[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 240 (Wednesday, December 14, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 90270-90292]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29835]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Army

32 CFR Part 516

[Docket No. USA-2015-0016]
RIN 0702-AA69


Release of Official Information and Appearance of Witnesses in 
Litigation

AGENCY: Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of the Army proposes to amend its regulation 
concerning policies and procedures for release of official information 
and testimony of Army witnesses in federal and state courts where the 
Army or Department of Defense (DoD) has an interest in the matter. This 
regulation was last published in the Federal Register on July 29, 1994 
(59 FR 38236). At that time, a complete Army Regulation was codified. 
This revision removes a large portion of the currently codified part 
that does not apply to the public, and is now included in DoD internal 
guidance. Army Regulation 27-40, Litigation, dated 19 September 1994, 
is the corresponding document where the internal guidance is located.

DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received by: 
February 13, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by 32 CFR part 516, 
Docket No. USA-2015-0016 and or RIN 0702-AA69, by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Department of Defense, Deputy Chief Management 
Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center 
Drive, ATTN: Box 24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this 
Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other 
submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions 
available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any 
personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Major Thomas S. Hong, (703) 693-1093; 
thomas.s.hong.mil@mail.mil">thomas.s.hong.mil@mail.mil.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

    The rule discusses departmental responsibilities, procedures for 
service of process, procedures for government officials sued in their 
official capacities, and procedures for requests for release of 
official information, to include witness testimony. The rule also 
discusses the release of official information and the appearance of 
present and former Army personnel as witnesses in response to requests 
for interviews, notices of depositions, subpoenas, and other requests 
or orders related to judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings.
    For the purposes of this rule, Army personnel include the 
following:
     Present, former and retired Army military personnel, 
including the U.S. Army Reserve, regardless of current status.
     Present, former and retired civilian employees of the U.S. 
Army, regardless of current status.
     Soldiers of the Army National Guard of the United States 
(Title 10, U.S.C.) and, when specified by statute or where a Federal 
interest is involved, Soldiers in the Army National Guard (Title 32, 
U.S.C.).
     Technicians under 32 U.S.C. 709.
     USMA cadets.
     Nonappropriated fund employees.
     Foreign nationals who perform services for the Army 
overseas.
     Other individuals hired by or for the Army, including 
individuals hired through contractual agreements by or on behalf of the 
Army.

Background

    This regulation was most recently published in the Federal Register 
on July 29, 1994 (59 FR 38236). It implements 32 CFR part 97. 
Department of Defense Directive 5405.2, ``Release of Official 
Information in Litigation and Testimony by DoD Personnel as Witnesses'' 
(available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/540502p.pdf) is where DoD's internal guidance that corresponds to 32 
CFR part 97 is located. The proposed revision also removes a large 
portion of the currently codified part that does not apply to the 
public, such as items that solely deal with internal Army procedures 
and actions, e.g., annual reporting requirements to Headquarters, 
Department of the Army.

Authority for This Action

    Authorities for this rulemaking include the following:
     The Freedom of Information Act at 5 U.S.C. 552 which 
provides the public with a right to request access to federal agency 
records or information, except to the extent the records are protected 
from disclosure by any of nine exemptions or by one of three special 
law enforcement record exclusions.
     The Privacy Act of 1974 at 5 U.S.C. 552a, which 
establishes a code of fair information practices that governs the 
collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information about 
individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal 
agencies.
     Confidentiality of records at 42 U.S.C. 290 which requires 
certain medical records shall be confidential and disclosed only for 
authorized purposes.
     Executive Order No. 12988, Civil Justice Reform (add a 
link to the E.O.) which establishes several requirements on Federal 
agencies involved in litigation or contemplating filing an action on 
behalf of the United States.

Costs and Benefits

    The proposed revisions benefit the Department of the Army agencies, 
Army support to the Department of Justice, and interaction with state 
courts in affirmative and defensive litigation information. With the 
updates to the CFR for statutory and other changes since the document 
was published in 1994, Army's support of federal litigation and 
response to requests to support state and private litigation will be 
improved.
    Although no formal study or collection of data are available, a 
review of the closed Touhy requests for FY 2016 shows that hundreds of 
hours were expended by Army personnel responding to these requests. 
Similar to costs in Freedom of Information Act processing, there are 
substantial costs for searching, reviewing, and producing Army records 
and personnel for depositions and trial.
    This rule will be included in DoD's retrospective plan, completed 
in August 2011, and will be reported in future

[[Page 90271]]

status updates of DoD's retrospective review in accordance with the 
requirements in Executive Order 13563. DoD's full plan can be accessed 
at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DoD-2011-OS-0036.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act does not apply because the proposed rule does not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act does not apply because the proposed rule does not 
include a mandate that may result in estimated costs to State, local or 
tribal governments in the aggregate, or the private sector, of $100 
million or more.

D. National Environmental Policy Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the National 
Environmental Policy Act does not apply because the proposed rule does 
not have an adverse impact on the environment.

E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not impose any new recordkeeping, 
reporting, or other information collection requirements on the public. 
The proposed rule sets forth procedures by which litigants may serve 
summonses, complaints, subpoenas, and other legal process, demands, and 
requests upon the DA. The proposed rule imposes special procedural 
requirements for those who seek to serve third-party subpoenas upon the 
DA in accordance with United States ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 
462 (1951). These requirements may increase the time and burden 
associated with obtaining records of the DA in response to such third-
party subpoenas.

F. Executive Order 12630 (Government Actions and Interference With 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights)

    The Department of the Army has determined that Executive Order 
12630 does not apply because the proposed rule does not impair private 
property rights.

G. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive 
Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    The Department of the Army has determined that, although this rule 
is not ``economically significant'' because it does not have an annual 
effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a 
material way the economy, it is ``other significant'' for raising novel 
legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's 
priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders. For 
that reason, it has been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB).

H. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risk and Safety Risks)

    The Department of the Army has determined that according to the 
criteria defined in Executive Order 13045. This proposed rule does not 
apply since it does not implement or require actions impacting 
environmental health or safety risks to children.

I. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    The Department of the Army has determined that according to the 
criteria defined in Executive Order 13132 this proposed rule does not 
apply because it will not have a substantial effect on the States, on 
the relationship between the national government and the States, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of 
government.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 516

    Litigation, Service of process, Witnesses, Official information, 
Discovery requests, Expert testimony.


