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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 28, 2014

Title 5: Administrative Personnel


PART 297—PRIVACY PROCEDURES FOR PERSONNEL RECORDS


Contents

Subpart A—General Provisions

§297.101   Purpose and scope.
§297.102   Definitions.
§297.103   Designations of authority by system manager.
§297.104   Types of records.
§297.105   Agency and Office responsibilities for systems of records and applicability of the regulations.
§297.106   Contact point for Privacy Act matters.

Subpart B—Request for Access

§297.201   General provisions.
§297.202   Methods of access.
§297.203   Access by the parent of a minor or by the legal guardian of an individual declared to be incompetent.
§297.204   Access by the representative of the data subject.
§297.205   Access to medical records.
§297.206   Fees charged by the Office.
§297.207   Denials of access and appeals with respect to such denials.
§297.208   Judicial review.

Subpart C—Amendment of Records

§297.301   General provisions.
§297.302   Time limits.
§297.303   Applicability of amendment provisions.
§297.304   Approval of requests to amend records.
§297.305   Denial of requests to amend records.
§297.306   Appeal of a denial of a request to amend a record.
§297.307   Statement of disagreement.
§297.308   Judicial review.

Subpart D—Disclosure of Records

§297.401   Conditions of disclosure.
§297.402   Disclosure pursuant to a compulsory legal process served on the Office.
§297.403   Accounting of disclosure.

Subpart E—Exempt Records

§297.501   Exemptions.

Authority: Sec. 3, Pub. L. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896 (5 U.S.C. 552a).

Source: 53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Provisions

§297.101   Purpose and scope.

This part sets forth the regulations of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (the Office) to govern the maintenance, protection, disclosure, and amendment of records within the systems of records as defned by the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), Public Law 93-579.

§297.102   Definitions.

In this part, the terms agency, individual, maintain, record, statistical records, and systems of records have the same meanings as defined in the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a. In addition:

Access means providing a copy of a record to, or allowing review of the original record by, the data subject or the data subject's authorized representative, parent, or legal guardian;

Act means the Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-579, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended;

Agency means any department or independent establishment in the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, including a Government corporation, of Government-controlled corporation, except those specifically excluded from the Office recordkeeping requirements by statute, this title, or formal agreement between the Office and the agency.

Amendment means the correction, addition, deletion, or destruction of a record or specific portions of a record;

Data subject means the individual to whom the information pertains and by whose name or other individual identifier the information is retrieved;

Disclosure means providing personal review of a record, or a copy thereof, to someone other than the data subject or the data subject's authorized representative, parent, or legal guardian;

Office means the U.S. Office of Personnel Management;

Personnel record means any record concerning an individual which is maintained and used in the personnel management or personnel policy-making process; and

System manager means the Office or agency official, designated by the head of the agency, who has the authority to decide Privacy Act matters relative to each system of records maintained by the Office.

§297.103   Designations of authority by system manager.

The responsible Office system manager having jurisdiction over a system of records may designate in writing an Office employee to evaluate and issue the Office's decision on Privacy Act matters relating to either internal, central, or Governmentwide systems of records.

§297.104   Types of records.

The Office manages three generic types of personnel records systems:

(a) Internal systems of records are under the Office's physical control and are established and maintained by the Office solely on its own employees and, when appropriate, on others in contact with the Office regarding matters within its authority.

(b) Centralized systems of personnel records are physically established and maintained by the Office with regard to most current and former Federal employees and some applicants for Federal employment.

(c) Governmentwide systems of personnel records are maintained by the Office, and through Office delegations of authority, by Federal agencies with regard to their own employees or applicants for employment. Although they are Office records, they are in the physical custody of those agencies. Though in the physical custody of agencies, the Office retains authority under its record management authority and under the Privacy Act to decide appeals of initial agency determinations regarding access to and amendment of material in these systems.

§297.105   Agency and Office responsibilities for systems of records and applicability of the regulations.

(a) These regulations apply to processing requests from both current and former Office employees for records contained in internal, central, and Governmentwide systems of records managed by the Office.

(b) Agencies are solely and totally responsible for processing requests regarding records maintained in their internal systems of records. Agency regulations, and not these Office regulations, govern the implementation of the Privacy Act for agency internal systems; there is no right of appeal to the Office from an agency's determination regarding its internal agency records.

(c) For records maintained in the Office's central systems of records, the data subject should contact the appropriate Office system manager concerning Privacy Act matters. These regulations will apply to inquiries regarding records located in the central systems of records.

