Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We have made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Feedback button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of May 12, 2021

Title 18Chapter ISubchapter A → Part 3b


Title 18: Conservation of Power and Water Resources


PART 3b—COLLECTION, MAINTENANCE, USE, AND DISSEMINATION OF RECORDS OF IDENTIFIABLE PERSONAL INFORMATION


Contents

Subpart A—General

§3b.1   Purpose.
§3b.2   Definitions.
§3b.3   Notice requirements.
§3b.4   Government contractors.
§3b.5   Legal guardians.

Subpart B—Standards for Maintenance and Collection of Records

§3b.201   Content of records.
§3b.202   Collection of information from individuals concerned.
§3b.203   Rules of conduct.
§3b.204   Safeguarding information in manual and computer-based record systems.

Subpart C—Rules for Disclosure of Records

§3b.220   Notification of maintenance of records to individuals concerned.
§3b.221   Access of records to individuals concerned.
§3b.222   Identification requirements.
§3b.223   Fees.
§3b.224   Requests to amend records and disputes thereon.
§3b.225   Written consent for disclosure.
§3b.226   Accounting of disclosures.
§3b.227   Mailing lists.

Subpart D—Rules for Exemptions

§3b.250   Specific exemptions.

Authority: Federal Power Act, as amended, sec. 309, 49 Stat. 858-859 (16 U.S.C. 825h); Natural Gas Act, as amended, sec. 16, 52 Stat. 830 (15 U.S.C. 717o); and Pub. L. 93-579 (88 Stat. 1896).

Source: Order 536, 40 FR 44288, Sept. 25, 1975, unless otherwise noted.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart A—General

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.1   Purpose.

Part 3b describes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's program to implement the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (Pub. L. No. 93-579, 88 Stat. 1896) to allow individuals to have a say in the collection and use of information which may be used in determinations affecting them. The program is structured to permit an individual to determine what records pertaining to him and filed under his individual name, or some other identifying particular, are collected, maintained, used or disseminated by the Commission, to permit him access to such records, and to correct or amend them, and to provide that the Commission collect, use, maintain and disseminate such information in a lawful manner for a necessary purpose.

[Order 536, 40 FR 44288, Sept. 25, 1975, as amended by Order 737, 75 FR 43402, July 26, 2010]

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.2   Definitions.

In this part:

(a) Agency, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 551(1) as “*  *  * each authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency, *  *  *”, includes any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency [5 U.S.C. 552(e)];

(b) Individual means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;

(c) Maintain includes, maintain, collect, use, or disseminate;

(d) Record means any item, collection or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, his education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains his name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or a photograph;

(e) System of records means a group of any records under the control of any agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual;

(f) Statistical record means a record in a system of records maintained for statistical research or reporting purposes only and not used in whole or in part in making any determination about an identifiable individual, except as provided by section 8 of title 13 of the United States Code;

(g) Routine use means, with respect to the disclosure of a record, the use of such record for a purpose which is compatible with the purpose for which it was collected; and

(h) Disclosure means either the transmittal of a copy of a record or the granting of access to a record, by oral, written, electronic or mechanical communication.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.3   Notice requirements.

(a) The Commission will publish at least annually in the Federal Register a notice identifying the systems of records currently maintained by the Commission. For each system of records, the notice will include the following information:

(1) The name and location of the system;

(2) The categories of individuals on whom records are maintained in the system;

(3) The categories of records maintained in the system;

(4) The specific statutory provision or executive order, or rule or regulation issued pursuant thereto, authorizing the maintenance of the information contained in the system;

(5) Each routine use of the records contained in the system, including the categories of users and the purposes of such use;

(6) The policies and practices regarding the storage, retrievability, access controls, and retention and disposal of the records;

(7) The title and business address of the Commission official who is responsible for the system of records;

(8) The procedures whereby an individual can be notified at his request if the system of records contains a record pertaining to him;

(9) The procedures whereby an individual can be notified at his request how he can gain access to any record pertaining to him contained in the system of records, and how he can contest its contents; and

(10) The categories of sources of records in the system.

