31 CFR 1.26 - Procedures for notification and access to records pertaining to individuals
(a) Procedures for notification and access. Each component shall establish, in accordance with the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553, and set forth in the appendix to this subpart applicable to such component procedures whereby an individual can be notified, in response to a request, if any system of records named by the individual contains a record pertaining to that individual. In addition, such procedures shall set forth the requirements for access to such records. As a minimum such procedures shall specify the times during, and the places at which access will be accorded, together with such identification as may be required of the individual before access. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a(f) (1), (2) and (3))
(b) Access. Each component in accordance with the procedures prescribed under paragraph (a) of this section, shall allow an individual to gain access to records or to any information pertaining to such individual which is contained in the system of records upon request. The individual shall be permitted to review the record and have a copy made of all or any portion of the record in a form that is comprehensible. The individual will also be permitted to be accompanied by any person of the individual's choosing to review the record, except that the agency may require the individual to furnish a written statement authorizing discussion of that individual's record in the accompanying person's presence. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(1))
(c) Exceptions. Neither the procedures prescribed under paragraph (a) of this section nor the requirements for access under paragraph (b) of this section shall be applicable to - (1) systems of records exempted pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (j) and (k) and § 1.23(c); (2) information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding (See 5 U.S.C. 552(d)(5)); or (3) information pertaining to an individual which is contained in, and inseparable from, another individual's record.
(d) Format of request.
(ii) State that it is made pursuant to the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a or these regulations, have marked “Privacy Act Request” on the request and on the envelope;
(iii) Give the name of the system or subsystem or categories of records to which access is sought, as specified in “Privacy Act Issuances” published by the Office of the Federal Register and referenced in the appendices to this subpart;
(iv) Describe the nature of the record(s) sought in sufficient detail to enable Department personnel to locate the system of records containing the record with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, a request for access should describe the nature of the record sought, the date of the record or the period in which the record was compiled.
(v) Provide such identification of the requester as may be specified in the appropriate appendix to this subpart; and
(vi) Be addressed or delivered in person to the office or officer of the component indicated for the particular system or subsystem or categories of records the individual wishes access to, as specified in “Privacy Act Issuances” published by the Office of the Federal Register and referenced in the appendices to this subpart. Assistance in ascertaining the appropriate component or in preparing a request for notification may be obtained by a written request to this effect addressed as specified in Appendix A of this part, as the address for the Departmental Offices for “Request for notification and access to records and accountings of disclosures”.
(i) State whether the requester wishes to inspect the records or desires to have a copy made and furnished without first inspecting them;
(ii) If the requester desires to have a copy made, state the firm agreement of the requester to pay the fees for duplication ultimately determined in accordance with (31 CFR 1.6) Subpart A of this title, unless such fees are waived pursuant to that section by the system manager or other appropriate official as indicated in the appropriate appendix to these regulations; and
(iii) Comply with any other requirement set forth in the applicable appendix to this subpart or the “Notice of Records Systems” applicable to the system in question. Requesters are hereby advised that any request for access which does not comply with the foregoing requirements and those set forth elsewhere in this Subpart C, will not be deemed subject to the time constraints of this section, unless and until amended so as to comply. However, components shall advise the requester in what respect the request is deficient so that it may be processed. This section applies only to records which are contained in a system of records and which are in the possession or control of the component. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (d) and (f))
(e) Requests for records not in control of component.
(1) Treasury employees shall make reasonable efforts to assist an oral requester to ascertain to which office or officer a written request should be sent. When the request is for a record which is not in the possession or control of any component of the Department of the Treasury, the requester shall be so advised.
(2) Where the record requested was created by a Department or agency other than the Department of the Treasury or a component of the Department and has been classified (e.g. National Defense or Intelligence Information) or otherwise restrictively endorsed (e.g. Office of Personnel Management records of FBI reports) by such other Department or agency, and a copy is in the possession of a component of the Department of the Treasury, that portion of the request shall be referred to the originating agency for determination as to all issues in accordance with the Privacy Act. In the case of a referral to another agency under this paragraph, the requester shall be notified that such portion of the request has been so referred and that the requester may expect to hear from that agency.
