[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 128 (Wednesday, July 3, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39959-39964]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15906]


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FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

12 CFR Part 1215

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight

12 CFR Part 1703

RIN 2590-AA51


Production of FHFA Records, Information, and Employee Testimony 
in Third-Party Legal Proceedings

AGENCY: Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Federal Housing 
Enterprise Oversight, HUD.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is issuing a final 
rule governing the production of FHFA records, information or employee 
testimony in connection with legal proceedings in which neither the 
United States nor FHFA is a party. This final rule establishes 
requirements and procedures for parties to submit demands or requests, 
and factors for FHFA to consider in determining whether FHFA employees 
will provide records, information, or testimony relating to their 
official duties. FHFA's intent is to standardize practices, promote 
uniformity in decisions, preserve the ability of FHFA to conduct agency 
business, protect confidential information, provide guidance to 
demanding or requesting parties, minimize involvement in matters 
unrelated to FHFA's missions and programs, avoid wasteful allocation of 
agency resources, and preclude spending public time and money for 
private purposes.

DATES: The effective date of this regulation is: August 2, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James P. Jordan, Senior Counsel, 202-
649-3075 (not a toll-free number), Federal Housing Finance Agency, 
Constitution Center, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, 
DC 20024. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for 
the Hearing Impaired is 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. Establishment of FHFA

    The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), Public Law 
110-289, 122 Stat. 2654, amended the Federal Housing Enterprises 
Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act) 
(12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.) and the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 
1421-1449) to establish FHFA as an independent agency of the Federal 
Government. HERA transferred the supervisory and oversight 
responsibilities of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight 
over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and of the Federal Housing Finance 
Board over the Federal Home Loan Banks and the Bank System's Office of 
Finance, to FHFA. FHFA is tasked with ensuring that the Federal 
National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage 
Corporation, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (collectively, the 
regulated entities) operate in a safe and sound manner; foster liquid, 
efficient, competitive and resilient national housing finance markets; 
comply with their respective authorizing statutes, and all rules, 
regulations, guidelines, and orders issued pursuant to those 
authorities; carry out their missions through duly authorized 
activities; and that their activities and operations are consistent 
with the public interest. Section 1105 of HERA amended the Safety and 
Soundness Act and the Inspector General Act of 1978 to establish an 
Inspector General within

[[Page 39960]]

FHFA. See 12 U.S.C. 4517(d). Among other duties, FHFA Office of 
Inspector General (FHFA-OIG) is responsible for conducting audits, 
evaluations, and investigations of FHFA's programs and operations; 
recommending policies that promote economy and efficiency in the 
administration of FHFA's programs and operations; and preventing and 
detecting fraud, waste and abuse in FHFA's programs and operations.

B. Need for Rule

    Federal agencies often receive formal demands (including subpoenas) 
or informal requests to produce records, information, or testimony in 
judicial, legislative, or administrative proceedings in which those 
agencies or the United States is not a named party. Many Federal 
agencies have issued regulations to address the submission, evaluation, 
and processing of these demands or requests. They have done so because 
responding to these demands or requests is burdensome, may disrupt an 
agency employee's work schedule significantly, may involve the agency 
in issues unrelated to its responsibilities, may divert agency 
resources from accomplishing mission-critical functions, and may impede 
the agency's accomplishment of its mission and goals. Standard rules 
alleviate these difficulties by ensuring timely notice and centralized, 
objective decision making. The United States Supreme Court upheld this 
type of regulation in United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 
462 (1951), holding that provisions in the federal ``housekeeping'' 
statute, 5 U.S.C. 22, 5 U.S.C.A. 22 (now 5 U.S.C. 301), authorize 
agencies to promulgate rules governing record production and employee 
testimony.
    Since its establishment, FHFA has not issued a regulation governing 
the submission, evaluation, and processing of demands or requests in 
connection with a legal proceeding. This final rule fills that gap and 
replaces applicable legacy regulations issued by FHFA's predecessor 
agencies, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight and the 
Federal Housing Finance Board. The final rule will prohibit FHFA 
employees from producing records, information, or testimony in response 
to demands or requests, unless the demands or requests comply with the 
rule, and FHFA then grants permission for the production. Compliance 
with the rule is necessary, but not sufficient, for production to 
occur. The final rule identifies the information that demanding or 
requesting parties must provide and the factors that FHFA may consider 
when evaluating demands or requests.
    The final rule will ensure a more efficient use of agency 
resources, minimize the possibility of involving FHFA in issues 
unrelated to its mission, promote uniformity in responding to demands 
or requests, and maintain the impartiality of FHFA in matters that are 
in dispute between other parties. It will also serve the interests of 
FHFA in protecting sensitive, confidential and privileged information 
and records that are generated and compiled in the performance of 
official duties.
    FHFA also published in this issue of the Federal Register a final 
rule titled ``Availability of Non-Public Information,'' which will 
govern the disclosure of FHFA non-public information.

