22 CFR 1101.6 - Requests for access to records.
(a) Any individual may submit an inquiry to the Section to ascertain whether a system of records contains a record pertaining to him or her.
(b) The inquiry should be made either in person or by mail addressed to the PA Officer, United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission, 4171 North Mesa, Suite C-310, El Paso, TX 79902-1422. The PA Officer shall provide assistance to the individual making the inquiry to assure the timely identification of the appropriate systems of records. The office of the PA Officer is located in Suite C-316 and is open to an individual between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).
(c) Inquiries submitted by mail should be marked “PRIVACY ACT REQUEST” on the bottom left-hand corner of the envelope.
(d) The letter should state that the request is being made under the Privacy Act.
(e) Inquiries concerning whether a system of records contains a record pertaining to an individual should contain the following:
(1) Name, address and telephone number (optional) of the individual making the inquiry;
(2) Name, address and telephone number (optional) of the individual to whom the record pertains, if the inquiring individual is either the parent of a minor or the legal guardian of the individual to whom a record pertains;
(3) A certified or authenticated copy of documents establishing parentage or guardianship;
(4) Whether the individual to whom the record pertains is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence into the United States;
(5) Name of the system of records, as published in the Federal Register;
(6) Location of the system of records, as published in the Federal Register;
(7) Such additional information as the individual believes will or might assist the Section in responding to the inquiry and in verifying the individual's identity (for example: date of birth, place of birth, names of parents, place of work, dates of employment, position title, etc.);
(8) Date of inquiry; and
(9) Signature of the requester.
(f) The requirement for identification of individuals seeking access to records are as follows:
(1) In person: Each individual making a request in person shall be required to present satisfactory proof of identity. The means of proof, in the order of preference and priority, are:
(i) A document bearing the individual's photograph (for example, driver's license, passport or military or civilian identification card);
(ii) A document bearing the individual's signature, preferably issued for participation in a federally sponsored program (for example, Social Security card, unemployment insurance book, employer's identification card, national credit card and professional, craft or union membership card); and
(iii) A document bearing either the photograph or the signature of the individual, preferably issued for participation in a federally sponsored program (for example, Medicaid card). In the event the individual can provide no suitable documentation of identity, the Section will require a signed statement asserting the individual's identity and stipulating that the individual understands the penalty provision of 5 U.S.C. 552a(i)(3).
(2) Not in person: If the individual making a request does not appear in person before the PA Officer, a certificate of a notary public or equivalent officer empowered to administer oaths must accompany the request.
(3) Parents of minors and legal guardians: An individual acting as the parent of a minor or the legal guardian of the individual or an heir or legal representative of a deceased person to whom a record pertains shall establish his or her personal identity in the manner prescribed in either paragraph (f)(1) or (2) of this section. In addition, such individual shall establish his or her identity in the representative capacity of parent or legal guardian. In the case of the parent of a minor, the proof of identity shall be a certified or authenticated copy of the minor's birth certificate. In the case of a legal guardian of an individual who has been declared incompetent due to physical or mental incapacity or age by a court of competent jurisdiction, the proof of identity shall be a certified or authenticated copy of the court's order. A parent or legal guardian may act only for a living individual, not for a decedent. A parent or legal guardian may be accompanied during personal access to a record by another individual, provided the requirements of paragraph (f) of § 1101.7 are satisfied. In the case of an heir or legal representative of a deceased person the proof of identity shall be a certified copy of the Will, if any; the order of a court of competent jurisdiction admitting the Will to probate; the order of a court of competent jurisdiction appointing an executor, executrix, or administrator; a letter of administration; or any other documentary evidence which establishes the identity of the individual as an heir or legal representative of a deceased person.
(g) When the provisions of this part are alleged to have the effect of impeding an individual in exercising his or her right to access, the Section will consider, from an individual making a request, alternative suggestions regarding proof of identity and access to records.
(h) An inquiry which is not addressed as specified in paragraph (b) of this section or which is not marked as specified in paragraph (c) of this section will be so addressed and marked by the Section's personnel and forwarded immediately to the PA Officer. An inquiry which is not properly addressed by the individual will not be deemed to have been “received” for purposes of measuring time periods for response until forwarding of the inquiry to the PA Officer has been effected. In each instance when an inquiry so forwarded is received, the PA Officer shall notify the individual that his or her inquiry was improperly addressed and the date when the inquiry was received at the proper address.
(i) Each inquiry received shall be acted upon promptly by the PA Officer. Although there is no fixed time when an agency must respond to a request for access to records under the Act, every effort will be made to respond within ten (10) days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays) of the date of receipt. If a response cannot be made within ten (10) days, the PA Officer shall send an acknowledgment during that period providing information on the status of the inquiry and asking for such further information as may be necessary to process the inquiry. Every effort will be made to provide the requested records within thirty (30) days.
(j) An individual shall not be required to state a reason or otherwise justify his or her inquiry.