U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
September 7, 2007
In Reply Refer To:
4100, 1200 (220) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 09/21/2007
Instruction Memorandum No. 2007-189
To: All Field Offices
From: Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject: The 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 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 State Offices provide feedback to the Division of Rangeland Resources (WO-220) on any recommended changes to the definition of Routine Use under LLM-2 RMS.
Background: The Bureau of Land Management (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 (e.g., 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 has been 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)). On February 28, 2007, the BLM published in the Federal Register (FR) an amendment to the LLM-2 RMS system notice that changed a BLM “routine use” from a release to “a member of the general public in response to a specific request for pertinent information,” to “Federal, State, or local agencies to manage their activities related to release to BLM’s grazing programs” (Attachment 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 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and without having to redact certain permittee or lessee contact information as described by IM No. 2006-068.
(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 FOIA procedures (IM No.2006-068.)
(2) The Offices of WO-220, 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, State Offices, in coordination with their Field Offices, are requested to provide responses to the questions in Attachment 2 in electronic form to Ken Visser (firstname.lastname@example.org), WO-220, no later than October 15, 2007.
Timeframe: Effective Immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
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 with the WO-560 and the Office of the Solicitor (Division of General Law, and Division of Land and Water).
Contact: Rob Roudabush, Division Chief, Rangeland Resources (202) 785-6569.
1 – Federal Register Notice Proposed amendment to an existing system of records 72 FR 9025 - February 28, 2007 (2 pp)