[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 152 (Wednesday, August 7, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 48083-48085]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19050]



[[Page 48083]]

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PEACE CORPS

22 CFR Part 303

RIN 0420-AA29


Freedom of Information Act Administration

AGENCY: Peace Corps.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The proposed rule updates Peace Corps regulations on the 
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to implement guidance given by the 
President and the Attorney General regarding discretionary disclosures 
of records or information exempt from disclosure under the FOIA, 
whenever disclosure would not foreseeably harm an interest protected by 
a FOIA exemption. The proposed rule is based on language used by 
Department of Justice in its FOIA regulations. Additionally, the 
proposed rule deletes unnecessary and superfluous language and ensures 
the rule is consistent with current law.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 6, 2013. The proposed 
Disclosure of Information under the Freedom of Information Act 0420-
AA29 will be effective September 6, 2013, unless the Peace Corps 
receives comments that require a different determination.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be addressed to Anthony F. Marra, 
Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Peace Corps, 
1111 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20526. Comments may also be sent 
electronically to the following email address: amarra@peacecorps.gov. 
Written comments should refer to Federal Register: Procedures for 
Disclosure of Information under the Freedom of Information Act 0420-
AA29, and if sent electronically, should contain this reference on the 
subject line.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anne Passmore, Office of the General 
Counsel, Policy and Program Analyst, 1111 20th Street NW., Washington, 
DC 20526, and 202-692-2164.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The revisions to the Peace Corps' FOIA 
regulations would incorporate the disclosure principles contained in 
President Obama's January 21, 2009 Memorandum regarding FOIA, the 
Attorney General's FOIA Guidelines to Favor Disclosure and Transparency 
dated March 19, 2009, and the Guide to the Freedom of Information Act 
promulgated by the Department of Justice's Office of Information 
Policy. The proposed rule deletes unnecessary and superfluous language 
and ensures the rule is consistent with current law. The proposed rule 
inserts additional contact information for the filing of initial 
Freedom of Information Act (``FOIA'') requests; inserts additional 
contact information for the filing of administrative appeals; and, adds 
two FOIA exemptions 5 U.S.C. 552(b)8, Contained in or related to 
examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, 
or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or 
supervision of financial institutions; and (b)9, Geological and 
geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells. The 
Peace Corps FOIA regulations were last revised May 14, 2007 (72 FR 
27055).

Request for Comments

    The Peace Corps invites public comment on all aspects of this 
interim final rule and will take those comments into account before 
publishing a final rule.

Executive Order 12866

    This regulation has been determined to be non-significant within 
the meaning of Executive Order 12866.

Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b))

    This regulatory action will not have a significant adverse impact 
on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Act of 1995 (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4)

    This regulatory action does not contain a Federal mandate that will 
result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in 
aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 or more in any one year.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C., Chapter 35)

    This regulatory action will not impose any additional reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    This regulatory action does not have Federalism implications, as 
set forth in Executive Order 13132. It will not have substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 303

    Administrative practice and procedure, Freedom of information.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Peace Corps proposes 
to amend 22 CFR part 303 as follows:

PART 303--PROCEDURES FOR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION UNDER THE 
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

0
1. The authority citation for part 303 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552; 22 U.S.C. 2501, et seq.; E.O. 12137, 
44 FR 29023, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 389; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 
CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235.
0
2. Amend Sec.  303.2 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  303.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    (e) OIG records means those records as defined generally in this 
section which originated with or are in the possession and control of 
the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Peace Corps which have 
been compiled for law enforcement, audit, and investigative functions 
and/or any other purpose authorized under the Inspector General Act of 
1978, as amended.
* * * * *
0
3. Revise Sec.  303.3 to read as follows:


Sec.  303.3  Policy.

    The Peace Corps will make its records concerning its operations, 
activities, and business available to the public consistent with the 
requirements of the FOIA. As a matter of policy, the Peace Corps makes 
discretionary disclosures of records or information exempt from 
disclosure under the FOIA whenever disclosure would not foreseeably 
harm an interest protected by a FOIA exemption, but this policy does 
not create any right enforceable in court.
0
4. Amend Sec.  303.5 by:
    (a) Revising paragraphs (a), (b) introductory text, and (d) as set 
forth below; and
    (b) Removing paragraph (e).


Sec.  303.5  Public reading room.

    (a) The Peace Corps maintains a public reading room at its 
headquarters at 1111 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20526. This room 
is supervised and is open to the public during Peace Corps' regular 
business hours for inspecting and copying records described in 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (b) Subject to the limitation stated in paragraph (c) of this 
section, the Peace Corps makes the following records available in the 
public reading room:
* * * * *
    (d) Electronic reading room. Records required by the FOIA to be 
maintained

[[Page 48084]]

and made available in the public reading room created by the Peace 
Corps on or after November 1, 1996, are made available electronically 
on the Peace Corps Web site at http://www.peacecorps.gov.
0
5. Amend Sec.  303.8 by revising paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and 
(l)(1)(iv) to read as follows:


Sec.  303.8  Requests for records.

