12 CFR 1204.7 - Are there any exemptions from the Privacy Act?

§ 1204.7 Are there any exemptions from the Privacy Act?
(a) What is a Privacy Act exemption? The Privacy Act authorizes the Director and the FHFA Inspector General to exempt records or information in a system of records from some of the Privacy Act requirements, if the Director or the FHFA Inspector General, as appropriate, determines that the exemption is necessary.
(b) How do I know if the records or information I want are exempt?—(1) Each system of records notice will advise you if the Director or the FHFA Inspector General has determined records or information in records are exempt from Privacy Act requirements. If the Director or the FHFA Inspector General has claimed an exemption for a system of records, the system of records notice will identify the exemption and the provisions of the Privacy Act from which the system is exempt.
(2) Until superseded by FHFA or FHFA-OIG systems of records, the following OFHEO and FHFB systems of records are, under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) or (k)(5), exempt from the Privacy Act requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f)—
(i) OFHEO-11 Litigation and Enforcement Information System; and
(ii) FHFB-5 Agency Personnel Investigative Records.
(c) What exemptions potentially apply to FHFA-OIG records? Unless the FHFA Inspector General, his or her designee, or a statute specifically authorizes disclosure, FHFA-OIG will not release records of matters that are subject to the following exemptions—
(1) To the extent that the systems of records entitled “FHFA-OIG Audit Files Database,” “FHFA-OIG Investigative & Evaluative Files Database,” “FHFA-OIG Investigative & Evaluative MIS Database,” “FHFA-OIG Hotline Database,” and “FHFA-OIG Correspondence Database” contain any information compiled by FHFA-OIG for the purpose of criminal law enforcement investigations, such information falls within the scope of exemption (j)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), and therefore these systems of records are exempt from the requirements of the following subsections of the Privacy Act to that extent, for the reasons stated in paragraphs (1)(i) through (vi) of this section.
(i) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), because release of an accounting of disclosures to an individual who is the subject of an investigation or evaluation could reveal the nature and scope of the investigation or evaluation and could result in the altering or destruction of evidence, improper influencing of witnesses, and other evasive actions that could impede or compromise the investigation or evaluation.
(ii) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1), because release of investigative or evaluative records to an individual who is the subject of an investigation or evaluation could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties, reveal the identity of confidential sources, or reveal sensitive investigative or evaluative techniques and procedures.
(iii) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(2), because amendment or correction of investigative or evaluative records could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, or could impose an impossible administrative and investigative or evaluative burden by requiring FHFA-OIG to continuously retrograde its investigations or evaluations attempting to resolve questions of accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness.
(iv) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1), because it is often impossible to determine relevance or necessity of information in the early stages of an investigation or evaluation. The value of such information is a question of judgment and timing; what appears relevant and necessary when collected may ultimately be evaluated and viewed as irrelevant and unnecessary to an investigation or evaluation. In addition, FHFA-OIG may obtain information concerning the violation of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, FHFA-OIG should retain this information because it may aid in establishing patterns of unlawful activity and provide leads for other law enforcement agencies. Further, in obtaining evidence during an investigation or evaluation, information may be provided to FHFA-OIG that relates to matters incidental to the main purpose of the investigation or evaluation, but which may be pertinent to the investigative or evaluative jurisdiction of another agency. Such information cannot readily be identified.
(v) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(2), because in a law enforcement investigation or an evaluation it is usually counterproductive to collect information to the greatest extent practicable directly from the subject thereof. It is not always feasible to rely upon the subject of an investigation or evaluation as a source for information which may implicate him or her in illegal activities. In addition, collecting information directly from the subject could seriously compromise an investigation or evaluation by prematurely revealing its nature and scope, or could provide the subject with an opportunity to conceal criminal activities, or intimidate potential sources, in order to avoid apprehension.
(vi) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(3), because providing such notice to the subject of an investigation or evaluation, or to other individual sources, could seriously compromise the investigation or evaluation by prematurely revealing its nature and scope, or could inhibit cooperation, permit the subject to evade apprehension, or cause interference with undercover activities.
(2) To the extent that the systems of records entitled “FHFA-OIG Audit Files Database,” “FHFA-OIG Investigative & Evaluative Files Database,” “FHFA-OIG Investigative & Evaluative MIS Database,” “FHFA-OIG Hotline Database,” and “FHFA-OIG Correspondence Database,” contain information compiled by FHFA-OIG for the purpose of criminal law enforcement investigations, such information falls within the scope of exemption (k)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), and therefore these systems of records are exempt from the requirements of the following subsections of the Privacy Act to that extent, for the reasons stated in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (iv) of this section.
(i) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), because release of an accounting of disclosures to an individual who is the subject of an investigation or evaluation could reveal the nature and scope of the investigation or evaluation and could result in the altering or destruction of evidence, improper influencing of witnesses, and other evasive actions that could impede or compromise the investigation or evaluation.
(ii) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1), because release of investigative or evaluative records to an individual who is the subject of an investigation or evaluation could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties, reveal the identity of confidential sources, or reveal sensitive investigative or evaluative techniques and procedures.
(iii) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(2), because amendment or correction of investigative or evaluative records could interfere with pending or prospective law enforcement proceedings, or could impose an impossible administrative and investigative or evaluative burden by requiring FHFA-OIG to continuously retrograde its investigations or evaluations attempting to resolve questions of accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness.
(iv) From 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1), because it is often impossible to determine relevance or necessity of information in the early stages of an investigation or evaluation. The value of such information is a question of judgment and timing; what appears relevant and necessary when collected may ultimately be evaluated and viewed as irrelevant and unnecessary to an investigation or evaluation. In addition, FHFA-OIG may obtain information concerning the violation of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, FHFA-OIG should retain this information because it may aid in establishing patterns of unlawful activity and provide leads for other law enforcement agencies. Further, in obtaining evidence during an investigation or evaluation, information may be provided to FHFA-OIG that relates to matters incidental to the main purpose of the investigation or evaluation but which may be pertinent to the investigative or evaluative jurisdiction of another agency. Such information cannot readily be identified.
(3) To the extent that the systems of records entitled “FHFA-OIG Audit Files Database,” “FHFA-OIG Investigative & Evaluative Files Database,” “FHFA-OIG Investigative & Evaluative MIS Database,” “FHFA-OIG Hotline Database,” and “FHFA-OIG Correspondence Database” contain any investigatory material compiled by FHFA-OIG for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment or Federal contracts, the release of which would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, such information falls within the scope of exemption (k)(5) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), and therefore these systems of records are exempt from the requirements of subsection (d)(1) of the Privacy Act to that extent, because release would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise of confidentiality. Revealing the identity of a confidential source could impede future cooperation by sources, and could result in harassment or harm to such sources.

Title 12 published on 2014-01-01

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