39 CFR 265.6 - Availability of records.
(a) Records available to the public on request -
(1) General. Postal Service records are available for inspection or copying at the request of any person, in accordance with the provisions of this part, except as otherwise provided by law or regulations, including but not limited to paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section. Certain categories of records of particular interest are available on a continuing basis as provided in paragraphs (a)(2), (3), and (4) of this section and are listed in a public index as provided in paragraphs (a)(4) and (5) of this section. Access to other records may be requested on an individual basis in accordance with the procedures provided in § 265.7. Official records which are maintained on an electronic storage medium will normally be made available, in accordance with this part, as an exact duplicate of the requested original in a form readable by the human eye, such as a computer print-out. On request, records will be provided in a different form or format if they are maintained in the requested form or format or if they can be readily reproduced in the requested form or format.
(2) Opinions. All final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases by the Judicial Officer and Administrative Law Judges, all final determinations pursuant to section 404(b) of title 39, United States Code, to close or consolidate a post office, or to disapprove a proposed closing or consolidation, all advisory opinions concerning the private express statutes issued pursuant to 39 CFR 310.6, and all bid protest decisions are on file and available for inspection and copying at the Headquarters Library and, if created on or after November 1, 1996, also at the Postal Service's world wide web site identified at § 265.5.
(3) Administrative manuals and instructions to staff. The manuals, instructions, and other publications of the Postal Service that affect members of the public are available through the Headquarters Library and at many post offices and other postal facilities. Those which are available to the public but are not listed for sale may be inspected in the Headquarters Library, at any postal facility which maintains a copy, or, if created on or after November 1, 1996, through the world wide web site identified at § 265.5. Copies of publications which are not listed as for sale or as available free of charge may be obtained by paying a fee in accordance with § 265.9.
(4) Previously released records. Records processed and disclosed after March 31, 1997, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, which the Postal Service determines have become or are likely to become the subject of subsequent requests for substantially the same records, are available for inspection and copying at the Headquarters Library. Any such records created by the Postal Service on or after November 1, 1996, also will be available at the Postal Service's world wide web site identified at § 265.5. Records described in this paragraph that were not created by, or on behalf of, the Postal Service generally will not be available at the world wide web site. Records will be available in the form in which they were originally disclosed, except to the extent that they contain information that is not appropriate for public disclosure and may be withheld pursuant to this section. Any deleted material will be marked and the applicable exemption(s) indicated in accordance with § 265.7(d)(3). A general index of the records described in this paragraph is available for inspection and copying at the Headquarters Library. [Beginning on or before December 31, 1999, the index also will be available at the Postal Service's world wide web site.]
(5) Public index.
(i) A public index is maintained in the Headquarters Library and at the world wide web site of all final opinions and orders made by the Postal Service in the adjudication of cases, Postal Service policy statements which may be relied on as precedents in the disposition of cases, administrative staff manuals and instructions that affect the public, and other materials which the Postal Service elects to index and make available to the public on request in the manner set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.
(ii) The index contains references to matters issued after July 4, 1967, and may reference matters issued prior to that date.
(iii) Any person may arrange for the inspection of any matter in the public index in accordance with the procedures of § 265.7.
(iv) Copies of the public index and of matters listed in the public index may be purchased through the Headquarters Library with payment of fees as listed in the index or as provided in § 265.9.
(v) Materials listed in the public index that were created on or after November 1, 1996, will also be available in electronic format at the Postal Service's world wide web site at http://www.usps.gov.
(b) Records not subject to mandatory public disclosure. Certain classes of records are exempt from mandatory disclosure under exemptions contained in the Freedom of Information Act and in section 410(c) of title 39, U.S.C. The Postal Service will exercise its discretion, in accordance with the policy stated in § 265.2, as implemented by instructions issued by the Records Office with the approval of the General Counsel in determining whether the public interest is served by the inspection or copying of records that are:
(1) Related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Postal Service.
(2) Trade secrets, or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, obtained from any person.
(3) Information of a commercial nature, including trade secrets, whether or not obtained from a person outside the Postal Service, which under good business practice would not be publicly disclosed. This class includes, but is not limited to:
(i) Information pertaining to methods of handling valuable registered mail.
(ii) Records of money orders, except as provided in R900 of the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM).
(iii) Technical information concerning postage meters and prototypes submitted for Postal Service approval prior to leasing to mailers.
(iv) Reports of market surveys conducted by or under contract in behalf of the Postal Service.
(v) Records indicating rural carrier lines of travel.
(vii) Information which, if publicly disclosed, could materially increase procurement costs.
(viii) Information which, if publicly disclosed, could compromise testing or examination materials.
