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Rule

Implementation of the Privacy Act of 1974

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Inspector General, HUD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule amends the regulations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that implement the Privacy Act of 1974 to conform these regulations to the OIG's notice, published on May 22, 2000, that added two new systems of records to the four systems of records already in existence. This final rule follows publication of a proposed rule and the May 22, 2000 notice, both of which solicited public comments. No public comments were received on either the rule or notice.

DATES:

Effective Date: September 20, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Bryan Saddler, Acting Counsel to the Inspector General, Room 8260, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20410, (202) 708-1613. (This is not a toll free number.) A telecommunications device for hearing-and speech-impaired persons (TTY) is available at 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Information Relay Services). (This is a toll-free number.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. 3) was enacted to create independent and objective units to perform various investigative and monitoring functions in several Executive Agencies of the Federal Government, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This Act confers broad authority upon the Inspector General to conduct independent investigations, audits, and other activities. Consistent with its statutory independence, the OIG of HUD adopted separate regulations at 24 CFR Chapter XII. Chapter XII is applicable to such OIG matters as availability of information to the public (part 2002) and production of information in response to subpoenas or demands of courts or other authorities (part 2004). See 57 FR 2225, January 21, 1992.

In June 1992, the Inspector General of HUD also adopted part 2003 of Chapter XII, for the purpose of implementing the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) with respect to OIG records. Part 2003 generally incorporated the Department's existing Privacy Act regulations (24 CFR part 16), but also contained a series of general and specific exemptions for three of OIG's four existing systems of records.

This final rule amends these regulations consistent with the OIG notice, published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2000 (65 FR 33242), that added two new systems of records to the four systems of records already in existence. This final rule follows publication of a May 22, 2000 proposed rule and the May 22, 2000 notice, both of which solicited public comments. No public comments were received either on the proposed rule or the notice. This final rule makes no changes to the proposed rule.

The notice took effect on June 21, 2000.

Findings and Certifications

Environmental Review

This rule does not direct, provide for assistance or loan and mortgage insurance for, or otherwise govern or regulate real property acquisition, disposition, leasing, rehabilitation, alteration, demolition, or new construction, or establish , revise, or provide for standards for construction or construction materials, manufactured housing or occupancy. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(1), this issuance is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rule would not create a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule is limited to making conforming amendments to existing regulations.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

This rule does not have Federalism implications and does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments or preempt State law within the meaning of Executive Order 13132.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, 64, codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) (UMRA) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and on the private sector. This rule does not impose, within the meaning of the UMRA, any Federal mandates on any State, local, or, tribal governments or on the private sector.

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List of Subjects in 24 CFR Part 2003

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Accordingly, 24 CFR chapter XII, part 2003, is amended to read as follows:

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PART 2003—IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974

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1. The authority citation for part 2003 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a; 5 U.S.C. App. 3 (Inspector General Act of 1978); 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).

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2. In § 2003.8, the introductory text of paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:

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General Exemptions.

(a) The systems of records entitled “Investigative Files of the Office of Inspector General,” “Hotline Complaint Files of the Office of Inspector General,” “Name Indices System of the Office of Inspector General,” and “AutoInvestigation of the Office of Inspector General” consist, in part, of information compiled by the OIG for the purpose of criminal law enforcement investigations. Therefore, to the extent that information in these systems falls within the scope of exemption (j)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), these systems of records are exempt from the requirements of the following subsections of the Privacy Act, for the reasons stated in paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) of this section.

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3. In § 2003.9, the introductory text of paragraph (a) is revised, and paragraph (b) is revised, to read as follows:

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Specific Exemptions.

(a) The systems of records entitled “Investigative Files of the Office of Inspector General,” “Hotline Complaint Files of the Office of Inspector General,” “Name Indices System of the Office of Inspector General,” and “AutoInvestigation of the Office of Inspector General” consist, in part, of investigatory material compiled by the OIG for law enforcement purposes. Therefore, to the extent that information in these systems falls within the coverage of exemption (k)(2) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), these systems of records are exempt from the requirements of the following subsections of the Privacy Act, for the reasons stated in paragraphs (a) (1) through (4) of this section.

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(b) The systems of records entitled “Investigative Files of the Office of Inspector General,” “Hotline Complaint Files of the Office of Inspector General,” “Name Indices System of the Office of Inspector General,” and “Autoinvestigation of the Office of Inspector General” consist in part of investigatory material compiled by the OIG for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment or Federal contracts, the release of which would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence. Therefore, to the extent that information in these systems fall within the coverage of exemption (k)(5) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), these systems of records are exempt from the requirements of subsection (d)(1), because release would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise of confidentiality. Revealing the identity of a confidential source could impede future cooperation by sources, and could result in harassment or harm to such sources.

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Dated: August 7, 2000.

Susan Gaffney,

Inspector General.

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[FR Doc. 00-21218 Filed 8-18-00; 8:45 am]

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