[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 75 (Wednesday, April 18, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 23116-23117]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9001]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

28 CFR Part 16

[CPCLO Order No. 009-2012]


Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation

AGENCY: Department of Justice.

ACTION: Final Rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Justice (DOJ or Department) is issuing a 
final rule for a new Department-wide Privacy Act system of records 
entitled, Debt Collection Enforcement System, JUSTICE/DOJ-016. The 
Department is exempting the Debt Collection Enforcement System, 
JUSTICE/DOJ-016, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k) from subsections 
(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 for the 
reasons set forth in the following text. Information in this system of 
records relates to matters of law enforcement efforts associated with 
debt collection purposes, and certain records in this system are exempt 
from certain provisions of the Privacy Act in order to avoid 
interference with such law enforcement functions and responsibilities 
of the DOJ.

DATES: Effective Date: April 18, 2012.

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: Notice of the proposed rule with invitations 
to comment was published on February 21, 2012, at 77 FR 9878. The 
Department received one comment from a member of the public regarding 
exemption from the access provisions of the Privacy Act. The Department 
accepted the comment but has declined to adopt the comment because the 
system of records is validly exempt from the access provisions of the 
Privacy Act for the reasons set forth below. In addition, the 
Department is making minor stylistic changes to the authority cited for 
Part 16.134 to reflect only the authority for the proposed rule, which 
is 5 U.S.C. 552a. Further, the Department is making a minor stylistic 
change to Part 16.134(a) by adding the

[[Page 23117]]

phrase ``pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2)'' after the phrase ``[t]he 
following system of records is exempt'' to clarify the statutory reason 
for the exemption.

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, 28 
CFR part 16 is amended as follows:

PART 16--[AMENDED]

0
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

0
2. Section 16.134 is added to subpart E to read as follows:


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

    (a) The following system of records is exempt pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
552a(j)(2) from subsections (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: April 5, 2012.
Nancy C. Libin,
Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, United States Department of 
Justice.
[FR Doc. 2012-9001 Filed 4-17-12; 8:45 am]
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