28 CFR 802.28 - Exemption of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency System
The Privacy Act permits specific systems of records to be exempt from some of its requirements.
(1) The following systems of records are exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4), (d), (e)(1)-(3), (4)(G)-(I), (5) and (8), (f) and (g):
(i) Background Investigation (CSOSA-2).
(ii) Supervision Offender Case File (CSOSA-9).
(iii) Pre-Sentence Investigations (CSOSA-10).
(iv) Supervision & Management Automated Record Tracking (SMART) (CSOSA-11).
(v) Recidivism Tracking Database (CSOSA-12).
(vii) Substance Abuse Treatment Database (CSOSA-15).
(viii) Screener (CSOSA-16).
(ix) Sex Offender Registry (CSOSA-18).
(2) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:
(i) From subsection (c)(3) because offenders will not be permitted to gain access or to contest contents of these record systems under the provisions of subsection (d) of 5 U.S.C. 552a. Revealing disclosure accountings can compromise legitimate law enforcement activities and CSOSA responsibilities.
(ii) From subsection (c)(4) because exemption from provisions of subsection (d) will make notification of formal disputes inapplicable.
(iii) From subsection (d), (e)(4)(G) through (e)(4)(I), (f) and (g) because exemption from this subsection is essential to protect internal processes by which CSOSA personnel are able to formulate decisions and policies with regard to offenders, to prevent disclosure of information to offenders that would jeopardize legitimate correctional interests of rehabilitation, and to permit receipt of relevant information from other federal agencies, state and local law enforcement agencies, and federal and state probation and judicial offices.
(iv) From subsection (e)(1) because primary collection of information directly from offenders about criminal history or criminal records is highly impractical and inappropriate.
(A) It is not possible in all instances to determine relevancy or necessity of specific information in the early stages of a criminal or other investigation.
(B) Relevance and necessity are questions of judgment and timing; what appears relevant and necessary when collected ultimately may be deemed unnecessary. It is only after the information is assessed that its relevancy and necessity in a specific investigative activity can be established.
(C) In interviewing individuals or obtaining other forms of evidence or information during an investigation, information could be obtained, the nature of which would leave in doubt its relevancy and necessity. Such information, however, could be relevant to another investigation or to an investigative activity under the jurisdiction of another agency.
(v) From subsection (e)(2) because the nature of criminal and other investigative activities is such that vital information about an individual can only be obtained from other persons who are familiar with such individual and his/her activities. In such investigations it is not feasible to rely upon information furnished by the individual concerning his/her own activities.
(vi) From subsection (e)(3) because disclosure would provide the subject with substantial information which could impede or compromise the investigation. The individual could seriously interfere with investigative activities and could take appropriate steps to evade the investigation or flee a specific area.
(vii) From subsection (e)(8) because the notice requirements of this provision could seriously interfere with a law enforcement activity by alerting the subject of a criminal or other investigation of existing investigative interest.
(viii) Those sections would otherwise require CSOSA to notify an individual of investigatory materials contained in a record pertaining to him/her, permit access to such record, permit requests for its correction (section 552a(d), (e)(4)(G), and (H)); make available to him/her any required accounting of disclosures made of the record (section 552a(c)(3)), publish the sources of records in the system (section 552a(4)(I)); and screen records to insure that there is maintained only such information about an individual as is relevant to accomplish a required purpose of the Agency (section 552(e)(1)). In addition, screening for relevancy to Agency purposes, a correction or attempted correction of such materials could require excessive amounts of time and effort on the part of all concerned.
(1) The following system of records is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4), (d), (e)(1)-(e)(3), (4)(H), (5), (8) and (g):
(i) Office of Professional Responsibility Record (OPR) (CSOSA-17).
