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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 23, 2020

Title 4Chapter ISubchapter F → Part 83


Title 4: Accounts


PART 83—PRIVACY PROCEDURES FOR PERSONNEL RECORDS


Contents
§83.1   Purpose and scope of part.
§83.2   Administration.
§83.3   Definitions.
§83.4   Conditions of disclosure.
§83.5   Specific disclosure of information.
§83.6   Accounting of certain disclosures.
§83.7   GAO policy and requirements.
§83.8   Standards of conduct.
§83.9   Social Security number.
§83.10   First Amendment rights.
§83.11   Official Personnel Folder.
§83.12   Procedures for individual access to records.
§83.13   Inquiries.
§83.14   Denial of access requests.
§83.15   Request for amendment of record.
§83.16   Administrative review of request for amendment of record.
§83.17   Fees.
§83.18   Rights of legal guardians.
§83.19   Government contractors.
§83.20   Mailing lists.
§83.21   Exemptions.
Appendix I to Part 83—Memorandum of Understanding

Authority: 31 U.S.C. 711(1); Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the National Archives and Records Service of the General Services Administration and the U.S. Government Accountability Office; 4 CFR part 81; 5 CFR parts 294-297; and 31 U.S.C. 731, et seq.

Source: 50 FR 13162, Apr. 3, 1985, unless otherwise noted.

§83.1   Purpose and scope of part.

This part describes the policy and prescribes the procedures of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) with respect to maintaining and protecting the privacy of GAO personnel records. While GAO is not subject to the Privacy Act (Act) (5 U.S.C. 552a), GAO's policy is to conduct its activities in a manner that is consistent with the spirit of the Act and its duties, functions, and responsibilities to the Congress. Application of the Privacy Act to GAO is not to be inferred from the provisions of these regulations. These regulations are designed to safeguard individuals against invasions of personal privacy by requiring GAO, except as otherwise provided by law, to—

(a) Protect privacy interests of individuals by imposing requirements of accuracy, relevance, and confidentiality for the maintenance and disclosure of personnel records;

(b) Inform individuals of the existence of systems of personnel records maintained by GAO containing personal information; and

(c) Inform individuals of the right to see and challenge the contents of personnel records containing information about them.

This part applies to all systems of personnel records (as defined in §83.3(g)) for which GAO is responsible.

§83.2   Administration.

The administration of this part is the duty and responsibility of the Director, Personnel, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street NW., Washington, D.C. 20548. To this end, the Director, Personnel, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, is authorized to issue such supplemental regulations or procedural directives as may be necessary and appropriate.

(a) The Director, Personnel, shall have general responsibility and authority for implementing this part, including—

(1) Approving all systems of personnel records to be maintained by GAO (whether physically located in GAO's Office of Personnel or elsewhere), including the contents and uses of such systems, accounting methods, and security methods; and

(2) Responding to an individual's request to gain access to or amend his or her own personnel records.

(b) The Director, Personnel, may delegate within GAO any of his functions under this part.

§83.3   Definitions.

As used in this part:

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

(b) Information means papers, records, photographs, magnetic storage media, micro storage media, and other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, containing data about an individual and required by GAO in pursuance of law or in connection with the discharge of official business, as defined by statute, regulation, or administrative procedure;

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

(d) Personnel record means any record concerning an individual which is maintained pursuant to GAO's personnel management process or personnel policy setting process;

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

(f) Routine use means the disclosure of a record for a purpose which is compatible with the purpose for which it was collected;

(g) System of personnel records means a group of personnel records under the control of GAO from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other indentifying particular assigned to the individual; and,

(h) System manager means the Director of Personnel, his designee, or other GAO official designated by the Comptroller General, who has the authority to decide matters relative to systems of personnel records maintained by GAO.

§83.4   Conditions of disclosure.