0
For reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of the Army proposes 
to revise 32 CFR part 516 to read as follows:

PART 516--RELEASE OF OFFICIAL INFORMATION AND APPEARANCE OF 
WITNESSES IN LITIGATION

Sec.
516.1 General.
516.2 Release authority.
516.3 Release determination.
516.4 Requestor responsibilities.
516.5 Classified, Privacy Act Protected, Sensitive or Privileged 
Information.
516.6 Releasing official information to the Department of Justice.
516.7 Complying with requests for official information, subpoenas, 
and witness testimony.
516.8 Testimony in private civil litigation.
516.9 Department of Justice witness requests in litigation involving 
the United States.
516.10 Expert or opinion testimony by DA personnel.
516.11 Witnesses before foreign tribunals.
516.12 Fees and expenses.
516.13 News media and other inquiries.

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. 552a; 42 U.S.C. 290; 
Executive Order No. 12988.


Sec.  516.1   General.

    (a) Responsibilities.--(1) Litigating Divisions. (i) Chief, 
Litigation Division, United States Army Legal Services Agency (USALSA), 
is responsible for the following:
    (A) Supervising litigation in which the Army has an interest, 
except as outlined in paragraphs (a)(1)(A)(ii)-(iv) of this section.
    (B) Acting for The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) and the Secretary 
of the Army on litigation issues, including the authority to settle or 
compromise cases.
    (C) Delegating responsibility for cases if appropriate.
    (D) Serving as primary contact with the Department of Justice (DOJ) 
on litigation.
    (E) Accepting service of process for the Department of the Army 
(DA) and for the Secretary of the Army in his or her official capacity. 
(See 32 CFR 257.5.)
    (F) Approval of the appointment of Special Assistant United States 
Attorneys (SAUSAs) and DOJ special trial attorneys to represent the 
Army and DOD in civil litigation.
    (ii) Chief, Contract and Fiscal Law Division, USALSA, is 
responsible for supervising Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals 
(ASBCA) and Government Accountability Office (GAO) litigation. The 
Chief Trial Attorney, attorneys assigned to the Contract and Fiscal Law 
Division, and attorneys designated by the Chief Trial Attorney, will 
represent DA before the ASBCA for contract appeals. They also represent 
DA before the GAO for bid protests in cases not falling under the 
purview of either the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or Army 
Materiel Command. They will maintain direct liaison with DOJ and 
represent DA in appeals from ASBCA decisions. The Chief Trial Attorney 
has designated USACE attorneys to act as trial attorneys in connection 
with USACE contract appeals.
    (iii) Chief, Environmental Law Division, USALSA, is responsible for 
the following:
    (A) Supervising defensive environmental civil litigation and 
administrative proceedings involving missions and functions of DA, its 
major and subordinate commands, and

[[Page 90272]]

installations currently or previously managed by DA in which the Army 
has an interest, except as otherwise specifically provided in this 
part.
    (B) Supervising affirmative cost recovery actions, brought pursuant 
to Federal or State environmental laws, in which the Army has an 
interest.
    (C) Acting for TJAG and the Secretary of the Army on the assertion 
and defense of Army water rights, and environmental litigation and 
affirmative cost recovery issues, including the authority to settle or 
compromise cases.
    (D) Delegating responsibility for cases as appropriate.
    (E) Serving as primary contact with DOJ on environmental litigation 
and cost recovery.
    (iv) Chief, Regulatory Law and Intellectual Property (RL & IP) 
Division, USALSA, is responsible for the following:
    (A) Supervising the attorneys assigned to the Regulatory Law and 
Intellectual Property Division (RL & IP) and other attorneys designated 
by the Chief, RL & IP, who represent DA consumer interests in 
regulatory matters before State and Federal administrative agencies and 
commissions, including but not limited to proceedings involving rates 
and conditions for the purchase of services for communications (except 
long-distance telephone), transportation, and utilities (gas, electric, 
water and sewer). Those attorneys will maintain direct liaison with DOJ 
for communications, transportation, and utilities litigation as 
authorized by the Chief, RL & IP.
    (B) Supervising attorneys assigned to the RL & IP Division, and 
other attorneys designated by the Chief RL & IP who represent DA in 
matters pertaining to patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Those 
attorneys will maintain direct liaison with DOJ and represent the DA in 
intellectual property issues as authorized by the Chief, RL & IP.
    (v) Chief, Procurement Fraud Division (PFD), is responsible for 
supervising all attorneys designated to represent the DA in all 
procurement fraud and corruption matters before the Army suspension and 
debarment authority and before any civil fraud recovery administrative 
body. Those attorneys will maintain liaison and coordinate remedies 
with DOJ and other agencies in matters of procurement fraud and 
corruption.
    (vi) Legal Representatives of the Chief of Engineers. The U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers (USACE) Office of Chief Counsel, attorneys assigned 
thereto, and other attorneys designated by the Chief Counsel will 
maintain direct liaison with DOJ and represent DA in litigation and 
administrative proceedings arising from the navigation, civil works, 
Clean Water Act 404 permit authority, environmental response 
activities, real property functions of the (USACE).
    (b) Applicability. (1) This part implements 32 CFR part 97 as 
further implemented by DOD Directive 5405.2, ``Release of Official 
Information in Litigation and Testimony by DoD Personnel as Witnesses'' 
(available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/540502p.pdf). It governs the release of official information and the 
appearance of present and former DA personnel as witnesses in response 
to requests for interviews, notices of depositions, subpoenas, and 
other requests or orders related to judicial or quasi-judicial 
proceedings (e.g., a proceeding conducted by an administrative or 
executive official that is similar to a trial, like a hearing.). Army's 
internal guidance for this part is available in Army Regulation 27-40 
Litigation, dated 19 September 1994 (available at http://www.apd.army.mil/Search/ePubsSearch/ePubsSearchForm.aspx?x=AR). The 
Army observes a policy of strict neutrality in all private litigation 
unless the United States has an interest. This part pertains to any 
request for witnesses, documents, or information for all types of 
litigation, including requests by private litigants, requests by State 
or U.S. attorneys, requests by foreign officials or tribunals. This 
part also pertains to subpoenas for records or testimony, notices of 
depositions, and interview requests all stemming from civil or criminal 
proceedings or any litigation in which the United States has an 
interest.
    (2) This part does not apply to releasing official information or 
testimony by Army personnel in the following situations:
    (i) Before courts-martial convened by military departments or in 
administrative proceedings conducted by or on behalf of a DOD 
component.
    (ii) In administrative proceedings for:
    (A) The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
    (B) The Merit Systems Protection Board.
    (C) The Federal Labor Relations Authority.
    (D) A negotiated grievance procedure under a collective bargaining 
agreement to which the government is a party.
    (iii) In response to requests by Federal Government counsel in 
litigation conducted on behalf of the United States.
    (iv) Pursuant to disclosure of information to Federal, State, and 
local prosecuting and law enforcement authorities, in conjunction with 
an investigation conducted by a DoD criminal investigative 
organization.
    (b) Policy. Official information generally should be made 
reasonably available for use in federal and state courts and by other 
governmental bodies unless the information is classified, privileged, 
or otherwise protected from public disclosure. Current or former DA 
personnel must receive approval from the local SJA, legal advisor, or 
Litigation Division prior to disclosing official information in 
response to subpoenas, court orders, or requests. The local SJA or 
legal advisor should seek to resolve all requests for official 
information at their level. In complex cases, responding offices should 
consult with the appropriate litigating division. If questions arise, 
refer the matter to the appropriate litigating division as described in 
Sec.  516.1(d). All other matters, including cases involving classified 
information will be referred to the General Litigation Branch, 
Litigation Division.
    (c) Definitions. (1) Official information. Official information 
includes all information of any kind, however stored, that is in the 
custody and control of the Department of the Army, relates to 
information in the custody and control of the Department, or was 
acquired by DA personnel as part of their official duties or because of 
their official status within the Department while such personnel were 
employed by or on behalf of the Department or on active duty with the 
US Army. Official Information that is the property of the Army but is 
in the possession, custody or control of another Federal, State, or 
local agency or a Government contractor is also included in this 
definition. Generally, official information includes, but is not 
limited to paper, photographic or electronic records obtained, 
generated, or maintained for the Army, to include the personal 
observations and testimony of any kind by Army personnel, about:
    (i) Classified or sensitive information of any kind;
    (ii) Privileged information of any kind;
    (iii) The acquisition, funding, construction, operation, 
maintenance, physical condition or readiness, as applicable, of DOD, 
Army, or other Federal government programs, systems, properties, 
facilities, equipment, data management systems or personnel;
    (iv) Unit records, training records, individual personnel or 
medical records, investigative reports of any kind, scientific or 
financial data, official Army publications, and records