(b) At least thirty days prior to its operation, the Commission will publish in the Federal Register a notice of its intention to establish a new system of records reciting the information required pursuant to paragraphs (a) (1) through (10) of this section and notice of any major change to an existing system.

(c) The Commission will publish in the Federal Register a notice of its intention to establish any new or intended routine use of the information in an existing system of records at least thirty days prior to the disclosure of the record for that routine use. A new routine use is one which involves disclosure of records for a new purpose compatible with the purpose for which the record is maintained or which involves disclosure to a new recipient or category of recipients. At a minimum, the notice will contain the following information:

(1) The name of the system of records for which the routine use is to be established;

(2) The authority authorizing the maintenance of the information contained in the system;

(3) The categories of records maintained in the system;

(4) The proposed routine use(s);

(5) The categories of recipients for each proposed routine use; and

(6) Reference to the public notice in the Federal Register under which the existing system had already been published.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.4   Government contractors.

Systems of records operated by a contractor, pursuant to a contract, on behalf of the Commission, which are designed to accomplish a Commission function, are considered, for the purposes of this part, to be maintained by the Commission. A contract covers any contract, written or oral, subject to the Federal Procurement Regulations. The contractual instrument will specify, to the extent consistent with the Commission's authority to require it, that the systems of records be maintained in accordance with the requirements of this part.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.5   Legal guardians.

For the purposes of this part, the parent of any minor, or the legal guardian of any individual who has been declared to be incompetent due to physical or mental incapacity or age by a court of competent jurisdiction, may act on behalf of the individual.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart B—Standards for Maintenance and Collection of Records

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.201   Content of records.

(a) All records which are maintained by the Commission in a system of records will contain only such information about an individual that is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the Commission as required to be accomplished by statute or by executive order of the President. Pursuant to §3b.3(a)(4) of this part, the Commission will identify in the Federal Register the specific provisions in law which authorize it to maintain information in a system of records. In determining the relevance and necessity of records, the following considerations will govern:

(1) Whether each item of information relates to the purposes, in law, for which the system is maintained;

(2) The adverse consequences, if any, of not collecting the information;

(3) Whether the need for the information could be met through the maintenance of the information in a non-individually identifiable form;

(4) Whether the information in the record is required to be collected on every individual who is the subject of a record in the system or whether a sampling procedure would suffice;

(5) The length of time it is necessary to retain the information;

(6) The financial cost of maintaining the record as compared to the adverse consequences of not maintaining it; and

(7) Whether the information, while generally relevant and necessary to accomplish a statutory purpose, is specifically relevant and necessary only in certain cases.

(b) All records which the Commission maintains in a system of records and which are used to make a determination about an individual will be maintained with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in the determination. Where practicable, in questionable instances, reverification of pertinent information with the individual to whom the record pertains may be appropriate. In pursuit of completeness in the collection of information, the Commission will limit its records to those elements of information which clearly bear on the determination for which the records are intended to be used, assuring that all elements necessary to the determination are present before the determination is made.

(c) Prior to disseminating any records in a system of records, the Commission will make reasonable efforts to assure that such records are as accurate, relevant, timely, and complete as appropriate for the purposes for which they are collected and/or maintained, except when they are disclosed to a member of the public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended, or to another agency.

(d) No records of the Commission in a system of records shall describe how any individual exercises his First Amendment rights unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity. The exercise of these rights includes, but is not limited to, religious and political beliefs, freedom of speech and of the press, and freedom of assembly and petition. In determining whether or not a particular activity constitutes the exercise of a right guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Commission will apply the broadest reasonable interpretation.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.202   Collection of information from individuals concerned.

(a) Any information collected by the Commission for inclusion in a system of records which may result in adverse determinations about an individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under Federal programs, will, to the greatest extent practicable, be collected directly from the subject individual (see paragraph (d) of this section).