GAO shall not disclose any record that is contained in a system of personnel records by any means of communication to any person or organization, including another agency, without the prior written consent of the individual to whom the record pertains, unless disclosure of the record would be:

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

(b) Required under regulations implementing the public availability of GAO records published at part 81 of this chapter, or authorized under §83.5; or

(c) For a routine use as defined in §83.3(f); or

(d) To a recipient who has provided GAO 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; or

(e) To another agency or 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, if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a written request to GAO specifying the particular record desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought; or

(f) To any person pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of an individual (not necessarily the data subject) if upon such disclosure notification is transmitted to the last known address of the subject of the personnel record; or

(g) To either House of Congress, or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any committee or subcommittee of Congress; or

(h) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction or in connection with any judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings; or

(i) 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, United States Code; or

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

(k) To a consumer reporting agency in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(f).

§83.5   Specific disclosure of information.

(a) This section governs responses to a member of the public, prospective employers, and law enforcement officials, for access to information covered by this part. It does not limit in any way other disclosures of information pursuant to other provisions of this part.

(b) The following information about most present and former GAO employees is available to the public:

(1) Name;

(2) Present and past position titles;

(3) Present and past grades;

(4) Present and past salaries; and

(5) Present and past duty stations (which include room numbers, shop designations, or other identifying information regarding buildings or places of employment.

(c) Disclosure of the above information will not be made where the information requested is a list of present or past position titles, grades, salaries, and/or duty stations of Government employees which, as determined by the Director, Personnel, is:

(1) Selected in such a way as to constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy because the nature of the request calls for a response that would reveal more about the employees on whom information is sought than the five enumerated items; or

(2) Would otherwise be protected from mandatory disclosure under an exemption of part 81 of this title concerning the public availability of GAO records.

(d) In addition to the information that may be made available under paragraph (a) of this section, GAO may make available the following information to a prospective employer of a GAO employee or former GAO employee:

(1) Tenure of employment;

(2) Civil service status;

(3) Length of service in GAO and the Government; and

(4) When separated, the date and reason for separation shown on the required standard form.

(e) In addition to the information to be made available under paragraph (a) of this section, the home address of an employee shall be made available to a police or court official on receipt of a proper request stating that an indictment has been returned against the employee or that complaint, information, accusation, or other writ involving nonsupport or a criminal offense has been filed against the employee and the employee's address is needed for service of a summons, warrant, subpoena, or other legal process.

(f) Except as provided in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, and except as provided in this part, information required to be included in an Official Personnel Folder is not available to the public and is protected from disclosure by §81.6(f) of this chapter.

(g) Personnel Appeal Files. (Those records maintained by the Government Accountability Office Personnel Appeals Board of petitions or appeals filed with the Board by GAO employees, former employees, or applicants for employment. Such records do not include any of the investigative files or reports of the Personnel Appeals Board General Counsel. See 4 CFR 28.18(c)). GAO, upon receipt of a request which identifies the individual from whose file the information is sought, shall disclose the following information from a Personnel Appeal File to a member of the public, except when the disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy:

(1) Confirmation of the name of the individual from whose file the information is sought and the names of the other parties concerned;

(2) The status of the case;

(3) The decision on the case;

(4) The nature of the action appealed; and

(5) With the consent of the parties concerned, other reasonably identified information from the file.

(h) Leave records. The annual and sick leave record of an employee, or information from these records, is not to be made available to the public by GAO or other Government agency.

(i) Examinations and related subjects. Information concerning the results of examinations will be released only to the individual concerned, and to those parties explicitly designated in writing by the individual. The names of applicants for GAO positions or eligibles on GAO or civil service registers, certificates, employment lists, or other lists of eligibles, or their ratings or relative standings are not information available to the public.

(j) Investigations. (1) Upon written request, GAO will disclose to the parties concerned any report of personnel investigation under its control, or an extract of the report, to the extent the report is involved in a processed before GAO. For the purpose of this paragraph, the “parties concerned” means the Government employee involved in the proceeding, his or her representative designated in writing, and the representative of GAO involved in the proceeding. Where GAO obtains reports of personnel investigations or information from such reports from other government agencies on condition that it not release such data, GAO will refer parties requesting such information to the originating agency where their request will be processed.

(2) GAO will not make a report of investigation or information from a report under its control available to the public or to witnesses, except as otherwise required under GAO regulations implementing the public availability of records published at part 81 of this chapter.

