Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

140. Systems of Records

Any agency maintaining systems of records subject to the Act, including a system of records meeting the requirements of Section 3(j) and (k) of the Act, must also satisfy certain other requirements set forth in Section 3. Without elaboration, these additional requirements direct the agency to:

  1. Maintain in its records only such information as is relevant and necessary to accomplish a lawful agency function (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(1));
  2. Collect information for its records directly from the individual who is the subject of the record, to the extent practicable (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(2));
  3. Inform each individual so requested to supply information the authority, purpose, routine uses, and the effects on him/her of not providing the requested information (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(3)(A) to (D));
  4. Publish in the Federal Register a detailed notice of any newly established or revised system of records containing personally identifiable information; in addition, subsection (e)(11) requires that 30-day notice-and-comment rulemaking be used when a new routine use for an existing system of records is proposed by the agency. (In the case of the systems notices for the U.S. Attorneys' offices, see 40 Fed.Reg. 38, 732 (July 9, 1975).
  5. Maintain all records used by the agency in making any determination about the subject of a record with "such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in the determination" (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(5));
  6. Prior to dissemination of any such record to any person (except for a dissemination required by 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552) make reasonable efforts to assure the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, and relevance of the records (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(6));
  7. Maintain no record describing how an individual exercises his/her First Amendment rights unless "expressly authorized by statute or by the individual or unless pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity" (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(7));
  8. Make reasonable efforts to notify the subject of a record that the record has been made available to another person under compulsory legal process when such process becomes a matter of public record (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(8));
  9. Establish standards of conduct and instruct its employees concerning the design, development, operation, maintenance, and dissemination of its system of records (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(9));
  10. Establish appropriate physical and other safeguards for its systems of records (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(e)(10));
  11. Promulgate agency regulations to implement the Act (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(f));
  12. Establish reasonable fees for making copies of records subject to the Act (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(f)(5));
  13. Apply the requirements of Section 3 of the Act to a government contractor obligated by contract to operate a system of records for the agency (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(m));
  14. Prohibit the sale or lease of mailing lists of individual names and addresses, except as specifically authorized by law (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(n));
  15. Report in advance to Congress, OMB, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(o), and the Privacy Protection Study Commission (Section 5(e)(2)(A) of the Act) any proposal to establish or alter a system of records subject to the Act; and
  16. Prepare an annual report on operations under the Act for submission to OMB (5 U.S.C. Sec. 552a(p)).

[cited in USAM 3-17.220]

Updated September 19, 2018