4100, 1200 (923) P
EMAIL TRANSMISSION –10/04/07
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2008-003
To: Field Managers
From: State Director
Subject: Change in the Definition of “Routine Use” Associated with Livestock Grazing Records DD: 10/15/2007
Program Area: Grazing Administration – Rangeland Management (1020)
Purpose: This instruction memorandum (IM) transmits, through WO IM- 2007-189, an amended Privacy Act system notice for the Rangeland Management System of records (LLM-2 RMS), and amends grazing administrative records disclosure policy established by IM No. 2006-068. In addition, this IM requests that Field Offices provide feedback to MT-923 on any recommended changes to the definition of Routine Use under LLM-2 RMS.
1. As a result of the revised system notice, the policy for processing all requests for permittee/lessee contact information is as follows:
Requests for permittee/lessee contact information received from Federal, State or local agencies must be in writing and must identify the agency use of the information. The BLM then will determine if releasing the information requested qualifies under the second “routine use” of LLM-2 RMS. If the BLM determines that disclosure qualifies under this or another routine use, the BLM can release the information. If BLM determines that disclosing the information does not meet the requirement for routine use, then the request must be processed under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) procedures (IM No.2006-068.)
2. The Washington Offices of Rangeland Resources (WO-220) and Information Resources Management Governance (WO-560), and the Solicitor are considering developing further amendments to LLM-2 RMS that will address our ability to provide permittee/lessee information to tribes and other public land authorized users.
To this end, Field Offices are requested to provide responses to the questions in Attachment 1 in electronic form to Bill McIlvain (MT-923), at Bill_McIlvain@blm.gov, no later than October 15, 2007.
Timeframe: Effective Immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: The BLM maintains records on all grazing permittees and lessees within LLM-2 RMS in order to properly administer the grazing program. The LLM-2 RMS includes records maintained electronically in the Rangeland Administration System (RAS) and in paper format (e.g., permittee or lessee case records).
The Department of the Interior’s Privacy Act regulations require that certain records maintained on individuals usually must not be disclosed “except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains” (43 CFR 2.56(a)). Privacy Act protections generally do not apply to business entities. However, some courts have ruled that the Privacy Act may afford privacy protection to owners of small family-owned businesses.
The BLM grazing permittees/lessees include corporate businesses of various sizes (including small family-owned businesses, business partnerships, limited liability corporations, and groups or associations). The degree to which contact information or other information about these entities is prohibited from routine disclosure by the Privacy Act is not always obvious. This is confusing for BLM Field Offices when faced with a request to disclose, for example, “all names and addresses of permittees who have permits issued by the (XYZ) field office.”
One exception to the Privacy Act’s disclosure prohibition is “for a routine use…which has been described in a system notice published in the Federal Register” (43 CFR 2.56(c) (1)). This amendment took effect on April 10, 2007.
This change enables the BLM to provide other Federal, State and local agencies information maintained in LLM-2 RMS for every grazing permittee or lessee, if the information requested is needed to manage their activities related to BLM’s grazing program. The BLM may disclose this information to Federal, State or local agencies in this circumstance without having to receive and process a FOIA request and without having to redact certain permittee or lessee contact information as described by IM No. 2006-068.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The BLM Manual Handbook H-4010-1, Range Management Records, Section I(C) (2) is supplemented by this IM.
Coordination: The IM has been coordinated from WO-200 and through Field Offices as an early alert notification.
Contact: Bill McIlvain, (MT-923), at- 406-896-5028.
Signed by: Howard A. Lemm, Acting State Director
Authenticated by: Janie Fox (MT920)
Assistant Field Manager, Havre -1
Assistant Field Manager, Glasgow -1