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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:

National Labor Relations Board.

ACTION:

Proposed rule exempting three systems of records and portions of four other systems of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act, and amending Agency's existing Privacy Act regulations.

SUMMARY:

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposes to exempt three systems of records and portions of four other systems of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, pursuant to Section (k)(2) of that Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), and to amend existing Privacy Act regulations for clarity.

DATES:

Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before January 22, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

All persons who desire to submit written comments for consideration by the Agency regarding the proposed rule shall mail them to the Agency's Privacy Officer, National Labor Relations Board, Room 7608, 1099 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20570-0001, or submit them electronically to PrivacyActComments@nlrb.gov. Comments may also be submitted electronically through http://www.regulations.gov, which contains a copy of this proposed rule.

Copies of all such communications will be available for examination during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays) in the Agency's Reading Room, located in the Case Records Unit, National Labor Relations Board, Room 9201, 1099 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20570-0001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tommie Gregg, Sr., Privacy Act Officer, National Labor Relations Board, Room 7608, 1099 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20570-0001, (202) 273-2833, Tommie.Gregg@nlrb.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Elsewhere in today's issue of the Federal Register, the Agency is proposing twelve systems of records under the Privacy Act of 1974, nine of which consist of an electronic case tracking system and associated paper or electronic files, and the remaining three systems consist of electronic case tracking systems only.

The Agency intends to change the section number of its Privacy Act regulations, currently designated as Section 102.117(f)-(q) of Part 102, 29 CFR Subpart K, immediately following the Agency's Freedom of Information Act regulations, by creating a new section for the Privacy Act regulations, in order to more clearly separate them from the Freedom of Information Act regulations. Under this change, the Agency's Privacy Act regulations will continue to immediately follow the Freedom of Information Act regulations at Section 102.117(a)-(e), but will be newly designated as Section 102.117a, paragraphs (a) through (n), of Part 102, 29 CFR Subpart K.

The Agency also intends to amend its Privacy Act regulations providing for notice, access, and amendment of Privacy Act records, Section 102.117a(a), (b), and (d) (as newly designated), 29 CFR 102.117a(a), (b), and (d), in order to clarify that these provisions apply only to the extent that requested information from the Privacy Act system of records at issue has not been exempted from such Privacy Act provisions.

Pursuant to subsection (k)(2) of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2)), and for the reasons set forth below, the Board proposes to include within the new Section 102.117a, two additional paragraphs (m) and (n) exempting three systems of records (the Case Activity Tracking System (CATS) and Associated Regional Office Files (NLRB-25), the Regional Advice and Injunction Litigation System (RAILS) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-28), and the Appeals Case Tracking System (ACTS) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-30)), and portions of four other systems of records (the Judicial Case Management System—Pending Case List (JCMS-PCL) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-21), the Solicitor's System (SOL) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-23), the Special Litigation Branch Case Tracking System (SPLIT) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-27), and the Freedom of Information Act Tracking System (FTS) and Associated Agency Files (NLRB-32)) from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f) of the Privacy Act.

Subsection (k)(2) of the Privacy Act authorizes the head of an agency to exempt a system of records from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f) of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), (f)) if the system of records is investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material within the scope of subsection (j)(2) of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2)). As indicated in the Agency's notice proposing the systems of records, all or portions of seven of the proposed systems contain information compiled by the Agency in the course of carrying out its law enforcement responsibilities in conducting unfair labor practice and representation investigations. (All references in this proposed rule to the Agency's “unfair labor practice cases” include the portion of such cases known as “compliance,” which is the effectuation of remedial provisions of a settlement agreement, Board order, or court judgment enforcing a Board order (see NLRB Casehandling Manual, Part Three—Compliance Proceedings, § 10500.1).) This information meets the criteria of subsection (k)(2).