(d) For records maintained within the Office's Governmentwide systems of records, each agency is responsible, unless specifically excepted by the Office, for responding to initial Privacy Act access and amendment requests from its own current employees. For records in Office Governmentwide systems, including those in Official Personnel Folders, Employee Performance Folders, and Employee Medical Folders, the Office is responsible for responding to initial Privacy Act access and amendment requests from former Federal employees.

(e) The procedures in this part apply to all such requests. The procedures in this part also apply to appeals from an agency initial determination regarding access to or amendment of records contained in the Office's Governmentwide systems of records.

(f) The Office follows the procedures in this part when—

(1) Processing initial requests regarding access to or amendment of records by its own employees and others that the Office is maintaining information on in its systems of records, including requests from former employees of an agency whose records properly reside in an Office Governmentwide system of records.

(2) Processing Privacy Act appeals regarding access to and amendment of records generated by another Federal agency, but which are contained in the Office's Governmentwide systems of records, after an agency has issued the initial decision.

(3) Processing initial requests and appeals concerning access to and amendment of records contained in the central systems of records.

(g) For requests concerning records and material of another agency that are in the custody of the Office, but not under its control or ownership, the Office reserves the right to either refer the request to the agency primarily responsible for the material or to notify the individual of the proper agency that should be contacted.

§297.106   Contact point for Privacy Act matters.

To determine what records the Office maintains in its system of records, requesters must write to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Washington, DC 20415. Using the Office's response, requesters can contact the particular system manager indicated in the Office's notices of its systems published in the Federal Register for further assistance in determining if the Office maintains information pertaining to them.

Subpart B—Request for Access

§297.201   General provisions.

(a) Individual's requesting access to records pertaining to them that are maintained in a system of records should submit a written request to the appropriate system manager and state that the request is being made pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974.

(b) The Office or agency will require proof of identity from a requester. The Office or agency reserves the right to determine the adequacy of any such proof. The general identifying items the Office will require a requester to provide when a request is made to the Office are—

(1) Full name, signature, and home address;

(2) Social security number (for systems of records that include this identifier);

(3) Current or last place and dates of Federal employment, when appropriate and,

(4) Date and place of birth.

(c) An individual may be represented by another when requesting access to records.

§297.202   Methods of access.

(a) The methods for allowing access to records, when such access has been granted by the Office or agency, are:

(1) Inspection in person in the designated office during the hours specified by the Office or agency; or

(2) Transfer of records at the option of the Office or agency to another more convenient Federal facility.

(b) Generally, Office of Personnel Management offices will not furnish certified copies of records. When copies are to be furnished, they may be provided as determined by the Office and may require payment of any fee levied in accordance with the Office's established fee schedule.

(c) When the requester seeks to obtain original documentation, the Office reserves the right to limit the request to copies of the original records. Original records should be made available for review only in the presence of the system manager or designee. An agency should consult with the Office when it receives a request for original documentation. Section 2701(a) of title 18 of the United States Code makes it a crime to conceal, mutilate, obliterate, or destroy any record filed in a public office, or to attempt to do so.

§297.203   Access by the parent of a minor or by the legal guardian of an individual declared to be incompetent.

(a) A parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a minor, upon presentation of suitable personal identification, may access on behalf of a minor any record pertaining to the minor in a system of records maintained by the Office.

(b) A legal guardian, upon presentation of documentation establishing guardianship, may access on behalf of an individual declared to be incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, any record pertaining to that individual in a system of records maintained by the Office.

(c) Minors are not precluded from exercising personally those rights provided them by the Privacy Act.

§297.204   Access by the representative of the data subject.

A record may be disclosed to a representative of the individual to whom the record pertains after the system manager receives written authorization from the individual who is the subject of the record.

§297.205   Access to medical records.

When a request for access involves medical or psychological records that the system manager believes requires special handling, the requester should be advised that the material will be provided only to a physician designated by the data subject. Upon receipt of the designation and upon verification of the physician's identity, the records will be made available to the physician, who will have full authority to disclose those records to the data subject when appropriate.

§297.206   Fees charged by the Office.

(a) No fees will be charged for search and review time expended by the Office to produce a record, or for making a photostatic copy of the record, or for having it personally reviewed by the data subject, when a record is retrieved from a system of records pertaining to that data subject. Additional copies provided may be charged under the Office's established fee schedule.

(b) When the fees chargeable under this section will amount to more than $25, the requester will be notified and payment of fees may be required before the records are provided.

(c) Remittance should be made by either a personal check, bank draft, or a money order that is made payable to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and addressed to the appropriate system manager.

