39 CFR 266.4 - Collection and disclosure of information about individuals.

§ 266.4 Collection and disclosure of information about individuals.

(a) The following rules govern the collection of information about individuals throughout Postal Service operations;

(1) The Postal Service will:

(i) Collect, solicit and maintain only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose required by statute or Executive Order,

(ii) Collect information, to the greatest extent practicable, directly from the subject individual when such information may result in adverse determinations about an individual's rights, benefits or privileges,

(iii) Inform any individual who has been asked to furnish information about himself whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what authority it is being solicited, the principal purposes for which it is intended to be used, the routine uses which may be made of it, and any penalties and specific consequences for the individual, which are known to the Postal Service, which will result from refusal to furnish it.

(2) The Postal Service will not discriminate against any individual who fails to provide information about himself unless that information is required or necessary for the conduct of the system or program in which the individual desires to participate.

(3) No information will be collected (or maintained) describing how individuals exercise rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless the Postmaster General specifically determines that such information is relevant and necessary to carry out a statutory purpose of the Postal Service.

(4) The Postal Service will not require individuals to furnish their Social Security account number or deny a right, privilege or benefit because of an individual's refusal to furnish the number unless it must be provided by Federal law.

(b)Disclosures -

(1)Disclosure: Limitations On. The Postal Service will not disseminate information about an individual unless reasonable efforts have been made to assure that the information is accurate, complete, timely and relevant and unless:

(i) The individual to whom the record pertains has requested in writing that the information be disseminated, or

(ii) It has obtained the prior written consent of the individual to whom the record pertains, or

(iii) The dissemination is in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) Dissemination of personal information may be made:

(i) To a person pursuant to a requirement of the Freedom of Information Act ( 5 U.S.C. 552);

(ii) To those officers and employees of the Postal Service who have a need for such information in the performance of their duties;

(iii) For a routine use as contained in the system notices published in the Federal Register;

(iv) To a recipient who has provided advance adequate written assurance that the information will be used solely as a statistical reporting or research record, and to whom the information is transferred in a form that is not individually identifiable;

(v) To the Bureau of the Census for purposes of planning or carrying out a census or survey or related activity pursuant to the provisions of title 13, U.S.C.;

(vi) To the National Archives of the United States as a record which has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the U.S. Government, or for evaluation by the Administrator of General Services or his designee to determine whether the record has such value;

(vii) To a person pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of an individual, if upon such disclosure notification is transmitted to the last known address of such individual;

(viii) To a federal agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity, if such activity is authorized by law and if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a written request to the Postal Service specifying the particular portion of the record desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought;

(ix) To either House of Congress or its committees or subcommittees to the extent of matter within their jurisdiction;

(x) To the Comptroller General or any of his authorized representatives in the course of the performance of the duties of the General Accounting Office;

(xi) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3)Names and Addresses of Postal Customers. The disclosure of lists of names or addresses of Postal customers or other persons to the public is prohibited ( 39 U.S.C. 412). Names or addresses of Postal Service customers will be disclosed only in those cases permitted by 39 CFR 265.14(d) relating to the Release of Information.

(4)Employee Credit References. A credit bureau or commercial firm from which an employee is seeking credit may be given the following information upon request: grade, duty status, length of service, job title, and salary.

(5)Employee Job References. Prospective employers of a postal employee or a former postal employee may be furnished with the information in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, in addition to the date and the reason for separation, if applicable. The reason for separation must be limited to one of the following terms: retired, resigned, or separated. Other terms or variations of these terms (e.g., retired - disability) may not be used. If additional information is desired, the requester must submit the written consent of the employee, and an accounting of the disclosure must be kept.

(6)Computer matching purposes. Records from a Postal Service system of records may be disclosed to another agency for the purpose of conducting a computer matching program or other matching activity as defined in paragraphs (c) and (d) of § 262.5, but only after a determination by the Data Integrity Board that the procedural requirements of the Privacy Act, the guidelines issued by the Office of Management and Budget, and these regulations as may be applicable are met. These requirements include:

(i)Routine use. Disclosure is made only when permitted as a routine use of the system of records. The Manager, Records Office, determines the applicability of a particular routine use and the necessity for adoption of a new routine use.

(ii)Notice. Publication of new or revised matching programs in the Federal Register and advance notice to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget must be made pursuant to paragraph (f) of § 266.5.

(iii)Computer matching agreement. The participants in a computer matching program must enter into a written agreement specifying the terms under which the matching program is to be conducted (see § 266.10). The Manager, Records Office, may require that other matching activities be conducted in accordance with a written agreement.

(iv)Data Integrity Board approval. No record from a Postal Service system of records may be disclosed for use in a computer matching program unless the matching agreement has received approval by the Postal Service Data Integrity Board (see § 266.10). Other matching activities may, at the discretion of the Manager, Records Office, be submitted for Board approval.

(c)Correction Disclosure. Any person or other agency to which a personal record has been or is to be disclosed shall be informed of any corrections or notations of dispute relating thereto affecting the accuracy, timeliness or relevance of that personal record.

(d)Recording of Disclosure.

(1) An accurate accounting of each disclosure will be kept in all instances except those in which disclosure is made to the subject of the record, or to Postal Service employees in the performance of their duties or is required by the Freedom of Information Act ( 5 U.S.C. 552).

(2) The accounting will be maintained for at least five (5) years or the life of the record, whichever is longer.

(3) The accounting will be made available to the individual named in the record upon inquiry, except for disclosures made pursuant to provision paragraph (b)(2)(viii) of this section relating to law enforcement activities.

[ 40 FR 45723, Oct. 2, 1975, as amended at 45 FR 44272, July 1, 1980; 58 FR 62036, Nov. 24, 1993; 59 FR 37160, July 21, 1994; 64 FR 41291, July 30, 1999; 68 FR 56560, Oct. 1, 2003; 82 FR 12921, Mar. 8, 2017]

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 39 - POSTAL SERVICE
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