The requirements of subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f) of the Privacy Act, if applied to the seven proposed systems of records, would seriously impair the ability of the Agency to conduct investigations of alleged unfair labor practice violations and representation issues. The disclosure requirements as set forth in the provisions for notice, access, amendment, review, and accountings, could enable subject individuals to take action to avoid detection of improper activities, including but not limited to concealing or destroying evidence, and intimidating sources and witnesses, or otherwise to interfere with the investigation. In addition, the requirement that information maintained in the system be limited to that which is relevant and necessary could foreclose investigators from acquiring or receiving information the relevance and necessity of which is not readily apparent and could only be ascertained after a complete review and evaluation of all the evidence.

The requirements of these subsections are largely unnecessary given the notice and procedural protections afforded by the Agency's administrative proceedings. These protections (i.e., notice and, in appropriate cases, opportunity for hearing), assure that subject individuals will have the opportunity to learn of the existence of, and to challenge, those records that the Agency uses in administrative proceedings, and in any subsequent judicial proceeding.

This proposed rule relates to individuals rather than small business entities. Accordingly, pursuant to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, this rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Start Printed Page 74882

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Agency has determined that this proposed rule would not impose new recordkeeping, application, reporting, or other types of information collection requirements on the public.

The proposed rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among levels of government. Therefore, it is determined that this proposed rule does not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132.

In accordance with Executive Order 12866, it has been determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action,” and therefore does not require a Regulatory Impact Analysis.

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List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 102

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For the reasons stated in the Supplementary Information section, Part 102 of title 29, ch. I of the Code of Federal Regulations, is proposed to be amended as follows:

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PART 102—RULES AND REGULATIONS, SERIES 8

Subpart K—Records and Information

1. The authority citation for part 102 is revised to read as follows:

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Authority: Sections 1, 6, National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 151, 156). Section 102.117 also issued under section 552(a)(4)(A) of the Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(A)), and Section 102.117a also issued under section 552a(j) and (k) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a (j) and (k)). Sections 102.143 through 102.155 also issued under section 504(c)(1) of the Equal Access to Justice Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 504(c)(1)).

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2. Section 102.117 of subpart K is amended by:

a. Removing paragraphs (f) through (q);

b. In part 102, revise all references to paragraphs 102.117(f) through (q) to read paragraphs 102.117a (a) through (l).

c. The heading of § 102.117 is revised to read as follows:

Freedom of Information Act Regulations: Board materials and formal documents available for public inspection and copying; requests for described records; time limit for response; appeal from denial of request; fees for document search and duplication; files and records not subject to inspection.

3. Section 102.117a is added to read as follows:

Privacy Act Regulations: notification as to whether a system of records contains records pertaining to requesting individuals; requests for access to records, amendment of such records, or accounting of disclosures; time limits for response; appeal from denial of requests; fees for document duplication; files and records exempted from certain Privacy Act requirements.

(a) An individual will be informed whether a system of records maintained by this Agency contains a record pertaining to such individual. An inquiry should be made in writing or in person during normal business hours to the official of this Agency designated for that purpose and at the address set forth in a notice of a system of records published by this Agency, in a Notice of Systems of Governmentwide Personnel Records published by the Office of Personnel Management, or in a Notice of Governmentwide Systems of Records published by the Department of Labor. Copies of such notices, and assistance in preparing an inquiry, may be obtained from any Regional Office of the Board or at the Board offices at 1099 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20570. The inquiry should contain sufficient information, as defined in the notice, to identify the record. Reasonable verification of the identity of the inquirer, as described in paragraph (e) of this section, will be required to assure that information is disclosed to the proper person. The Agency shall acknowledge the inquiry in writing within 10 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) and, wherever practicable, the acknowledgment shall supply the information requested. If, for good cause shown, the Agency cannot supply the information within 10 days, the inquirer shall within that time period be notified in writing of the reasons therefor and when it is anticipated the information will be supplied. An acknowledgment will not be provided when the information is supplied within the 10-day period. If the Agency refuses to inform an individual whether a system of records contains a record pertaining to an individual, the inquirer shall be notified in writing of that determination and the reasons therefor, and of the right to obtain review of that determination under the provisions of paragraph (f) of this section. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to the extent that requested information from the relevant system of records has been exempted from this Privacy Act requirement.

