the full text.

·         (INFO)—use to indicate that the individual listed did not clear, but will receive a copy of the outgoing cable. Do not substitute for actual clearance if specific text or substance is required.

·         (PHONE)—use to indicate clearance by telephone; clearing official has not seen specific text, but specific text may have been read to individual over the telephone.

·          (DRAFT)—use to indicate clearance in draft only; not final version.

5 FAH-1 H-241.2  Clearing Record Emails

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

SMART does not enforce clearance and approval for record emails.  Please check with your post or bureau's administration staff to verify local business policy regarding record email clearance and approval.

5 FAH-1 H-241.3  Send A Message For Review

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

Message drafters may wish to send draft archive messages to others for editorial review prior to the message's release.  You can use the SMART Client to forward either an editable copy of the message itself or a PDF copy of the message for review.  See SMART Online Help for information on how to send a draft archive message for review.


(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

Whether you can release a SMART archive message depends on the type of message being released and your designation as an authorized releaser in SMART.  Any SMART user can be a releaser; however, the decision to grant release authority to a user is made by the user's post/office.

5 FAH-1 H-242.1  Releasing Cables

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

Cables can only be released by those users that have been provisioned with release authority in SMART.  When provisioning a new user, the system administrator designates the type of cables a user can release: high precedence, standard precedence, or none.  If you have not been provisioned in SMART to release cables, you must request that another user release the cable for you. Refer to SMART Online Help for information on how to release a cable.

5 FAH-1 H-242.2  Releasing Cables Via SMART CLOUT

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. SMART CLOUT is available to overseas external agencies that do not have access to an OpenNet or ClassNet computer with the SMART Client loaded.  Users must have a SMART account and be provisioned as a Releaser to release cables via SMART CLOUT.  To release a cable using SMART CLOUT, attach the document (see 5 FAH-1 H-234 to create a cable for release through SMART CLOUT) to an email, select Clout, SMART from the Global Address List (GAL), and send.  If you do not have access to the GAL, enter svcsmartcloutlow2@state.gov (OpenNet) or smartcloutadmin@state.sgov.gov (ClassNet) as the addressee.

b. After releasing the CLOUT message, SMART CLOUT responds with one of the following:

1.   Completed: If a CLOUT message is formatted correctly and addressed, it is processed by SMART, and the releaser receives an email indicating the message was sent.  This message will contain the cable’s date-time group (DTG) and message reference number (MRN).

2.   Failed Validation: If a message fails validation, the releaser receives an email stating that the message failed and must be corrected and resent. Generally, validation errors stem from an addressee not in the address book or a missing subject TAGS.

3.   Failed Parsing: If a message fails parsing, it will be in the CLOUT queue for an administrator to fix.  If your CLOUT message was not sent and you receive no failure notification, contact your administrator to determine if the message failed parsing.  Generally, these errors stem from missing mandatory format data such as classification, drafter, approver, clearers, or subject line.

4.   Rejected:  A user may receive an email indicating the cable s/he sent was rejected by an administrator.

c.  For additional information on SMART CLOUT, refer to the SMART CLOUT Quick Guide.

5 FAH-1 H-242.3  Releasing Record Emails

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

The SMART system does not prevent any registered SMART user, with or without Release Authority, from releasing a record email.  Verify any business policies surrounding record email clearance and release with your post or bureau.


5 FAH-1 H-243.1  Print Archive Message

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

The method used to print a message depends on whether the message is a SMART message.  SMART messages are printed using SMART print functionality.  Messages that were not sent using SMART are printed using standard Outlook print functionality.

5 FAH-1 H-243.1(a)  Print SMART Messages

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

Please refer to SMART Online Help for instructions on how to print SMART messages.

5 FAH-1 H-243.1(b)  Print Standard Outlook Messages

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

When you print a message that was not sent using SMART, use Outlook's standard print methods.


(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

By default, all SMART message replies inherit the classification and other markings of the original message.  Additionally, if the message is Confidential or Secret, the classification authority for the reply defaults to derived, with "derived from previous message" in the classification authority text field. See 5 FAM 482.1 for more information on Classification Authority.

5 FAH-1 H-243.3  Forward An Archive Message

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

When users select the forward option for an archive message, all contents and markings from the archive message are copied into an editable working email.  Forwarded messages inherit the classification and other markings of the original message.  Additionally, if the message is Confidential or Secret, the classification authority for the forwarded message defaults to derived, with "derived from previous message" in the classification authority text field.

·         Message markings may prevent it from being forwarded.  For example, messages with certain highly restrictive captions cannot be forwarded to another user.

·         You are responsible for the content you include in the forwarded message.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the email recipients are authorized to view the contents of the messages you forward, including any classification, captions and sensitivity markings.


(CT:CH-48;   07-18-2017)

a. SMART includes a message tracking feature, which allows registered SMART users to search for and view information about the processing and delivery of released messages, such as:

·         How long it took SMART to process a message before sending it;

·         When a message was sent;

·         When a message was delivered to the local Microsoft Exchange server;

·         When each recipient read a message (if read receipts were requested);

·         When a message expired (or will expire);

·         Whether (and when) a message was deleted without being read; and

·         The number of instant messaging (IM) alerts sent to recipients of a high precedence message.

b. Message tracking features are accessed from SMART’s online suite of user tools, found at http://start.smart.state.sbu (OpenNet) or http://start.smart.state.sgov.sbu on (ClassNet).  For details on how to use message tracking, see SMART Online Help.