C. Proposed Rulemaking

    FHFA published a proposed regulation on the Production of FHFA 
Records, Information, and Employee Testimony in Legal Proceedings for 
public comment in the Federal Register, 78 FR 9336 (February 8, 2013). 
No comments were received. Accordingly, the proposed regulation is 
adopted as a final regulation with only minor editorial changes.

II. Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1215.1 Scope and Purpose

    This section describes the rule's scope, which includes internal 
agency operations. This section also sets forth the rule's purpose, 
which is to specify the manner in which, and standards by which, 
demands or requests for records, information, or testimony must be 
submitted, evaluated, and processed.

Section 1215.2 Applicability

    This section identifies those demands or requests for FHFA records, 
information, or testimony that are subject to the rule. This section 
also states the types of demands or requests excepted from the rule.

Section 1215.3 Definitions

    This section defines terms relevant to the regulation.

Section 1215.4 General Prohibition

    This section bars producing FHFA records, information, or testimony 
in response to a demand or request without proper written 
authorization.

Section 1215.5 Delegation

    This section authorizes FHFA's Director to delegate the Director's 
authority under this part.

Section 1215.6 Factors FHFA May Consider

    This section sets forth factors that FHFA may consider when 
evaluating demands or requests.

Section 1215.7 Serving Demands and Submitting Requests

    This section describes the manner in which demands or requests for 
FHFA records, information, or testimony must be served and submitted.

Section 1215.8 Timing and Form of Demands and Requests

    This section describes the timing by which and the form in which a 
demanding or requesting party must serve its demand or submit its 
request.

Section 1215.9 Failure To Meet This Part's Requirements

    This section describes the consequences of failing to meet 
requirements set forth in this part.

Section 1215.10 Processing Demands and Requests

    This section describes how demands or requests must be processed 
and establishes deadlines. This section also provides the limited 
instances in which these processes or deadlines may be waived.

Section 1215.11 FHFA Determination

    This section authorizes FHFA's Director to make FHFA's 
determination on demands or requests for information to be provided by 
FHFA. This section also describes the notice to be provided to the 
demanding or requesting parties when an FHFA determination is made.

Section 1215.12 Restrictions That Apply to Testimony

    This section authorizes the imposition of conditions on employee 
testimony.

Section 1215.13 Restrictions That Apply to Records and Information

    This section authorizes the imposition of conditions on production 
of records or information.

Section 1215.14 Procedure in the Event of an Adverse FHFA Determination

    This section establishes an administrative mechanism by which 
parties aggrieved by an FHFA determination about a demand or request 
may seek reconsideration of that determination. This section also 
establishes a petition for FHFA reconsideration as a prerequisite to 
judicial review.

[[Page 39961]]

Section 1215.15 Conflicting Court Order

    This section directs persons in possession of FHFA information to 
decline to comply with a court order that conflicts with an FHFA 
determination.

Section 1215.16 Fees

    This section describes FHFA's entitlement to fees arising from the 
production of requested records, information, or testimony.

