4-3.3 Responding to Request by Third Party for Disclosure of Records About an Individual Under the Privacy Act

4-3.3.1 Determining Qualification as a Covered Individual, Record, System of Records, Person, and Agency

  1. General. The definitions in 4-3.2.2 apply with respect to the records custodian’s determination whether disclosure may or must be made under the Privacy Act to a person or agency of records about (another) individual in a Postal Service system of records. Since an individual does not include a deceased person who qualified as an individual prior to death (see 4-3.2.2.c), disclosure to a person or agency of any records about a deceased person is not prohibited under the Privacy Act (but may be protected from disclosure under the FOIA’s disclosure provisions (see 4-4)).
  2. Person. An individual, partnership, corporation, association, or public or private organization other than an agency.
  3. Agency. An executive department, military department, government corporation, government-controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the United States Government (including the Executive Office of the President), and any independent regulatory agency.

4-3.3.2 Making Internal Disclosures

The records custodian may make disclosure to a Postal Service employee or employee of a Postal Service contractor when the employee has a need for the records in the performance of his or her Postal Service duties.

4-3.3.3 Making External Disclosures

  1. Providing Public Name and Address Information About Specifically Identified Customers. The records custodian must provide to an external person or agency the name or address information available to the general public about a specifically identified Postal Service customer discussed in 4-2.2.1.
  2. Providing Public Information About Employees. The records custodian must provide to an external person or agency information available to the general public about Postal Service employees discussed in
  3. Disclosing Non-Public Separation Information About Former Employees to Prospective Employers. The records custodian may disclose to a former Postal Service employee’s prospective employer the following information to the extent provided in 39 CFR 266.3(b)(5) and 5-2:
    1. Date of separation from the Postal Service.
    2. Reason for separation from the Postal Service (limited to retired, resigned, or separated).
  4. Disclosing Records at the Individual’s Request or Consent. If all of the conditions below are met, the records custodian may disclose records to an external person or agency if the individual whom the responsive records are about requests or consents, in writing, to the disclosure. Under these circumstances, the request is processed as if the individual had made an access request, except no administrative appeal rights are provided (see 4-3.2).
    1. Determining Sufficiency of Individual’s Request or Consent. The individual’s written request or consent must be given through a completed Privacy Waiver and Authorization for Disclosure to a Third Party available at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm. The authorization must be dated no earlier than one year prior to the date the Postal Service receives it and must contain a sufficiently detailed description of the requested records or system of records to enable the records custodian to conduct a search for responsive records.
    2. Verifying Identities. Prior to disclosure, the records custodian must verify the individual’s and the external person’s or agency representative’s identities to the extent necessary to ensure that they are who they represent themselves to be. As appropriate under the circumstances, they may be required to comply with one or both of the following identification verification methods:
      1. Certification of Identity. Provision of a completed Certification of Identity available at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm.
      2. Official Photo Identification. Provision of an official photo identification, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
        1. A valid driver’s license.
        2. An unexpired passport.
        3. An unexpired federal government-issued employee identification card.
  5. Disclosing Records Pursuant to a Privacy Act-Authorized Disclosure Category. The records custodian may or must, as applicable, make disclosure to an external person or agency if the disclosure is covered under one of the Privacy Act’s authorized disclosure categories (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(2) - (12)) described in the Appendix. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Required Under the FOIA (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(2)). The records custodian must make a disclosure if required under the FOIA’s disclosure provisions (see 4-4).
    2. Routine Use (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3)). The records custodian may make a disclosure for a routine use provided for in the relevant system of records notice in the Appendix.
    3. Pursuant to an Order of a Court of Competent Jurisdiction (5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(11)). The records custodian must make a disclosure pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction to the extent provided in 39 CFR 265.11, 39 CFR 265.12, and 39 CFR 265.13, except to the extent that the responsive records are exempt from such disclosure under the Postal Reorganization Act exemptions (see Exhibit 4-3.2.8). The records custodian must consult with his or her legal office upon receipt of a court order requiring disclosure of records. If the order is a matter of public record, the records custodian must make reasonable efforts to notify the individual whom the records are about of their disclosure pursuant to the order, with such notification occurring prior to the disclosure, if feasible.

4-3.3.4 Validating Records Before Making Certain External Disclosures

Before disclosure to an external person of records about another individual in a system of records under 4-3.3, the records custodian must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the disclosed records are accurate, complete, timely, and relevant for Postal Service purposes. This requirement does not apply to disclosure to an external person under the Privacy Act-authorized disclosure category relating to the FOIA (see 4-3.3.3.e(1)), or disclosure to an agency.

4-3.3.5 Notification to Certain External Third Parties of Correction of Records or Notation of Dispute

If the Postal Service makes a correction of or a notation of dispute on records (see 3-6) for which an accounting of disclosures has been or will be made, the records custodian must provide the external person or agency to whom the disclosure was or will be made with the following information, as applicable:

  1. Notification that the records have been corrected.
  2. A copy of the individual’s statement of dispute concerning the records and, if the records custodian deems appropriate, a copy of a concise statement of the Postal Service’s reasons for not making the individual’s requested amendment to the records.