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OPCL Support to the DPRC

Executive Order 14086 and Attorney General regulations direct that the DPRC serves as the second part of the redress mechanism established by the Executive Order and provides independent and binding redress for applications for reviews of complaints presented to it. 

DPRC judges are independent – they do not function under the day-to-day supervision of the Attorney General, who has only limited ability to remove them from their positions.  Each panel of the DPRC (and not the Attorney General) selects the Special Advocate to assist the panel in its review.  And the decisions of the DPRC are final and binding on the elements of the Intelligence Community.

OPCL is directed under the Attorney General regulations to provide administrative support to the Court and the Special Advocates (28 CFR § 201.5(a)-(b)).  This support includes:

  1. Facilitating the Attorney General’s consultations with other federal officials regarding the appointment of judges and Special Advocates (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(1));
  2. Drafting the Court’s rules of procedure and consulting with other federal officials regarding those rules (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(2));
  3. Receiving applications for review of determinations made by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Civil Liberties Protection Officer (ODNI CLPO) and the information ODNI CLPO relied on in reaching those determinations (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(3));
  4. Receiving and maintaining the confidentiality of any written information that a complainant filing an application for review wishes to provide to the DPRC and of any responses the complainant or their counsel provides to questions from the Special Advocate (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(4));
  5. Coordinating with the ODNI CLPO regarding applications for review (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(5)), including coordinating with elements of the United States Intelligence Community regarding questions that a Special Advocate wishes to submit to a complainant or their counsel in applications for review initiated by a complainant (28 CFR § 201.8(d)(2));
  6. Securely maintaining records relating to the DPRC’s proceedings (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(6));
  7. Making information about the DPRC publicly available as the Court, in its discretion, deems appropriate (28 CFR § 201.5(b)(7)); and
  8. Convening a panel of the DPRC upon receipt of an application for review (28 CFR § 201.7(a)).

Data Protection Review Court System of Records Notice and Privacy Act Exemption Regulations

On May 23, 2023, OPCL published in the Federal Register a System of Records Notice (CPCLO Order No. 001-2023 – OPCL System of Records Notice).  This provided notice of OPCL’s proposed establishment of a system of records to maintain records of matters reviewed by and decisions made by the DPRC concerning determinations made by the ODNI CLPO in response to complaints that allege certain violations of United States law in the conduct of United States signals intelligence activities.

88 FR 33165  |  Printable PDF Version, May 23, 2023

On May 23, 2023, OPCL published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (CPCLO Order No. 002-2023).  The NPRM provided notice of OPCL’s proposed rulemaking, proposing to exempt this system of records from certain provisions of the Privacy Act to protect national security and law enforcement sensitive information, preserve judicial independence, and ensure the integrity of adjudicatory records in cases before the DPRC.  On September 5, 2023, OPCL published in the Federal Register the final rule for the Privacy Act exemption regulations.

88 FR 33013  | Printable PDF Version, May 23, 2023

88 FR 60583Printable PDF Version, September 5, 2023

Updated December 7, 2023