(b) The Commission will inform each individual whom it asks to supply information about himself, on the form which it uses to collect the information, or on a separate sheet that can be easily retained by the individual, in language which is explicit, informative, and easily understood, and not so lengthy as to deter an individual from reading it, of:

(1) The specific provision of the statute or executive order of the President, including the brief title or subject of that statute or order which authorizes the solicitation of the information; whether disclosure of such information is mandatory or voluntary; and whether the Commission is authorized or required to impose penalties for failing to respond;

(2) The principal purpose or purposes for which the information is intended to be used;

(3) The routine uses which may be made of the information, as described in the Federal Register in the notice of the system of records in which the information is maintained, and which are relatable and necessary to a purpose described pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section; and

(4) The effects (beneficial and adverse) on the individual if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information.

(c) Social security numbers will not be required from individuals whom the Commission asks to supply information unless the disclosure of the number is required by Federal statute or unless disclosure is to the Commission maintaining a system of records in existence and operating before January 1, 1975, if such disclosure was required pursuant to a statute or regulation adopted prior to such date to verify the identity of an individual. When an individual is requested to disclose his social security number to the Commission, he will be informed under what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, what uses will be made of it, whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, and if it is mandatory, under what provisions of law or regulation.

(d) The use of third-party sources to collect information about an individual may be appropriate in certain circumstances. In determining when the use of third-party sources would be appropriate, the following considerations will govern:

(1) When the information needed can only be obtained from a third party;

(2) When the cost of collecting the information directly from the individual concerned far exceeds the cost of collecting it from a third party;

(3) When there is little risk that the information proposed to be collected from the third party, if inaccurate, could result in an adverse determination about the individual concerned.

(4) When there is a need to insure the accuracy of information supplied by an individual by verifying it with a third party, or there is a need to obtain a qualitative assessment of the individual's capabilities or character; or

(5) When there are provisions for verifying any third-party information with the individual concerned before making a determination based on that information.

Third party sources, where feasible, will be informed of the purposes for which information which they are asked to provide will be used. In appropriate circumstances, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k) (2), (5), and (7), the Commission may assure a third party that his identity will not be revealed to the subject of the collected information.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.203   Rules of conduct.

(a) The Executive Director of the Commission has the overall administrative responsibility for implementing the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 and overseeing the conduct of all Commission employees with respect to the act.

(b) It is the responsibility of the Comptroller of the Commission, under the guidance of the Executive Director, to prepare the appropriate internal administrative procedures to assure that all persons involved in the design, development, or operation of any system of records, or in collecting, using, or disseminating any individual record, and who have access to any system of records, are informed of all rules and requirements of the Commission to protect the privacy of the individuals who are the subjects of the records, including the applicable provisions of the FERC Standards of Conduct for Employees, Special Government Employees and Commissioners.

(c) The Director, Human Resources Division, is responsible for establishing and conducting an adequate training program for such persons whose official duties require access to and collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of such records.

(d) The General Counsel of the Commission is responsible for providing legal interpretation of the Privacy Act of 1974, and for preparing all agency rules and notices for official publication in compliance with the act.

(e) Commission employees will be informed of all the implications of their actions in this area, including especially:

(1) That there are criminal penalties for knowing and willful unauthorized disclosure of material within a system of records; for willful failure to publish a public notice of the existence of a system of records; and for knowingly and willfully requesting or obtaining records under false pretenses;

(2) That the Commission may be subject to civil suit due to failure to amend an individual's record in accordance with his request or failure to review his request in conformity with §3b.224; refusal to comply with an individual's request of access to a record under §3b.221; willful or intentional failure to maintain a record accurately pursuant to §3b.201(b) and consequently a determination is made which is adverse to the individual; or willful or intentional failure to comply with any other provision of the Privacy Act of 1974, or any rule promulgated thereunder, in such a way as to have an adverse effect upon an individual.