[[Page 90273]]

generated during military operations; and
    (v) Army personnel, their family members, contractors, and other 
related third parties.
    (2) Litigation. Litigation includes all pretrial, trial, and post-
trial stages of all existing or reasonably anticipated judicial or 
administrative actions, hearings, investigations, or similar 
proceedings before civilian courts, commissions, boards, or other 
tribunals, foreign and domestic, and state legislative proceedings. 
This includes:
    (i) Responses to discovery requests, depositions, and other 
pretrial proceedings.
    (ii) Responses to formal or informal requests by attorneys or 
others in existing or reasonably anticipated litigation matters.
    (3) Private Litigation. (i) In which the Army has no interest. 
Litigation in which neither the United States, nor an employee in an 
official capacity, is a party and in which the United States has no 
identifiable direct or indirect legal, contractual, financial, 
administrative, mission-related or other interest. Examples of 
litigation likely to be considered private include personal bankruptcy; 
civil consumer, divorce and custody proceedings; or landlord-tenant or 
similar litigation of individual Army civilian or military personnel, 
past or present. State or local criminal litigation not involving 
prosecution of Army personnel, contractors, or manufacturers of Army 
equipment or property may also qualify. The SJA or legal advisor will 
determine whether a particular case qualifies as private litigation 
where the Army has no interest.
    (ii) In which the Army has an interest. In cases where the Army is 
not a named party, the Army may still have an interest. These may 
include: Cases where the Army may incur costs as a result of the 
litigation; cases where Army operations or policies are implicated; 
cases which could impact Army property or water rights; disclosure of 
information harmful to national security or otherwise protected from 
disclosure; litigation involving Army contractors or manufacturers of 
Army equipment and property; incidents arising from Department of 
Defense or Army activities; litigation involving the personal injury of 
Army personnel or family members, or the personal injury of third 
parties by Army personnel; the foreign or civilian criminal prosecution 
of Army personnel, family members, contractors, or manufacturers of 
Army equipment or property; or civil or family law litigation which may 
overlap or relate to the foreign or civilian criminal prosecution of 
Army personnel or family members. If an SJA or legal advisor cannot 
clearly determine whether Army interests are implicated in a particular 
case, consult with the appropriate litigating division.
    (4) DA Personnel. DA Personnel includes the following:
    (i) Present, former and retired Army military personnel, including 
the U.S. Army Reserve, regardless of current status.
    (ii) Present, former and retired civilian employees of the U.S. 
Army, regardless of current status.
    (iii) Soldiers of the Army National Guard of the United States 
(title 10 U.S.C.) and, when specified by statute or where a Federal 
interest is involved, Soldiers in the Army National Guard (title 32, 
U.S.C.). It also includes technicians under 32 U.S.C. 709.
    (iv) USMA cadets.
    (v) Nonappropriated fund employees.
    (vi) Foreign nationals who perform services for DA overseas.
    (vii) Other individuals hired by or for the Army, including 
individuals hired through contractual agreements by or on behalf of the 
Army.
    (5) Demand. Subpoena, order, or other demand of a court of 
competent jurisdiction, or other specific authority, to produce, 
disclose, or release official Army information (or other official 
federal agency information subject to release under this chapter) or 
which require that DA Personnel testify or appear as witnesses.


Sec.  516.2   Release authority.