§83.6   Accounting of certain disclosures.

(a) With respect to each system of personnel records, GAO shall, except for disclosures made under §§83.4(a) and 83.4(b), keep an accurate accounting of—

(1) The date, nature, and purpose of disclosure of a record to any person; and

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

(b) Such accounting shall be retained for at least 3 years or the life of the record, whichever is longer, after the disclosure for which the accounting is made.

(c) Except for disclosures made under §83.4(e), the accounting shall be available upon written request to the individual named in the record.

§83.7   GAO policy and requirements.

(a) GAO shall maintain in its personnel records only such information about an individual as is relevant and necessary to accomplish an authorized official purpose. Authority to maintain personnel records does not constitute authority to maintain information in the record merely because a need for it may develop in the future. Both Government-wide and internal agency personnel records shall contain only information concerning an individual that is relevant and necessary to accomplish GAO's personnel management objectives as required by statute, GAO internal directive, or formal agreements between GAO and other Federal agencies.

(b) GAO shall make every reasonable effort to collect information about an individual directly from that individual when the information may result in adverse determinations about the individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under Federal programs. Factors to be considered in determining whether to collect the data from the individual concerned or a third party are:

(1) The nature of the information is such that it can only be obtained from another party;

(2) The cost of collecting the information directly from the individual is unreasonable when compared with the cost of collecting it from another party;

(3) There is virtually no risk that information collected from other parties, if inaccurate, could result in a determination adverse to the individual concerned;

(4) The information supplied by an individual must be verified by another party; or

(5) Provisions are made, to the greatest extent practical, to verify information collected from another party with the individual concerned.

(c) GAO shall inform each individual whom it asks to supply information for a personnel record, on the form which it uses to collect the information or on a separate form that can be retained by the individual, of—

(1) The authority for the solicitation of the information and whether disclosure of such information is mandatory or voluntary;

(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 published pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section; and

(4) The effects, if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information;

(d) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (i) of this section, GAO shall publish in the Federal Register, upon establishment or revision, a notice of the existence and character of its systems of personnel records. Such notice shall include—

(1) The name and location(s) of each system of personnel records;

(2) The categories of individuals about whom records are maintained in each such system;

(3) The categories of records maintained in each system of personnel records;

(4) Each routine use of the records contained in each system of personnel records, including the categories of users and the purpose(s) of such use;

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

(6) The title and business address of the GAO official who is responsible for maintaining each system of personnel records;

(7) GAO procedures whereby an individual can ascertain whether a system of personnel records contains a record pertaining to the individual;

(8) Procedures whereby an individual can request access to any record pertaining to him contained in any system of personnel records, and how the individual may contest its content; and

(9) The categories of sources of records in each system of personnel records.

(e) GAO shall maintain all records which it uses in making any determination about any individual with such accuracy, relevancy, timeliness, and completeness as is reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in the determination;

(f) GAO shall, prior to disseminating any record about an individual to any person other than a Federal agency, make all reasonable efforts to reassure that such records are accurate, complete, timely, and relevant for GAO's purposes;

(g) GAO shall make reasonable efforts to serve notice on an individual or his authorized representative when any personnel record on such individual is being made available to any person under compulsory legal process as soon as practicable after service of the subpoena or other legal process;

(h) GAO shall establish rules of conduct for persons involved in the design, development, operation, or maintenance of any system of personnel records or files or in maintaining any record, and to instruct each person with respect to such rules and requirements of this part, including any other rules and procedures adopted pursuant to this part;

(i)(1) GAO shall establish and maintain appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of personnel records. At a minimum, these controls shall require that all persons whose official duties require access to and use of personnel records be responsible and accountable for safeguarding those records and for ensuring that the records are secured whenever they are not in use or under the direct control of authorized persons. Generally, personnel records should be held, processed, or stored only where facilities and conditions are adequate to prevent unauthorized access;

(2) Except for access by the data subject, only employees whose official duties require and authorize access shall be allowed to handle and use personnel records, in whatever form or media the records might appear. To the extent feasible, entry into personnel record storage areas shall be similarly limited. Documentation of the removal of records from storage areas must be kept so that adequate control procedures can be established to assure that removed records are returned intact on a timely basis and properly controlled during such period of removal.