Section 1215.17 Responses To Demands Served on Nonemployees

    This section describes how nonemployees in possession of FHFA 
confidential supervisory information must respond to a request or 
demand to produce or testify about that confidential supervisory 
information.

Section 1215.18 Inspector General

    This section addresses the possibility that FHFA's Office of 
Inspector General may provide documents or testimony without Director 
approval if required by the Inspector General Act.

III. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The final rule does not contain any information collection 
requirement that requires the approval of the Office of Management and 
Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that 
a regulation that has a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must 
include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing the 
regulation's impact on small entities. Such an analysis need not be 
undertaken if the agency has certified that the regulation will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of the 
regulation under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. FHFA certifies that 
the final rule is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small business entities because the regulation is 
applicable only to the internal operations and legal obligations of 
FHFA and FHFA-OIG.

List of Subjects

12 CFR Part 1215

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Government 
employees, Records, Subpoenas, Testimony.

12 CFR Part 1703

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business 
information, Freedom of information.

Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, and 
under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4526, FHFA amends chapters and XII and 
XVII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

Chapter XII--Federal Housing Finance Agency

0
1. Add part 1215 to read as follows:

PART 1215--PRODUCTION OF FHFA RECORDS, INFORMATION, AND EMPLOYEE 
TESTIMONY IN THIRD-PARTY LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Sec.
1215.1 Scope and purpose.
1215.2 Applicability.
1215.3 Definitions.
1215.4 General prohibition.
1215.5 Delegation.
1215.6 Factors FHFA may consider.
1215.7 Serving demands and submitting requests.
1215.8 Timing and form of demands and requests.
1215.9 Failure to meet this part's requirements.
1215.10 Processing demands and requests.
1215.11 FHFA determination.
1215.12 Restrictions that apply to testimony.
1215.13 Restrictions that apply to records and information.
1215.14 Procedure in the event of an adverse FHFA determination.
1215.15 Conflicting court order.
1215.16 Fees.
1215.17 Responses to demands served on nonemployees.
1215.18 Inspector General.


    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 12 U.S.C. 4526.


Sec.  1215.1  Scope and purpose.

    (a) This regulation sets forth the policies and procedures that 
must be followed in order to compel an employee of the Federal Housing 
Finance Agency (FHFA) to produce records or information, or to provide 
testimony relating to the employee's official duties, in the context of 
a legal proceeding. Parties seeking records, information, or testimony 
must comply with these requirements when submitting demands or 
requests:
    (b) FHFA intends these provisions to:
    (1) Promote economy and efficiency in its programs and operations;
    (2) Minimize the possibility of involving FHFA in controversial 
issues not related to its mission and functions;
    (3) Maintain FHFA's impartiality;
    (4) Protect employees from being compelled to serve as involuntary 
witnesses for wholly private interests, or as inappropriate expert 
witnesses regarding current law or the activities of FHFA; and
    (5) Protect sensitive, confidential information and FHFA's 
deliberative processes.
    (c) By providing these policies and procedures, FHFA does not waive 
the sovereign immunity of the United States.
    (d) This part provides guidance for FHFA's internal operations. 
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.
    (e) The production of records, information, or testimony pursuant 
to this part, does not constitute a waiver by FHFA of any privilege.


Sec.  1215.2  Applicability.

    (a) This regulation applies to demands or requests for records, 
information, or testimony, in legal proceedings in which FHFA is not a 
named party.
    (b) This regulation does not apply to:
    (1) Demands or requests for an FHFA 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 FHFA;
    (2) Requests for the release of non-exempt records under the 
Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, or the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 
552a; or
    (3) Congressional demands or requests for records or testimony.


Sec.  1215.3  Definitions.

    As used in this part:
    Confidential supervisory information means information prepared or 
received by FHFA that meets all of the following criteria:
    (1) The information is not a document prepared by a regulated 
entity or the Office of Finance for its own business purposes that is 
in its possession;
    (2) The information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, 
5 U.S.C. 552 (1966); and
    (3) The information:
    (i) Consists of reports of examination, inspection and visitation, 
confidential operating and condition reports, and any information 
derived from, related to, or contained in such reports, or
    (ii) Is gathered by FHFA in the course of any investigation, 
suspicious activity report, cease-and-desist order, civil money penalty 
enforcement order, suspension, removal or prohibition order, or other 
supervisory or enforcement orders or actions taken under the Federal 
Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as 
amended, 12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.