    (a) Except for records required by the FOIA to be published in the 
Federal Register or to be made available in the public reading room, 
the Peace Corps will make its records promptly available, upon request, 
to any person in accordance with this section, unless it is determined 
that such records should be withheld and are exempt from mandatory 
disclosure under the FOIA.
    (b) Requests. Requests for records under this section shall be made 
in writing via regular mail, email, facsimile, online Web portal and, 
as applicable, the envelope and the letter shall be clearly marked 
``Freedom of Information Request.'' All requests shall be addressed to 
the FOIA Officer. Requests by letter shall use the address given in 
Sec.  303.5(a). Requests by email must be sent to the FOIA electronic 
mailbox, foia@peacecorps.gov. Request submitted via online Web portal 
(accessible on the agency Web site, www.peacecorps.gov), requesters 
shall fill in all of the fields as required. Any request not marked and 
addressed as specified in this paragraph will be so marked by Peace 
Corps personnel as soon as the request is properly identified. The 
request will be forwarded immediately to the FOIA Officer. A request 
improperly addressed will not be deemed to have been received for 
purposes of the time period set out in paragraph (h) of this section 
until it has been received by the FOIA Officer. Upon receipt of an 
improperly addressed request, the FOIA Officer shall notify the 
requester of the date on which the time period began. Requests by 
letter shall be stamped ``received'' on the date received by the FOIA 
Office. Requests by email shall be ``received'' on the date the email 
arrived, if a business day, or on the next business day. Requests by 
online Web portal will be entered automatically in the FOIA tracking 
system. Requests sent via mail or email will be entered manually in the 
FOIA tracking system. Requesters may utilize the online Web portal for 
purpose of checking status of requests (open/closed) for requests from 
all sources.
    (c) A request must reasonably describe the records requested so 
that employees of the Peace Corps who are familiar with the subject 
area of the request are able, with a reasonable amount of effort, to 
determine which particular records are within the scope of the request. 
If it is determined that a request does not reasonably describe the 
records sought, the requester shall be so informed and provided an 
opportunity to confer with Peace Corps personnel in order to attempt to 
reformulate the request in a manner that will meet the needs of the 
requester and the requirements of this paragraph. If the Agency cannot 
identify the requested records after a 2 hour search, it may determine 
that the records were not adequately described and ask the requester to 
provide a more specific request.
* * * * *
    (l) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iv) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which 
there exist possible questions about the Peace Corps' or the Federal 
government's integrity which affect public confidence.
* * * * *
0
6. Amend Sec.  303.9 by adding paragraphs (e)(8) and (9) as follows:


Sec.  303.9  Exemptions for withholding records.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (8) Contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition 
reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency 
responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial 
institutions; or
    (9) Geological and geophysical information and data, including 
maps, concerning wells.
0
7. Amend Sec.  303.10 by revising paragraphs (a), (c)(1)(i), 
(c)(1)(ii), and (c)(2)(ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  303.10  Responsibilities and authorities.

    (a) Legal counsel. The General Counsel (GC) shall furnish legal 
advice to Peace Corps officials and staff as to their obligations under 
this part and shall take such other actions as may be necessary or 
appropriate to assure a consistent and equitable application of the 
provisions of this part by and within the Peace Corps. The OIG Legal 
Counsel will coordinate with GC, as appropriate and necessary, when 
furnishing legal advice to the OIG FOIA Officer and Inspector General.
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) Consult with the other agency before responding to the request; 
or
    (ii) Refer the responsibility for responding to the request for the 
record to the other agency (but only if the agency is subject to FOIA). 
Ordinarily, the agency that originated a record will be presumed to be 
best able to determine whether to disclose it.
    (2) * * *
    (ii) Whenever a request is made for a record containing information 
that has been classified by another agency or may be appropriate for 
classification under Executive Order 13525 or any other executive order 
concerning the classification of records, the Peace Corps shall refer 
the responsibility for responding to the request regarding that 
information to the agency that classified the information, should 
consider the information for classification, or has the primary 
interest in the information, as appropriate.
* * * * *
0
8. Amend Sec.  303.12 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  303.12  Appeals.

    (a) Any person whose written request has been denied is entitled to 
appeal the denial within 20 business days by writing to the Associate 
Director of the Office of Management or, in the case of a denial of a 
request for OIG Records, the Inspector General, at the address given in 
303.5(a). An appeal need not be in any particular form, but should 
adequately identify the denial, if possible, by describing the 
requested record, identifying the official who issued the denial, and 
providing the date on which the denial was issued. If the appeal is 
sent via mail, the envelope and the letter shall be clearly marked 
``Freedom of Information Appeal'' and the appeal shall be addressed to 
the Associate Director, Office of Management. Appeals by letter shall 
use the address given in Sec.  303.5(a). Appeals are accepted via 
email. Appeals by email must be sent to the FOIA electronic mailbox, 
foia@peacecorps.gov. Appeals submitted via online Web portal 
(accessible on the agency Web site, www.peacecorps.gov), requesters 
shall fill in all of the fields as required. Appeals by online Web 
portal will be entered automatically in the FOIA tracking system. 
Persons submitting an appeal may utilize the online Web portal for 
purpose of checking status of requests (open/closed) for requests from 
all sources.
* * * * *
0
9. Amend Sec.  303.13 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  303.13  Fees.

* * * * *

[[Page 48085]]

    (b) For each commercial use request, fees will be limited to 
reasonable standard charges for document search, review, and 
duplication.
* * * * *
0
10. Amend Sec.  303.14 by revising paragraphs (a)(5)(i) and (ii) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  303.14  Procedures for responding to a subpoena.

    (a) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) Congressional requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents;
    (ii) Employees or former employees making appearances solely in 
their private capacity in legal or administrative proceedings that do 
not relate to the Agency (such as cases arising out of traffic 
accidents or domestic relations). Any question whether the appearance 
relates solely to the employee's or former employee's private capacity 
should be referred to the Office of the General Counsel.
* * * * *

    Dated: August 1, 2013.
James Pimpedly,
Chief, Administrative Services, Management.
[FR Doc. 2013-19050 Filed 8-6-13; 8:45 am]
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