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Privacy Act; Implementation

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AGENCY:

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), DoD.

ACTION:

Direct final rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is updating the NGA Privacy Act Program by adding the (k)(2) and (k)(5) exemptions to accurately describe the basis for exempting the records in the system of records notice NGA-010, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Security Financial Disclosure Reporting Records System. In this rulemaking, the NGA proposes to exempt portions of this system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act because of criminal, civil and administrative enforcement requirements.

DATES:

The rule will be effective on July 13, 2015 unless adverse comments are received by July 6, 2015. If adverse comment is received, the Department of Defense will publish a timely Start Printed Page 25231withdrawal of the 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: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate of Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth James, Acting Branch Chief, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Financial Disclosure Program Manager, 7500 GEOINT Drive, Springfield, VA 22150 or by calling 571-557-0110.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This direct final rule makes non-substantive changes to the NGA rules. This will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of DoD's program by ensuring the integrity of the security and counterintelligence records by the NGA and the Department of Defense.

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.

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 withdraw this direct final rule by publishing a notice 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. This rule does 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 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. A Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required.

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

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule does not impose additional information collection requirements on the public under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule 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 this rulemaking will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

It has been determined that this Privacy Act rule does not have federalism implications. This 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. Therefore, no Federalism assessment is required.

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List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 320

  • Privacy
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Accordingly, 32 CFR part 320 is amended as follows:

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PART 320—NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY (NGA)

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1. The authority citation for 32 CFR part 320 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1986 (5 U.S.C. 552a).

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2. In § 320.12, add paragraph (f) to read as follows:

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Exemptions.
* * * * *

(f) System identifier and name: NGA-010, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Security Financial Disclosure Reporting Records System.

(1) Exemptions: Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, other than material within the scope of subsection 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), 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 the information, the individual will be provided access to the information exempt to the extent that disclosure would reveal the identity of a confidential source. When claimed, this exemption allows limited protection of investigative reports maintained in a system of records used in personnel or administrative actions. Investigative 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.

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

(3) Reasons: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), and (k)(5) the Director of NGA has exempted this system from the following provisions of the Privacy Act, subject to the limitation set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); (d); (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(4)(I); and (f). Exemptions from these particular subsections are justified, on a case-by-case basis to be Start Printed Page 25232determined at the time a request is made, for the following reasons:

(i) 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 NGA 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. Analyst case notes will be kept separate from the individual's data submission. Those case notes will contain investigative case leads and summaries, sensitive processes, evidence gathered from external sources and potential referrals to law enforcement agencies.

(ii) 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 NGA 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.

(iii) 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.

(iv) 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 NGA 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.

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Dated: April 27, 2015.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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[FR Doc. 2015-10061 Filed 5-1-15; 8:45 am]

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