- Part Number:71
- Part Number Title:Protection of Individual Privacy and Access to Records under the Privacy Act of 1974
- Subpart:71 Subpart B
- Subpart Title:Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act
- Standard Number:
- Title:General exemptions pursuant to subsection (j) of the Privacy Act.
- GPO Source:
The following systems of records are eligible for exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) because they are maintained by a component of the agency or subcomponent which performs as its principal function the enforcement of criminal laws, and they contain investigatory material compiled for criminal law enforcement purposes. Accordingly, these systems of records are exempt from the following subsections of 552a of title 5 U.S. Code: (c)(3) and (4), (d), (e)(1), (2), and (3), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), (e)(5) and (8), (f) and (g).
DOL/ESA-45 ( Investigative Files of the Office of Labor-Management Standards), a system of records maintained by the Office of Labor-Management Standards.
DOL/OIG-1 (General Investigative Files, and Subject Title Index, USDOL/OIG), a system of records maintained by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
DOL/OIG-2 (Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts Records), a system of records maintained by the OIG.
DOL/OIG-3 (Case Development Records), a system of records maintained by the OIG.
DOL/OIG-5 (Investigative Case Tracking Systems/Audit Information Reporting Systems, USDOL/OIG), a system of records maintained by the OIG.
DOL/MSHA-20 (Civil/Criminal Investigations), a system of records maintained by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
DOL/PWBA-2 (Office of Enforcement Index Cards and Investigation Files), a system of records maintained by the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.
This exemption applies to the extent that information in these systems of records is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2).
These systems are exempted for the reasons set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (12) of this section, from the following subsections of 5 U.S.C. 552a:
Subsection (c)(3). The release of the disclosure accounting would present a serious impediment to law enforcement by permitting the subject of an investigation of an actual or potential criminal violation to determine whether he is the subject of investigation, or to obtain valuable information concerning the nature of that investigation and the information obtained, or to identify witnesses and informants.
Subsection (c)(4). Since an exemption is being claimed for subsection (d) of the Act (Access to Records), this subsection is inapplicable to the extent that these systems of records are exempted from subsection (d).
Subsection (d). Access to records contained in these systems would inform the subject of an actual or potential criminal investigation of the existence of that investigation, of the nature and scope of the investigation, of the information and evidence obtained as to his or her activities, and of the identity of witnesses or informants. Such access would, accordingly, provide information that could enable the subject to avoid detection, apprehension, and prosecution. This result, therefore, would constitute a serious impediment to effective law enforcement not only because it would prevent the successful completion of the investigation but also because it could endanger the physical safety of witnesses or informants, lead to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, or the fabrication of testimony. Amendment of the records would interfere with ongoing criminal law enforcement proceedings and imposes an impossible administrative burden by requiring criminal investigations to be continuously reinvestigated.
Subsection (e)(1). In the course of criminal and related law enforcement investigations, cases, and matters, the agency will occasionally obtain information concerning actual or potential violations of law that may not be technically within its statutory or other authority, or it may compile information in the course of an investigation which may not be relevant to a specific prosecution. In the interests of effective law enforcement, it is necessary to retain some or all of such information since it can aid in establishing patterns of criminal activity and can provide valuable leads for Federal and other law enforcement agencies. Moreover, it is difficult to know during the course of an investigation what is relevant and necessary. In this connection, facts or evidence may not seem relevant at first, but later in the investigation, their relevance is borne out.
Subsection (e)(2). To collect information to the greatest extent practicable from the subject individual of a criminal investigation or prosecution would present a serious impediment to law enforcement because the subject of the investigation or prosecution would be placed on notice as to the existence of the investigation and would therefore be able to avoid detection or apprehension, improperly influence witnesses, destroy evidence, or fabricate testimony.
Subsection (e)(3). To provide individuals supplying information with a form which includes the information required by subsection (e)(3) would constitute a serious impediment to law enforcement, i.e., it could compromise the existence of a confidential investigation or reveal the identity of witnesses or confidential informants.
Subsections (e)(4)(G) and (H). These subsections are inapplicable to the extent that these systems are exempt from the access provisions of subsection (d) and the rules provisions of subsection (f).
Subsection (e)(4)(I). The categories of sources of the records in these systems have been published in the Federal Register in broad generic terms in the belief that this is all that subsection (e)(4)(I) of the Act requires. In the event, however, that this subsection should be interpreted to require more detail as to the identity of sources of the records in this system, exemption from this provision is necessary to protect the confidentiality of the sources of criminal and related law enforcement information. Such exemption is further necessary to protect the privacy and physical safety of witnesses and informants.
Subsection (e)(5). In the collection of information for criminal enforcement purposes it is impossible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely, and complete. With the passage of time, seemingly irrelevant or untimely information may acquire new significance as further investigation brings new details to light. Furthermore, the accuracy of such information can often only be determined in a court of law. The restrictions of subsection (e)(5) would inhibit the ability of government attorneys in exercising their judgment in reporting on information and investigations and impede the development of criminal information and related data necessary for effective law enforcement.
Subsection (e)(8). The individual notice requirements of subsection (e)(8) could present a serious impediment to law enforcement as this could interfere with the ability to issue warrants or subpoenas and could reveal investigative techniques, procedures, or evidence.
Subsection (f). Procedures for notice to an individual pursuant to subsection (f)(1) as to existence of records pertaining to the individual dealing with an actual or potential criminal, civil, or regulatory investigation or prosecution must be exempted because such notice to an individual would be detrimental to the successful conduct and/or completion of an investigation or case, pending or future. In addition, mere notice of the fact of an investigation could inform the subject or others that their activities are under investigation or may become the subject of an investigation and could enable the subjects to avoid detection, to influence witnesses improperly, to destroy evidence, or to fabricate testimony. Since an exemption is being claimed for subsection (d) of the Act (Access to Records) the rules required pursuant to subsections (f)(2) through (5) are inapplicable to these systems of records to the extent that these systems of records are exempted from subsection (d).
Subsection (g). Since an exemption is being claimed for subsections (d) (Access to Records) and (f) (Agency Rules) this section is inapplicable, and is exempted for the reasons set forth for those subsections, to the extent that these systems of records are exempted from subsections (d) and (f).
[63 FR 56746, Oct. 22, 1998]