CUNA Regulatory Comment Call
April 21, 2008
NCUA Proposed Revisions to the FOIA and Privacy Act Rules
- The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board approved a proposed rule that will make a number of changes in how the public may access agency information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), as well as changes to the rules regarding the Privacy Act, which safeguards certain personal information of individuals that is collected by federal agencies.
- For the FOIA rules, the NCUA Board proposes changes to facilitate submissions of FOIA requests, how requests must be addressed, and the information that must be included in the request. This implements provisions of the OPEN Government Act of 1997 (Act), which clarifies that the processing time of FOIA requests begins no later than ten days after first received by any agency-designated FOIA information center. The proposal also identifies NCUA's information centers.
- For the Privacy Act rules, the proposal includes a number of technical changes and clarifies that requests must be submitted in writing to specified staff and the nature of the request must be on the envelope and letter. Telephone requests will no longer be permitted.
- Comments are due by June 24, 2008. Please submit your comments to CUNA by June 13, 2008.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and to Senior Assistant General Counsel Jeff Bloch at email@example.com; 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.
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)
- Do you agree that the proposed changes will clarify and simplify the current
rules, as intended by NCUA?
- Other comments?
Eric Richard General Counsel (202) 508-6742 firstname.lastname@example.org |
Mary Mitchell Dunn SVP & Deputy General Counsel (202) 508-6736 email@example.com
Jeffrey Bloch Assistant General Counsel (202) 508-6732 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lilly Thomas Assistant General Counsel (202) 508-6733 email@example.com
Luke Martone Senior Regulatory Counsel (202) 508-6743 firstname.lastname@example.org