[Order 536, 40 FR 44288, Sept. 25, 1975, as amended by Order 737, 75 FR 43402, July 26, 2010]

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.204   Safeguarding information in manual and computer-based record systems.

(a) The administrative and physical controls to protect the information in the manual and computer-based record systems from unauthorized access or disclosure will be specified for each system in the Federal Register. The system managers, who are responsible for providing protection and accountability of such records at all times and for insuring that the records are secured in proper containers whenever they are not in use or under direct control of authorized persons, will be identified for each system of records in the Federal Register.

(b) Whenever records in the manual or computer-based record systems, including input and output documents, punched cards, and magnetic tapes or disks, are not under the personal control of an authorized person, they will be stored in lockable containers and/or in a secured room, or in alternative storage systems which furnish an equivalent or greater degree of physical security. In this regard, the Commission may refer to security guidelines prepared by the General Services Administration, the Department of Commerce (National Bureau of Standards), or other agencies with appropriate knowledge and expertise.

(c) Access to and use of records will only be permitted to persons pursuant to §§3b.221, 3b.224, and 3b.225. Access to areas where records are stored will be limited to those persons whose official duties require work in such areas. Proper control of data, in any form, associated with the manual and computer-based record systems will be maintained at all times, including maintenance of an accounting of removal of the records from the storage area.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart C—Rules for Disclosure of Records

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.220   Notification of maintenance of records to individuals concerned.

(a) Upon written request, either in person or by mail, to the appropriate system manager specified for each system of records, an individual will be notified whether a system of records maintained by the Commission and named by the individual contains a record or records pertaining to him and filed under his individual name, or some other identifying particular.

(b) The system manager may require appropriate identification pursuant to §3b.222, and if necessary, may request from the individual additional information needed to locate the record which the individual should reasonably be expected to know, such as, but not limited to, date of birth, place of birth, and a parent's first name.

(c) When practicable, the system manager will provide a written acknowledgement of the inquiry within ten days of receipt of the inquiry (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal public holidays) and notification of whether or not a system of records maintained by the Commission and named by the individual contains a record pertaining to him and filed under his individual name or some other identifying particular. If the system manager is unable to provide an answer within the ten-day period, he will so inform the individual in writing, stating the reasons therefor (for good cause shown), and when it is anticipated that notification will be made. Such an extension will not exceed fifteen days from receipt of the inquiry (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays).

(d) For good cause shown, as used in all sections of this part, includes circumstances such as the following: Where a search for and/or collection of requested records from inactive storage, field offices, or other establishments is required; where a voluminous amount of data is involved; where information on other individuals must be separated or expunged from the record; or where consultations are required with other agencies or with others having a substantial interest in the determination of the request.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.221   Access of records to individuals concerned.

(a) Upon written request, either in person or by mail, to the appropriate system manager specified for each system of records, any individual may gain access to records or information in a system of records pertaining to him and filed under his individual name, or some other identifying particular, to review and to have a copy made of all or any portion thereof in a form comprehensible to him.

(b) A person of his own choosing may accompany the individual to whom the record pertains when the record is disclosed [see §3b.222(e)].

(c) Before disclosure, the following procedure may apply:

Medical or psychological records will be disclosed directly to the individual to whom they pertain unless, in the judgment of the system manager, in consultation with a medical doctor or a psychologist, access to such records could have an adverse effect upon the individual. When the system manager and a doctor determine that the disclosure of such information could have an adverse effect upon the individual to whom it pertains, the system manager may transmit such information to a medical doctor named by the requesting individual.

(d) The system manager will provide a written acknowledgement of the receipt of a request for access within ten days of receipt (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). Such acknowledgement may, if necessary, request any additional information needed to locate the record which the individual may reasonably be expected to know, and may require appropriate identification pursuant to §3b.222 of this part. No acknowledgment is required if access can be granted within the ten-day period.