§297.207   Denials of access and appeals with respect to such denials.

(a) If an access request is denied, the Office or agency response will be in writing and will include a statement of the reasons for the denial and the procedures available to appeal the denial, including the name, position title, and address of the Office official responsible for the review.

(b) Nothing in this part should be construed to entitle a data subject the right to access any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

(c) For denials of access made under this subpart, the following procedures apply:

(1) For initial denials made by an agency, when the record is maintained in an Office Governmentwide system of records, a request for adminstrative review should be made only to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

(2) For denials initially made by an Office official, when a record is maintained in an internal or central system of records, a request for administrative review should be made to the Information and Privacy Appeals Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

(3) Any administrative review decision that either partially or fully supports the initial decision and denies access to the material the individual originally sought should state the requester's right to seek judicial review of the final administrative decision.

§297.208   Judicial review.

Upon receipt of notification that the denial of access has been upheld on administrative review, the requester has the right to judicial review of the decision for up to 2 years from the date on which the cause of action arose. Judicial review may be sought in the district court of the United States in the district in which—

(a) The requester resides;

(b) The requester has his or her principal place of business; or

(c) The agency records are situated; or it may be sought in the district court of the District of Columbia.

Subpart C—Amendment of Records

§297.301   General provisions.

(a) Individuals may request, in writing, the amendment of their records maintained in an Office system of records by contacting the appropriate system manager. The Office or agency will require proof of identity from a requester. The Office or agency reserves the right to determine the adequacy of any such proof. The general identifying items the Office will require a requester to provide when a request is made to the Office are—

(1) Full name, signature, and home address;

(2) Social security number (for systems of records that include this identifier);

(3) Current or last place and dates of Federal employment, when appropriate; and

(4) Date and place of birth.

(b) An individual may be represented by another party when requesting amendment of records.

(c) A request for amendment should include the following:

(1) The precise identification of the records to be amended;

(2) The identification of the specific material to be deleted, added, or changed; and

(3) A statement of the reasons for the request, including all available material substantiating the request.

(d) Requests for amendment of records should include the words “PRIVACY ACT AMENDMENT REQUEST” in capital letters on both the envelope and at the top of the request letter.

(e) A request for administrative review of an agency denial to amend a record in the Office's systems of records should be addressed to the Assistant Director for Workforce Information, Personnel Systems and Oversight Group, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

(f) A request for administrative review of a denial to amend a record by an Office official should be addressed to the Information and Privacy Appeals Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415.

(g) The burden of proof demonstrating the appropriateness of the requested amendment rests with the requester; and, the requester must provide relevant and convincing evidence in support of the request.

§297.302   Time limits.

The system manager should acknowledge receipt of an amendment request within 10 working days and issue a determination as soon as practicable. This timeframe begins when the request is received by the proper Office or agency official.

§297.303   Applicability of amendment provisions.

(a) The amendment procedures are not intended to allow a challenge to material that records an event that actually occurred nor are they designed to permit a collateral attack upon that which has been or could have been the subject of a judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative proceeding. The amendment procedures are also not designed to change opinions in records pertaining to the individual.

(b) The amendment procedures apply to situations when an occurrence that is documented was challenged through an established judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative procedure and found to be inaccurately described; when the document is not identical to the individual's copy; or when the document is not created in accordance with the applicable recordkeeping requirements. (For example, the amendment provisions are not designed to allow a challenge to the merits of an agency adverse action that is documented in an individual's Official Personnel Folder.)

§297.304   Approval of requests to amend records.

(a) If the system manager determines that amendment of a record is appropriate, the system manager will take the necessary steps to have the necessary changes made and will see that the individual receives a copy of the amended record.

(b) When practicable and appropriate, the system manager will advise all prior recipients of the fact that an amendment of a record has been made.

§297.305   Denial of requests to amend records.

(a) If the Office or agency system manager decides not to amend the record in the manner sought, the requester should be notified in writing of the reasons for the denial.

(b) The decision letter should also include the requester's right to appeal the denial and the procedures for appealing the denial to the appropriate official.

§297.306   Appeal of a denial of a request to amend a record.

(a) An individual who disagrees with an initial denial to amend a record may file a written appeal of that denial to the appropriate official. In submitting an appeal, the individual should provide a copy of the original request for amendment, a copy of the initial denial decision, and a statement of the specific reasons why the initial denial is believed to be in error. Any appeal should be submitted to the official designated in the initial decision letter. The appeal should include the words “PRIVACY ACT APPEAL” in capital letters on the envelope and at the top of the letter of appeal.