    (a) Release Authorities for Official Information. The following 
personnel are the release authorities for official Army information in 
the following litigation situations (See figure 1):
    (1) United States is a party or has an interest. The appropriate 
litigating division is the release authority for all official, 
unclassified Army information in cases in which the United States is a 
party or has a direct interest; they also make all such release 
decisions for cases in which the information could be used in a claim 
or litigation against the United States. If uncertainty exists as to 
whether a given situation constitutes private litigation, forward the 
request to the appropriate litigating division (See Sec.  516.1(d)).
    (2) Non-classified information where the United States has no 
interest. SJAs and legal advisors are the release authorities for 
official, unclassified factual information held by their respective 
commands or organizations in cases of private litigation.
    (3) Classified information. Litigation Division is the release 
authority for official information or appearance of DA personnel as 
witnesses in litigation involving terrorism, espionage, nuclear 
weapons, intelligence sources and methods, or involving records 
otherwise privileged from release, including classified information. 
Refer any requests involving such information to the General Litigation 
Branch, Litigation Division.
    (4) Medical treatment records. Army Medical Center or Command Judge 
Advocates or supporting SJAs are the release authorities for official, 
unclassified factual information in private litigation which involves 
the release of medical and other records and information within the 
custody, control or knowledge of the Center or Command Judge Advocates' 
or supporting SJAs'permanent station hospital and its personnel. 
Medical records may only be released in compliance with the Health 
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations 
published at 45 CFR parts 160, 162, and 164. Upon court order or 
subpoena, if appropriate under Sec. Sec.  516.3-4 (Release 
Determination and Requestor Responsibilities), and if compliant under 
the HIPAA regulations, Center or Command Judge Advocates, SJAs and 
legal advisors may furnish to the attorney for the injured party or the 
tortfeasor's attorney or insurance company a copy of the narrative 
summary of medical care that relates to a claim initiated by the United 
States for recovery of costs for medical care or property claims, 
pursuant to the Federal Medical Care Recovery Act (42 U.S.C. 2651), the 
Federal Claims Collection Act (31 U.S.C. 3711), the Third Party 
Collection Program (10 U.S.C. 1095), or Executive Order No. 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If additional medical records are requested by 
subpoena or court order, only those that are relevant and necessary to 
the litigation or pending action will be furnished. If furnishing 
copies of medical records would prejudice the cause of action, the 
matter will be reported to Litigation Division.
    (5) Substance abuse treatment records. Subpoenas for alcohol abuse 
or drug abuse treatment records must be processed under 42 U.S.C. 
290dd-3 and 290ee-3, and Public Health Service regulations published at 
42 CFR 2.1-2.67.
    (6) Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals cases. Contracting 
officers, in consultation with the appropriate servicing SJA, are 
authorized to release official information to be used in litigation 
before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, per the Federal 
Acquisition Regulation (FAR), subpart 5.4., and applicable DOD 
directives and Army instructions.

[[Page 90274]]

Responses to such requests must be coordinated with the assigned trial 
attorney at the USALSA Contract and Fiscal Law Division.
    (b) Approval Authorities for Witness Testimony. The following 
personnel are the approval authorities for witness testimony by former, 
retired and current Army personnel in the following litigation 
situations:
    (1) Cases where the United States has an interest. The appropriate 
litigating division, as identified in Sec.  516.1, is the approval 
authority for personnel who may appear and testify as witnesses in 
contemplated or pending litigation where the United States is a party 
or has an interest.
    (2) Classified, sensitive, or privileged information. Litigation 
Division is the approval authority for the appearance of DA personnel 
as witnesses in litigation involving terrorism, espionage, nuclear 
weapons, intelligence sources and methods, or involving records 
otherwise privileged from release, including classified information. 
(See Sec.  516.1(b)). Refer any requests involving such information to 
the General Litigation Branch, Litigation Division.
    (3) Non-classified Information where the United States has no 
interest. SJAs, Chief Counsel, or their equivalent, are the approval 
authorities for individuals within their organizations or commands who 
may appear for witness testimony, depositions, or interviews or make 
declarations on factual matters within their personal knowledge when it 
involves private litigation where the United States has no interest.
    (4) Medical Information. Commanders of Medical Commands, in 
consultation with their legal advisors, are the approval authorities 
for medical providers and other hospital personnel assigned to their 
command. This includes witness testimony, depositions, interviews or 
declarations on factual matters within their personal knowledge when it 
involves private litigation where the United States has no interest.
    (5) Expert testimony. Litigation Division is the approval authority 
for expert testimony. (See Sec.  516.10).
    (6) Former and Retired DA Personnel. The appropriate litigating 
division is the approval authority for witness testimony relating to 
official information. (See Sec.  516.2).
    (c) Referral to the Appropriate Litigating Division. When the local 
Release Authority does not have the authority to resolve the matter, it 
will be referred to the appropriate litigating division. (See Sec.  
516.1a.).
    (1) Nature of the Request. (i) Refer affirmative litigation 
initiated by the United States for recovery of costs for medical care 
or property claims (e.g., medical care recovery or Army property damage 
or loss cases) to the Tort Litigation Branch, Litigation Division.
    (ii) Refer matters concerning patents, copyrights, trade secrets, 
or trademarks to the Regulatory Law and Intellectual Property Division.
    (iii) Refer taxation matters to the Contract and Fiscal Law 
Division.
    (iv) Refer matters concerning communication, transportation, or 
utility service proceedings to the Regulatory Law and Intellectual 
Property Division.
    (v) Refer environmental matters, to include water rights and 
affirmative environmental cost recovery to the Environmental Law 
Division.
    (vi) Refer matters arising from the navigation, civil works, Clean 
Water Act 404 permit authority, environmental response activities, and 
real property functions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 
Office of Chief Counsel.
    (vii) Refer all bid protests, and contract appeals cases before the 
ASBCA and GAO to the Contract and Fiscal Law Division.
    (viii) Refer procurement fraud matters, including qui tam cases, to 
the Procurement Fraud Division, OTJAG.
    (ix) Refer all other matters to the General Litigation Branch, 
Litigation Division.
    (2) Information to Submit with Referrals. Provide the following 
data when referring matters pursuant to Sec.  516.2(c):
    (i) Copy of the request for official information and all available 
relevant pleadings (e.g., complaint, motions, court rulings).
    (ii) Parties (named or prospective) to the proceeding, their 
attorneys, and case number.
    (iii) Party making the request (if a subpoena, indicate moving 
party) and his or her attorney.
    (iv) Name of tribunal in which the proceeding is pending.
    (v) Nature of the proceeding.
    (vi) Date of receipt of request or date and place of service of 
subpoena.
    (vii) Name, grade, position, and organization of person receiving 
request or served with subpoena.
    (viii) Date, time, and place designated in request or subpoena for 
production of information or appearance of witness.
    (xi) Nature of information sought or document requested, and place 
where document is maintained.
    (x) A copy of each document requested. Contact the appropriate 
litigating division if this would be burdensome and unnecessary to a 
decision whether to release, redact, or withhold a particular document.
    (xi) Name of requested witness, expected testimony, requested 
appearance time and date, and whether witness is reasonably available.
    (xii) Analysis of the request with recommendations.

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[[Page 90276]]




Sec.  516.3   Release determination.