(3) When information sought from a system manager or other appropriate official in the Department of the Treasury includes information furnished by other Federal agencies not classified or otherwise restrictively endorsed, the system manager or other appropriate official receiving the request shall consult with the appropriate agency prior to making a decision to disclose or not to disclose the record. The decision as to whether the record shall be disclosed shall be made, in the first instance by the system manager or other appropriate official maintaining the record. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (d) and (f))
(f) Date of receipt of request. A request for notification or access to records shall be considered to have been received for purposes of this subpart on the date on which the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section have been satisfied. Requests for notification or access to records and any separate agreement to pay shall be stamped or endorsed with the date of receipt by the receiving office. The latest of such stamped dates will be deemed to be the date of receipt of the request for the purposes of this subpart. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (d) and (f))
(g) Notification of determination -
(1) In general. Notification of determinations as to notification of whether a record exists or as to whether to grant access to records requested will be made by the officers designated in the appendices to this subpart. The notification of the determination shall be mailed within 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal public holidays) after the date of receipt of the request, as determined in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section. If it is not possible to respond within 30 days, the designated officer shall inform the requester, stating the reason for the delay (e.g. volume of records requested, scattered location of the records, need to consult other agencies, or the difficulty of the legal issues involved) and when a response will be dispatched. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (d) and (f))
(2) Granting of access. When it has been determined that the request for access will be granted - (i) and a copy requested; such copy in a form comprehensible to the requester shall be furnished promptly, together with a statement of the applicable fees for duplication; and (ii) and the right to inspect has been requested, the requester shall be promptly notified in writing of the determination, and when and where the requested records may be inspected. An individual seeking to inspect such records may be accompanied by another person of such individual's choosing. The individual seeking access shall be required to sign the required form indicating that the Department of the Treasury is authorized to discuss the contents of the subject record in the accompanying person's presence. If, after making the inspection, the individual making the request desires a copy of all or a portion of the requested records, such copy in a form comprehensible to the individual shall be furnished upon payment of the applicable fees for duplication. Fees to be charged are as prescribed by 31 CFR part 1, Subpart A, § 1.6 Fees shall not be charged where they would amount, in the aggregate, to less than $3.00. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (d) and (f))
(3) Requirements for access to medical records. When access is requested to medical records, including psychological records, the responsible official may determine that such release could have an adverse effect on the individual and that release will be made only to a physician authorized in writing to have access to such records by the individual making the request. Upon receipt of the authorization the physician will be permitted to review the records or to receive copies of the records by mail, upon proper verification of identity. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (f) (3))
(4) Denial of request. When it is determined that the request for notification of whether a record exists or access to records will be denied (whether in whole or part or subject to conditions or exceptions), the person making the request shall be so notified by mail in accordance with paragraph (g)(1) of this section. The letter of notification shall specify the city or other location where the requested records are situated (if known), contain a statement of the reasons for not granting the request as made, set forth the name and title or position of the responsible official and advise the individual making the request of the right to file suit in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a (g)(1)(B).
(5) Prohibition against the use of 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) exemptions. Exemptions from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552 (b) (31 CFR part 1, Subpart A, § 1.2 (c)), may not be invoked for the purpose of withholding from an individual any record which is otherwise accessible to such individual under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a and this subpart. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (q))
(6) Records exempt in whole or in part.
(i) When an individual requests notification as to whether a record exists or access to records concerning the individual which have been exempted from individual access pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (j) or which have been compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding in either a court or before an administrative tribunal and the assertion of the exemption is deemed necessary, the Department of the Treasury will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the record but shall advise the individual only that no record available to the individual pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 has been identified.
(A) Requests for information classified pursuant to Executive Orders 12958, 13526, or successor or prior Executive Orders require the responsible component of the Department to review the information to determine whether it continues to warrant classification pursuant to an Executive Order. Information which no longer warrants classification under these criteria shall be declassified and made available to the individual. If the information continues to warrant classification, the individual shall be advised that the information sought is classified, that it has been reviewed and continues to warrant classification, and that it has been exempted from access pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 (b)(1) and 5 U.S.C. 552a (k)(1). Information which has been exempted pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (j) and which is also classified shall be reviewed as required by this paragraph but the response to the individual shall be in the form prescribed by paragraph (g)(6)(i) of this section.
(B) Requests for information which has been exempted from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (k)(2) shall be responded to in the manner provided in paragraph (g)(6)(i) of this section unless the requester shows that the information has been used or is being used to deny the individual any right, privilege or benefit for which he is eligible or to which he would otherwise be entitled under federal law. In that event, the individual shall be advised of the existence of the information but such information as would identify a confidential source shall be extracted or summarized in a manner which protects the source to the maximum degree possible and the summary extract shall be provided to the requesting individual.
(C) Information compiled as part of an employee background investigation which has been exempted pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (k)(5) shall be made available to an individual upon request except to the extent that it identifies the confidential source. Material identifying the confidential sources shall be extracted or summarized in a manner which protects the source to the maximum degree possible and the summary or extract shall be provided to the requesting individual.
(D) Testing or examination material which has been exempted pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (k)(6) shall not be made available to an individual if disclosure would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process; but may be made available if no such compromise possibility exists. (See 5 U.S.C. 552a (d)(5), (j) and (k)).