(b) The reviewing official should complete the review and make a final determination in writing no later than 30 working days from the date on which the appeal is received. When circumstances warrant, this timeframe may be extended.

(c) If the Office grants the appeal, it will take the necessary steps either to amend the record itself or to require the originating agency to amend the record. When appropriate and possible, prior recipients of the record should be notified of the Office's action.

(d) The Office reserves the right to hold in abeyance any Privacy Act appeal concerning a record when an individual is involved in challenging an action involving that record in another administrative, judicial, or quasi-judicial forum. At the conclusion of such a challenge, the individual can resubmit the appeal.

(e) If the Office denies the appeal, it will include in the decision letter notification of the appellant's right to judicial review.

§297.307   Statement of disagreement.

(a) Upon receipt of a final administrative determination denying a request to amend a record, the requester may file a concise statement of disagreement. Such a statement should be filed with the appropriate system manager and should include the reasons why the requester believes the decision to be incorrect.

(b) The statement of disagreement should be maintained with the record to be amended and any disclosure of the record must include a copy of the statement of disagreement.

(c) When practicable and appropriate, the system manager should provide a copy of the statement of disagreement to any individual or agency to whom the record was previously disclosed as noted by the disclosure accounting.

§297.308   Judicial review.

Upon receipt of notification that the denial to amend a record has been upheld on administrative review, the requester has the right to judicial review of the decision for up to 2 years from the date the cause of action arose. Judicial review may be sought in the district court of the United States in the district in which—

(a) The requester resides;

(b) The requester has his or her principal place of business; or

(c) The agency records are situated; or it may be sought in the district court of the District of Columbia.

Subpart D—Disclosure of Records

§297.401   Conditions of disclosure.

An official or employee of the Office or agency should not disclose a record retrieved from a Governmentwide system of records to any person, another agency, or other entity without the express written consent of the subject individual unless disclosure is—

(a) To officers or employees of the Office who have a need for the information in the performance of their duties.

(b) Required by the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

(c) For a routine use as published in the Federal Register.

(d) To the Bureau of the Census for uses pursuant to title 13 of the United States Code.

(e)(1) To a recipient who has provided the agency with advance adequate written assurance that the record will be used solely as a statistical research or reporting record. The record will be transferred in a form that is not individually identifiable. The written statement should include as a minimum:

(i) A statement of the purpose for requesting the records; and

(ii) Certification that the records will be used only for statistical purposes.

(2) These written statements should be maintained as records. In addition to deleting personal identifying information from records released for statistical purposes, the system manager will reasonably ensure that the identity of the individual cannot be deduced by combining various statistical records.

(f) To the National Archives of the United States as a record that has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the United States Government, or for evaluation by the Archivist of the United States or his or her designee to determine whether the record has such value.

(g) To another agency or instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality or his designated representative has made a written request to the Office or agency that maintains the record specifying the particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought.

(h) To a person showing compelling circumstances affecting the health and safety of an individual, not necessarily the individual to whom the record pertains. Upon such disclosure, a notification should be sent to the last known address of the subject individual.

(i) To the Congress or to a Congressional committee, subcommittee, or joint committee to the extent that the subject matter falls within its established jurisdiction.

(j) To the Comptroller General or any authorized representatives of the Comptroller General in the course of the performance of the duties of the General Accounting Office.

(k) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(l) To a consumer reporting agency in accordance with section 3711 (f) of title 31 of the United States Code.

§297.402   Disclosure pursuant to a compulsory legal process served on the Office.

For purposes of this section, the Office considers that a subpoena signed by a judge is equivalent to a court order.

(a) The Office may disclose, without prior consent of the data subject, specified information from a system of records whenever such disclosure is pursuant to an order signed by the appropriate official of a court of competent jurisdiction or quasi-judicial agency. In this subpart, a court of competent jurisdiction includes the judicial system of a state, territory, or possession of the United States.

(b) Notice of the order will be provided to the data subject by the Office as soon as practicable after service of the order. The notice should be mailed to the last known address of the individual and state the name and number of the case or proceeding, and the nature of the information sought.

(c) Before complying or refusing to comply with the order, an official with authority to disclose records under this subpart should consult legal counsel to ensure that the response is appropriate.

