Privacy Act (PA) Guidance
ALL PA REQUESTS MUST BE SIGNED & SUBMITTED IN WRITING TO:
Executive Office for United States Attorneys
600 E Street, N.W. (BICN Room 7300)
Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) and the Department's Privacy Act Overview and rules at 28 CFR 16.40, et seq. (Subpart D), a United States citizen or Legal Permanent Resident may seek to access, correct, or amend records that are retrieved by name or other personal identifier - such as a social security number (SSN) - in a system-of-records maintained by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and/or individual United States Attorneys' Offices (USAOs).
Such requests will be processed under the Privacy Act, FOIA, and governing regulations, as appropriate, and subject to applicable exemptions under the Privacy Act. See, e.g., 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)-(k)) and 28 CFR 16.81.
A Privacy Act request may be made in any written form that bears the requester's signature, provided that it is sent to the above address, specifies your return address, and is clearly designated as a "PA Request." Requests sent directly to a USAO will be forwarded to EOUSA, and such requests will not be deemed received, for processing purposes, until received by EOUSA.
Before submitting a PA request, you should consult and comply with all applicable regulations in 28 CFR 16.40, et seq. (Subpart D) ("Protection of Privacy and Access to Individual Records Under the Privacy Act of 1974"), including:
28 CFR 16.41 ("Requests for Access to Records")
28 CFR 16.46 ("Requests for Amendment or Correction")
28 CFR 16.47 ("Requests for Accounting")
(1) be accompanied by a verification-of-identity or consent form (see below) attesting that you are the record-subject or have the record-subject's consent;
(2) clearly identify the particular records at issue; and
(3) indicate the nature of, and justification for, any requested amendment, correction, or other action sought.
A request should sufficiently describe the specific records sought, so as to enable our staff to conduct a search for the requested records with a reasonable amount of effort (e.g., personnel records, etc.). Likewise - to minimize processing delays and fees - please specify which particular USAO or EOUSA office you are inquiring about. While certain administrative records are maintained by EOUSA, case files are not centralized in Washington, and local USAOs maintain copies of certain court and case materials. All requests for case records should thus identify a case name, judicial district, filing date/location, and/or specific USAO(s) where responsive records may exist.
A request for access to records about yourself must contain a verification-of-identity consisting, at a minimum, of your full name, your current address, and your date and place of birth. To facilitate the identification and retrieval of requested records, requests should also contain your social security number (SSN) and/or alien or employee identification number.
If you seek information regarding third parties, "either a written authorization signed by that individual permitting disclosure of those records to you or proof that that individual is deceased (for example . . . a death certificate or an obituary) will help the processing of your request." See 28 CFR 16.3; accord Privacy Act Overview and FOIA Reference Guide.
All such requests must be signed, and your signature must be notarized, or submitted under 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law allowing unnotarized statements to be signed under penalty of perjury. For further information, see 28 CFR 16.41(d) ("Verification of Identity"). If you are authorizing a third-party to obtain records regarding you, please also submit a signed consent form.
The parent or guardian of a child or individual judicially determined to be incompetent must verify the following, pursuant to 28 CFR 16.41(e) ("Verification of Guardianship"), when seeking access to records of the minor or incompetent:
- Proof of the requester's identity, and the record-subject's identity; and
- Proof of parentage or guardianship of the record-subject, by furnishing a copy of a birth certificate showing parentage or a Court order establishing guardianship.
Privacy Act requests are subject to processing fees to the extent authorized by 28 CFR 16.49 ("Fees"); see also 28 CFR 16.11. Unless otherwise specified, your request for records under the Privacy Act constitutes your agreement to pay all applicable fees up to $25. See 28 CFR 16.41(c) ("Agreement to Pay Fees"). A requester will typically be notified if it appears that fees will exceed $25.
Administrative review of adverse agency determinations is available by appealing to the Office of Information & Policy (OIP), Department of Justice, 1425 New York Ave NW, Suite 11050, Washington, DC 20530-0001, within 60 days from the date of the agency's adverse determination letter, after which judicial review may also be available. See 28 CFR 16.45.
For further information, you may also wish to visit the Department's Office of Information & Policy home page.