    (a) Release authorities must ensure requestors state in writing the 
nature and relevance of the official information they want and include 
the documentation required by Sec.  516.4. The appropriate release 
authority should evaluate the request in light of 32 CFR part 97 and 
United States, ex rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951) and other 
relevant case law. Release authorities must consider the following 
factors when determining whether to approve or deny a request for 
official information:
    (1) Whether the request is unduly burdensome, inappropriate under 
the applicable court rules or otherwise irrelevant. Considerations 
include the size and scope of the request; amount of preparation and 
transportation time for the witness; mission impact of requiring the 
witness to be pulled away from current duties to participate; mission 
impact of requiring responding office personnel to be pulled away from 
their current assignments to respond to document search, review and 
production requests; and the potential cumulative burden upon the 
agency in granting similar requests.
    (2) Whether the disclosure is inappropriate under the rules of 
procedure governing the matter in which the request arose.
    (3) Whether the disclosure violates a statute, executive order, 
regulation, or directive.
    (4) Whether the disclosure (including release in camera) is 
inappropriate under the relevant substantive law concerning privilege.
    (5) Whether the disclosure reveals information properly classified 
pursuant to the DOD Information Security Program under AR 380-5, 
unclassified technical data withheld from public release pursuant to 32 
CFR 250 and DOD Directive 5230.25 or other sensitive or privileged 
information exempt from disclosure.
    (6) Whether the disclosure would interfere with ongoing enforcement 
proceedings, compromise constitutional rights, reveal the identity of 
an intelligence source or confidential informant, disclose trade 
secrets or confidential, commercial, or financial information, or would 
otherwise be inappropriate under the circumstances.
    (7) Whether disclosure violates any person's expectation of 
confidentiality or privacy.
    (8) Whether any other factor or consideration relevant to the 
circumstances warrants approving or denying the request.


Sec.  516.4   Requestor responsibilities.

    (a) Individuals seeking official information must submit, at least 
14 days before the desired date of production, a detailed written 
request setting forth the nature and relevance to the litigation or 
proceeding of the official information sought. Requests for official 
information involving an employee's appearance and/or production of 
documents must comply with 32 CFR part 97 and this part. At a minimum, 
requests must include:
    (1) Copy of the complaint or criminal charges and relevant 
pleadings;
    (2) Date of the requested appearance or production;
    (3) Party for whom the request is made;
    (4) Reason why official information sought is relevant and 
necessary to requestor and litigation;
    (5) For witness requests, name, grade, position, and organization 
of the witness if known, and substance of the expected testimony. 
Requestors should not contact potential witnesses without first 
coordinating with the witness' SJA or legal advisor, or the appropriate 
litigating division.
    (b) Requests from DOJ for DA personnel as witnesses need not follow 
the requirements above. See Sec.  516.6 for the witness request 
procedures for DOJ.


Sec.  516.5   Classified, Privacy Act Protected, Sensitive or 
Privileged Information.

    (a) Classified information. Only Litigation Division may authorize 
the release of information or appearance of DA personnel as witnesses 
in litigation involving classified matters. Refer any requests 
involving such information to the General Litigation Branch, Litigation 
Division.
    (b) Information Protected by the Privacy Act.
    (1) Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) records include any item, 
collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is 
maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, his education, 
financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment 
history and that contains his name, or the identifying number, symbol, 
or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a 
finger or voice print or a photograph.
    (2) A demand (see definition in Sec.  516.1) signed by an attorney 
or clerk of court for records protected by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 
552a, does not justify the release of the protected records. This 
includes a subpoena issued on behalf of a Federal or State Grand Jury. 
The release authority should explain to the requestor that the Privacy 
Act precludes disclosure of records in a system of records without the 
written consent of the subject of the records or ``pursuant to the 
order of a court of competent jurisdiction'' (See fig 7-2 and fig 7-3 
Sample Touhy Compliance response).
    (3) In connection with discovery in federal or state litigation, 
Privacy Act records will only be released with consent of the 
individual or under a court order specifically signed by a judge or 
magistrate of a court of competent jurisdiction. (See 5 U.S.C. 
552a(b)(11); Doe v. DiGenova, 779 F.2d 74 (DC Cir 1985); Bosaw v. NTEU, 
887 F. Supp. 1199 (S.D. Ind. 1995); and Boron Oil Co. v. Downie, 873 F. 
2d 67 (4th Cir. 1989).) More specifically, unclassified Privacy Act 
records otherwise protected from release, may be released under the 
following conditions:
    (i) Release by Court Order. The court order must state that the 
court finds that the law authorizes release of the records and the 
records should be released. If the order or subpoena does not contain 
these findings the release authority may release the records to a clerk 
of the court empowered by local statute or practice to receive the 
records under seal subject to the release authority's request that the 
clerk of court withhold the records from the parties until the court 
issues an order determining that the records should be released.
    (ii) Release to the Requestor. Privacy Act records may be released 
to the requestor if a valid Privacy Act consent waiver from the 
individual to whom the record(s) pertain is submitted with the request. 
Otherwise, Privacy Act records should only be released pursuant to 
court order as set forth in (i) above.
    (c) Inspector General (IG) records or testimony. IG records, and 
information obtained through performance of IG duties, are official 
information under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Army. 
(see AR 20-1, Chapter 3.) IG records frequently contain sensitive 
official information that may be classified or obtained under 
guarantees of confidentiality. Army personnel will not release IG 
records or disclose information obtained through performance of IG 
duties without the approval of the Secretary of the Army, The Inspector 
General (TIG), TIG Legal Advisor, or the Chief, Litigation Division.
    (d) Safety records, information, and witnesses. Safety records and 
information produced by commands, installation safety offices, and the 
U.S. Army Combat Readiness Command and Safety Center (USACRC) (and 
other DOD Service Components) may contain ``privileged safety 
information.'' See

[[Page 90277]]

DOD Instruction 6055.07 and AR 385-10.
    (1) Litigation Division and the USACRC Command Judge Advocate will 
consult with the appropriate United States Attorney's Office regarding 
assertion of appropriate privileges. To assess the appropriate 
privilege, safety reports and records will be provided to Litigation 
Division in complete unredacted form along with a separate copy 
reflecting identification of all privileged portions.
    (2) When requested, contact information for safety personnel 
witnesses and technical experts will be provided to Litigation 
Division. As needed, Litigation Division will provide safety records, 
information, and witness contact information to the U.S. Attorney's 
Office for evaluation.
    (3) Providing safety records, information, and access to safety 
personnel to Litigation Division or the U.S. Attorney's Office is not 
considered a ``release,'' under DOD safety regulations.
    (4) All parties handling privileged safety information are 
obligated to observe confidentiality, protected safety-use 
requirements, and all other privileges against public disclosure. 
Privileged safety reports, records, information, or testimony will not 
be used in litigation without appropriate disclosure safeguards, such 
as a protective order, agreement, or order to seal.
    (e) Technical Data. Commands should refer requests for unclassified 
technical data with military or space application which should be 
withheld from public release pursuant to 32 CFR 250 and DOD Directive 
5230.25, Withholding of Unclassified Technical Data from Public 
Disclosure, November 6, 1984 (including Change 1, August 18, 1995) to 
the General Litigation Branch, Litigation Division.
    (f) Other privileged information. Unless otherwise specified, all 
questions and issues regarding privileged information will be referred 
for consultation to General Litigation Branch, Litigation Division.
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Sec.  516.6  Releasing official information to the Department of 
Justice.