(4) Interagency or internal memoranda or letters that would not be available by law to a private party in litigation with the Postal Service.
(5) Reports and memoranda of consultants or independent contractors, except to the extent they would be required to be disclosed if prepared within the Postal Service.
(6) Files personal in nature, including medical and personnel files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
(7) Information prepared for use in connection with proceedings under chapter 36 of title 39, U.S.C., relating to rate, classification, and service changes.
(8) Information prepared for use in connection with the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements under chapter 12 of title 39, U.S.C., or minutes of, or notes kept during, negotiating sessions conducted under such chapter.
(9) Other matter specifically exempted from disclosure by statute.
(c) Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes.
(1) Investigatory files compiled for law enforcement purposes, whether or not considered closed, are exempt by statute from mandatory disclosure except to the extent otherwise available by law to a party other than the Postal Service, 39 U.S.C. 410(c)(6). As a matter of policy, however, the Postal Service will normally make records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes available upon request unless the production of these records:
(i) Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;
(ii) Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;
(iii) Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(iv) Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority (such as the Postal Inspection Service) in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source;
(v) Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or
(vi) Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.
(2) Whenever a request is made which involves access to records described in § 265.6(c)(1)(i), and
(i) The investigation or proceeding involves a possible violation of criminal law; and
(ii) There is reason to believe that,
(A) The subject of the investigation or proceeding is not aware of its pendency, and
(B) Disclosure of the existence of the records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, the Postal Service may, during only such time as that circumstance continues, treat the records as not subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.
(3) Whenever informant records maintained by a criminal law enforcement agency (such as the Postal Inspection Service) under an informant's name or personal identifier are requested by a third party according to the informant's name or personal identifier, the records may be treated as not subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act unless the informant's status as an informant has been officially confirmed.
(4) Authority to disclose records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes to persons outside the Postal Service must be obtained from the Chief Postal Inspector, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC 20260-2100, or designee.
(d) Disclosure of names and addresses of customers. Upon request, the names and addresses of specifically identified Postal Service customers will be made available only as follows:
(1) Change of address. The new address of any specific customer who has filed a permanent or temporary change of address order (by submitting PS Form 3575, a hand-written order, or an electronically communicated order) will be furnished to any person, except that the new address of a specific customer who has indicated on the order that the address change is for an individual or an entire family will be furnished only in those circumstances stated at paragraph (d)(5) of this section. Disclosure will be limited to the address of the specifically identified individual about whom the information is requested (not other family members or individuals whose names may also appear on the change of address order). The Postal Service reserves the right not to disclose the address of an individual for the protection of the individual's personal safety. Other information on PS Form 3575 or copies of the form will not be furnished except in those circumstances stated at paragraphs (d)(5)(i), (d)(5)(iii), or (d)(5)(iv) of this section.
(2) Name and address of permit holder. The name and address of the holder of a particular bulk mail permit, permit imprint or similar permit (but not including postage meter licenses), and the name of any person applying for a permit in behalf of a holder will be furnished to any person upon the payment of any fees authorized by paragraph (b) of § 265.9. For the name and address of a postage meter license holder, see paragraph (d)(3) of this section. (Lists of permit holders may not be disclosed to members of the public. See paragraph (e)(1) of this section.)
(3) Name and address of postage evidencing user. The name and address of an authorized user of a postage meter or PC Postage product (postage evidencing systems) printing a specified indicium will be furnished to any person upon the payment of any fees authorized by paragraph (b) of § 265.9, provided the user is using the postage meter or PC Postage product for business purposes. The request for this information must be sent to the manager of Postage Technology Management, Postal Service Headquarters. The request must include the original or a photocopy of the envelope or wrapper on which the postage meter or PC postage indicium in question is printed, and a copy or description of the contents to support that the sender is a business or firm and not an individual. (Lists of authorized users of postage meters or PC Postage products may not be disclosed to members of the public.)
(4) Post Office boxholder information. Information from PS Form 1093, Application for Post Office Box or Caller Service, will be provided as follows:
(i) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section, the boxholder applicant name and address from PS Form 1093 will be provided only in those circumstances stated in paragraphs (d)(5)(i) through (d)(5)(iii) of this section.
(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section, the names of persons listed as receiving mail, other than the boxholder applicant, will be furnished from PS Form 1093 only in those circumstances stated in paragraphs (d)(5)(i) and (d)(5)(iii) of this section.
(iii) When a copy of a protective order has been filed with the postmaster, information from PS Form 1093 will not be disclosed except pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(5) Exceptions. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, names or addresses of Postal Service customers will be furnished only as follows:
(i) To a federal, state or local government agency upon prior written certification that the information is required for the performance of its duties. The Postal Service requires government agencies to use the format appearing at the end of this section when requesting the verification of a customer's current address or a customer's new mailing address. If the request lacks any of the required information or a proper signature, the postmaster will return the request to the agency, specifying the deficiency in the space marked ‘OTHER’. A copy of PS Form 1093 may be provided.
