System Name:
Mail Cover Program Records.

System Location

Chief Postal Inspector, USPS Headquarters; Criminal Investigation Service Center; Inspection Service field offices.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System

Individuals on whom a mail cover has been duly authorized by USPS to obtain information in the interest of (a) protecting the national security; (b) locating a fugitive; and (c) obtaining evidence of the commission or attempted commission of a crime that is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.

Categories of Records in the System

Records related to names and addresses of individuals on whom a mail cover is authorized; interoffice memoranda and materials; and correspondence with other relevant agencies.

Authority for Maintenance of the System

39 U.S.C. 401 and 404.


To investigate the commission of, or attempted commission of, acts constituting a crime punishable by law.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses

Standard routine uses 1. through 9. apply.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System


Automated database, computer storage media, and paper.


By subject individual name.


Paper records, computers, and computer storage media are located in controlled-access areas under supervision of program personnel. Access to these areas is limited to authorized personnel, who must be identified with a badge. Access to records is limited to individuals whose official duties require such access. Contractors and licensees are subject to contract controls and unannounced on-site audits and inspections. Computers are protected by mechanical locks, card key systems, or other physical access control methods. The use of computer systems is regulated with installed security software, computer logon identifications, and operating system controls including access controls, terminal and transaction logging, and file management software.

Retention and Disposal

Records are retained 5 years. Records existing on paper are destroyed by burning, pulping, or shredding. Records existing on computer storage media are destroyed according to the applicable USPS media sanitization practice.

System Manager(s) and Address

Chief Postal Inspector, Inspection Service, United States Postal Service, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260.

Notification Procedure

Individuals wanting to know if information about them is maintained in this system of records must address inquiries to the system manager. Inquiries must include full name of subject individual, current address, and other addresses during the previous 5 years.

Record Access Procedures

Requests for access must be made in accordance with the Notification Procedure above and USPS Privacy Act regulations regarding access to records and verification of identity under 39 CFR 266.6.

Contesting Record Procedures

See Notification Procedure and Record Access Procedures above.

Record Source Categories

The requesting authority and postal inspectors.

Systems Exempted From Certain Provisions of the Act

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k), USPS has established regulations at 39 CFR 266.9 that exempt records in this system depending on their purpose.