[[Page 39962]]

    (4) The inclusion of the term ``confidential'' within the 
definition of ``confidential supervisory information'' is not intended 
to invoke the meaning of ``confidential,'' as that term is used in 
Executive Order No. 13526, December 29, 2009 (75 FR 707 (Jan. 5, 2010) 
(President's order on the classification of National Security 
Information). Confidential supervisory information is used in part 1215 
to refer to the distinct category of information defined in Sec.  
1215.3. FHFA used the word ``confidential'' within the label for this 
category of information simply to be consistent with the manner in 
which federal banking agencies refer to similar or identical types of 
information.
    Demand means a subpoena, or an order or other command of a court or 
other competent authority, for the production of records, information, 
or testimony that is issued in a legal proceeding.
    Employee means:
    (1) Any current or former officer or employee of FHFA or of FHFA-
OIG;
    (2) Any other individual hired through contractual agreement by or 
on behalf of FHFA who has performed or is performing services under 
such an agreement for FHFA; and
    (3) Any individual who has served or is serving in any consulting 
or advisory capacity to FHFA, whether formal or informal.
    Federal Home Loan Bank means a bank established under the authority 
of 12 U.S.C. 1423(a).
    FHFA means the Federal Housing Finance Agency including the FHFA-
OIG.
    FHFA Counsel means an attorney in FHFA's Office of General Counsel.
    General Counsel means FHFA's General Counsel or a person within 
FHFA's Office of General Counsel to whom the General Counsel has 
delegated responsibilities under this part.
    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.
    Produce means provide, disclose, expose, or grant access to.
    Records or information means, regardless of the person or entity in 
possession:
    (1) All documents and materials that are FHFA agency records under 
the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552;
    (2) All other documents and materials contained in FHFA files; and
    (3) All other information or materials acquired by an FHFA employee 
in the performance of his or her official duties or because of his or 
her official status, including confidential supervisory information.
    Regulated entity has the same meaning as set forth in 12 U.S.C. 
4502(20). For this regulation's purposes, ``regulated entity'' also 
includes:
    (1) The Office of Finance; and
    (2) Any current or former director, officer, employee, contractor 
or agent of a regulated entity.
    Request means any informal request, by whatever method, in 
connection with a legal proceeding, seeking production of records, 
information, or 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, and 
recorded interviews made by an individual about FHFA information in 
connection with a legal proceeding.


Sec.  1215.4  General prohibition.

    (a) No employee may produce records or information, or provide any 
testimony related to the records or information, in response to any 
demand or request without prior written approval to do so from the 
Director or the Director's designee.
    (b) Any person or entity that fails to comply with this part may be 
subject to the penalties provided in 18 U.S.C. 641 and other applicable 
laws. A current employee also may be subject to administrative or 
disciplinary proceedings.


Sec.  1215.5  Delegation.

    To the extent permissible by statute, the Director may delegate his 
or her authority under this part to any FHFA employee and the General 
Counsel may delegate his or her authority under this part to any FHFA 
Counsel.


Sec.  1215.6  Factors FHFA may consider.