(1) If access can be granted, the system manager will notify the individual, in writing, as to when, and whether access will be granted in person or by mail, so that access will be provided within twenty days of the receipt of the request (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). If the system manager is unable to provide access within twenty days of receipt of the request, he will inform the individual in writing as to the reasons therefor (for good cause shown), and when it is anticipated that access will be granted. If the expected date of access indicated in the written notification to the individual cannot be met, the system manager will advise the individual in writing of the delay, the reasons therefor (for good cause shown), and of a revised date when access will be granted. Such extensions will not exceed thirty days from receipt of the request (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays).

(2) If access cannot be granted, the system manager will inform the individual, in writing, within twenty days of receipt of the request (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) of the refusal of his request; the reasons for the refusal; the right of the individual, within thirty days of receipt of the refusal, to request in writing a review of the refusal by the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, or by an officer designated by the Chairman pursuant to §3b.224(f); and the right of the individual to seek advice or assistance from the system manager in obtaining such a review.

(e) The Chairman, or officer designated pursuant to §3b.224(f), not later than thirty days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the date of receipt of the individual's request for review will complete such review, unless, for good cause shown, the Chairman, or designated officer, extends the thirty-day period in writing to the individual with reasons for the delay and the approximate date on which the review is expected to be completed. Such an extension will not exceed thirty-five days from receipt of the request for review (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal public holidays). The Chairman, or designated officer, will make one of the following determinations:

(1) Grant the individual access to the requested record and notify the individual, in writing, as to when, and whether access will be granted in person or by mail; or

(2) Inform the individual in writing of the refusal, the reasons therefor, and the right of the individual to seek judicial review of the refusal of his request for access.

(f)(1) The Commission will deny an individual access to the following records pertaining to him:

(i) Information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding;

(ii) Records listed in the Federal Register as exempt from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, pursuant to subpart D of this part; and

(iii) Records which may be required to be withheld under other statutory provisions.

(2) The Commission will not deny an individual access to a record pertaining to him because that record is permitted to be withheld from members of the public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

(g) Disclosure of an original record will take place in the presence of the Commission representative having physical custody of the record.

[Order 536, 40 FR 44288, Sept. 25, 1975, as amended by Order 737, 75 FR 43402, July 26, 2010]

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.222   Identification requirements.

The appropriate system manager specified for each system of records will require reasonable identification from individuals to assure that records in a system of records are disclosed to the proper person. Identification requirements will be consistent with the nature of the records being disclosed.

(a) Disclosure of records to the individual to whom the record pertains, or under whose name or some other identifying particular the record is filed, in person, requires that the individual show an identification card. Employee identification, a Medicare card, or a driver's license are examples of acceptable identification. Documents incorporating a picture and signature of the individual are preferred.

(b) For records disclosed by mail, the system manager will require certain minimum identifying information: name, date of birth, or the system's personal identifier if known to the individual. A comparison of the signatures of the requester and those in the record will be used to determine identity.

(c) If the system manager determines that the data in the record is so sensitive that unauthorized access could cause harm or embarrassment to the individual involved, a signed notarized statement asserting identity or some other reasonable means to verify identity will be required.

(d) If an individual can provide no suitable information or documents for identification, the system manager will require a signed statement from the individual asserting his identity and stipulating that the individual understands that knowingly or willfully seeking or obtaining access to records about an individual under false pretenses is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

(e) The system manager will require an individual who wishes to be accompanied by another person when reviewing his records to furnish a signed written statement authorizing discussion of his records in the presence of the accompanying person.

(f) The appropriate identification requirements of this section may be required by a system manager from an individual to whom a record does not pertain who seeks access to the record pursuant to §3b.225 of this part.

(g) No individual will be denied notification of maintenance of a record pursuant to §3b.220 or access to a record pursuant to §§3b.221 and 3b.224 for refusing to disclose a social security number.

(h) No verification of identity will be required of individuals seeking notification of or access to records which are otherwise available to a member of the public under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.223   Fees.

