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e-CFR data is current as of July 9, 2020

Title 6Chapter IPart 5Subpart B → §5.20

Title 6: Domestic Security
Subpart B—Privacy Act

§5.20   General provisions.

(a) Purpose and scope. (1) This subpart contains the rules that the Department of Homeland Security (Department) follows under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a). These rules should be read together with the Privacy Act, which provides additional information about records maintained on individuals. The rules in this subpart apply to all records in systems of records maintained by the Department that are retrieved by an individual's name or personal identifier. They describe the procedures by which individuals may request access to records about themselves, request amendment or correction of those records, and request an accounting of disclosures of those by the Department. In addition, the Department processes all Privacy Act requests for access to records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), following the rules contained in subpart A of this part, which gives requests the benefit of both statutes.

(2) The provisions established by this subpart shall apply to all Department components that are transferred to the Department. Except to the extent a Department component has adopted separate guidance under the Privacy Act, the provisions of this subpart shall apply to each component of the Department. Departmental components may issue their own guidance under this subpart pursuant to approval by the Department.

(b) Definitions. As used in this subpart:

(1) Component means each separate bureau, office, board, division, commission, service, or administration of the Department.

(2) Request for access to a record means a request made under Privacy Act subsection (d)(1).

(3) Request for amendment or correction of a record means a request made under Privacy Act subsection (d)(2).

(4) Request for an accounting means a request made under Privacy Act subsection (c)(3).

(5) Requester means an individual who makes a request for access, a request for amendment or correction, or a request for an accounting under the Privacy Act.

(c) Authority to request records for a law enforcement purpose. The head of a component or designee thereof is authorized to make written requests under subsection (b)(7) of the Privacy Act for records maintained by other agencies that are necessary to carry out an authorized law enforcement activity.

(d) Notice on Departmental use of (b)(1) exemption. As a general matter, when applying the (b)(1) exemption for disclosures within an agency on a need to know basis, the Department will consider itself a single entity, meaning that information may be disclosed between components of the Department under the (b)(1) exemption.

(e) Interim Retention of Authorities. As an interim solution, all agencies and components under the Department will retain the necessary authority from their original purpose in order to conduct these necessary activities. This includes the authority to maintain Privacy Act systems of records, disseminate information pursuant to existing or new routine uses, and retention of exemption authorities under sections (j) and (k) of the Privacy Act, where applicable. This retention of an agency or component's authorities and information practices will remain in effect until this regulation is promulgated as a final rule, or the Department revises all systems of records notices. This retention of authority is necessary to allow components to fulfill their mission and purpose during the transition period of the establishment of the Department. During this transition period, the Department shall evaluate with the components the existing authorities and information practices and determine what revisions (if any) are appropriate and should be made to these existing authorities and practices. The Department anticipates that such revisions will be made either through the issuance of a revised system of records notices or through subsequent final regulations.

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