(b) An individual will be permitted access to records pertaining to such individual contained in any system of records described in the notice of system of records published by this Agency, or access to the accounting of disclosures from such records. The request for access must be made in writing or in person during normal business hours to the person designated for that purpose and at the address set forth in the published notice of system of records. The request for access must be made in writing or in person during normal business hours to the person designated for that purpose and at the address set forth in the published notice of system of records. Copies of such notices, and assistance in preparing a request for access, may be obtained from any Regional Office of the Board or at the Board offices at 1099 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20570. Reasonable verification of the identity of the requester, as described in paragraph (e) of this section, shall be required to assure that records are disclosed to the proper person. A request for access to records or the accounting of disclosures from such records shall be acknowledged in writing by the Agency within 10 days of receipt (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) and, wherever practicable, the acknowledgment shall inform the requester whether access will be granted and, if so, the time and location at which the records or accounting will be made available. If access to the record or accounting is to be granted, the record or accounting will normally be provided within 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) of the request, unless for good cause shown the Agency is unable to do so, in which case the individual will be informed in writing within that 30-day period of the reasons therefor and when it is anticipated that access will be granted. An acknowledgment of a request will not be provided if the record is made available within the 10-day period. If an individual's request for access to a record or an accounting of disclosure from such a record under the provisions of this paragraph is denied, the notice informing the individual of the denial shall set forth the reasons therefor and advise the individual of the right to obtain a review of that determination under the provisions of paragraph (f) of this section. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to the extent that requested information from the relevant system of records has been exempted from this Privacy Act requirement.

(c) An individual granted access to records pertaining to such individual contained in a system of records may review all such records. For that Start Printed Page 74883purpose the individual may be accompanied by a person of the individual's choosing, or the record may be released to the individual's representative who has written consent of the individual, as described in paragraph (e) of this section. A first copy of any such record or information will ordinarily be provided without charge to the individual or representative in a form comprehensible to the individual. Fees for any other copies of requested records shall be assessed at the rate of 10 cents for each sheet of duplication.

(d) An individual may request amendment of a record pertaining to such individual in a system of records maintained by this Agency. A request for amendment of a record must be in writing and submitted during normal business hours to the person designated for that purpose and at the address set forth in the published notice for the system of records containing the record of which amendment is sought. Copies of such notices, and assistance in preparing a request for amendment, may be obtained from any Regional Office of the Board or at the Board offices at 1099 14th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20570. The requester must provide verification of identity as described in paragraph (e) of this section, and the request should set forth the specific amendment requested and the reason for the requested amendment. The Agency shall acknowledge in writing receipt of the request within 10 days of receipt (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) and, wherever practicable, the acknowledgment shall advise the individual of the determination of the request. If the review of the request for amendment cannot be completed and a determination made within 10 days, the review shall be completed as soon as possible, normally within 30 days (Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays excluded) of receipt of the request unless unusual circumstances preclude completing the review within that time, in which event the requester will be notified in writing within that 30-day period of the reasons for the delay and when the determination of the request may be expected. If the determination is to amend the record, the requester shall be so notified in writing and the record shall be amended in accordance with that determination. If any disclosures accountable under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c) have been made, all previous recipients of the record which was amended shall be advised of the amendment and its substance. If it is determined that the request should not be granted, the requester shall be notified in writing of that determination and of the reasons therefor, and advised of the right to obtain review of the adverse determination under the provisions of paragraph (f) of this section. The provisions of this paragraph do not apply to the extent that requested information from the relevant system of records has been exempted from this Privacy Act requirement.

(e) Verification of the identification of individuals required under paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) of this section to assure that records are disclosed to the proper person shall be required by the Agency to an extent consistent with the nature, location, and sensitivity of the records being disclosed. Disclosure of a record to an individual in person will normally be made upon the presentation of acceptable identification. Disclosure of records by mail may be made on the basis of the identifying information set forth in the request. Depending on the nature, location, and sensitivity of the requested record, a signed notarized statement verifying identity may be required by the Agency. Proof of authorization as representative to have access to a record of an individual shall be in writing, and a signed notarized statement of such authorization may be required by the Agency if the record requested is of a sensitive nature.