(a) Fees will be charged for the direct cost of duplication of records in a system of records when copies are requested by the individual seeking access to the records. Any person may obtain a copy of the Commission's schedule of fees by telephone, by mail or by coming in person to the office of the appropriate system manager who is responsible for the protection and accountability of the desired record. Requests for copies of requested records and payment therefor must be made to the system manager. Fees will only be charged for costs of $2 or more.

(b) Where practicable, self-service duplication of requested documents may also be made on duplicating machines by the person requesting the records, on a reimbursable basis to the system manager, in the presence of the Commission representative having physical custody of the record. Where data has been extracted from one of the Commission's systems of records on magnetic tape or disks, or computer files, copies of the records of these files may be secured on a reimbursable basis upon written request to the appropriate system manager. The fee will vary for each requirement, depending on size and complexity.

(c) No fee will be charged in the following instances:

(1) When the system manager determines that he can grant access to records only by providing a copy of the record through the mail because he cannot provide reasonable means for the individual to have access in person;

(2) For search and review of requested records to determine if they fall within the disclosure requirements of this part; and

(3) When the system manager makes a copy of the record as a necessary part of the process of making it available for review.

(d) Except for requests made by Government agencies, certification of copies of any official Commission record shall be accompanied by a fee of $2 per document.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.224   Requests to amend records and disputes thereon.

(a) Upon written request, either in person or by mail, to the appropriate system manager specified for each system of records, any individual may amend records in a system of records pertaining to him and filed under his individual name or some other identifying particular. Such requests should contain identifying information needed to locate the record, a brief description of the item or items of information to be amended, and information in support of the request for amendment. The individual may obtain assistance in preparing his request to amend a record from the appropriate system manager.

(b) The system manager will provide a written acknowledgement of the receipt of a request to amend within ten days of receipt (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). Such an acknowledgement may, if necessary, request any additional information needed to make a determination which the individual may reasonably be expected to know, and verification of identity consistent with §3b.222. The acknowledgement will clearly describe the request and advise the individual requesting the amendment when he may expect to be notified of action taken on the request. No acknowledgement is required if the request can be reviewed, processed, and the individual notified of compliance or denial within the ten-day period.

(c) The system manager will complete the review and advise the individual in writing of the results within twenty days of the receipt of the request (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). If the system manager is unable to complete the review within twenty days of the receipt of the request, he will inform the individual in writing as to the reasons therefor (for good cause shown) and when it is anticipated that the review will be completed. If the completion date for the review indicated in the acknowledgement cannot be met, the system manager will advise the individual in writing of the delay, the reasons therefor (for good cause shown), and of a revised date when the review may be expected to be completed. Such extensions will not exceed thirty days from receipt of the request (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). The system manager will take one of the following actions:

(1) Make the requested correction or amendment; so advise the individual in writing; and, where an accounting of the disclosure of the record was made pursuant to §3b.226, advise all previous recipients of the record in writing of the fact that the amendment was made and the substance of the amendment [see §3b.225(d)]; or

(2) Inform the individual in writing of the refusal to amend the record in accordance with the request; the reasons for the refusal including any of the standards which were employed pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section in conducting the review; the right of the individual, within thirty days of receipt of the refusal, to request in writing a review of the refusal by the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, or by an officer designated by the Chairman pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section; and the right of the individual to seek advice or assistance from the system manager in obtaining such a review.

(d) In reviewing a record in response to a request to amend, the system manager and the Chairman, or the officer he designates pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, shall assess the accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness of the record. They shall consider the record in terms of the criteria established in §3b.201 of this part.

