5 CFR 1302.2 - Requests for access.
(a) Requirement for written requests. Individuals desiring to gain access to a record pertaining to them in a system of records maintained by OMB must submit their request in writing in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. Due to security measures in effect in both the Old and New Executive Office Buildings, requests made in person (walk-ins) cannot be accepted, except that individuals who are employed by the Office of Management and Budget may make their request on a regularly scheduled workday (Monday through Friday, excluding legal Federal holidays) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Such requests for access by individuals employed by OMB need not be made in writing.
(i) The request for access to a record in a system of records shall be addressed to the Assistant to the Director for Administration, at the address cited above, and shall name the system of records or contain a description (as concise as possible) of such system of records. The request should state that the request is pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974. In the absence of specifying solely the Privacy Act of 1974 and, if the request may be processed under both the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act and the request specifies both or neither act, the procedures under the Privacy Act of 1974 will be employed. The individual will be advised that the procedures of the Privacy Act will be utilized, of the existence and the general effect of the Freedom of Information Act, and the difference between procedures under the two acts (e.g. fees, time limits, access). The request should contain necessary information to verify the identity of the requester (see§ 1302.2(b)(2)(vi), of this part) . In addition, the requester should include any other information which may assist in the rapid identification of the record for which access is being requested (e.g., maiden name, dates of employment, etc.) as well as any other identifying information contained in and required by the OMB Notice of Systems of Records.
(ii) If the request for access follows a prior request under§ 1302.1, of this part, the same identifying information need not be included in the request for access if a reference is made to that prior correspondence, or a copy of the OMB response to that request is attached.
(2) OMB action on request. A request for access will ordinarily be answered within 10 days, except when the Assistant to the Director for Administration determines that access cannot be afforded in that time, in which case the requester will be informed of the reason for the delay and an estimated date by which the request will be answered. Normally, access will be granted within 30 days from the date the request was received by the Office of Management and Budget. At a minimum, the answer to the request for access shall include the following:
(i) A statement that there is a record as requested or a statement that there is not a record in the system of records maintained by OMB;
(ii) A statement as to whether access will be granted only by providing a copy of the record through the mail; or the address of the location and the date and time at which the record may be examined. In the event the requester is unable to meet the specified date and time, alternative arrangements may be made with the official specified in§ 1302.2(b)(1) of this part;
(iii) A statement, when appropriate, that examination in person will be the sole means of granting access only when the Assistant to the Director for Administration has determined that it would not unduly impede the requester's right of access;
(iv) The amount of fees charged, if any (see§ 1302.6 of this part). (Fees are applicable only to requests for copies.);
(v) The name, title, and telephone number of the OMB official having operational control over the record; and
(vi) The documentation required by OMB to verify the identity of the requester. At a minimum, OMB's verification standards include the following:
(A) Current or former OMB employees. Current or former OMB employees requesting access to a record pertaining to them in a system of records maintained by OMB may, in addition to the other requirements of this section, and at the sole discretion of the official having operational control over the record, have his or her identity verified by visual observation. If the current or former OMB employee cannot be so identified by the official having operational control over the records, identification documentation will be required. Employee identification cards, annuitant identification, driver licenses, or the “employee copy” of any official personnel document in the record are examples of acceptable identification validation.
(B) Other than current or former OMB employees. Individuals other than current or former OMB employees requesting access to a record pertaining to them in a system of records maintained by OMB must produce identification documentation of the type described herein, prior to being granted access. The extent of the identification documentation required will depend on the type of record to be accessed. In most cases, identification verification will be accomplished by the presentation of two forms of identification. Any additional requirements are specified in the system notices published pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4).
(C) Access granted by mail. For records to be accessed by mail, the Assistant to the Director for Administration shall, to the extent possible, establish identity by a comparison of signatures in situations where the data in the record is not so sensitive that unauthorized access could cause harm or embarrassment to the individual to whom they pertain. No identification documentation will be required for the disclosure to the requester of information required to be made available to the public by 5 U.S.C. 552. When, in the opinion of the Assistant to the Director for Administration, the granting of access through the mail could reasonably be expected to result in harm or embarrassment if disclosed to a person other than the individual to whom the record pertains, a notarized statement of identity or some similar assurance of identity will be required.
(D) Unavailability of identification documentation. If an individual is unable to produce adequate identification documentation the individual will be required to sign a statement asserting identity and acknowledging that knowingly or willfully seeking or obtaining access to records about another person under false pretenses may result in a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, depending upon the sensitivity of the records sought to be accessed, the official having operational control over the records may require such further reasonable assurances as may be considered appropriate; e.g., statements of other individuals who can attest to the identity of the requester. No verification of identity will be required of individuals seeking access to records which are otherwise available to any person under 5 U.S.C. 552, Freedom of Information Act.
(E) Access by the parent of a minor, or legal guardian. A parent of a minor, upon presenting suitable personal identification, may access on behalf of the minor any record pertaining to the minor maintained by OMB in a system of records. A legal guardian may similarly act on behalf of an individual declared to be incompetent due to physical or mental incapacity or age by a court of competent jurisdiction, absent a court order or consent, a parent or legal guardian has no absolute right to have access to a record about a child. Minors are not precluded from exercising on their own behalf rights given to them by the Privacy Act.
(F) Granting access when accompanied by another individual. When an individual requesting access to his or her record in a system of records maintained by OMB wishes to be accompanied by another individual during the course of the examination of the record, the individual making the request shall submit to the official having operational control of the record, a signed statement authorizing that person access to the record.
(G) Denial of access for inadequate identification documentation. If the official having operation control over the records in a system of records maintained by OMB determines that an individual seeking access has not provided sufficient identification documentation to permit access, the official shall consult with the Assistant to the Director for Administration prior to finally denying the individual access.
(H) Review of decision to deny access. Whenever the Assistant to the Director for Administration determines, in accordance with the procedures herein, that access cannot be granted, the response will also include a statement of the procedures to obtain a review of the decision to deny in accordance with § 1302.5 of this part.
(vii) Exceptions. Nothing in these regulations shall be construed to entitle an individual the right to access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceedings. The mere fact that records in a system of records are frequently the subject of litigation does not bring those systems of records within the scope of this provision. This provision is not intended to preclude access by an individual to records which are available to that individual under other processes such as the Freedom of Information Act or the rules of civil procedure.
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