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Rule

Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Direct final rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Office of the Secretary of Defense is exempting those records contained in DMDC 11, entitled “Investigative Records Repository”, when investigatory material is compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that such material would reveal the identity of a confidential source. This direct final rule makes nonsubstantive changes to the Office of the Secretary Privacy Program rules. These changes will allow the Department to add an exemption rule to the Office of the Secretary of Defense Privacy Program rules that will exempt applicable Department records and/or material from certain portions of the Privacy Act. This change will allow the Department to move part of the Department's personnel security program records from the Defense Security Service Privacy Program to the Office of the Secretary of Defense Privacy Program. This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of DoD's program by preserving the exempt status of the applicable records and/or material when the purposes underlying the exemption(s) are valid and necessary. This rule is being published as a direct final rule as the Department of Defense does not expect to receive any adverse comments, and so a proposed rule is unnecessary.

DATES:

The rule is effective on May 25, 2012 unless comments are received that would result in a contrary determination. Comments will be accepted on or before May 15, 2012. If DoD receives a significant adverse comment, the Department will publish a withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Cindy Allard at (703) 588-6830.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Direct Final Rule and Significant Adverse Comments

DoD has determined this rulemaking meets the criteria for a direct final rule because it involves nonsubstantive changes dealing with DoD's management of its Privacy Programs. DoD expects no opposition to the changes and no significant adverse comments. However, if DoD receives a significant adverse comment, the Department will publish a withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register. A significant adverse comment is one that explains: (1) Why the direct final rule is inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach; or (2) why the direct final rule will be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In determining whether a comment necessitates withdrawal of this direct final rule, DoD will consider whether it warrants a substantive response in a notice and comment process.

Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory 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 these Executive orders.

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

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule for the Department of Defense does not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it is concerned only with the administration of Privacy Act systems of records within the Department of Defense.

Public Law 95-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

It has been determined that Privacy Act rules for the Department of Defense impose no additional information collection requirements on the public under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

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

It has been determined that this 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 the Privacy Act rules for the Department of Defense do not have federalism implications. The rule does 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.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 311

Accordingly, 32 CFR part 311 is amended as follows:

PART 311—OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE AND JOINT STAFF PRIVACY PROGRAM

1. The authority citation for

Authority: Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1986 (5 U.S.C. 522a).

2. Section 311.8 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(17) to read as follows:

Procedures for exemptions.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

(17) System identifier and name: DMDC 13, Investigative Records Repository.

(i) 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) Records maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President and other individuals under 18 U.S.C. 3506, may be exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(3).

(C) 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.

(D) Any portion of this system that falls under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), (k)(3), or (k)(5) may be exempt from the following subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f).

(ii) Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), (k)(3), or (k)(5).

(iii) Reasons: (A) From subsection (c)(3) because it will enable the Department to conduct certain investigations and relay law enforcement information without compromise of the information, protection of investigative techniques and efforts employed, and identities of confidential sources who might not otherwise come forward and who furnished information under an express promise that the sources' identity would be held in confidence (or prior to the effective date of the Act, under an implied promise).

(B) From subsections (e)(1), (e)(4(G), (H), and (I) because it will provide protection against notification of investigatory material including certain reciprocal investigations and counterintelligence information, which might alert a subject to the fact that an investigation of that individual is taking place, and the disclosure of which would weaken the on-going investigation, reveal investigatory techniques, and place confidential informants in jeopardy who furnished information under an express promise that the source's identity would be held in confidence (or prior to the effective date of the Act, under an implied promise).

(C) From subsections (d) and (f) because requiring OSD to grant access to records and agency rules for access and amendment of records would unfairly impede the agency's investigation of allegations of unlawful activities. To require OSD to confirm or deny the existence of a record pertaining to a requesting individual may in itself provide an answer to that individual relating to an on-going investigation. The investigation of possible unlawful activities would be jeopardized by agency rules requiring verification of record, disclosure of the record to the subject, and record amendment procedures.

* * * * *

Dated: February 28, 2012.

Patricia L. Toppings,

OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

[FR Doc. 2012-6167 Filed 3-15-12; 8:45 am]

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