    The Director may grant an employee permission to testify regarding 
agency matters, and to produce records and information, in response to 
a demand or request. Among the relevant factors that the Director may 
consider in making this determination are whether:
    (a) This part's purposes are met;
    (b) FHFA has an interest in the decision that may be rendered in 
the legal proceeding;
    (c) Approving the demand or request would assist or hinder FHFA in 
performing statutory duties or use FHFA resources;
    (d) Production might assist or hinder employees in doing their 
work;
    (e) The records, information, or testimony can be obtained from 
other sources. (Concerning testimony, ``other sources'' means a non-
agency employee, or an agency employee other than the employee named).
    (f) The demand or request is unduly burdensome or otherwise 
inappropriate under the rules of discovery or procedure governing the 
case or matter in which the demand or request arose;
    (g) Production of the records, information, or testimony might 
violate or be inconsistent with a statute, Executive Order, regulation, 
or other legal authority;
    (h) Production of the records, information, or testimony might 
reveal confidential or privileged information, trade secrets, or 
confidential commercial or financial information;
    (i) Production of the records, information, or testimony might 
impede or interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation or 
proceedings, or compromise constitutional rights;
    (j) Production of the records, information, or testimony might 
result in FHFA appearing to favor one litigant over another;
    (k) The demand or request pertains to documents that were produced 
by another agency;
    (l) The demand or request complies with all other applicable rules;
    (m) The demand or request is sufficiently specific to be answered;
    (n) The relevance of the records, information, or testimony to the 
purposes for which they are sought, and for which they may be used for 
substantive evidence;
    (o) Production of the records, information, or employee testimony 
may implicate a substantial government interest; and
    (p) Any other good cause.


Sec.  1215.7  Serving demands and submitting requests.

    (a) All demands and requests must be in writing.
    (b) Demands must be served and requests must be submitted to the 
FHFA General Counsel at the following address: General Counsel, Federal 
Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, Eighth Floor, 400 Seventh 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20024.
    (c) Demands must not be served upon, nor requests submitted to any 
regulated entity for records, information, or testimony regardless of 
whether the records, information, or testimony sought are in the 
possession of, or known by, the regulated entity. If a regulated entity 
receives a request or demand for records, information, or

[[Page 39963]]

testimony, the regulated entity must immediately notify the General 
Counsel and provide FHFA an opportunity to object to the demand or 
request before responding to the demand or request. Submitting a demand 
or request to a regulated entity may result in rejection of the demand 
or request under Sec.  1215.9.
    (d) If an employee receives a request or demand that is not 
properly routed through FHFA's General Counsel, as required under this 
section, the employee must promptly notify the General Counsel. An 
employee's failure to notify the General Counsel is grounds for 
discipline or other adverse action.


Sec.  1215.8  Timing and form of demands and requests.

    (a) A party seeking records, information, or testimony must submit 
a request and receive a rejection before making a demand for records, 
information, or testimony.
    (b) A demand or request to FHFA must include a detailed description 
of the basis for the demand or request and comply with the requirements 
in Sec.  1215.7.
    (c) Demands and requests must be submitted at least 60 days in 
advance of the date on which the records, information, or testimony is 
needed. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted upon a showing of 
compelling need.
    (d) A demand or request for testimony also must include an estimate 
of the amount of time that the employee will need to devote to the 
process of testifying (including anticipated travel time and 
anticipated duration of round trip travel), plus a showing that no 
document or the testimony of non-agency persons, including retained 
experts, could suffice in lieu of the employee's testimony.
    (e) Upon submitting a demand or request seeking employee testimony, 
the requesting party must notify all other parties to the legal 
proceeding.
    (f) After receiving notice of a demand or request for testimony, 
but before the testimony occurs, a party to the legal proceeding who 
did not join in the demand or request and who wishes to question the 
witness beyond the scope of the testimony sought must submit a separate 
demand or request within 60 days of receiving the notice required under 
paragraph (e) of this section and must then comply with paragraph (c) 
of this section.
    (g) Every demand or request must include the legal proceeding's 
caption and docket number, the forum; the name, address, phone number, 
State Bar number, and, if available, electronic mail address of counsel 
to all parties to the legal proceeding (in the case of pro-se parties, 
substitute the name, address, phone number, and electronic mail address 
of the pro-se party); and a statement of the demanding or requesting 
party's interest in the case. In addition, the demanding or requesting 
party must submit a clear and concise written statement that includes: 
a summary of the legal and factual issues in the proceeding and a 
detailed explanation as to how the records, information or testimony 
will contribute substantially to the resolution of one or more 
specially identified issues in the legal proceeding. A copy of the 
complaint or charging document may accompany--but must not be 
substituted for--the required statement.