(d) Before responding to the order or subpoena signed by a judge, an official with authority to disclose records under this subpart in consulting with legal counsel will ensure that—

(1) The requested material is relevant to the subject matter of the related judicial or administrative proceeding;

(2) Motion is made to quash or modify an order that is unreasonable or oppressive:

(3) Motion is made for a protective order when necessary to restrict the use or disclosure of any information furnished for purposes other than those of the involved proceeding; or

(4) Request is made for an extension of time allowed for response, if necessary.

(e) If an order or subpoena signed by a judge for production of documents also requests appearance of an Office employee, the response should be to furnish certified copies of the appropriate records. In those situations where the subpoena is not signed by a judge, the Office will return the document to the sender and indicate that no action will be taken to provide records until the subpoena is signed by a judge.

(f) If oral testimony is requested by the order or subpoena signed by a judge, an explanation that sets forth the testimony desired must be furnished to the Office system manager. The individual who has been ordered or subpoenaed to testify should consult with counsel to determine the matters about which the individual may properly testify.

(g) In all situations concerning an order, subpoena signed by a judge, or other demand for an employee of the Office to produce any material or testimony concerning the records that are subject to the order, that are contained in the Office's systems of records, and that are acquired as part of the employee's official duties, the employee shall not provide the information without the prior approval of the appropriate Office official.

(h) If it is determined that the information should not be provided, the individual ordered or subpoenaed to do so should respectfully decline to comply with the demand based on the instructions from the appropriate Office official.

(i) Notice of the issuance of the ex parte order or subpoena signed by a judge is not required if the system of records has been exempted from the notice requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(8) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) by a Notice of Exemption published in the Federal Register.

[53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988, as amended at 57 FR 56732, Nov. 30, 1992]

§297.403   Accounting of disclosure.

(a) The Office or agency will maintain a record of disclosures in cases where records about the individual are disclosed from an Office system of records except—

(1) When the disclosure is made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552); or

(2) When the disclosure is made to those officers and employees of the Office or agency who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties.

(b) This accounting of the disclosures will be retained for at least 5 years or for the life of the record, whichever is longer, and will contain the following information:

(1) A brief description of the record disclosed;

(2) The date, nature, and purpose for the disclosure; and

(3) The name and address of the purpose, agency, or other entity to whom the disclosure is made.

(c) Except for the accounting of disclosure made to agencies, individuals, or entities in law enforcement activities or disclosures made from the Office's exempt systems of records, the accounting of disclosures will be made available to the data subject upon request in accordance with the access procedures of this part.

[53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988. Redesignated at 57 FR 56732, Nov. 30, 1992]

Subpart E—Exempt Records

§297.501   Exemptions.

(a) Several of the Office's internal, central, and Governmentwide systems of records contain information for which exemptions appearing at 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (5), and (6) may be claimed. The systems of records for which the exemptions are claimed, the specific exemptions determined to be necessary and proper with respect to these systems of records, the records exempted, the provisions of the act from which they are exempted, and the justifications for the exemptions are set forth below.

(b) Specific exemptions—(1) Inspector General Investigations Case File Records (OPM/CENTRAL-4). All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. The specific applicability of the exemptions to this system and the reasons for the exemptions are as follows:

(i) Inspector General investigations may contain properly classified information that pertains to national defense and foreign policy obtained from other systems or another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of such classified information under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).

(ii) Inspector General investigations may contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2); e.g., investigations into the administration of the merit system. Application of exemption (k)(2) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to or amendment of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3) and (d).

(iii) Inspector General investigations may contain information obtained from another system or Federal agency that relates to providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056. Application of exemption (k)(3) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).

(iv) Inspector General case files may contain information that, by statute, is required to be maintained and used solely as a statistical record. Application of exemption (k)(4) may be necessary to ensure compliance with such a statutory mandate.

(v) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). This exemption is claimed because this system contains investigatory material that if disclosed may reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the source's identity would be held in confidence or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise. The application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentiality should the data subject request access to or amendment of the records, or access to the accounting of disclosures of the record.

(vi) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) relating to access to and amendment of records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of a case file record may relate to testing and examining material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

(vii) Inspector General case files may contain evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services. Application of exemption (k)(7) may be necessary, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the data would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

(2) Administrative Law Judge Applicant Records (OPM/CENTRAL-6). (i) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552(c)(3) and (d). The exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentialty should the data subject request access to the accounting of disclosures of the record, or access to or amendment of the record.

(ii) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing and examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examing process.

(3) Litigation and Claims Records (OPM/CENTRAL-7). (i) When litigation or claim cases occur, information from other existing systems of records may be incorporated into the case file. This information may be material for which exemptions have been claimed by the Office in this section. To the extent that such exempt material is incorporated into a litigation or claim case file, the appropriate exemption (5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), or (7)) shall also apply to the material as it appears in this system. The exemptions will be only from those provisions of the Act that were claimed for the systems from which the records originated.

