OVERVIEW OF THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974

CONDITIONS OF DISCLOSURE TO THIRD PARTIES

B. Twelve Exceptions to the "No Disclosure Without Consent" Rule

9. 5 U.S.C.  552a(b)(9) (Congress)

"to either House of Congress, or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any committee or sub- committee thereof, any joint committee of Congress or subcommittee of any such joint committee."

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This exception does not authorize the disclosure of a Privacy Act-protected record to an individual Member of Congress acting on his or her own behalf or on behalf of a constituent. See OMB Guidelines, 40 Fed. Reg. 28,948, 28,955 (1975); 40 Fed. Reg. 56,741, 56,742 (1975); see also Swenson v. United States Postal Serv., 890 F.2d 1075, 1077 (9th Cir. 1989); Lee v. Dearment, No. 91-2175,1992 WL 119855, at *2 (4th Cir. June 3, 1992); cf. FOIA Update, Vol. V, No. 1, at 3-4 (interpreting counterpart provision of FOIA).

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Devine v. United States, in holding that the unsolicited disclosure of an Inspector General letter to a congressional subcommittee chairman and member fell "squarely within the ambit of  552a (b)(9)," rejected the appellant's argument that subsection (b)(9) should not apply if the government agency knew or should have known that the information would eventually be released to the public. 202 F.3d 547, 551-553 (2d Cir. 2000).


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