CUNA Regulatory Comment Call


June 9, 2000

NCUA’s Proposed Rule on the Privacy Act

(NOT A MAJOR RULE)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Privacy Act governs the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information in a federal agency’s systems of records. The proposed rule will make the following changes to NCUA’s rules regarding the Privacy Act:

Comments on the proposed rule are due by August 11, 2000. Please submit your comments to CUNA by August 2, 2000.

Please feel free to fax your responses to CUNA at 202-371-8240; e-mail them to Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn at mdunn@cuna.com or to Assistant General Counsel Jeffrey Bloch at jbloch@cuna.com; or mail them to Mary or Jeff in c/o CUNA’s Regulatory Advocacy Department, 805 15th Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005. Please contact us if you need more information. You may also contact us if you would like a copy of the proposed rule.

BACKGROUND

The Privacy Act governs the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personal information in a federal agency’s systems of records. The NCUA’s rules in this area outline the procedures for individuals to obtain access to records about themselves. The rules also permit the amendment of any inaccurate records and places restrictions on disclosing the information in these records. The proposed rule is intended to update these rules to reflect current law, terminology, and to clarify which systems of records within NCUA are subject to Privacy Act exemptions.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED RULE

The proposed rule will change the processing time limits when responding to requests for information covered under the Privacy Act. Under the rule, NCUA will respond to Privacy Act requests within 20 working days of receipt, with a 10-day extension if necessary. For an adverse decision, the individual must file an appeal within 30 days.

Currently, copying fees for Privacy Act records are set at $.25 per page. Under the proposed rule, the fees will be the same as the fees outlined in the FOIA fee schedule.

To reflect current case law, the proposed rule eliminates the requirement that an individual needs to produce a notarized statement affirming his or her identity when seeking access to a record about that individual. This requirement currently applies in situations where he or she cannot produce documentation to establish identity or when a request is submitted by mail. An unsworn declaration, under penalty of perjury, will now be sufficient.

Under the current rules, an NCUA official must determine whether to release to an individual his or her non-exempt medical records. The proposed rule will change this to reflect current case law and will continue to impose special procedures to minimize the potential harm that may arise from the release of the information. However, NCUA will ensure that the individual receives all nonexempt medical records.

The proposed rule will add the "Litigation Case Files System" as another system of records that will be subject to a Privacy Act Exemption.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER REGARDING NCUA’s PROPOSAL AMENDING THE PRIVACY ACT RULES

Eric Richard • General Counsel • (202) 508-6742 • erichard@cuna.com
Mary Mitchell Dunn • SVP & Associate General Counsel • (202) 508-6736 • mdunn@cuna.com
Jeffrey Bloch • Assistant General Counsel • (202) 508-6732 • jbloch@cuna.com
Catherine Orr • Senior Regulatory Counsel • (202) 508-6743 • corr@cuna.com