Money Laundering, Terrorism & Financial Institutions
Published by Civic Research Institute,

News Releases

9/26/2003 USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: FinCEN updates FOIA and privacy policies

FinCEN's Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act Procedures Modified for Bureau Status

In 31 CFR 1.36, Treasury identifies systems of records that are exempt from the Privacy Act of 1974. Records systems may be exempt "if the agency or component thereof that maintains the system performs as its principal function any activities pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws." Since certain Treasury activities pertain to the enforcement of criminal laws or involve "protective service activities which are necessary to assure the safety of individuals protected by the Department" a number of systems are listed in the regulation. Some of those systems are controlled by FinCEN. Treasury has now renumbered those systems to reflect FinCEN's new status as a Treasury Bureau. A new Appendix M sets forth FinCEN's Freedom of Information Act procedures, and a new Appendix N sets forth the agency's Privacy Act procedures. The appendices, according to the preamble in the Federal Register, 68 Fed. Reg. 55309 (9/25/2003) "do not substantively amend the procedures relating to the way in which FinCEN currently handles FOIA and PA obligations…." The names, titles, and addresses of "deciding officials" have, however, been amended. The Federal Register releases will be available on the CRI Money Laundering website, and additional discussion of these changes will be carried in the next issue of the USA PATRIOT Act Monitor.

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