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Proposed Rule

Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Proposed Rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Justice proposes to amend the Privacy Act exemptions to two Civil Rights Division systems of records, entitled Central Civil Rights Division Index File and Associated Records (JUSTICE/CRT-001), and Files on Employment Civil Rights Matters Referred by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (JUSTICE/CRT-007), as described in today's notice section of the Federal Register.

DATES:

Submit any comments by September 10, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Address all comments to Mary Cahill, Management and Planning Staff, Justice Management Division, Department of Justice, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20530 (1400 National Place Building).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mary Cahill, (202) 307-1823.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Department proposes to exempt JUSTICE/CRT-001 from 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (4); (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4); (e)(1), (2), (3), (5), and (8); and (g). The Department proposes to exempt JUSTICE/CRT-007 from 5 U.S.C. 552a (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4). The exemptions will be applied only to the extent that information in a record is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (j) and (k). The Department also proposes to remove the exemptions to the former Civil Rights Division system of records entitled “Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Records (JUSTICE/CRT-010)” at 28 CFR 16.90 (e) and (f). The records in CRT-010 are now covered by DOJ-004, and the exemptions are stated in 28 CFR 16.130.

This order relates to individuals rather than small business entities. Nevertheless, pursuant to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, this order will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 16

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Pursuant to the authority vested in the Attorney General by 5 U.S.C. 552a and delegated to me by Attorney General Order No. 793-78, it is proposed to amend 28 CFR part 16 as follows:

1. The authority for part 16 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 552b(g), and 553; 18 U.S.C. 4203(a)(1); 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 534; 31 U.S.C. 3717, and 9701.

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2. Section 16.90 is revised to read as follows:

Exemption of Civil Rights Division Systems.

(a) The following system of records is exempted from subsections (c)(3) and (4); (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4); (e)(1), (2), (3), (5), and (8); and (g) of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (j) and (k): Central Civil Rights Division Index File and Associated Records (JUSTICE/CRT-001). These exemptions apply only to the extent that information in a record is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (j)(2), (k)(1) and (k)(2).

(b) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

(1) Subsection (c)(3). To provide the subject of a criminal, civil, or administrative matter or case under investigation with an accounting of disclosures of records concerning him or her could inform that individual of the existence, nature, or scope of an actual or potential criminal or civil violation to gain valuable information concerning the nature and scope of the investigation, to determine whether he or she is the subject of the investigation, and seriously impede law enforcement efforts by permitting the record subject and other persons to whom he or she might disclose the records to avoid criminal penalties, civil remedies, or administrative measures.

(2) Subsection (c)(4). This subsection is inapplicable to the extent that an exemption is being claimed for subsection (d).

(3) Subsection (d)(1). Disclosure of investigatory information could interfere with the investigation, reveal the identity of confidential sources, and result in an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of others. Disclosure of classified national security information would cause damage to the national security of the United States. In addition, these records may be subject to protective orders entered by federal courts to protect their confidentiality. Further, many of the records contained in this system are copies of documents which are the property of state agencies and were obtained under express or implied promises to strictly protect their confidentiality.

(4) Subsection (d)(2). Amendment of the records could interfere with ongoing criminal or civil law enforcement proceedings and impose an impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continuously reinvestigated.

(5) Subsection (d)(3) and (4). These subsections are inapplicable to the extent exemption is claimed from (d)(1) and (2).

(6) Subsection (e)(1). It is often impossible to determine in advance if investigatory records contained in this system are accurate, relevant, timely and complete, but, in the interests of effective law enforcement, it is necessary to retain this information to aid in establishing patterns of activity and provide investigative leads.

(7) Subsection (e)(2). To collect information from the subject individual could serve notice that he or she is the subject of a criminal investigation and Start Printed Page 47520thereby present a serious impediment to such investigation.

(8) Subsection (e)(3). To inform individuals as required by this subsection could reveal the existence of a criminal or civil investigation and compromise investigative efforts.

(9) Subsection (e)(5). It is often impossible to determine in advance if investigatory records contained in this system are accurate, relevant, timely and complete, but, in the interests of effective law enforcement, it is necessary to retain this information to aid in establishing patterns of activity and provide investigative leads.

(10) Subsection (e)(8). To serve notice could give persons sufficient warning to evade investigative efforts.

(11) Subsection (g). This subsection is inapplicable to the extent that the system is exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act.

(c) The following system of records is exempted from subsections (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (k): “Files on Employment Civil Rights Matters Referred by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (JUSTICE/CRT-007).” These exemptions apply only to the extent that information in a record is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a (k)(2).

(d) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for the following reasons:

(1) Subsection (d)(1). Disclosure of investigatory information could interfere with the investigation, reveal the identity of confidential sources, and result in an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of others. In addition, these records may be subject to protective orders entered by federal courts to protect their confidentiality. Further, many of the records contained in this system are copies of documents which are the property of state agencies and were obtained under express or implied promises to strictly protect their confidentiality.

(2) Subsection (d)(2). Amendment of the records could interfere with ongoing criminal or civil law enforcement proceedings and impose an impossible administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continuously reinvestigated.

(3) Subsection (d)(1), (2), (3) and (4). This system contains investigatory material compiled by the Equal Opportunity Commission pursuant to its authority under 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8. Titles 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(b), 42 U.S.C. 2000e-8(e), and 44 U.S.C. 3508 make it unlawful to make public in any manner whatsoever any information obtained by the Commission pursuant to the authority.

(4) Subsection (d)(3) and (4). These subsections are inapplicable to the extent exemption is claimed from (d)(1) and (2).

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Dated: July 24, 2003.

Paul R. Corts,

Assistant Attorney General for Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-20341 Filed 8-8-03; 8:45 am]

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