[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 136 (Tuesday, July 18, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32766-32767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-14934]



39 CFR Part 265

Production or Disclosure of Material or Information; Adding the 
Definition of a Record and Clarifying Language Concerning the Timing of 
Responses to Requests and Specific Categories of Records

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Postal Service is adding the definition of a record to its 
regulations concerning the Freedom of Information Act. The Postal 
Service is deleting language in order to clarify the timing of 
responses to requests. The Postal Service is also adding two words to 
two provisions in its Freedom of Information Act regulations concerning 
special categories of records, for clarification purposes.

DATES: Effective date: July 18, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Natalie A. Bonanno, Chief Counsel, 
Federal Compliance, [email protected], 202-268-2944.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 30, 2016 (81 FR 86270), the 
Postal Service published its revised Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 
regulations to comply with the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (FOIAIA), 
effective December 27, 2016. In response to public comments, the Postal 
Service published an additional change to these regulations on January 
10, 2017 (82 FR 2896). After further review, the Postal Service 
published miscellaneous technical corrections to its regulations on 
March 8, 2017 (82 FR 12921). The Postal Service is now adding a record 
definition, deleting language from the timing of responses to requests, 
and adding two words to two provisions in its Freedom of Information 
Act regulations concerning records relating to specifically identified 
customers, for clarification purposes.

List of Subjects in 39 CFR Part 265

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Freedom of 
information, Government employees.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Postal Service amends 
39 CFR chapter I as follows:


1. The authority citation for 39 CFR part 265 continues to read as 

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 552; 5 U.S.C. App. 3; 39 U.S.C. 401, 403, 
410, 1001, 2601; Pub. L. 114-185.

[[Page 32767]]

2. Revise Sec.  265.1 to read as follows:

Sec.  265.1   General provisions.

    (a) Policy. (1) This subpart contains the regulations that 
implement the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, insofar 
as the Act applies to the Postal Service. These rules should be read in 
conjunction with the text of the FOIA and the Uniform Freedom of 
Information Fee Schedule and Guidelines published by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB Guidelines). The Postal Service FOIA 
Requester's Guide, an easy-to-read guide for making Postal Service FOIA 
requests, is available at http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/foia/welcome.htm.
    (2) Requests made by individuals for records about themselves under 
the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, are processed under part 266 of 
this chapter as well as under this subpart.
    (3) It is the policy of the Postal Service to make its official 
records available to the public to the maximum extent consistent with 
the public interest. This policy requires a practice of full disclosure 
of those records that are covered by the requirements of the FOIA, 
subject only to the specific exemptions required or authorized by law. 
The exemptions from mandatory disclosure for various types of records 
provided by 5 U.S.C. 552(b) and 39 U.S.C. 410(c) reflect the fact that 
under some circumstances, the public interest may be better served by 
leaving the disclosure of particular records to the discretion of the 
Postal Service rather than by requiring their disclosure. This Postal 
Service policy does not create any right enforceable in court.
    (4) Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to entitle any 
person, as of right, to any service or to the disclosure of any record 
to which such person is not entitled under the FOIA.
    (b) Definitions--(1) Record. (i) For purposes of this part, a 
record is a discrete, distinct, or segregable grouping of information 
that pertains to a specific topic that is:
    (A) Recorded, regardless of media, format, or physical 
characteristics, including electronic data; and
    (B) In the custody or control of the Postal Service.
    (ii) The definition of a record does not include any discrete, 
distinct, or segregable grouping of information created at the 
discretion of an employee primarily for the employee's convenience and 
not disclosed to other employees. The definition of a record is not the 
same as a ``document;'' a single ``document'' may be a single record or 
it may include multiple records and groupings of information that do 
not constitute records as defined in this section.
    (2) Component. For purposes of this subpart, component means any 
department or facility within the Postal Service that maintains 
records; the Office of Inspector General; and the Postal Inspection 
Service. Postal Service refers to all such components collectively.

3. Revise Sec.  265.5(a) to read as follows:

Sec.  265.5   Timing of responses to requests.

    (a) In general. Requests will ordinarily be responded to according 
to their order of receipt. A request that is not initially submitted to 
the appropriate FOIA RSC will be deemed to have been received by the 
Postal Service at the time that it is actually received by the 
appropriate FOIA RSC, but in any case a request will be deemed to have 
been received no later than 10 business days after the request is first 
received by a FOIA RSC.
* * * * *

4. In Sec.  265.14, revise paragraphs (d) introductory text and (d)(5) 
introductory text to read as follows:

Sec.  265.14   Rules concerning specific categories of records.

* * * * *
    (d) Disclosure of names and addresses of specifically identified 
Postal Service customers. Upon request, the names and addresses of 
specifically identified Postal Service customers will be made available 
only as follows:
* * * * *
    (5) Exceptions. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations, 
names or addresses of specifically identified Postal Service customers 
will be furnished only as follows:
* * * * *

Ruth B. Stevenson,
Attorney, Federal Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2017-14934 Filed 7-17-17; 8:45 am]