(2) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:
(i) From subsection (c)(3) because release of disclosure accounting could alert the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of the investigation and the fact that they are subjects of the investigation, and reveal investigative interest by not only the OPR but also by the recipient agency. Since release of such information to the subjects of an investigation would provide them with significant information concerning the nature of the investigation, release could result in activities that would impede or compromise law enforcement such as: the destruction of documentary evidence; improper influencing of witnesses; endangerment of the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, and law enforcement personnel; fabrication of testimony; and flight of the subject from the area. In addition, release of disclosure accounting could result in the release of properly classified information which could compromise the national defense or disrupt foreign policy.
(ii) From subsection (c)(4) because this system is exempt from the access provisions of subsection (d) pursuant to subsections (j) and (k) of the Privacy Act.
(iii) From the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d) because access to the records contained in this system of records could provide the subject of an investigation with information concerning law enforcement activities such as that relating to an actual or potential criminal, civil or regulatory violation; the existence of an investigation; the nature and scope of the information and evidence obtained as to his activities; the identity of confidential sources, witnesses, and law enforcement personnel; and information that may enable the subject to avoid detection or apprehension. Such disclosure would present a serious impediment to effective law enforcement where they prevent the successful completion of the investigation; endanger the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, and law enforcement personnel; and/or lead to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, or the fabrication of testimony. In addition, granting access to such information could disclose security-sensitive or confidential business information or information that would constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of third parties. Amendment of the records would interfere with ongoing investigations and law enforcement activities and impose an impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continuously reinvestigated.
(iv) From subsection (e)(1) because the application of this provision could impair investigations and interfere with the law enforcement responsibilities of the OPR for the following reasons:
(A) It is not possible to detect relevance or necessity of specific information in the early stages of a civil, criminal or other law enforcement investigation, case, or matter, including investigations in which use is made of properly classified information. Relevance and necessity are questions of judgment and timing, and it is only after the information is evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be established.
(B) During the course of any investigation, the OPR may obtain information concerning actual or potential violations of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, the OPR should retain this information as it may aid in establishing patterns of criminal activity, and can provide valuable leads for Federal and other law enforcement agencies.
(C) In interviewing individuals or obtaining other forms of evidence during an investigation, information may be supplied to an investigator which relates to matters incidental to the primary purpose of the investigation but which may relate also to matters under the investigative jurisdiction of another agency. Such information cannot readily be segregated.
(v) From subsection (e)(2) because, in some instances, the application of this provision would present a serious impediment to law enforcement for the following reasons:
(A) The subject of an investigation would be placed on notice as to the existence of an investigation and would therefore be able to avoid detection or apprehension, to improperly influence witnesses, to destroy evidence, or to fabricate testimony.
(B) In certain circumstances the subject of an investigation cannot be required to provide information to investigators, and information relating to a subject's illegal acts, violations of rules of conduct, or any other misconduct must be obtained from other sources.
(C) In any investigation it is necessary to obtain evidence from a variety of sources other than the subject of the investigation in order to verify the evidence necessary for successful litigation.
(vi) From subsection (e)(3) because the application of this provision would provide the subject of an investigation with substantial information which could impede or compromise the investigation. Providing such notice to a subject of an investigation could interfere with an undercover investigation by revealing its existence, and could endanger the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, and investigators by revealing their identities.
(vii) From subsection (e)(5) because the application of this provision would prevent the collection of any data not shown to be accurate, relevant, timely, and complete at the moment it is collected. In the collection of information for law enforcement purposes, it is impossible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete. Material which may seem unrelated, irrelevant, or incomplete when collected may take on added meaning or significance as an investigation progresses. The restrictions of this provision could interfere with the preparation of a complete investigation report, and thereby impede effective law enforcement.
(viii) From subsection (e)(8) because the application of this provision could prematurely reveal an ongoing criminal investigation to the subject of the investigation, and could reveal investigation techniques, procedures, and/or evidence.
(ix) From subsection (g) to the extent that this system is exempt from the access and amendment provisions of subsection (d) pursuant to subsections (j)(2), (k)(1), and (k)(2) of the Privacy Act.