Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

NARA Privacy Act Systems: NARA 40

SYSTEM NAME: The Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) Case Files.

SYSTEM LOCATION: The OGIS case files are maintained in the Office of Agency Services (Office of Government Information Services).

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM: Individuals covered by this system include people who request OGIS assistance in connection with filing a Freedom of Information (FOIA) or Privacy Act request or appeal to any Federal department or agency.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: The OGIS case files include: Correspondence, case notes, FOIA and Privacy Act request letters, appeal letters, agency replies to original requests and appeals, supporting documents, research, and other administrative forms used in the process. These files may also contain information or determinations furnished by, and correspondence with, other Federal agencies. OGIS case files may contain some or all of the following information about an individual: Name, address, telephone number, email address, Federal inmate register number, research interests, other information provided by the requester and by other agencies, and copies of documents furnished to the requester.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM: 5 U.S.C. 552a(a)(3), as amended.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES: OGIS maintains case files on individuals to record: Requests for assistance, actions taken on cases, and the status of cases in logs and databases.

In addition, OGIS also serves as the FOIA Ombudsman in connection with its mission to review agency compliance with the FOIA. In this role, OGIS captures and addresses systematic problems in FOIA administration. In facilitation of this role, individual case problems may serve as one of the bases to establish current systematic trends in the process. For this function, OGIS removes personal information and uses the remaining information anonymously for statistical purposes.

OGIS may disclose information in case files to agencies that have an equity in the subject FOIA or Privacy Act request or appeal in order for those agencies to participate in informal or formal mediation efforts. The routine use statements A, E, F, G and H, described in Appendix A, also apply to this system of records.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE: Paper and electronic records.

RETRIEVABILITY: Information in OGIS case files may be retrieved by the individual's name or an alphanumeric case file number.

SAFEGUARDS: OGIS case files are at all times maintained in buildings with security guards or secured doors, and all entrances are monitored by electronic surveillance equipment. During business hours, paper records are accessible only by authorized NARA personnel. Electronic records are accessible via password-protected terminals located in attended offices or via a secure remote access system. After business hours, or when OGIS personnel are not present in the offices, the OGIS offices are secured in addition to building security.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL: OGIS case files are temporary records and are destroyed in accordance with the disposition instructions in the NARA Records Schedule (a supplement to the NARA Files Maintenance and Records Disposition Manual). Individuals may request a copy of the disposition instructions from the NARA Privacy Act Officer.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS: For OGIS case files, the system manager is the Executive for Agency Services. The business address for this system manager is listed in Appendix B.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: People interested in inquiring about their records should notify the NARA Privacy Act Officer at the address listed in Appendix B.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: People who wish to access their records should submit a request in writing to the NARA Privacy Act Officer at the address given in Appendix B.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: NARA rules for contesting the contents of a person's records and appealing initial determinations are found in 36 CFR part 1202.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Information in OGIS case files is obtained from people who request assistance in connection with the submission of a FOIA or Privacy Act request or appeal to a Federal agency, and from agencies that have acted on the request or appeal.

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