(e) The Chairman, or officer designated pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, not later than thirty days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the date of receipt of the individual's request for review, will complete such review, unless, for good cause shown, the Chairman, or designated officer, extends the thirty-day period in a writing to the individual with reasons for the delay and the approximate date on which the review is expected to be completed. Such an extension will not exceed thirty-five days from receipt of the request for review (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). The Chairman, or designated officer, will make one of the following determinations:

(1) Make the correction in accordance with the individual's request and proceed as in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; or

(2) Inform the individual in writing of:

(i) The refusal to amend the record in accordance with the request,

(ii) The reasons therefor, including any of the standards which were employed pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section in conducting the review;

(iii) The right of the individual to file with the Chairman, or designated officer, a concise written statement setting forth the reasons for his disagreement with the decision;

(iv) The fact that the statement of disagreement will be made available to anyone to whom the record is subsequently disclosed, together with the portion of the record which is disputed clearly noted, and, with, at the discretion of the Chairman, or designated officer, a brief statement by the Chairman, or designated officer, summarizing the reasons for refusing to amend the record;

(v) Where an accounting of the disclosure of the record was made pursuant to §3b.226 of this part, the fact that prior recipients of the disputed record will be provided a copy of the individual's statement of disagreement, with the portion of the record which is disputed clearly noted, and, at the Chairman's or designated officer's discretion, the statement summarizing the refusal to amend [see §3b.225(d)]; and

(vi) The individual's right to seek judicial review of the refusal to amend.

(f) The Chairman may designate, in writing, another officer of the Commission to act in his capacity for the purposes of this part. The officer will be organizationally independent of or senior to the system manager who made the initial determination and will conduct a review independent of the initial determination.

[Order 536, 40 FR 44288, Sept. 25, 1975, as amended by Order 737, 75 FR 43402, July 26, 2010]

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.225   Written consent for disclosure.

(a) The Commission will not disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to any other agency, unless it has the written request by, or the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains and under whose individual name, or some other identifying particular, the record is filed. The written request or consent should include, at a minimum, the general purposes for or the types of recipients to whom disclosure may be made. The fact that an individual is informed of the purposes for which information will be used when information is collected pursuant to §3b.202(b)(2) will not constitute consent.

(b) A written request or consent is not required if the disclosure is:

(1) To those officers and employees of the Commission who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties;

(2) Required under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended;

(3) For a routine use as defined in §3b.2(g) of this part and as described in the public notice for each system of records;

(4) To the Bureau of the Census for purposes of planning or carrying out a census or survey or related activity pursuant to the provisions of title 13 of the United States Code;

(5) To a recipient who has provided the appropriate system manager specified for each system of records with advance adequate written assurance that the record will be used solely as a statistical research or reporting record, and the record is to be transferred in a form that is not individually identifiable. The written statement of assurance should include at a minimum:

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

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

In addition to stripping personally identifying information from records released for statistical purposes, the system manager will ensure that the identity of the individual cannot reasonably be deduced or determined by combining various statistical records, or by reference to public records or other available sources of information;

(6) To the National Archives of the United States, pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 2103, as a record which has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the United States Government, or for the evaluation by the Administrator of General Services or his designee to determine whether the record has such value;

(7) To another agency or to an 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 delegated official, has made a written request to the appropriate system manager specifying the particular portion of the record desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is being sought;

(8) To a person pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of an individual (not necessarily the individual to whom the record pertains), if, upon disclosure, notification of such is sent to the last known address of the individual to whom the record pertains;

(9) To either House of Congress, or to any committee or subcommittee thereof, on a matter within its jurisdiction;

(10) To the Comptroller General, or any of his authorized representatives, in the course of the performance of the duties of the General Accounting Office; or

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

(c) When a record is disclosed under compulsory legal process and such process becomes a matter of public record, the system manager will make reasonable efforts to notify the individual to whom the record pertains. A notice will be sent to the individual's last known address noted in the Commission's files.

(d) The appropriate system manager shall notify all prior recipients of records, disclosure to whom an accounting was made pursuant to §3b.226, of any amendments made to the records, including corrections, amendments and notations of dispute made pursuant to §§3b.224(c)(1) and 3b.224(e)(1) and (2)(v), within ten days of receipt of the corrected information or notation of dispute (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays), except under unusual circumstances [see circumstances described in §3b.220(d)].

(e) The content of the records disclosed under this section shall be maintained pursuant to the standards established in §3b.201(c).

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.226   Accounting of disclosures.

