12 CFR 503.2 - Exemptions of records containing investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes.

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§ 503.2 Exemptions of records containing investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes.

(a)Scope. The Office has established a system of records, entitled the “Confidential Individual Information System.” The purpose of this system is to assist the Office in the accomplishment of its statutory and regulatory responsibilities in connection with supervision of savings associations. This system will be exempt from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 for the reasons set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b)Exemptions Under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2).

(1) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), the head of an agency may issue rules to exempt any system of records within the agency from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 if the system contains investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes.

(2) Provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 from which exemptions will be made under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) are as follows:

(i) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3);

(ii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(4);

(iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1);

(iv) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I); and

(v) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f).

(c)Reasons for exemptions under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2).

(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) requires that an agency make accountings of disclosures of records available to individuals named in the records at their request. These accountings must state the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record and the name and address of the recipient. The application of this provision would make known to subjects of an investigation that an investigation is taking place and that they are the subjects of it. Release of such information could result in the alteration or destruction of documentary evidence, improper influencing of witnesses, and reluctance of witnesses to offer information, and could otherwise impede or compromise an investigation.

(2) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(4), (e)(4)(G) and (e)(4)(H), and (f), relate to an individual's right to be notified of the existence of, and the right to examine, records pertaining to such individual. Notifying an individual at the individual's request of the existence of records and allowing the individual to examine an investigative file pertaining to such individual, or granting access to an investigative file, could:

(i) Interfere with investigations and enforcement proceedings;

(ii) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of others;

(iii) Disclose the identity of confidential sources and reveal confidential information supplied by those sources; or

(iv) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures.

(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires the publication of the categories of sources of records in each system. Application of this provision could disclose investigative techniques and procedures and cause sources to refrain from giving such information because of fear of reprisal, or fear of breach of promises of anonymity and confidentiality, thus compromising the agency's ability to conduct investigations and to identify, detect, and apprehend violators.

(4) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires each agency to maintain in its records only information about an individual that is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by statute or Executive Order. Limiting the system as described would impede enforcement activities because:

(i) It is not always possible to determine the relevance or necessity of specific information in the early stages of an investigation; and

(ii) In any investigation the Office may obtain information concerning violations of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, the Office should retain this information to aid in establishing patterns of criminal activity, and to provide leads for those law enforcement agencies charged with enforcing criminal or civil laws.

(d)Documents exempted. Exemptions will be applied only when appropriate under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k).

[ 55 FR 31371, Aug. 2, 1990]

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