(3) In addition to following the above security requirements, managers of automated personnel records shall establish and maintain administrative, technical, physical, and security safeguards for data about individuals in automated records, including input and output documents, reports, punched cards, magnetic tapes, disks, and on-line computer storage. As a minimum, the safeguards must be sufficient to:

(i) Prevent careless, accidental, or unintentional disclosure, modification, or destruction of identifiable personal data;

(ii) Minimize the risk of improper access, modification, or destruction of identifiable personnel data;

(iii) Prevent casual entry by persons who have no official reason for access to such data;

(iv) Minimize the risk of unauthorized disclosure where use is made of identifiable personal data in testing of computer programs;

(v) Control the flow of data into, through, and from computer operations;

(vi) Adequately protect identifiable data from environmental hazards and unnecessary exposure; and

(vii) Assure adequate internal audit procedures to comply with these procedures.

(4) The disposal of identifiable personal data in automated files is to be accomplished in such a manner as to make the data unobtainable to unauthorized personnel. Unneeded personal data stored on reusable media, such as magnetic tapes and disks, must be erased prior to release of the media for reuse.

(j) At least 30 days prior to publication of information under paragraph (d)(4) of this section, GAO shall publish in the Federal Register notice of any new use or intended use of the information in the system, and provide an opportunity for interested persons to submit written data, views, or arguments to GAO.

§83.8   Standards of conduct.

(a) GAO employees whose official duties involve the maintenance and handling of personnel records shall not disclose information from any personnel record unless disclosure is part of their official duties or required by statute, regulation, or internal procedure.

(b) Any GAO employee who makes an unauthorized disclosure of personnel records or a disclosure of information derived from such records, knowing that such disclosure is unauthorized, or otherwise knowingly violates these regulations, shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. GAO employees are prohibited from using personnel information not available to the public, obtained through official duties, for commercial solicitation or sale, or for personal gain. Any employee who knowingly violates this prohibition shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

§83.9   Social Security number.

(a) GAO may not require individuals to disclose their Social Security Number (SSN) unless disclosure would be required—

(1) Under Federal statute; or

(2) Under any statute, executive order, or regulation that authorizes any Federal, State, or local agency maintaining a system of records that was in existence and operating prior to January 1, 1975, to request the SSN as a necessary means of verifying the identity of an individual.

(b) Individuals asked to voluntarily provide their SSN shall suffer no penalty or denial of benefits for refusing to provide it.

(c) When GAO requests an individual to disclose his or her SSN, it shall inform that individual whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory or other authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it.

§83.10   First Amendment rights.

Personnel records or entries thereon describing how individuals exercise rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution are prohibited, unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual concerned, or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity. These rights include, but are not limited to, free exercise of religious and political beliefs, freedom of speech and the press, and freedom to assemble and to petition the Government.

§83.11   Official Personnel Folder.

(a) GAO shall establish and maintain an Official Personnel Folder for each of its employees, except as provided in the GAO/U.S. OPM/GSA Memorandum of Understanding (see subsection (b)). Except as provided for in Federal Personnel Manual (FPM) Supplement 293-31 there will be only one Official Personnel Folder maintained for each employee.

(b) GAO/U.S. OPM/GSA Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding agreed to by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (U.S. OPM), and the National Archives and Records Service of the General Services Administration (GSA), Appendix I, constitutes the official and sole agreement concerning the continuity and coordination of the Official Personnel Folder.

(c) GAO policy is to assure continuity and coordination of the Official Personnel Folder when a person, for whom an Official Personnel Folder has been established, separates from GAO, or transfers to or from GAO from or to a Federal agency subject to regulations of the U.S. OPM relating to Official Personnel Folders. GAO will maximize the pooling of information between itself and those Federal agencies subject to U.S. OPM rules and regulations concerning the Official Personnel Folder so that a GAO employee may transfer to and from other Federal agencies with one complete and informative Official Personnel Folder.