    In routine cases where the Department of the Army is neither a 
party nor has an interest in the litigation, SJAs may release 
unclassified and unprivileged official information to DOJ or the U.S. 
Attorney's Office on request. In connection with any such release, DOJ 
or the U.S. Attorney's Office must be provided sufficient information 
to determine whether the requested information is classified, 
privileged or protected by the Privacy Act or other applicable 
confidentiality laws, to ensure for its proper handling. DOJ or U.S. 
Attorney requests for classified information will be coordinated 
through Litigation Division prior to action. Prior to pursuing 
declassification of official information, Litigation Division will 
coordinate with the requesting DOJ attorney to determine whether 
declassification of the information is appropriate or advisable under 
the circumstances.


Sec.  516.7  Complying with requests or demands for official 
information, subpoenas, and witness testimony.

    (a) Request or demand for official information and witness 
testimony will be resolved by the SJA or legal advisor pursuant to this 
subpart. The appropriate litigating division will be

[[Page 90282]]

consulted on issues that cannot be resolved by the SJA or legal advisor 
or when multiple release authorities are involved.
    (b) Local SJAs and command legal advisors will assist DA personnel 
within their commands and in their geographic area regarding compliance 
with subpoenas for official information and witness testimony. Such 
assistance should include providing advice and attending interviews, 
depositions, and trial testimony.
    (c) Where an immediate response is required. A demand, including a 
subpoena or court order, should never be ignored. If a response to a 
subpoena or court order is required before a release determination can 
be made, the SJA or legal advisor will do the following:
    (1) Attempt to resolve the issue through informal efforts. Inform 
the requestor that the demand is under review and, if applicable, that 
the requestor must provide additional information in accordance with 
this part in order for a release determination to be made. Seek 
additional time to respond to the demand and to have the requestor 
voluntarily withdraw the subpoena or stay the court order.
    (2) If informal efforts to resolve the issue are unsuccessful or if 
time does not permit attempting informal efforts, contact the 
appropriate litigating division. When the appropriate litigating 
division is not available, contact the appropriate USAO directly. 
Request that the USAO seek to stay the subpoena or court order pending 
the requestor's compliance with this part.
    (3) If efforts to stay the subpoena or court order are 
unsuccessful, seek to quash the subpoena or court order through 
coordination with the appropriate litigating division or USAO.
    (4) If the USAO is challenging the subpoena or court order, the SJA 
or legal advisor will direct the affected personnel to respectfully 
decline to comply with the subpoena or court order pending resolution 
of the challenge.
    (d) Subpoenas seeking protected or privileged information. When 
privilege, statute, or regulation prohibits releasing the subpoenaed 
information, the SJA or legal advisor should attempt to resolve the 
matter with the requestor, or, after consultation with the appropriate 
litigating division and with the assistance of the local U.S. 
Attorney's Office, appear through counsel and explain the matter to the 
court. To resolve the matter, SJAs or legal advisors should:
    (1) Communicate with the counsel requesting the subpoena. (See 
sample letter at fig 7-3).
    (2) Explain the restrictions on release.
    (3) Provide any releasable information.
    (4) Suggest withdrawing the subpoena.
    (e) Coordination with the US Attorney concerning subpoenas for 
protected or privileged information. If informal efforts to resolve the 
situation are unsuccessful, the appropriate litigating division may ask 
the local U.S. Attorney's Office to file a motion to quash or a motion 
for a protective order or other appropriate legal recourse. The records 
privileged or otherwise protected from release should be retained by 
the custodian pending the court's ruling.
    (f) Release of Information through Witness Testimony. If the 
approval authority determines that the official information may be 
released, DA personnel may be interviewed, deposed, or appear as a 
witness in court provided such interview or appearance is consistent 
with the requirements of this subpart. An Army attorney should 
ordinarily be present, as the legal representative of the Army, during 
any interview or testimony. If a question seeks information not 
previously authorized for release, the legal representative will advise 
the witness not to answer. If necessary to avoid release of the 
information, the legal representative will advise the witness to 
terminate the interview or deposition, or by the Assistant U.S. 
Attorney in the case of testimony in court, advise the judge that DOD 
directives and Army regulations preclude the witness from answering 
without approval from the appropriate litigating division. Every effort 
should be made, however, to substitute releasable information and to 
continue the interview or testimony.
    (1) If the absence of a witness from duty will interfere seriously 
with the accomplishment of a military mission, the SJA or legal advisor 
will advise the requesting party and attempt to make alternative 
arrangements. If these efforts fail, the SJA or legal advisor will 
consult on the matter with appropriate litigating division.
    (2) When requested by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the SJA or legal 
advisor will ensure that no witnesses involved in litigation are 
reassigned from the judicial district without first advising the U.S. 
Attorney's Office. If this is not feasible, or if a satisfactory 
arrangement cannot be reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the SJA 
or legal advisor should notify the Litigation Division.
    (g) Release of Records. If the Release Authority, after considering 
the factors set forth in Sec.  516.3, determines that all or part of 
requested official records are releasable, copies of the records should 
be furnished to the requestor. In absence of a protective order issued 
by a court of competent jurisdiction, records protected by the Privacy 
Act should only be released to the court issuing the applicable 
subpoena or order, or pursuant to a signed Privacy Act Waiver from the 
individual to whom the records pertain. (See Sec.  516.5(b))
    (h) Authenticating Records. Records custodians should authenticate 
official Army documents for civil litigation through written 
certification, rather than personally appearing and testifying. DA 
personnel will submit authenticated copies rather than originals of 
documents or records for use in legal proceedings, unless directed 
otherwise by the appropriate litigating division (See 28 U.S.C. 1733.) 
The DA Form 4, Department of the Army Certification for Authentication 
of Records is used to authenticate Army records or documents. (See 
Figure 5). Documents attached to a properly prepared and sealed DA Form 
4 are self-authenticating. (See Fed. R. Evid. 902). A DA Form 4 need 
not be prepared until the trial attorney presenting the Government's 
case identifies documents maintained at the installation level that he 
or she will need at trial. Once documents are identified, the custodian 
of the documents will execute his or her portion of the DA Form 4. The 
custodian certifies that the documents attached to the DA Form 4 are 
true copies of official documents. Documents attached to each form 
should be identified generally; each document need not be mentioned 
specifically. Only the upper portion of the form should be executed at 
the local level. Upon receipt of the DA Form 4 with documents attached 
thereto, HQDA will affix a ribbon and seal and deliver it to The Office 
of The Administrative Assistant to The Secretary of the Army or the 
Chief, Litigation Division. Either The Office of The Administrative 
Assistant to The Secretary of the Army or the Chief, Litigation 
Division will place the official Army seal on the packet. Use the 
simplest authentication procedure permissible, including any suitable 
alternative suggested by the court.
    (i) SJAs or legal advisors should promptly report any subpoenas 
from foreign courts requiring records, files, or documents to 
Litigation Division, and comply with the guidance in Sec.  516.7.
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Sec.  516.8  Testimony in private civil litigation.