(f)(1) Review may be obtained with respect to:

(i) A refusal, under paragraph (a) or (g) of this section, to inform an individual if a system of records contains a record concerning that individual,

(ii) A refusal, under paragraph (b) or (g) of this section, to grant access to a record or an accounting of disclosure from such a record, or

(iii) A refusal, under paragraph (d) of this section, to amend a record.

(iv) The request for review should be made to the Chairman of the Board if the system of records is maintained in the office of a Member of the Board, the office of the Executive Secretary, the office of the Solicitor, the Division of Information, or the Division of Administrative Law Judges. Consonant with the provisions of section 3(d) of the National Labor Relations Act, and the delegation of authority from the Board to the General Counsel, the request should be made to the General Counsel if the system of records is maintained by an office of the Agency other than those enumerated above. Either the Chairman of the Board or the General Counsel may designate in writing another officer of the Agency to review the refusal of the request. Such review shall be completed within 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the receipt of the request for review unless the Chairman of the Board or the General Counsel, as the case may be, for good cause shown, shall extend such 30-day period.

(2) If, upon review of a refusal under paragraph (a) or (g) of this section, the reviewing officer determines that the individual should be informed of whether a system of records contains a record pertaining to that individual, such information shall be promptly provided. If the reviewing officer determines that the information was properly denied, the individual shall be so informed in writing with a brief statement of the reasons therefor.

(3) If, upon review of a refusal under paragraph (b) or (g) of this section, the reviewing officer determines that access to a record or to an accounting of disclosures should be granted, the requester shall be so notified and the record or accounting shall be promptly made available to the requester. If the reviewing officer determines that the request for access was properly denied, the individual shall be so informed in writing with a brief statement of the reasons therefor, and of the right to judicial review of that determination under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(g)(1)(B).

(4) If, upon review of a refusal under paragraph (i) of this section, the reviewing official grants a request to amend, the requester shall be so notified, the record shall be amended in accordance with the determination, and, if any disclosures accountable under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c) have been made, all previous recipients of the record which was amended shall be advised of the amendment and its substance. If the reviewing officer determines that the denial of a request for amendment should be sustained, the Agency shall advise the requester of the determination and the reasons therefor, and that the individual may file with the Agency a concise statement of the reason for disagreeing with the determination, and may seek judicial review of the Agency's denial of the request to amend the record. In the event a statement of disagreement is filed, that statement—

(i) will be made available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed together with, at the discretion of the Agency, a brief statement summarizing the Agency's reasons for declining to amend the record, and

(ii) will be supplied, together with any Agency statements, to any prior recipients of the disputed record to the Start Printed Page 74884extent that an accounting of disclosure was made.

(g) To the extent that portions of system of records described in notices of Governmentwide systems of records published by the Office of Personnel Management are identified by those notices as being subject to the management of an officer of this Agency, or an officer of this Agency is designated as the official to contact for information, access, or contents of those records, individual requests for access to those records, requests for their amendment, and review of denials of requests for amendment shall be in accordance with the provisions of 5 CFR part 297, subpart A, § 297.101, et seq., as promulgated by the Office of Personnel Management. To the extent that portions of system of records described in notices of Governmentwide system of records published by the Department of Labor are identified by those notices as being subject to the management of an officer of this Agency, or an officer of this Agency is designated as the official to contact for information, access, or contents of those records, individual requests for access to those records, requests for their amendment, and review of denials of requests for amendment shall be in accordance with the provisions of this rule. Review of a refusal to inform an individual whether such a system of records contains a record pertaining to that individual and review of a refusal to grant an individual's request for access to a record in such a system may be obtained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (f) of this section.

(h) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), the system of records maintained by the Office of the Inspector General of the National Labor Relations Board that contains Investigative Files shall be exempted from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a, except subsections (b), (c)(1) and (2), (e)(4)(A) through (F), (e)(6), (7), (9), (10), and (11), and (i), from 29 CFR 102.117(c) and (d), and from 29 CFR 102.117a(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), insofar as the system contains investigatory material compiled for criminal law enforcement purposes.