(ii) To a person empowered by law to serve legal process, or the attorney for a party in whose behalf service will be made, or a party who is acting pro se, upon receipt of written information that specifically includes all of the following: (A) A certification that the name or address is needed and will be used solely for service of legal process in connection with actual or prospective litigation; (B) a citation to the statute or regulation that empowers the requester to serve process, if the requester is other than the attorney for a party in whose behalf service will be made, or a party who is acting pro se; (C) the names of all known parties to the litigation; (D) the court in which the case has been or will be commenced; (E) the docket or other identifying number, if one has been issued; and (F) the capacity in which the boxholder is to be served, e.g., defendant or witness. By submitting such information, the requester certifies that it is true. The address of an individual who files with the postmaster a copy of a protective court order will not be disclosed except as provided under paragraphs (d)(5)(i), (d)(5)(iii), or (d)(5)(iv) of this section. A copy of Form 1093 will not be provided.
The Postal Service suggests use of the standard format appearing at the end of this section when requesting information under this paragraph. When using the standard format on the submitter's own letterhead, the standard format must be used in its entirety. The warning statement and certification specifically must be included immediately before the signature block. If the request lacks any of the required information or a proper signature, the postmaster will return it to the requester specifying the deficiency.
The term pro se means that a party is not represented by an attorney but by himself or herself.
(iii) In compliance with a subpoena or court order, except that change of address or boxholder information which is not otherwise subject to disclosure under these regulations may be disclosed only pursuant to a court order.
(iv) To a law enforcement agency, for oral requests made through the Inspection Service, but only after the Inspection Service has confirmed that the information is needed in the course of a criminal investigation. (All other requests from law enforcement agencies should be submitted in writing to the postmaster as in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section.)
(6) Jury service. The mailing address of any customer sought in connection with jury service, if known, will be furnished without charge upon prior written request to a court official, such as a judge, court clerk or jury commissioner.
(7) Address verification. The address of a postal customer will be verified at the request of a Federal, State, or local government agency upon written certification that the information is required for the performance of the agency's duties. “Verification” means advising such an agency whether or not its address for a postal customer is one at which mail for that customer is currently being delivered. “Verification” neither means nor implies knowledge on the part of the Postal Service as to the actual residence of the customer or as to the actual receipt by the customer of mail delivered to that address. The Postal Service requires government agencies to use the format appearing at the end of this section when requesting the verification of a customer's current address or a customer's new mailing address. If the request lacks any of the required information or a proper signature, the postmaster will return the request to the agency, specifying the deficiency in the space marked “OTHER”.
(8) Business/Residence location. If the location of a residence or a place of business is known to a Postal Service employee, whether as a result of official duties or otherwise, the employee may, but need not, disclose the location or give directions to it. No fee is charged for such information.
(9) Private mailbox information. Information from PS Form 1583, Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent, will be provided as follows:
(ii) To the public only for the purpose of identifying a particular address as an address of an agent to whom mail is delivered on behalf of other persons. No other information, including, but not limited to, the identities of persons on whose behalf agents receive mail, may be disclosed to the public from PS Form 1583.
(iii) Information concerning an individual who has filed a protective court order with the postmaster will not be disclosed except pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(e) Information not available for public disclosure.
(1) Except as provided by paragraph (a)(6) of this section, the Postal Service and its officers and employees shall not make available to the public by any means or for any purpose any mailing list or other list of names or addresses (past or present) of postal patrons or other persons.
(2) Records or other documents which are classified or otherwise specifically authorized by Executive Order 12356 and implementing regulations to be kept secret in the interest of the national defense or foreign policy are not subject to disclosure pursuant to this part.
(3) Records consisting of trade secrets or confidential financial data, the disclosure of which is prohibited by section 1905 of title 18, U.S.C., are not subject to disclosure pursuant to this part.
(4) Other records, the disclosure of which is prohibited by statute, are not subject to disclosure pursuant to this part.
(f) Protection of the right of privacy. If any record required or permitted by this part to be disclosed contains the name of, or other identifying details concerning, any person, including an employee of the Postal Service, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the name or other identifying details shall be deleted before the record is disclosed and the requester so informed.
(g) Disclosure in part of otherwise exempt record. Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided after deleting the information which is neither subject to mandatory disclosure nor available as a matter of discretion.
Title 39 published on 2015-07-01
The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 39 CFR Part 265 after this date.