Sec.  1215.9  Failure to meet this part's requirements.

    FHFA may oppose any demand or request that does not meet the 
requirements set forth in this part.


Sec.  1215.10  Processing demands and requests.

    (a) The Director will review every demand or request received and, 
in accordance with this regulation, determine whether, and under what 
conditions, to authorize an employee to produce records, information, 
or testimony.
    (b) The Director will process demands and requests in the order in 
which they are received. The Director will ordinarily respond within 60 
days from the date that the agency receives all information necessary 
to evaluate the demand or request. However, the time for response will 
depend upon the scope of the demand or request. The Director may 
respond outside of the 60-day period:
    (1) Under exigent or unusual circumstances; or
    (2) When FHFA must receive and process records or information in 
the possession, custody, or control of a third party.
    (c) The Director may confer with counsel to parties to a legal 
proceeding about demands or requests made pursuant to this part. The 
conference may be ex-parte. Failure to confer in good faith, in order 
to enable the Director to make an informed determination, may justify 
rejection of the demand or request.
    (d) The Director may rely on sources of information other than 
those provided by the demanding or requesting parties as bases for 
making a determination.
    (e) The Director may grant a waiver of any requirement in this 
section to promote a significant interest of FHFA or the United States, 
or for other good cause.


Sec.  1215.11  FHFA determination.

    (a) The Director makes FHFA's determinations regarding demands and 
requests.
    (b) The Director will notify the demanding or requesting party of 
FHFA's determination, the reasons for the approval or rejection of the 
demand or request, and any conditions that the Director may impose on 
the release of records, information, or testimony.


Sec.  1215.12  Restrictions that apply to testimony.

    (a) The Director may impose conditions or restrictions on 
testimony, including but not limited to limiting the scope of testimony 
or requiring the demanding or requesting party and other parties to the 
legal proceeding to agree that the testimony transcript will be kept 
under seal or will only be used or made available in the particular 
legal proceeding for which testimony was requested. The Director may 
also require a copy of the transcript of testimony to be provided to 
FHFA at the demanding or requesting party's expense.
    (b) The Director may offer an 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 Director, the employee must 
not:
    (1) Disclose confidential or privileged information; or
    (2) Testify as an expert or opinion witness with regard to any 
matter arising out of the employee's official duties or FHFA's mission 
or functions. This provision does not apply to requests from the United 
States for expert or opinion testimony.
    (d) The Director may assign FHFA Counsel to be present for an 
employee's testimony.


Sec.  1215.13  Restrictions that apply to records and information.

    (a) The Director may impose conditions or restrictions on the 
release of records and information, including but not limited to 
requiring that parties to the legal proceeding obtain a protective 
order or execute a confidentiality agreement to limit access and 
further disclosure, or that parties take other appropriate steps to 
comply with applicable privacy requirements. The terms of a protective 
order or confidentiality agreement must be acceptable to the Director. 
In cases

[[Page 39964]]

where protective orders or confidentiality agreements have already been 
executed, the Director may condition the release of records and 
information on an amendment to the existing protective order or 
confidentiality agreement.
    (b) If the Director so determines, original agency 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 status as original records, nor are they to 
be marked or altered. In lieu of the original records, certified copies 
will be presented for evidentiary purposes.
    (c) The scope of permissible production is limited to that set 
forth in the prior, written authorization granted by the Director.
    (d) If records or information are produced in connection with a 
legal proceeding, the demanding or requesting party must:
    (1) Promptly notify all other parties to the legal proceeding that 
the records or information are FHFA records or information and are 
subject to this part and any applicable confidentiality agreement or 
protective order;
    (2) Provide copies of any confidentiality agreement or protective 
order to all other parties; and
    (3) Retrieve the records or information from the court or other 
competent authority's file when the court or other competent authority 
no longer requires the records or information and certify that every 
party covered by a confidentiality agreement, protective order, or 
other privacy protection has destroyed all copies of the records or 
information.