(i) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), the system of records maintained by the Office of the Inspector General of the National Labor Relations Board that contains the Investigative Files shall be exempted from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f), from 29 CFR 102.117 (c) and (d), and from 29 CFR 102.117a(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), insofar as the system contains investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes not within the scope of the exemption at 29 CFR 102.117a(h).

(j) Privacy Act exemptions contained in paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section are justified for the following reasons:

(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) requires an agency to make the accounting of each disclosure of records available to the individual named in the record at his/her request. These accountings must state the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record and the name and address of the recipient. Accounting for each disclosure would alert the subjects of an investigation to the existence of the investigation and the fact that they are subjects of the investigation. The release of such information to the subjects of an investigation would provide them with significant information concerning the nature of the investigation and could seriously impede or compromise the investigation, endanger the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and their families and lead to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, or the fabrication of testimony.

(2) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(4) requires an agency to inform any person or other agency about any correction or notation of dispute made by the agency in accordance with subsection (d) of the Act. Since this system of records is being exempted from subsection (d) of the Act, concerning access to records, this section is inapplicable to the extent that this system of records will be exempted from subsection (d) of the Act.

(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) requires an agency to permit an individual to gain access to records pertaining to him/her, to request amendment to such records, to request a review of an agency decision not to amend such records, and to contest the information contained in such records. Granting access to records in this system of records could inform the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal violation, of the existence of that investigation, of the nature and scope of the information and evidence obtained as to his/her activities, or of the identity of confidential sources, witnesses, and law enforcement personnel and could provide information to enable the subject to avoid detection or apprehension. Granting access to such information could seriously impede or compromise an investigation, endanger the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and their families, lead to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, or the fabrication of testimony, and disclose investigative techniques and procedures. In addition, granting access to such information could disclose classified, security-sensitive, or confidential business information and could constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of others.

(4) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires each agency to maintain in its records only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by statute or by executive order of the President. The application of this provision could impair investigations and law enforcement because it is not always possible to detect the relevance or necessity of specific information in the early stages of an investigation. Relevance and necessity are often questions of judgment and timing, and it is only after the information is evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be established. In addition, during the course of the investigation, the investigator may obtain information which is incidental to the main purpose of the investigative jurisdiction of another agency. Such information cannot readily be segregated. Furthermore, during the course of the investigation, the investigator may obtain information concerning the violation of laws other than those which are within the scope of his/her jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, OIG investigators should retain this information, since it can aid in establishing patterns of criminal activity and can provide valuable leads for other law enforcement agencies.

(5) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(2) requires an agency to collect information to the greatest extent practicable directly from the subject individual when the information may result in adverse determinations about an individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under Federal programs. The application of this provision could impair investigations and law enforcement by alerting the subject of an investigation, thereby enabling the subject to avoid detection or apprehension, to influence witnesses improperly, to destroy evidence, or to fabricate testimony. Moreover, in certain circumstances the subject of an investigation cannot be required to provide information to investigators and information must be collected from other sources. Furthermore, it is often necessary to collect information from sources other than the subject of the investigation to Start Printed Page 74885verify the accuracy of the evidence collected.

(6) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(3) requires an agency to inform each person whom it asks to supply information, on a form that can be retained by the person, of the authority under which the information is sought and whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary; of the principal purposes for which the information is intended to be used; of the routine uses which may be made of the information; and of the effects on the person, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information. The application of this provision could provide the subject of an investigation with substantial information about the nature of that investigation that could interfere with the investigation. Moreover, providing such a notice to the subject of an investigation could seriously impede or compromise an undercover investigation by revealing its existence and could endanger the physical safety of confidential sources, witnesses, and investigators by revealing their identities.

