Privacy Office, DHS.
The Department of Homeland Security is issuing a final rule to amend its regulations to exempt portions of a newly established system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security Office of Operations Coordination and Planning -002 National Operations Center Tracker and Senior Watch Officer Logs Records System of Records” from certain provisions of the Privacy Act. Specifically, the Department exempts portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements.
Effective Date: This final rule is effective July 18, 2011.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
For general questions please contact: Michael Page (202-357-7626), Privacy Point of Contact, Office of Operations Coordination and Planning, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528. For privacy issues please contact: Mary Ellen Callahan (703-235-0780), Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register, March 8, 2011, 76 FR 12745, proposing to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement requirements. The system of records is the DHS/OPS-002 National Operations Center Tracker and Senior Watch Officer Logs Records System of Records. The DHS/OPS-002 National Operations Center Tracker and Senior Start Printed Page 42006Watch Officer Logs Records system of records notice (SORN) was published concurrently in the Federal Register, March 8, 2011, 76 FR 12609, and comments were invited on both the NPRM and SORN.
No comments were received on the NPRM or SORN. The Department will implement the rulemaking as proposed.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 6 CFR Part 5End List of Subjects
For the reasons stated in the preamble, DHS amends Chapter I of Title 6, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:Start Part
PART 5—DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS AND INFORMATIONEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for Part 5 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
2. Add at the end of Appendix C to Part 5, the following new paragraph “57”:End Amendment Part
Appendix C to Part 5—DHS Systems of Records Exempt From the Privacy Act
57. The DHS/OPS-002 National Operations Center Tracker and Senior Watch Officer Logs Records System of Records consists of electronic and paper records and will be used by DHS and its components. The DHS/OPS-002 National Operations Center Tracker and Senior Watch Officer Logs Records System of Records is a repository of information held by DHS in connection with its several and varied missions and functions, including, but not limited to the enforcement of civil and criminal laws; investigations, inquiries, and proceedings there under; national security and intelligence activities; and protection of the President of the U.S. or other individuals pursuant to Section 3056 and 3056A of Title 18. The DHS/OPS-002 National Operations Center Tracker and Senior Watch Officer Logs Records System of Records contains information that is collected by, on behalf of, in support of, or in cooperation with DHS and its components and may contain personally identifiable information collected by other federal, state, local, tribal, foreign, or international government agencies. The Secretary of Homeland Security is exempting this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act, subject to limitations set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); and (f) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(3). Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be determined at the time a request is made, for the following reasons:
(a) From subsection (c)(3) (Accounting for Disclosures) because release of the accounting of disclosures could alert the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS as well as the recipient agency. Disclosure of the accounting would therefore present a serious impediment to law enforcement efforts and/or efforts to preserve national security. Disclosure of the accounting would also permit the individual who is the subject of a record to impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid detection or apprehension, which would undermine the entire investigative process.
(b) From subsection (d) (Access to Records) because access to the records contained in this system of records could inform the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory violation to the existence of that investigation and reveal investigative interest on the part of DHS or another agency. Access to the records could permit the individual who is the subject of a record to impede the investigation, to tamper with witnesses or evidence, and to avoid detection or apprehension. Amendment of the records could interfere with ongoing investigations and law enforcement activities and would impose an unreasonable administrative burden by requiring investigations to be continually reinvestigated. In addition, permitting access and amendment to such information could disclose security-sensitive information that could be detrimental to homeland security.
(c) From subsection (e)(1) (Relevancy and Necessity of Information) because in the course of investigations into potential violations of federal law, the accuracy of information obtained or introduced occasionally may be unclear, or the information may not be strictly relevant or necessary to a specific investigation. In the interests of effective law enforcement, it is appropriate to retain all information that may aid in establishing patterns of unlawful activity.
(d) From subsections (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), and (e)(4)(I) (Agency Requirements) and (f) (Agency Rules), because portions of this system are exempt from the individual access provisions of subsection (d) for the reasons noted above, and therefore DHS is not required to establish requirements, rules, or procedures with respect to such access. Providing notice to individuals with respect to existence of records pertaining to them in the system of records or otherwise setting up procedures pursuant to which individuals may access and view records pertaining to themselves in the system would undermine investigative efforts and reveal the identities of witnesses, and potential witnesses, and confidential informants.Start Signature
Mary Ellen Callahan,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2011-17939 Filed 7-15-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-09-P