CUNA Regulatory Comment Call

April 21, 2008

NCUA Proposed Revisions to the FOIA and Privacy Act Rules

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Please feel free to fax your responses to CUNA at 202-638-7052; e-mail them to Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn at mdunn@cuna.coop and to Senior Assistant General Counsel Jeff Bloch at jbloch@cuna.coop; or mail them to Mary and Jeff c/o CUNA's Regulatory Advocacy Department, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, South Building, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004-2601. You may also contact us at 800-356-9655, ext. 6732, if you would like a copy of the proposal. You may also access it here.

BACKGROUND

The NCUA Board has issued this proposal to change its FOIA and Privacy Act rules as part of its policy to review its rules periodically to update, clarify, and simplify existing rules, as well as eliminate redundant and unnecessary provisions. The FOIA rules address the availability of records that may be released, the procedures for accessing them, processing times, and the right to appeal FOIA decisions.

The Privacy Act places requirements on federal agencies regarding the collection, distribution, and security of an individual's personal information that is maintained by the agency. This requires NCUA to publish a Notice of Systems of Records in the Federal Register that describes how this information is maintained and used, as well as how an individual may amend or correct the information about him or her that is held by the agency.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED RULE

For the FOIA rules, the proposal incorporates technical changes that correct address information, cross-references, grammar, and punctuation. The proposal includes the addresses where requests may be sent, how requests must be addressed, and the information that must be included.

The proposal implements provisions of the Act by clarifying the conditions and time periods for processing requests and the circumstances that may halt or extend processing times. The processing time will begin on the date the request is first received by the appropriate information center, but no later than ten days after it is first received by any agency-designated information center. The addresses of the information centers are included in the proposal.

Generally, records are exempt if the release would constitute an invasion of personal privacy. The proposal will outline two circumstances in which these records may be released. These would include when the requester provides the subject person's consent to the release of his or her records and when the requester provides proof of the subject person's death.

For the Privacy Act rules, the proposal will include technical changes to correct cross-references, grammar, and punctuation, as well as include new definitions. The proposal will also clarify that the requests from individuals must be in writing to the appropriate system manager or other staff, as specified. The nature of the request must be in the letter and on the envelope. Telephone requests will no longer be permitted There will also be proposed changes with regard to requests for medical records that will require these records be sent to the physician if disclosing it to the individual to whom it pertains would have an adverse affect on that individual.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER REGARDING THE NCUA IRPS
(NCUA has requested comment on these specific issues)

Eric Richard • General Counsel • (202) 508-6742 • erichard@cuna.com
Mary Mitchell Dunn • SVP & Deputy General Counsel • (202) 508-6736 • mdunn@cuna.com
Jeffrey Bloch • Assistant General Counsel • (202) 508-6732 • jbloch@cuna.com
Lilly Thomas • Assistant General Counsel • (202) 508-6733 • lthomas@cuna.com
Luke Martone • Senior Regulatory Counsel • (202) 508-6743 • lmartone@cuna.com