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Privacy Act; Implementation

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AGENCY:

Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Army is adding an exemption rule for the Inspector General Records for law enforcement purposes.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

March 12, 2002.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Janice Thornton at (703) 806-4390 or DSN 656-4390 or Ms. Christie King at (703) 806-3711 or DSN 656-3711.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The proposed rule was previously published on January 11, 2002, at 67 FR 1421. No comments were received; therefore, the rule is being adopted as final.

Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”

It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for the Department of Defense are not significant rules. The rules do not (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a sector of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another Agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive order.

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. Chapter 6)

It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for the Department of Defense do not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because they are concerned only with the administration of Privacy Act systems of records within the Department of Defense.

Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for the Department of Defense impose no information requirements beyond the Department of Defense and that the information collected within the Department of Defense is necessary and consistent with 5 U.S.C. 552a, known as the Privacy Act of 1974.

Section 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

It has been determined that Privacy Act rulemaking for the Department of Defense does not involve a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more and that such rulemaking will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for the Department of Defense do not have federalism implications. The rules do not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

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List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 505

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PART 505—THE ARMY PRIVACY PROGRAM

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Accordingly,

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896 (5 U.S.C. 552a).

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2. Section 505.5 is amended by revising paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (iv) and removing and reserving paragraphs (e)(2) to read as follows:

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Exemptions.
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(e) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) System name: Inspector General Records.

(ii) Exemptions: (A) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). However, if an individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit for which he would otherwise be entitled by Federal law or for which he would otherwise be eligible, as a result of the maintenance of such information, the individual will be provided access to such information except to the extent that disclosure would reveal the identity of a confidential source.

(B) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for federal civilian employment, military service, federal contracts, or access to classified information may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), but only to the extent that such material would reveal the identity of a confidential source.

(C) Therefore, portions of the system of records may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I), and (f). Start Printed Page 17619

(iii) Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) and (k)(5).

(iv) Reason: (A) From subsection (c)(3) because the release of the disclosure accounting, for disclosures pursuant to the routine uses published for this system, would permit the subject of a criminal investigation or matter under investigation to obtain valuable information concerning the nature of that investigation which will present a serious impediment to law enforcement.

(B) From subsection (d) because access to the records contained in this system would inform the subject of a criminal investigation of the existence of that investigation, provide the subject of the investigation with information that might enable him to avoid detection or apprehension, and would present a serious impediment to law enforcement.

(C) From subsection (e)(1) because in the course of criminal investigations information is often obtained concerning the violations of laws or civil obligations of others not relating to an active case or matter. In the interests of effective law enforcement, it is necessary that this valuable information is retained since it can aid in establishing patterns of activity and provide valuable leads for other agencies and future cases that may be brought.

(D) From subsections (e)(4)(G) and (e)(4)(H) because this system of records is exempt from individual access pursuant to subsection (k)(2) of the Privacy Act of 1974.

(E) From subsection (e)(4)(I) because of the identity of specific sources must be withheld in order to protect the confidentiality of the sources of criminal and other law enforcement information. This exemption is further necessary to protect the privacy and physical safety of witnesses and informants.

(F) From subsection (f) because this system of records has been exempted from the access provisions of subsection (d).

(G) Consistent with the legislative purpose of the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of the Army will grant access to nonexempt material in the records being maintained. Disclosure will be governed by the Department of the Army's Privacy Regulation, but will be limited to the extent that the identity of confidential sources will not be compromised; subjects of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal violation will not be alerted to the investigation; the physical safety of witnesses, informants and law enforcement personnel will not be endangered, the privacy of third parties will not be violated; and that the disclosure would not otherwise impede effective law enforcement. Whenever possible, information of this nature will be deleted from the requested documents and the balance made available. The controlling principle behind this limited access is to allow disclosures except those indicated in this paragraph. The decisions to release information from these systems will be made on a case-by-case basis.

(2) [Reserved]

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Dated: April 2, 2002.

Patricia L. Toppings,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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[FR Doc. 02-8476 Filed 4-10-02; 8:45 am]

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