[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 34 (Tuesday, February 21, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 9878-9879]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3914]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

28 CFR Part 16

[CPCLO Order No. 003-2012]


Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation

AGENCY: Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: Elsewhere in the Federal Register, the Department of Justice 
(DOJ or Department) has published a notice of a new Department-wide 
Privacy Act system of records, Debt Collection Enforcement System, 
JUSTICE/DOJ-016. In this notice of proposed rulemaking, the DOJ 
proposes to exempt certain records in this system from certain 
provisions of the Privacy Act in order to avoid interference with the 
law enforcement functions and responsibilities of the DOJ. Public 
comment is invited.

DATES: Comments must be received by March 22, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments to the Department of Justice, ATTN: 
Privacy Analyst, Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties, National Place 
Building, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 1000, Washington, DC 
20530, or facsimile (202) 307-0693. To ensure proper handling, please 
reference the CPCLO Order number in your correspondence. You may review 
an electronic version of the proposed rule at http://www.regulations.gov. You may also submit a comment via the Internet by 
emailing DOJPrivacyActProposedRegulations@usdoj.gov or by using the 
comment form for this regulation at http://www.regulation.gov. Please 
include the CPCLO Order number in the subject box.
    Please note that the Department is requesting that electronic 
comments be submitted before midnight Eastern standard time on the day 
the comment period closes because http://www.regulations.gov terminates 
the public's ability to submit comments at that time. Commenters in 
time zones other than Eastern standard time may want to consider this 
so that their electronic comments are received. All comments sent via 
regular or express mail will be considered timely if postmarked on the 
day the comment period closes.
    Posting of Public Comments: Please note that all comments received 
are considered part of the public record and made available for public 
inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov and in the Department's 
public docket. Such information includes personally identifying 
information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter.
    If you want to submit personally identifying information (such as 
your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment but do not want it to 
be posted online or made available in the public docket, you must 
include the term ``PERSONALLY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION'' in the first 
paragraph of your comment. You must also place all the personally 
identifying information you do not want posted online or made available 
in the public docket in the first paragraph of your comment and 
identify what information you want redacted.
    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of 
your comment but do not want it to be posted online or made available 
in the public docket, you must include the term ``CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS 
INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also 
prominently identify confidential business information to be redacted 
within the comment. If a comment has so much confidential business 
information that it cannot be effectively redacted, all or part of that 
comment may not be posted online or made available in the public 
docket.
    Personally identifying information and confidential business 
information identified and located as set forth above will be redacted 
and the comment, in redacted form, will be posted online and placed in 
the Department's public docket file. Please note that the Freedom of 
Information Act applies to all comments received. If you wish to 
inspect the agency's public docket file in person by appointment, 
please see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Holley B. O'Brien, Director, Debt 
Collection Management Staff, Justice Management Division, Department of 
Justice, at (202) 514-5343.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the Notice section of today's Federal 
Register, the DOJ published a new Department-wide Privacy Act system of 
records, Debt Collection Enforcement System, JUSTICE/DOJ-016, to 
reflect the consolidation of the Department's debt collection 
enforcement systems, that were previously maintained in various 
individual DOJ components, into a single, centralized system. This 
system of records is maintained by the Department of Justice to cover 
records used by the Department's components or offices, and/or contract 
private counsel retained by DOJ to perform legal, financial and 
administrative services associated with the collection of debts due the 
United States, including related negotiation, settlement, litigation, 
and enforcement efforts.
    In this rulemaking, the DOJ proposes to exempt certain records in 
this Privacy Act system of records from certain provisions of the 
Privacy Act because the system contains material compiled for law 
enforcement purposes.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule relates to individuals, as opposed to small 
business entities. Pursuant to the requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, the proposed rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(d), requires 
that the DOJ consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. There are no current or new 
information collection requirements associated with this proposed rule. 
The records that are contributed to the Debt Collection Enforcement 
system would be created in any event by law enforcement entities and 
their sharing of this information electronically will not increase the 
paperwork burden on the public.

Unfunded Mandates

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public 
Law 104-4, 109 Stat. 48, requires Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of certain regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal 
governments, and the private sector. UMRA requires a written

[[Page 9879]]

statement of economic and regulatory alternatives for proposed and 
final rules that contain Federal mandates. A ``Federal mandate'' is a 
new or additional enforceable duty, imposed on any State, local, or 
tribal government, or the private sector. If any Federal mandate causes 
those entities to spend, in aggregate, $100 million or more in any one 
year the UMRA analysis is required. This proposed rule would not impose 
Federal mandates on any State, local, or tribal government or the 
private sector.