(7) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G) and (H) require an agency to publish a Federal Register notice concerning its procedures for notifying an individual, at his/her request, if the system of records contains a record pertaining to him/her, how to gain access to such a record and how to contest its content. Since this system of records is being exempted from subsection (f) of the Act, concerning agency rules, and subsection (d) of the Act, concerning access to records, these requirements are inapplicable to the extent that this system of records will be exempt from subsections (f) and (d) of the Act. Although the system would be exempt from these requirements, OIG has published information concerning its notification, access, and contest procedures because, under certain circumstances, OIG could decide it is appropriate for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his/her records in this system of records.

(8) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires an agency to publish a Federal Register notice concerning the categories of sources of records in the system of records. Exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the confidentiality of the sources of information, to protect the privacy and physical safety of confidential sources and witnesses, and to avoid the disclosure of investigative techniques and procedures. Although the system will be exempt from this requirement, OIG has published such a notice in broad generic terms.

(9) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(5) requires an agency to maintain its records with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in making any determination about the individual. Since the Act defines “maintain” to include the collection of information, complying with this provision could prevent the collection of any data not shown to be accurate, relevant, timely, and complete at the moment it is collected. In collecting information for criminal law enforcement purposes, it is not possible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete. Facts are first gathered and then placed into a logical order to prove or disprove objectively the criminal behavior of an individual. Material which seems unrelated, irrelevant, or incomplete when collected can take on added meaning or significance as the investigation progresses. The restrictions of this provision could interfere with the preparation of a complete investigative report, thereby impeding effective law enforcement.

(10) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(8) requires an agency to make reasonable efforts to serve notice on an individual when any record on such individual is made available to any person under compulsory legal process when such process becomes a matter of public record. Complying with this provision could prematurely reveal an ongoing criminal investigation to the subject of the investigation.

(11) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(1) requires an agency to promulgate rules which shall establish procedures whereby an individual can be notified in response to his/her request if any system of records named by the individual contains a record pertaining to him/her. The application of this provision could impede or compromise an investigation or prosecution if the subject of an investigation were able to use such rules to learn of the existence of an investigation before it could be completed. In addition, mere notice of the fact of an investigation could inform the subject and others that their activities are under or may become the subject of an investigation and could enable the subjects to avoid detection or apprehension, to influence witnesses improperly, to destroy evidence, or to fabricate testimony. Since this system would be exempt from subsection (d) of the Act, concerning access to records, the requirements of subsection (f)(2) through (5) of the Act, concerning agency rules for obtaining access to such records, are inapplicable to the extent that this system of records will be exempted from subsection (d) of the Act. Although this system would be exempt from the requirements of subsection (f) of the Act, OIG has promulgated rules which establish agency procedures because, under certain circumstances, it could be appropriate for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his/her records in this system of records.

(12) 5 U.S.C. 552a(g) provides for civil remedies if an agency fails to comply with the requirements concerning access to records under subsections (d)(1) and (3) of the Act; maintenance of records under subsection (e)(5) of the Act; and any other provision of the Act, or any rule promulgated thereunder, in such a way as to have an adverse effect on an individual. Since this system of records would be exempt from subsections (c)(3) and (4), (d), (e)(1), (2), and (3) and (4)(G) through (I), (e)(5), and (8), and (f) of the Act, the provisions of subsection (g) of the Act would be inapplicable to the extent that this system of records will be exempted from those subsections of the Act.

(k) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), the system of records maintained by the NLRB containing Agency Disciplinary Case Files (Nonemployees) shall be exempted from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f) insofar as the system contains investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2).

(l) The Privacy Act exemption set forth in paragraph (k) of this section is claimed on the ground that the requirements of subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f) of the Privacy Act, if applied to Agency Disciplinary Case Files, would seriously impair the ability of the NLRB to conduct investigations of alleged or suspected violations of the NLRB's misconduct rules, as set forth in paragraphs (j) (1), (3), (4), (7), (8), and (11) of this section.