(a) The appropriate system manager specified for each system of records will keep an accurate written account of all disclosures of records made to any person or to any other agency with the written consent or at the written request of the individual to whom the record pertains and pursuant to §3b.225(b)(3) through (11). The account will include the following information:

(1) The date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure;

(2) The name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure is made; and

(3) A reference to the justification or basis upon which the release was made, including reference to any written document required as when records are released for statistical or law enforcement purposes pursuant to §3b.225(b) (5) and (7).

(b) Each system manager will retain the accounting made under paragraph (a) of this section for at least five years from the date of disclosure for which the accounting is made, or the life of the record, which ever is longer.

(c) Except for disclosures made for law enforcement purposes pursuant to §3b.225(b)(7), and unless the system of records has been exempted from this provision pursuant to subpart D of this part, each system manager will make the accounting made under paragraph (a) of this section available to the individual named in the record at his written request.

(d) The accounting of disclosures is not a system of records under the definition in §3b.2(e) and no accounting will be maintained for disclosure of the accounting of disclosures.

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.227   Mailing lists.

An individual's name and address maintained by the Commission will not be sold or rented for commercial or other solicitation purposes not related to the purposes for which the information was collected, unless such sale or rental is specifically authorized by law. This provision shall not be construed to require the withholding of names or addresses otherwise permitted to be made public, as pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

return arrow Back to Top

Subpart D—Rules for Exemptions

return arrow Back to Top

§3b.250   Specific exemptions.

Any system of records maintained by the Commission may be exempt from certain provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, and the appropriate sections of this part promulgated pursuant thereto, if the following requirements are met:

(a) The system of records falls within one or more of the following categories:

(1) Records subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(1) as classified material;

(2) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes [except to the extent that the system is more broadly exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) covering records maintained by an agency whose principal function pertains to the enforcement of criminal laws] provided, however, that is such record is used as a basis for denying an individual any right, privilege, or benefit to which the individual would be entitled in the absence of that record, the individual must be granted access to that record except to the extent that access would reveal the identity of a confidential source who furnished the information to the Government under an express promise that his identity would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that his identity would be held in confidence;

(3) Records maintained to provide protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3056;

(4) Records required by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records;

(5) Investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that his identity would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that his identity would be held in confidence;

(6) Testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service the disclosure of which would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process; or

(7) Material used to evaluate potential for promotion in the armed services, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished the information to the Government under an express promise that his identity would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that his identity would be held in confidence;

(b) Publication in the Federal Register is made in accordance with the requirements (including general public notice) of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553, to include, at a minimum:

(1) The name of the system of records;

(2) The specific provision or provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, and the appropriate sections of this part promulgated pursuant thereto, from which the system is to be exempted; and

(3) The reasons for the exemption; and

(c) The system of records is exempted from one or more of the following provisions of the Privacy Act and the appropriate sections of this part promulgated pursuant thereto:

(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); 18 CFR 3b.226(c)—Making the accounting of disclosures available to the individual named in the record at his request;

(2) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d); 18 CFR 3b.221, 3b.224—Granting an individual the right of access to his records and permitting him to request amendment of such;

(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1); 18 CFR 3b.201(a)—Requiring maintenance of relevant and necessary information in a system of records as required by statute or Executive order of the President;

(4) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G); 18 CFR 3b.3(a)(8)—Requiring a description of procedures for determining if a system contains a record on an individual in the public notice of the system of records;

(5) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(H); 18 CFR 3b.3(a)(9)—Requiring a description of procedures for gaining access to and contesting the contents of a record in the public notice of the system of records;

(6) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I); 18 CFR 3b.3(a)(10)—Requiring a description of the categories of the sources of records in the public notice of the system of records; and

(7) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f); 18 CFR 3b.220-3b.224—Requiring agency rules for determining if an individual is the subject of a record, for handling requests for access, for granting requests for access, for amending records, and for fees.

return arrow Back to Top

Need assistance?