List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 16

    Administrative practices and procedures, Courts, Freedom of 
Information Act, Government in the Sunshine Act, and the Privacy Act.

    Pursuant to the authority vested in the Attorney General by 5 
U.S.C. 552a and delegated to me by Attorney General Order 2940-2008, it 
is proposed to amend 28 CFR part 16 as follows:

PART 16--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for part 16 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, 552b(g), 553; 18 U.S.C. 
4203(a)(1); 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 534; 31 U.S.C. 3717, 9701.

Subpart E--Exemption of Records Systems Under the Privacy Act

    2. Section 16.134 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  16.134  Exemption of Debt Collection Enforcement System, Justice/
DOJ-016.

    (a) The following system of records is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 
552a(c)(3) and (4); (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4); (e)(1), (2), (3), 
(4)(G), (H) and (I), (5) and (8); (f) and (g) of the Privacy Act. In 
addition, the system is exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) from 
subsections (c)(3); (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4); (e)(1); (4)(G), (H), and 
(I); and (f). These exemptions apply only to the extent that 
information in this system is subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
552a (j)(2) or (k)(2). Where compliance would not appear to interfere 
with or adversely affect the law enforcement purposes of this system, 
or the overall law enforcement process, the applicable exemption may be 
waived by the DOJ in its sole discretion.
    (b) Exemptions from the particular subsections are justified for 
the following reasons:
    (1) From subsection (c)(3), the requirement that an accounting be 
made available to the named subject of a record, because certain 
records in this system are exempt from the access provisions of 
subsection (d). Also, because making available to a record subject the 
accounting of disclosures from records concerning him/her would 
specifically reveal any investigative interest in the individual. 
Revealing this information may thus compromise ongoing law enforcement 
efforts. Revealing this information may also permit the record subject 
to take measures to impede the investigation, such as destroying 
evidence, intimidating potential witnesses or fleeing the area to avoid 
the investigation.
    (2) From subsection (c)(4) notification requirements because 
certain records in this system are exempt from the access and amendment 
provisions of subsection (d) as well as the access to accounting of 
disclosures provision of subsection (c)(3).
    (3) From subsections (d)(1), (2), (3), and (4) because access to 
the records contained in this system might compromise ongoing 
investigations, reveal confidential informants, or constitute 
unwarranted invasions of the personal privacy of third parties who are 
involved in a certain investigation. Amendment of the records would 
interfere with ongoing debt collection investigations or other law 
enforcement proceedings and impose an impossible administrative burden 
by requiring investigations to be continuously reinvestigated.
    (4) From subsection (e)(1) because it is not always possible to 
know in advance what information is relevant and necessary for law 
enforcement purposes.
    (5) From subsection (e)(2) to avoid impeding law enforcement 
efforts associated with debt collection by putting the subject of an 
investigation on notice of that fact, thereby permitting the subject to 
engage in conduct intended to frustrate or impede that investigation.
    (6) From subsection (e)(3) to avoid impeding law enforcement 
efforts in conjunction with debt collection by putting the subject of 
an investigation on notice of that fact, thereby permitting the subject 
to engage in conduct intended to frustrate or impede that 
investigation.
    (7) From subsection (e)(4)(G), (H) and (I) because portions of this 
system are exempt from the access provisions of subsection (d) pursuant 
to subsections (j) and (k) of the Privacy Act.
    (8) From subsection (e)(5) because many of the records in this 
system are records contributed by other agencies and the restrictions 
imposed by (e)(5) would limit the utility of the system.
    (9) From subsection (e)(8), because to require individual notice of 
disclosure of information due to compulsory legal process would pose an 
impossible administrative burden on the DOJ and may alert the subjects 
of law enforcement investigations, who might be otherwise unaware, to 
the fact of those investigations.
    (10) From subsections (f) and (g) to the extent that the system is 
exempt from other specific subsections of the Privacy Act.

    Dated: January 31, 2012.
Nancy C. Libin,
Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, United States Department of 
Justice.
[FR Doc. 2012-3914 Filed 2-17-12; 8:45 am]
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