(d) Ownership of Official Personnel Folder. (1) The Official Personnel Folders of individuals whose employment with GAO terminated prior to October 1, 1980, are the records of U.S. OPM and are under the jurisdiction and control of U.S. OPM.

(2) The Official Personnel Folders of current GAO employees whose GAO employment began on or after October 1, 1980, and who have had no previous employment by an executive branch agency of the Federal government shall be under the jurisdiction and control of, and are the records of GAO. GAO shall retain jurisdiction over such records even when they are transferred to an executive branch agency.

(3) The Official Personnel Folders of current GAO employees who were employed prior to October 1, 1980, by either GAO or an executive branch agency shall be under the control of GAO, but those records established prior to October 1, 1980, by GAO, and all records established as a result of employment by an executive branch agency shall remain under the jurisdiction of, and be part of the records of, U.S. OPM.

(4) GAO will maintain those Official Personnel Folders containing records of employment by an executive branch Federal agency, or by GAO prior to October 1, 1980, in compliance with regulations of the U.S. OPM in accordance with the procedures contained in the Memorandum of Understanding and the provisions of regulations of U.S. OPM contained in 5 CFR parts 293, 294, and 297, as well as the provisions of FPM Chapters 293, 294, and 297.

(e) Maintenance and content of Folder. GAO shall maintain in the Official Personnel Folder the reports of selection and other personnel actions named in section 2951 of title 5, United States Code. The Folder shall also contain permanent records affecting the employee's status and service as required by U.S. OPM instructions and as designated in FPM Supplement 293-31.

(f) Use of existing Folders upon transfer or reemployment. In accordance with paragraph (a) of this section, GAO shall request the transfer of the Official Personnel Folder for a person who was previously employed with a Federal agency that maintains such a Folder. The Folder so obtained shall be used in lieu of establishing a new Official Personnel Folder.

(1) When a person for whom an Official Personnel Folder has been established transfers from GAO to another Federal agency that maintains the Folder, GAO shall, on request, transfer the Folder to the new employing agency.

(2) Before transferring the Official Personnel Folder, GAO shall—

(i) Remove those records of a temporary nature filed on the left side of the Folder; and

(ii) Ensure that all permanent documents of the Folder are complete, correct, and present in the Folder in accordance with FPM Supplement 293-31.

(g) Disposition of Folders of former Federal employees. (1) Folders containing the personnel records of individuals separated from employment with GAO will be retained by GAO for 30 days after separation, and may be retained for an additional 60 days. Thereafter, the Folder shall be transferred to the same location and in the same manner as Official Personnel Folders of persons separated from Federal agencies which are subject to U.S. OPM regulations in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding.

(2) GAO shall remove temporary records from the Folder before it is transferred in accordance with guidelines applicable to Federal agencies which are subject to U.S. OMP regulations.

(3) If a former GAO employee is reappointed in the Federal service, the employee's Folder shall, upon request, be transferred to the new employing agency.

(h) Access requests and amendments to the Official Personnel Folder. Requests for access to, disclosure from, correction of, or amendments to documents contained in the Official Personnel Folder will be made in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding.

§83.12   Procedures for individual access to records.

(a) Upon written request by any individual outside of GAO or upon written or oral request by any officer or employee of GAO to gain access to his or her record or to any information pertaining to the individual which is contained in a system of personnel records, and not otherwise exempted, GAO shall permit the individual and upon the individual's request a person of his or her own choosing to accompany him or her, to review the record and have a copy made of all or any portion thereof in a form comprehensible to him or her, except that GAO may require the individual to furnish a written statement authorizing discussion of that individual's record in the accompanying person's presence. When access to the records has been granted by a system manager or designee:

(1) Inspection in person may be made in the office designated in the system notice during the hours specified by GAO.

(2) Upon the determination of the designated GAO official, records may be transferred to a GAO office more convenient to the data subject to review.

(3) Generally, GAO will not furnish certified copies of records. Where certified copies of records are to be furnished, they may be mailed at the request of the data subject or, as determined by GAO, only after payment of any fee levied in accordance with §83.17 is received.

(4) In no event shall original records be made available for review by the individual except in the presence of a system manager or designee.

(b) The general identifying information items that the designated GAO official may ask to be furnished before a specific inquiry is granted include:

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

(2) Picture identification card;

(3) The current or last place and dates of Federal employment, if appropriate; and

(4) Social security number (for those systems of records retrieved by this identifier).

(c) A request or inquiry from someone other than the individual to whom the information pertains shall contain such documents or copies of documents that establish the relationship or authorize access as follows:

(1) When the requester is the parent or legal guardian of a data subject who is a minor, the requester shall identify the relationship with the data subject and furnish a certified or authenticated (e.g. notarized) copy of any document establishing parentage or appointment as legal guardian.

(2) Where the requester is the legal guardian of a data subject who has been declared incompetent by the courts, the requester shall identify the relationship with the data subject and furnish a certified or authenticated copy of the court's appointment of guardianship.

(3) Where the requester is a representative of the data subject, the requester shall identify the relationship with the data subject or the data subject's parent or legal guardian, and furnish documentation designating the representative as having the authority to act on behalf of the data subject.

(d) When the requester appears in person and cannot be identified by sight and signature, proof of identity is required as follows:

(1) When a request is from the data subject, the means of proof, in order of preference, are:

(i) A document bearing the individual's photograph and signature (for example, driver's license, passport, or military or civilian identification card); or

(ii) Two documents bearing the individual's signature (for example, Medicare card, unemployment insurance book, employer identification card, major credit card, professional, draft, or union membership card).

(2) When a request is made by the parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative of the data subject, the means of identifying the requester and his or her authority for acting on behalf of the data subject shall be as prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section. In addition, the requester shall establish the identity of the data subject by requiring the identifying information in paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) When a written inquiry or request is received from the data subject, or from the data subject's parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative, it should be signed and—

(1) For an inquiry, contain sufficient identifying information about the data subject to permit searching of the record system(s) and to permit response; and

(2) For an access request—

(i) From the data subject, contain sufficient information to locate the record and establish that the requester and the data subject are the same (e.g. matching signatures); or

(ii) From the data subject's parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative, contain sufficient information to locate the record, match identity with the data subject, and such documentation of association or authorization as is prescribed in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

(f) The signed request from the data subject, or from the data subject's parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative specified in paragraph (c) of this section shall be sufficient proof of identity of the requester, unless for good cause, the system manager or designee determines that there is a need to require some notarized or certified evidence of the identity of the requester.

§83.13   Inquiries.

(a) General inquiries to request assistance in identifying which system of records may contain a record about an individual may be made in person or by mail to the Director, Personnel.

(b) An inquiry that requests GAO to determine if it has, in a given system of personnel records, a record about the inquirer, should be addressed to the official identified in the Federal Register notice for that system. Inquirers should specify the name of the system of personnel records, if known, as published in the Federal Register. Such inquiries should contain the identifying data prescribed in §83.12 before a search can be made of that particular system of records.

§83.14   Denial of access requests.

(a) If an access request is denied, the official denying the request shall give the requester the following information:

(1) The official's name, position title, and business mailing address;

(2) The date of the denial;

(3) The reasons for the denial, including citation of appropriate sections of this or any other applicable part; and

(4) The individual's opportunities for further administrative consideration, including the name, position title, and address of the GAO official (see paragraph (c) of this section) responsible for such further review.

(b) Denial of a request for access to records will be made only by the official GAO designee and only upon a determination that:

(1) The record is subject to an exemption under §83.21 when the system manager has elected to invoke the exemption; or

(2) The record is information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding; or

(3) The data subject or authorized representative of the data subject refuses to abide by procedures for gaining access to records.

(c) A request for administrative review of a denial shall be made to the Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20548. The Assistant Comptroller General shall acknowledge receipt of a request for administrative review of a denial of access within 10 working days after receipt of the request. If it is not possible to reach a decision within an additional 10 working days, the requester shall be informed of the approximate date (within 30 working days) when such a decision may be expected.

(d) In reaching a decision, the Assistant Comptroller General will review the criteria prescribed in this section which were cited as the basis for denying access, and may seek additional information as deemed necessary.

§83.15   Request for amendment of record.

(a) Individuals may request the amendment of their records in writing or in person by contacting the system manager or designee indicated in the notice of systems of records published by GAO in the Federal Register. Time limits will be measured from receipt at the proper office.

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

(1) The precise identification of the records sought to be amended, deleted, or added.

(2) A statement of the reasons for the request, with all available documents and material that substantiate the request.

(c) GAO shall permit an individual to request amendment of a record pertaining to the individual. Not later than 10 working days after the date of receipt of such request, the designated GAO official shall acknowledge in writing such request and, promptly, either—

(1) Make any correction of any portion thereof which the individual believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete; or

(2) Inform the individual of the refusal to amend the record in accordance with his or her request, the reason for the refusal, and the name and business address of the GAO official responsible for the refusal.

(3) The GAO offical shall permit an individual who disagrees with the refusal by the designated GAO official to amend his or her record to request review of such refusal. A request for administrative review of a denial shall be made in accordance with §83.16.

(4) In any disclosure containing information about which the individual has filed a statement of disagreement, occurring after the filing of the statement under §83.16(d), GAO shall clearly note any portion of the record which is disputed and provide copies of a concise statement of the reasons for not making the amendments requested, to persons or other agencies to whom the disputed record has been disclosed.

(5) Nothing in this section shall allow an individual access to any information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or proceeding.

(d) If necessary, the official authorized to rule on a request for amendment may seek additional information pertinent to the request to assure that a fair, equitable, and accurate decision is reached.

(e) The following criteria will be considered by the system manager or designee in reviewing initial requests for amendment of records:

(1) The sufficiency of the evidence submitted by the data subject;

(2) The factual accuracy of the information submitted and the information in the record;

(3) The relevancy, necessity, timeliness, and completeness of the information in light of the purpose for which it was collected;

(4) The degree of possibility that denial of the request could result in unfair determinations adverse to the data subject;

(5) The character of record sought to be amended;

(6) The propriety and feasibility of complying with specific means of amendment requested by the data subject; and

(7) The possible involvement of the record in a judicial or quasi-judicial process.

§83.16   Administrative review of request for amendment of record.

(a) A request for administrative review of GAO's denial to amend a record in GAO's system of personnel records shall be addressed to the Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20548. The Assistant Comptroller General shall acknowledge receipt of a request for administrative review of a denial of amendment within 10 working days.

(b) If a decision cannot be made within an additional 10-day period, a letter will be sent within that time explaining the delay and furnishing an expected date for the decision. A decision on the request must be made within 30 working days after receipt of the request. Only for good cause shown, and at the discretion of the Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources can this time limit be extended. Any extension requires written notification to the requester explaining the reason for the extension and furnishing a new expected date for the decision. Generally, such extension shall be for no more than an additional 30 working days.

(c) When a request for administrative review of an amendment denial is submitted, the individual must provide a copy of the original request for amendment, a copy of the initial denial, and a statement of the specific reasons why the initial denial is believed to be in error.

(d) An individual requesting an amendment of a record has the burden of supplying information in support of the propriety and necessity of the amendment request. The decision on the request will then be rendered based on a review of the data submitted. The GAO official is not required to gather supporting evidence for the individual and will have the right to verify the evidence which the individual submits.

(e) Amendment of a record will be denied upon a determination by the system manager or designee that:

(1) The record is subject to an exemption from the provisions of this part, allowing amendment of records;

(2) The information submitted by the data subject is not accurate, relevant, or of sufficient probative value;

(3) The amendment would violate a statute or regulation;

(4) The individual refuses to provide information which is necessary to process the request to amend the record; or

(5) The record for which amendment is requested is a record presented in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, or maintained in anticipation of being used in a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, when such record is or will become available to the individual under that proceeding.

(f) If, after review, the Assistant Comptroller General for Human Resources also refuses to amend the record in accordance with the request, the individual will be permitted to file with the system manager or designee of the system of records concerned a concise statement setting forth the reasons for his or her disagreement. Any such statement of disagreement will be treated in accordance with paragraph (c)(4) of §83.15.

§83.17   Fees.

(a) Generally, GAO's policy is to provide the first copy of any record or portion thereof, furnished as a result of this part, at no cost to the data subject or authorized representative. However, in cases where GAO deems it appropriate (for example, where the record is voluminous), the system manager or designee in his or her discretion may charge a fee when the cost for copying the record (at a rate of 20 cents per page) would be in excess of ten dollars ($10).

(b) There shall be no fees charged or collected from a data subject for the following:

(1) Search for or retrieval of the data subject's records;

(2) Review of the records;

(3) Making a copy of a record when it is a necessary part of the process of making the record available for review;

(4) Copying at the initiative of GAO without a request from the individual;

(5) Transportation of the record; and

(6) Making a copy of an amended record to provide the individual with evidence of the amendment.

(c) Certification of authenticity shall be $10 for each certificate, which fee may be waived in the discretion of the system manager or designee.

§83.18   Rights of 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.

§83.19   Government contractors.

When GAO provides by a contract for the operation by or on behalf of GAO of a system of personnel records to accomplish a function of GAO, GAO shall, consistent with its authority, cause the requirements of this part to be applied to such system. Any such contractor and any employee of such contractor, if such contract is agreed to on or after the effective date of this section, shall be considered, for the purposes of this part, to be an employee of GAO. Contractor employees will be required to observe the confidentiality requirements of this part. Violations of this part by contractor employees may be a sufficient ground for contract termination.

§83.20   Mailing lists.

An individual's name and address may not be sold or rented by GAO unless such action is specifically authorized by law. This provision shall not be construed to require the withholding of names and addresses otherwise permitted to be made public.

§83.21   Exemptions.

(a) All personnel records are exempted from §§83.6(c), 83.12, 83.13, 83.14, and 83.15, relating to making an accounting of disclosures available to the data subject or his authorized representative and access to and amendment of the records and other sections relating to procedural requirements of the above-cited sections if the record is:

(1) Specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and is in fact classified pursuant to such Executive order. See 31 U.S.C. 716(e)(1) and 718(b)(3) concerning the applicability of these requirements to GAO.

(2) Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes: Provided, however, That if any individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit that he would otherwise be entitled to by Federal law, or for which he would otherwise be eligible, as a result of the maintenance of such material, such material shall be provided to such individual, except 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 the effective date of this section, under an express or implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence;

(3) Maintained in connection with providing protection services to the President of the United States or other individuals pursuant to section 3056 of Title 18, United States Code;

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

(5) Investigatory material compiled solely for the purposes of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of the 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 the effective date of this section, under an express or implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence (see §83.5(j)(1) for the procedure to be used to obtain investigative data originated by other Government agencies);

(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) Evaluation material used to determine 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 information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to the effective date of this section, under an express or implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

Appendix I to Part 83—Memorandum of Understanding

This memorandum of understanding constitutes an agreement between the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the National Archives and Records Service of the General Services Administration (NARS), and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) concerning:

(1) The maintenance of the Official Personnel Folder (OPF) of an individual who has been employed in a position subject to the provisions of Title 5, U.S.C. and to the regulations and procedures issued by OPM to govern the Federal civil service, and also in a position subject to the GAO Personnel Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-191) and its implementing regulations and procedures;

(2) The exchange of personnel documents and data between the Federal civil service administered by OPM and the personnel system administered by GAO;

(3) The establishment of procedures for processing requests for access to, disclosure from, and amendment of documents in the OPF of an individual who has service under both personnel systems;

(4) The establishment of procedures to be followed by the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) when responding to requests pertaining to separated employees in any of the following circumstances:

(a) When the OPF contains documentation resulting from employment in both systems;

(b) When a request is received for transfer of an OPF between systems;

(c) When processing a request for an OPF, and that OPF contains only records of GAO employment since October 1, 1980;

(5) The agreement of the parties to consult and cooperate in matters relating to the establishment and revision of personnel procedures which may have mutual effect so as to insure the sharing of essential information while minimizing the recordkeeping burden of all three parties.

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