    (a) Capacity. Funding and duty status are determined by the 
capacity in which the personnel testifies and whether the individual is 
a Soldier or a civilian employee.
    (1) Official capacity. DA personnel testify in their official 
capacity when:
    (i) They testify regarding their official duties or produce 
official records on behalf of the U.S.; or
    (ii) They testify on matters that relate to their official duties 
or produce official records on behalf of a party other than the U.S.
    (iii) They produce official records on behalf of a party other than 
the government.
    (b) Unofficial capacity. DA personnel testify in an unofficial 
capacity when they testify on behalf of the U.S. or another party on a 
matter unrelated to their official duties.
    (c) Funding Availability. 28 U.S.C. 1821, the Joint Ethics 
Regulation (JER), the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR), 28 CFR part 21, 
and Army regulations govern travel allowances for DA personnel 
appearing as witnesses in litigation. The general guidelines for 
funding witness travel are:
    (1) DA personnel are entitled to government funded travel expenses 
when testifying in an official capacity on behalf of the U.S.
    (2) DA personnel are entitled to government funded travel expenses 
when testifying in an unofficial capacity on behalf of the U.S.
    (3) DA uniformed personnel are entitled to government funded travel 
expenses when testifying in an official capacity for non-federal 
government agencies when:
    (i) The case is directly related to an agency or agency employee, 
and
    (ii) The case is one in which the agency has a particularly strong, 
compelling and genuine interest.
    (4) DA personnel are not entitled to government funded travel 
expenses when testifying in an official or unofficial capacity on 
behalf of a party other than the U.S.
    (5) See the JTR for exceptions to these general guidelines and for 
current guidance regarding funding responsibilities for witness travel.


Sec.  516.9  Department of Justice witness request in litigation 
involving the United States.

    (a) Department of Justice request for DA personnel as witnesses 
must be coordinated through the General Litigation Branch, Litigation 
Division. DA personnel receiving a subpoena or witness request from DOJ 
should contact the General Litigation Branch for assistance.
    (b) Cases in which the Army is a party to the litigation. When DOJ 
requests current DA personnel to appear as witnesses and in cases 
involving an activity connected to their employment, the travel 
expenses are payable by the employing command or activity. (See 28 CFR 
21.2).
    (1) DOJ initiates a witness request by sending a subpoena and a 
Request for Personnel to Testify as Government Witness form to the 
General Litigation Branch. The notice should include the witness' name, 
social security number, residence or duty station address, phone 
number, email address or fax number, the location, hour and date of 
appearance, and number of days needed. DOJ should also include the 
purpose of the testimony.
    (2) The General Litigation Branch will notify the witness and the 
SJA or legal advisor at the employing command or activity and provide 
them with travel instructions. If the case does not involve the 
employee's command or activity, the command or activity represented in 
the litigation will fund the travel expenses, issue a travel 
authorization/order for the required travel, and provide the necessary 
line of accounting. (28 CFR 21.2(d)(1) (JTR C4975-C4H-2)).
    (c) Cases in which the Army is not a party to the litigation. When 
DOJ requests current DA personnel to appear as a witness on behalf of 
the U.S. in an unofficial capacity, the employee's travel expenses are 
payable by DOJ. The General Litigation Branch will coordinate with the 
witness and the witness' command or activity to provide travel 
instructions and DOJ's line of accounting.
    (1) DOJ initiates a witness request by sending a subpoena and a 
Request for Personnel to Testify as Government Witness form to the 
General Litigation Branch. The notice should include the witnesses' 
name, social security number, residence or duty station address, phone 
number, email address or fax number, the location, hour and date of 
appearance, and number of days needed. The requestor should also 
include the purpose of the testimony.
    (2) The General Litigation Branch will notify the witness and the 
SJA or legal advisor at the employing command or activity and provide 
them with travel instructions and a DOJ line of accounting. The 
witnesses' command prepares travel orders. Upon completion of the 
travel the witness will seek reimbursement from DOJ.


Sec.  516.10  Expert or opinion testimony by DA personnel.

    (a) General rule. Former and current DA personnel will not provide, 
with or without compensation, opinion or expert testimony either in 
private litigation or in litigation in which the United States has an 
interest for a party other than the United States. (See fig 7-6, Sample 
Expert Witness Denial Letter.) An SJA or legal advisor must coordinate 
all requests for expert testimony with the appropriate litigating 
division. The Chief, Litigation Division is the approval authority for 
all expert testimony requests.
    (b) Exception to the general prohibition. If a requestor can show 
exceptional need or unique circumstances, and the anticipated testimony 
will not be adverse to the interests of the United States, the Chief, 
Litigation Division, or designee, may grant special written 
authorization for current or former DA personnel to testify as expert 
or opinion witnesses at no expense to the United States. In no event 
may current or former DA personnel furnish expert or opinion testimony 
for a party whose interests are adverse to the interests of the United 
States in a case in which the United States has an interest.
    (c) AMEDD personnel. Members of the Army medical department or 
other qualified specialists may testify in private litigation (see fig 
7-7, Sample of Doctor Approval Letter) under the following conditions:
    (1) The litigation involves patients they have treated, 
investigations they have made, laboratory tests they have conducted, or 
other actions they have taken in the regular course of their duties; 
and
    (2) Written authorization is obtained under Sec.  516.1(b). AMEDD 
personnel must limit their testimony to factual matters such as: Their 
observations of the patient or other operative facts; the treatment 
prescribed or corrective action taken; course of recovery or steps 
required for repair of damage suffered; and, contemplated future 
treatment; and
    (3) Their testimony may not extend to expert or opinion testimony, 
to hypothetical questions, or to a prognosis not formed at the time of 
examination or treatment.
    (d) Court-ordered expert or opinion testimony. If a court or other 
appropriate authority orders expert or opinion testimony, the witness 
will notify the appropriate litigating division immediately. If the 
appropriate litigating division determines it will not challenge the 
subpoena or order, the witness will comply with the subpoena or order. 
The appropriate litigating