Sec.  1215.14  Procedure in the event of an adverse FHFA determination.

    (a) Procedure for seeking reconsideration of FHFA's determination. 
A demanding or requesting party seeking reconsideration of FHFA's 
rejection of a demand or request, or of any restrictions on receiving 
records, information, or testimony, may seek reconsideration of the 
rejection or restrictions as follows:
    (1) Notice of Intention to Petition for Reconsideration. The 
aggrieved demanding or requesting party may seek reconsideration by 
filing a written Notice of Intention to Petition for Reconsideration 
(Notice) within 10 business days of the date of FHFA's determination. 
The Notice must identify the petitioner, the determination for which 
reconsideration is being petitioned, and any dates (such as deposition, 
hearing, or court dates) that are significant to petitioner. The Notice 
must be served in accordance with Sec.  1215.7.
    (2) Petition for Reconsideration. Within five business days of 
filing Notice, the petitioner must file a Petition for Reconsideration 
(Petition) in accordance with Sec.  1215.7. The Petition must contain a 
clear and concise statement of the basis for the reconsideration with 
supporting authorities. Determinations about petitions for 
reconsideration are within the discretion of the FHFA Director, and are 
final.
    (b) Prerequisite to judicial review. Pursuant to section 704 of the 
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 704, a petition to FHFA for 
reconsideration of a final determination made under the authority of 
this part is a prerequisite to judicial review.


Sec.  1215.15  Conflicting court order.

    Notwithstanding FHFA's rejection of a demand for records, 
information, or testimony, if a court or other competent authority 
orders an FHFA employee to comply with the demand, the employee must 
promptly notify FHFA's General Counsel of the order, and the employee 
must respectfully decline to comply, citing United States ex rel. Touhy 
v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951). An employee's failure to notify the 
General Counsel of a court or other authority's order is grounds for 
discipline or other adverse action.


Sec.  1215.16  Fees.

    (a) The Director may condition the production of records, 
information, or an employee's appearance on advance payment of 
reasonable costs to FHFA, which may include but are not limited to 
those associated with employee search time, copying, computer usage, 
and certifications.
    (b) Witness fees will include fees, expenses, and allowances 
prescribed by the rules applicable to the particular legal proceeding. 
If no fees are prescribed, FHFA will base fees on the rule of the 
federal district court closest to the location where the witness will 
appear. Such fees may include but are not limited to time for 
preparation, travel, and attendance at the legal proceeding.


Sec.  1215.17  Responses to demands served on nonemployees.

    (a) FHFA confidential supervisory information is the property of 
FHFA, and is not to be disclosed to any person without the Director's 
prior written consent.
    (b) If any person in possession of FHFA confidential supervisory 
information, is served with a demand in a legal proceeding directing 
that person to produce FHFA's confidential supervisory information or 
to testify with respect thereto, such person shall immediately notify 
the General Counsel of such service, of the testimony requested and 
confidential supervisory information described in the demand, and of 
all relevant facts. Such person shall also object to the production of 
such confidential supervisory information on the basis that the 
confidential supervisory information is the property of FHFA and cannot 
be released without FHFA's consent and that production must be sought 
from FHFA following the procedures set forth in Sec. Sec.  1215.7, 
1215.8, and 1215.14 of this part.


Sec.  1215.18  Inspector General.

    Notwithstanding the general prohibition of disclosure of records 
and information, to the minimum extent required by the Inspector 
General Act, Public Law 9-452 (1978), FHFA's Office of Inspector 
General is permitted under this section to disclose records and 
information and permit FHFA-OIG employee testimony without Director 
approval.

Chapter XVII--Office of Federal Housing Finance Oversight, Department 
of Housing and Urban Development

PART 1703--[REMOVED]

0
2. Remove part 1703.

    Dated: June 27, 2013.
Edward J. DeMarco,
Acting Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
[FR Doc. 2013-15906 Filed 7-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8070-01-P