(ii) During the course of litigation or claims cases, it may be necessary to conduct investigations to develop information and evidence relevant to the case. These investigative records may include material meeting the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7). Such material is exempt from the requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Act relate to making accounting of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. The specific applicability of the exemptions to this system and the reasons for the exemptions are:

(A) Such investigations may contain properly classified information that pertains to national defense and foreign policy obtained from another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of suh classified information under 5 U.S.C 552a(d).

(B) Such investigations may contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes othe than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), e.g., administration of the merit system, obtained from another Federal agency. All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria of 5 U.S.C 552a(k)(2) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). Application of exemption (k)(2) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to or amendment of those records.

(C) Such investigations may contain information obtained from another agency that relates to providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056. All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria of 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(3) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to or amendment of records by the data subject. Application of exemption (k)(3) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of such records.

(D) Such investigations may contain information that, by statute, is required to be maintained and used solely as a statistical record. Application of exemption (k)(4) may be necessary to ensure compliance with such a statutory mandate.

(E) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d). These exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor such a promise should the data subject request access to the accounting of disclosure, or access to or amendment of the record, that would reveal the identity of a confidential source.

(F) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment by the data subject of this information would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

(G) Such investigations may contain evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services. Application of exemption (k)(7) may be necessary, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the data would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

(4) Privacy Act/Freedom of Information Case Records (OPM/CENTRAL-8). In this subpart, the Office has claimed exemptions for its other systems of records where it felt such exemptions are appropriate and necessary. These exemptions are claimed under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6) and (7). During the processing of a Privacy Act/Freedom of Information Act request (which may include access requests, amendment requests, and requests for review for initial denials of such requests) exempt materials from those other systems may in turn become part of the case record in this system. To the extent that copies of exempt records from those other systems are entered into this system, the Office hereby claims the same exemptions for the records from those other systems that are entered into this system, as claimed for the original primary system of which they are a part.

(5) Personnel Investigations Records (OPM/CENTRAL-9). All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. The specific applicability of the exemptions to this system and the reasons for the exemptions are as follows:

(i) Personnel investigations may contain properly classified information which pertains to national defense and foreign policy obtained from another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of such classified information under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).

(ii) Personnel investigations may contain investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes other than material within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2); e.g., investigations into the administration of the merit system. Application of exemption (k)(2) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to or amended of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d).

(iii) Personnel investigations may contain information obtained from another Federal agency that relates to providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056. Application of exemption (k)(3) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of such records under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d).

(iv) Personnel investigations may contain information that, by statute, is required to be maintained and used solely as a statistical record. Application of exemption (k)(4) may be necessary to ensure compliance with such a statutory mandate.

(v) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (c)(3) and (d). These exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment. To the extent that the disclosure of material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the applicability of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentiality should the data subject request access to or amendment of the record, or access to the accounting of disclosures of the record.

(vi) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

(vii) Personnel Investigations may contain evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services. Application of exemption (k)(7) may be necessary, but only to the extent that the disclosure of the data would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

(6) Presidential Management Fellows Program Records (OPM/CENTRAL-11). All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service and access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

(7) Recruiting, Examining, and Placement Records (OPM/GOVT-5). (i) All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (d). These provisions of the Privacy Act relate to making accountings of disclosures available to the data subject and access to and amendment of records. These exemptions are claimed because this system contains investigative material compiled solely for determining the appropriateness of a request for approval of an objection to an eligible's qualification for employment in the Federal service. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor promises of confidentiality should the data subject request access to the accounting of disclosures of the record, or access to or amendment of the record.

(ii) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(K)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to an amendment of records by the subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service and access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

(8) Personnel Research and Test Validation Records (OPM/GOVT-6). (i) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to and amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to testing or examining materials used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

(ii) All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(4) is exempt from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a(d), relating to access to or amendment of the records by the data subject. This exemption is claimed because portions of this system relate to records required by statute to be maintained and used solely for statistical purposes. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the confidentiality of these records and their usefulness for statistical research purposes.

(c) The Office also reserves the right to assert exemptions for records received from another agency that could be properly claimed by that agency in responding to a request. The Office may refuse access to information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

[53 FR 1998, Jan. 26, 1988, as amended at 57 FR 20956, May 18, 1992; 70 FR 28779, May 19, 2005]



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