5 FAH-1 H-245.1  Overview

(CT:CH-48;   07-18-2017)

a. The repeat function is typically utilized when a post requests that SecState repeat the archive message to specified addressees or when a post receives message traffic in error.

b. You must be a SMART administrator to send a repeat of an archive message. See 5 FAH-2 H-525.4 for more information.

5 FAH-1 H-245.2  When To Request That A Cable Be Repeated

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

Repeat is only allowed when a post receives an archive message and believes that another addressee should also have received the message.

1.   You cannot use the repeat function to modify and send a message originated from your home post.

2.   If you need to send a modified version of a message previously released from your post, you must use the correct copy function. This includes released messages that require dissemination to additional addressees.


5 FAH-1 H-246.1  Overview

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. SMART recall does not work the same as Outlook's standard recall function. The recall function in Outlook attempts to delete unread copies of a message from a recipient's Inbox.  SMART recall does not attempt to pull an archive message from the recipient’s Inbox instead, SMART sends a recall notification to all recipients of the original message to indicate that the releaser is invalidating the original message and advises the users to delete the original message from their Inbox or other saved location. SMART replaces the original message in the archive with a recall message that carries the same MRN as the original message.  The subject line begins with RECALL, followed by the MRN.  The recall message includes the recall reason and replaces the original message body with the word RECALLED.

b. Refer to SMART Online Help for instructions on how to recall an archive message.

5 FAH-1 H-246.2  When To Recall A Message

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. The original releaser, personnel at Main State Messaging Center (MSMC), or system administrators at the message's originating post can recall an archive message.  You cannot recall an archive message sent by another user for whose account you are a delegate, even with full permissions to the user's mailbox.

b. A message must be recalled if:

·         You must remove addressees of the original message;

·         You must change the message classification.  (If Confidential or Secret content was included on a cable on OpenNet, or misclassified on a message sent from ClassNet, the message must be immediately killed, not recalled.);

·         You must add or remove a Privacy/PII marking;

·         You must change RELTO or NOFORN; or

·         You want to add or replace a caption with the intention of further restricting the message's dissemination.  Recalling the message ensures that all recipients of the original message are notified that the original message is no longer valid.

5 FAH-1 H-247  Correct Copy

5 FAH-1 H-247.1  Overview

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. When a user realizes that a recently released message includes erroneous information, sending a correct copy expeditiously makes sense as the recipients have probably not taken any actions based on the incorrect information.

b. Use correct copy to edit information, some markings, or dissemination included on a previously released archive message.  The following examples are situations in which users can take advantage of the correct copy function:

·         You need to change the subject or message body text;

·         You need to add additional addressees;

·         You need to change the precedence for one or more addressees;

·         You need to add one or more references;

·         You need to change the clearer and/or approver information; or

·         You need to add TAGS.

c.  When you release a correct copy, SMART disseminates the corrected copy with the same MRN and DTG as the original message.  A correction reason is included and will display whatever correction comments were included with the message.  In the archive, SMART replaces the original message with the most recent corrected copy.

d. The following users can send a correct copy:

·         The original message's releaser;

·         Personnel at Main State Messaging Center; and

·         Post administrators at the message's originating post.

e. Refer to SMART Help for additional instructions on how to use the correct copy function.

5 FAH-1 H-247.2  When Not To Use Correct Copy

(CT:CH-37;   08-08-2014)

a. You should not use correct copy to change any of the following information in an archive message.  If you need to make the following changes, recall the original message and send a new message with the correct information.

1.   Classification information: To change Classification information, you must recall the original message and send a new message.  (If Confidential or Secret content was included on a cable on OpenNet, or misclassified on a message sent from ClassNet, the message must be immediately killed, not recalled or corrected.) 

2.   RelTo information: To change RelTo information, you must recall the original message and send a new cable.

3.   NOFORN information: To change the NOFORN status of a message, you must recall the original message and send a new cable.

4.   You should not remove addressees of the original message using correct copy.

5.   Add or replace a caption with the intention of further restricting the message's dissemination.  Using correct copy to add a caption disseminates the correct copy to a smaller number of users because of the added caption; some or all recipients of the original message would not know that the message had been changed.  To add or replace a caption, you must recall the original cable and send a new cable with a new MRN.

b. When a user releases a correct copy, SMART verifies whether any changes in the corrected copy causes a change in the security posture from the original message.  A security posture change is a modification that will result in the correct copy being disseminated to a smaller sub-set of addressees than the original message.  SMART accommodates such changes by automatically issuing a recall of the original message to all original addressees. SMART then creates a new message from the correct copy with a unique MRN and DTG. SMART notifies the releaser of all actions taken on the original message and the correct copy on behalf of the releaser.

c.  SMART considers the following a change to the security posture:

·         Addressee Only was added to the correct copy;

·         The classification was changed in the correct copy;

·         RelTo information was changed;

·         NOFORN was added to the correct copy;

·         One or more original addressees were removed on the correct copy; or

·         A restrictive caption was added to the correct copy.

5 FAH-1 H-248  Kill a Message

(CT:CH-47;   06-09-2017)

a. When SMART “kills” a message, it delivers a RECALL notification to any recipients of the original message and removes the message completely from the archive and its own messaging databases.  You must kill a message if the contents of the released message violate Department security policies.

b. If confidential or secret content was included on a cable on OpenNet, or misclassified on a message sent from ClassNet, the message must be immediately killed.  Contact the Ops Center immediately.  Also notify your local cleared American SMART administrator (IMO if no cleared administrator), information systems security officer (ISSO) and the Directorate of Cyber and Technology Security (DS/CTS) Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT).