68 FR 3366, Jan. 23, 2003, unless otherwise noted.
(a) This part sets forth the policy for service of a subpoena issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and policies and procedures that you must follow when you submit a demand or request to an employee of the OIG to produce official records and information, or provide testimony relating to official information, in connection with a legal proceeding. You must comply with these requirements when you request the release or disclosure of official records and information.
(b) The OIG intends these provisions to:
(1) Promote economy and efficiency in its programs and operations;
(2) Minimize the possibility of involving OIG in controversial issues not related to OIG's functions;
(3) Maintain OIG's impartiality among private litigants where OIG is not a named party; and
(4) Protect sensitive, confidential information and the deliberative processes of OIG.
(c) In providing for these requirements, OIG does not waive the sovereign immunity of the United States.
(d) This part provides guidance for the internal operations of OIG. This part does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, that a party may rely upon in any legal proceeding against the United States.
This subpart applies to demands and requests to employees for factual or expert testimony relating to official information, or for production of official records or information, in legal proceedings in which HUD or OIG is not a named party. However, this subpart does not apply to:
(a) Demands upon or requests for an OIG employee to testify as to facts or events that are unrelated to his or her official duties or that are unrelated to the functions of OIG;
(c) Congressional demands and Congressional requests for testimony or records.
Counsel means the Counsel to the Inspector General.
Demand means a subpoena, or an order or other command of a court or other competent authority, for the production, disclosure, or release of records or for the appearance and testimony of an OIG employee that is issued in a legal proceeding.
Legal proceeding means any matter before a court of law, administrative board or tribunal, commission, administrative law judge, hearing officer, or other body that conducts a legal or administrative proceeding. Legal proceeding includes all phases of litigation.
OIG means the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
OIG employee or employee means:
(1) Any current or former officer or employee of OIG;
(2) Any other individual hired through contractual agreement by or on behalf of OIG or who has performed or is performing services under such an agreement for OIG; and
(3) Any individual who served or is serving in any consulting or advisory capacity to OIG, whether formal or informal.
Records or official records or information means:
(1) All documents and materials that are OIG agency records under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552;
(2) All other documents and materials contained in OIG files; and
(3) All other information or materials acquired by an OIG employee in the performance of his or her official duties or because of his or her official status.
Request means any informal request, by whatever method, for the production of records and information or for testimony that has not been ordered by a court or other competent authority.
Testimony means any written or oral statements, including depositions, answers to interrogatories, affidavits, declarations, recorded interviews, and statements made by an individual in connection with a legal proceeding.
Service of a subpoena issued by OIG may be accomplished as follows:
(a) Personal service. Service may be made by delivering the subpoena to the person to whom it is addressed. If the subpoena is addressed to a corporation or other business entity, it may be served upon an employee of the corporation or entity. Service made to an employee, agent, or legal representative of the addressee shall constitute service upon the addressee.
(b) Service by mail. Service may also be made by mailing the subpoena, certified mail - return receipt requested, to the addressee at his or her last known business or personal address.
No employee may produce official records and information or provide any testimony relating to official information in response to a demand or request without the prior, written approval of the Inspector General or the Counsel.
The Counsel or Inspector General, in their discretion, may grant an employee permission to testify on matters relating to official information, or produce official records and information, in response to a demand or request. Among the relevant factors that the Inspector General or the Counsel may consider in making this decision are whether:
(a) The purposes of this part are met;
(b) OIG has an interest in the decision that may be rendered in the legal proceeding;
(c) Allowing such testimony or production of records would assist or hinder OIG in performing its statutory duties or use OIG resources where responding to the request will interfere with the ability of OIG employees to do their work;
(d) The records or testimony can be obtained from other sources;
(e) The demand or request is unduly burdensome or otherwise inappropriate under the applicable rules of discovery or the rules of procedure governing the case or matter in which the demand or request arose;
(f) Disclosure would violate or be inconsistent with a statute, Executive Order, or regulation;
(g) Disclosure would reveal confidential or privileged information, trade secrets, or similar, confidential commercial, or financial information;
(h) Disclosure would impede or interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or proceedings, or compromise constitutional rights;
(i) Disclosure would result in OIG appearing to favor one litigant over another;
(j) Disclosure relates to documents that were produced by another agency;
(k) The demand or request is in conformance with all other applicable rules;
(l) The demand or request is sufficiently specific to be answered; and
(m) For any other good cause.
You must comply with the following requirements whenever you issue demands or requests to an OIG employee for official records and information or testimony.
(a) Your request must be in writing and must be submitted to the Counsel. If you serve a subpoena on OIG or on an OIG employee before submitting a written request and receiving a final determination from the Counsel, OIG will oppose the subpoena on grounds that your request was not submitted in accordance with this subpart.
(b) Your written request must contain the following information:
(1) The caption of the legal proceeding, docket number, and name and address of the court or other authority involved;
(2) A copy of the complaint or equivalent document setting forth the assertions in the case and any other pleading or document sufficient to show relevance;
(3) A list of categories of records sought, a detailed description of how the information sought is relevant to the issues in the legal proceeding, and a specific description of the substance of the testimony or records sought;
(4) A statement as to how the need for the information outweighs the need to maintain any confidentiality of the information and outweighs the burden on OIG to produce the records or provide testimony;
(5) A statement indicating that the information sought is not available from another source, from other persons or entities, or from the testimony of someone other than an OIG employee, such as a retained expert;
(6) If testimony is requested, the intended use of the testimony, a general summary of the desired testimony, and a showing that no document could be provided and used in lieu of testimony;
(7) A description of all prior decisions, orders, or pending motions in the case that bear upon the relevance of the requested records or testimony;
(8) The name, address, and telephone number of counsel to each party in the case; and
(9) An estimate of the amount of time that the requester and other parties will require with each OIG employee for time spent by the employee to prepare for testimony, in travel, and for attendance in the legal proceeding.
(c) The OIG reserves the right to require additional information to complete your request where appropriate.
(d) Your request should be submitted at least 30 days before the date that records or testimony are required. Requests submitted less than 30 days before records or testimony are required must be accompanied by a written explanation stating the reasons for the late request and the reasons for expedited processing.
(e) Failure to cooperate in good faith to enable the Counsel to make an informed decision may serve as the basis for a determination not to comply with your request.
Subpoenas or requests for official records or information or testimony must be served on the Counsel to the Inspector General, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street, SW, Room 8260, Washington, DC 20410-4500.
(a) After service of a demand or request to testify, the Counsel will review the demand or request and, in accordance with the provisions of this subpart, determine whether, or under what conditions, to authorize the employee to testify on matters relating to official information and/or to produce official records and information.
(b) The OIG will process requests in the order in which they are received. Absent exigent or unusual circumstances, OIG will respond within 30 days from the date that we receive all information necessary to the evaluation of the demand or request. The time for response will depend upon the scope of the request.
(c) The Counsel may grant a waiver of any procedure described in this subpart where a waiver is considered necessary to promote a significant interest of OIG, HUD, and the United States, or for other good cause.
The Counsel makes the final determination on demands and requests to employees for production of official records and information or testimony. All final determinations are within the sole discretion of the Counsel. The Counsel will notify the requester of the final determination, the reasons for the grant or denial of the demand or request, and any conditions that the Counsel may impose on the release of records or information, or on the testimony of an OIG employee.
(a) The Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the testimony of OIG employees including, for example, limiting the areas of testimony or requiring the requester and other parties to the legal proceeding to agree that the transcript of the testimony will be kept under seal or will only be used or made available in the particular legal proceeding for which testimony was requested. The Counsel may also require a copy of the transcript of testimony at the requester's expense.
(b) The OIG may offer the employee's written declaration in lieu of testimony.
(c) If authorized to testify pursuant to this part, an employee may testify as to facts within his or her personal knowledge, but, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Counsel, the employee shall not:
(1) Disclose confidential or privileged information;
(2) Testify as to facts when the Counsel determines such testimony would not be in the best interest of OIG, HUD and the United States; or
(3) Testify as an expert or opinion witness with regard to any matter arising out of the employee's official duties or the functions of OIG. This provision does not apply to requests from the United States for expert or opinion testimony.
(a) The Counsel may impose conditions or restrictions on the release of official records and information, including the requirement that parties to the proceeding obtain a protective order or execute a confidentiality agreement to limit access and any further disclosure. The terms of the protective order or of a confidentiality agreement must be acceptable to the Counsel. In cases where protective orders or confidentiality agreements have already been executed, OIG may condition the release of official records and information on an amendment to the existing protective order or confidentiality agreement.
(b) If the Counsel so determines, original OIG records may be presented for examination in response to a demand or request, but they are not to be presented as evidence or otherwise used in a manner by which they could lose their identity as official OIG records, nor are they to be marked or altered. In lieu of the original records, certified copies will be presented for evidentiary purposes.
(a) Opportunity to review adverse ruling. Any person aggrieved by a decision made by the Counsel under this part denying a request for documents or testimony, or restricting the release of documents or testimony, may seek review of that decision pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
(b) Procedure in the event of conflicting court order. If the Inspector General or Counsel declines to approve a demand for records or testimony and a court or other authority rules that the demand must be complied with irrespective of the instructions from the OIG not to produce the material or disclose the information sought, the employee or former employee upon whom the demand has been made shall respectfully decline to comply with the demand, citing United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951).
(c) Procedure -
(1) Notice of intention to petition for review. A party or any person aggrieved by the decision made pursuant to this part denying or restricting the release of documents or testimony may seek review of the decision by filing a written Notice of Intention to Petition for Review (Notice) within five business days of the date of this decision. The Notice shall identify the petitioner, the adverse decision, and any dates (such as deposition, hearing, or court dates) that are significant to the party. The Notice shall be served in accordance with § 2004.23.
(2) Petition for review. Within five business days of the filing of a Notice, the person or party seeking review shall file a Petition for Review (Petition) containing a clear and concise statement of the issues to be reviewed and the reasons why the review is appropriate. The petition shall include exceptions to any findings of fact or conclusions of law made, together with supporting reasons and arguments for such exceptions based on appropriate citations to such record or law as may exist. These reasons may be stated in summary form. Decisions on the Petition may be made by either the Inspector General or the Counsel and shall become the final decisions of the OIG. The Petition will be served in accordance with § 2004.23.
(d) Prerequisite to judicial review. Pursuant to Section 704 of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 704, a petition to the agency for review of a decision made under the authority of this part is a prerequisite to the seeking of judicial review of the final decision.
[70 FR 36791, June 24, 2005]
(a) Generally. The Counsel may condition the production of records or appearance for testimony upon advance payment of a reasonable estimate of the costs to OIG.
(b) Fees for records. Fees for producing records will include fees for searching, reviewing, and duplicating records, costs of attorney time spent in reviewing the demand or request, and expenses generated by materials and equipment used to search for, produce, and copy the responsive information. Costs for employee time will be calculated on the basis of the hourly pay of the employee (including all pay, allowance, and benefits). Fees for duplication will be the same as those charged by OIG in its Freedom of Information Act Regulations at 24 CFR part 2002.
(c) Witness fees. Fees for attendance by a witness will include fees, expenses, and allowances prescribed by the court's rules. If no such fees are prescribed, witness fees will be determined based upon the rule of the federal district court closest to the location where the witness will appear. Such fees will include cost of time spent by the witness to prepare for testimony, in travel, and for attendance in the legal proceeding.
(d) Payment of fees. You must pay any applicable witness fees for current OIG employees and any records certification fees by submitting to the Counsel a check or money order for the appropriate amount made payable to the Treasury of the United States. In the case of testimony by former OIG employees, you must pay applicable fees directly to the former employee in accordance with applicable statutes.
(e) Waiver or reduction of fees. The Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, may, upon a showing of reasonable cause, waive or reduce any fees in connection with the testimony or production of records. Additionally, fees will not be assessed if the total charge would be $10.00 or less.