(m) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), the following three proposed systems of records shall be exempted in their entirety from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f), because the systems contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of nl;5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2): Case Activity Tracking System (CATS) and Associated Regional Office Files (NLRB-25), Regional Advice and Injunction Litigation System (RAILS) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-28), and Appeals Case Tracking System (ACTS) and Associated Start Printed Page 74886Headquarters Files (NLRB-30). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), limited categories of information from the following four proposed systems of records shall be exempted from the provisions of nl;5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I), and (f), insofar as the systems contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2):

(1) the Judicial Case Management Systems—Pending Case List (JCMS-PCL) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-21)—information relating to requests to file injunctions under 29 U.S.C. 160(j), requests to initiate federal court contempt proceedings, certain requests that the Board initiate litigation or intervene in non-Agency litigation, and any other investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes;

(2) the Solicitor's System (SOL) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-23)—information relating to requests to file injunctions under 29 U.S.C. 160(j), requests to initiate federal court contempt proceedings, certain requests that the Board initiate litigation or intervene in non-Agency litigation, and any other investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes;

(3) The Special Litigation Case Tracking System (SPLIT) and Associated Headquarters Files (NLRB-27)—information relating to investigative subpoena enforcement cases, injunction and mandamus actions regarding Agency cases under investigation, bankruptcy case information in matters under investigation, Freedom of Information Act cases involving investigatory records, certain requests that the Board initiate litigation or intervene in non-Agency litigation, and any other investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes; and

(4) The Freedom of Information Act Tracking System (FTS) and Associated Agency Files (NLRB-32)—information requested under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, that relates to the Agency's investigation of unfair labor practice and representation cases or other proceedings described in paragraphs (m)(1) through (3) of this section.

(n) The reasons for exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) are as follows:

(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) requires an agency to make the accounting of each disclosure of records available to the individual named in the record at such individual's request. These accountings must state the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record, and the name and address of the recipient. Providing such an accounting of investigatory information to a party in an unfair labor practice or representation matter under investigation could inform that individual of the precise scope of an Agency investigation, or the existence or scope of another law enforcement investigation. Accordingly, this Privacy Act requirement could seriously impede or compromise either the Agency's investigation, or another law enforcement investigation, by causing the improper influencing of witnesses, retaliation against witnesses, destruction of evidence, or fabrication of testimony.

(2) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) requires an agency to permit an individual to gain access to records pertaining to such individual, to request amendment to such records, to request review of an agency decision not to amend such records, and, where the Agency refuses to amend records, to submit a statement of disagreement to be included with the records. Such disclosure of investigatory information could seriously impede or compromise the Agency's investigation by revealing the identity of confidential sources or confidential business information, or causing the improper influencing of witnesses, retaliation against witnesses, destruction of evidence, fabrication of testimony, or unwarranted invasion of the privacy of others. Amendment of the records could interfere with ongoing law enforcement proceedings and impose an undue administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continuously reinvestigated.

(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires an agency to maintain in its records only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by statute or by executive order of the President. This requirement could foreclose investigators from acquiring or receiving information the relevance and necessity of which is not readily apparent and could only be ascertained after a complete review and evaluation of all the evidence.

(4) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G) and (H) require an agency to publish a Federal Register notice concerning its procedures for notifying an individual, at the individual's request, if the system of records contains a record pertaining to the individual, for gaining access to such a record, and for contesting its content. Because certain information from these systems of records is exempt from subsection (d) of the Act concerning access to records, and consequently, from subsection (f) of the Act concerning Agency rules governing access, these requirements are inapplicable to that information.

(5) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires an agency to publish a Federal Register notice concerning the categories of sources of records in the system of records. Exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the confidentiality of sources of information, to protect against the disclosure of investigative techniques and procedures, to avoid threats or reprisals against informers by subjects of investigations, and to protect against informers refusing to give full information to investigators for fear of having their identities as sources revealed.

(6) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f) requires an agency to promulgate rules for notifying individuals of Privacy Act rights granted by subsection (d) of the Act concerning access and amendment of records. Because certain information from these systems is exempt from subsection (d) of the Act, the requirements of subsection (f) of the Act are inapplicable to that information.

Start Signature

Dated: Washington, DC, November 15, 2006.

By direction of the Board.

Lester A. Heltzer,

Executive Secretary.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 06-9682 Filed 12-12-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7545-01-P