[[Page 90287]]

division, through the local United States Attorney's Office, will 
immediately communicate with the court on the matter (See United States 
ex. rel. Touhy v. Ragen, 340 U.S. 462 (1951)).
    (e) Expert witness fees. Provisions of the Joint Ethics Regulation 
and Federal law may limit the ability of DA personnel to retain expert 
or opinion witness fees. As a general rule, all such fees tendered to 
DA personnel, to the extent they exceed actual witness travel, meals, 
and lodging expenses, will be remitted to the Treasurer of the United 
States.
    (f) Requests from DOJ. Requests for present or former DA personnel 
as expert or opinion witnesses from DOJ or other attorneys representing 
the United States will be referred to Litigation Division unless the 
request involves a matter that has been delegated by the Litigation 
Division to an SJA or legal advisor. Current and former DA personnel 
may not furnish expert or opinion testimony for a party whose interests 
are adverse to the interests of the United States in a case in which 
the United States has an interest.
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Sec.  516.11  Witnesses before foreign tribunals.

    (a) Referral to the SJA. Requests or subpoenas from a foreign 
government or tribunal for present DA personnel stationed or employed 
within that country to be interviewed or to appear as witnesses will be 
forwarded to the SJA of the command exercising general court-martial 
jurisdiction over the unit to which the individual is assigned, 
attached, or employed. The SJA will determine the following:
    (1) Whether a consideration listed in Sec. Sec.  516.3 (a)(1)-(7) 
above applies.
    (2) Whether the information requested is releasable under the 
principles established in this subpart.
    (3) Whether the approval of the American Embassy should be obtained 
because the person is attached to the Embassy staff or a question of 
diplomatic immunity may be involved.
    (4) Whether coordination with OTJAG International Law office is 
necessary to respond to the request.
    (b) United States has an interest in the litigation. If the SJA 
determines that the United States has an interest in the litigation, 
the commander may authorize the interview or order the individual's 
attendance in a temporary duty status. The United States will be deemed 
to have an interest in the litigation if it is bound by treaty or other 
international agreement to ensure the attendance of such personnel.
    (c) United States has no interest in the litigation. If the SJA 
determines that the United States does not have an interest in the 
litigation, the commander may authorize the interview or the appearance 
of the witness under the principles established in Sec.  516.8.
    (d) Witnesses located outside the requestor's country. If the 
requested witness is stationed in a country other than the requestor's, 
the matter will be referred to the General Litigation Branch, 
Litigation Division.


Sec.  516.12  Fees and expenses.

    (a) Fees and charges. DA personnel who respond to requests for 
official information may collect fees from the requestor for the direct 
costs of the search, duplication, and review of responsive information 
pursuant to the authority granted in 31 U.S.C. 9701 and according to 
the fee schedule and processing guidance outlined in DOD Instruction 
7000.14, DOD Financial Management Policy and Procedures, Volume 11, 
Chapter 4 of DOD 7000.14-R, Financial Management Regulation, OMB 
Circular A-25 ``User Charges'', and 32 CFR 204 ``User Fees.''
    (b) Fee estimate. When a requestor is assessed fees for processing 
a request, the responding office must provide an estimate of assessable 
fees if requested.
    (c) Requestor. Requestors should indicate a willingness to pay fees 
associated with the processing of their request before the responding 
office begins processing the request for official information. No work 
on a request for official information should begin if: A requestor is 
unwilling to pay fees associated with a request; the requestor is past 
due in the payment of fees from a previous request for official 
information; or the requestor disagrees with the fee estimate. If fees 
are assessed, responding offices should receive payment before 
releasing the documents.
    (d) Computation of fees. The Schedule of Fees and Rates in 32 CFR 
204.9 will be used to compute the direct costs of the search, review, 
and duplication associated with processing a given request for official 
information. Fees should reflect direct costs (i.e., expenditures 
actually incurred) for search, review, and duplication of responsive 
documents. DA Personnel will ensure that no fee is assessed for the 
benefits listed in 32 CFR 204.8 or where otherwise prohibited.
    (e) Search. The term ``search'' includes all time spent looking, 
both manually and electronically, for material that is responsive to a 
request. Search also includes a page-by-page or line-by-line 
identification (if necessary) of material in the record to determine if 
it, or portions thereof are responsive to the request. Responding 
offices should ensure that searches are done in the most efficient and 
least expensive manner so as to minimize costs for both the responding 
office and the requestor.
    (f) Review. The term ``review'' refers to the process of examining 
documents located in response to a request for official information to 
determine whether release is appropriate under this subpart. It also 
includes processing the documents for disclosure, such as redaction 
prior to release. Review does not include the time spent resolving 
general legal or policy issues regarding the release determination.
    (g) Duplication. The term ``duplication'' refers to the process of 
making a copy of a document in response to a request for official 
information. For duplication of electronic information for delivery in 
an electronic format, the actual cost, including the operator's time, 
will be charged, but not a ``per page'' charge unless hardcopy 
documents were duplicated and handled in order to reduce them to an 
electronic format for delivery.
    (h) Release of records of other agencies. An individual requesting 
records originating in agencies outside DA (e.g., FBI reports, local 
police reports, civilian hospital records) that are also included in 
Army records should be advised to direct his or her inquiry to the 
originating agency. Nevertheless, referring requesters to other 
agencies does not absolve DA personnel of the requirements to respond 
to court orders or subpoenas.


Sec.  516.13  News media and other inquiries.

    News media inquiries regarding litigation or potential litigation 
will be referred to the appropriate public affairs office. DA personnel 
will not comment on any matter currently or potentially in litigation 
without proper clearance. Local public affairs officers will refer 
press inquiries to HQDA (SAPA-OSR), WASHINGTON, DC 20310-1500, with 
appropriate recommendations for review and approval by the Office of 
the Chief of Public Affairs. All releases of information regarding 
actual or potential litigation will be coordinated with Litigation 
Division prior to release. Normally, DOJ is responsible for responding 
to media inquiries regarding cases in federal litigation.

    For the Judge Advocate General.
Francis P. King,
Colonel, Judge Advocate, Executive Officer.
[FR Doc. 2016-29835 Filed 12-13-16; 8:45 am]
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