TN 1 (12-16)

GN 03313.105 Disclosure to Congressional Committees or Subcommittees and to Individual Congressional Representatives

We provide general instructions for disclosing information from our systems of records to other Federal agencies and officials and a link to our systems of records and their applicable routine uses in GN 03313.001. If you receive a request from DHS, please contact your regional Privacy Act Coordinator (PAC). If you receive a request from DHS, please contact your regional Privacy Act Coordinator (PAC).

Congressional Disclosure Policy

1. Requests from a committee or subcommittee

a. Non-tax return information

The Privacy Act permits us to disclose non-tax return information to Congress for matters within the jurisdiction of a particular committee or subcommittee of either Chamber or any joint committee or subcommittee of Congress. We may make a disclosure when we receive requests from:

  • the Speaker of the House on behalf of the House of Representatives,

  • the President of the Senate on behalf of the Senate, or

  • the chair of a committee or subcommittee on behalf of one of those bodies.

We cannot disclose information to individual members of Congress on this basis.

b. Tax return information

We may disclose tax return information without consent to Congressional committees only under certain circumstances, and with the approval of the DT. Refer all requests for tax return information to the Office of Privacy and Disclosure at ^OGC OPD Controls.

2. Requests from members of Congress

a. Requests based on inquiries from subject individuals

We established a routine use allowing disclosure to a congressional office, in response to an inquiry from that office, made at the request of the subject of a record. The routine use allows disclosure of non-tax return information when a member of Congress or his or her staff needs information to answer an inquiry from an individual about his or her own records.

Inquiries about non-tax return information need not be in writing, but the member of Congress or staff must indicate that the inquiry (written or oral) was from the subject individual.

We disclose tax return information to members of Congress only when we have the individual’s written authorization. We must receive the written authorization within 120 days from when the individual signs and dates it. For further instructions concerning the disclosure of tax return information with written consent, see GN 03305.003E and GN 03320.010B.2.

b. Other requests

A member of Congress may contact us about a third party inquiry he or she received from someone other than the subject individual.

If the third party is acting on behalf of the subject individual, we will disclose the information to the member of Congress only if the individual consents in writing. This includes inquiries from attorneys or appointed representatives on behalf of the individual.

  • If the individual’s consent is not given, we contact a staff member by telephone when possible to ask whether the member of Congress will obtain consent or prefers that we deal directly with the individual. In cases where we deal with the individual directly, we may only disclose to the member of Congress that we made an effort to contact the individual. We do not disclose the details discussed to resolve the inquiry.

  • A member of Congress may refer an individual's inquiry to another member (e.g., because the individual is a constituent of the second member, not the first). If the second member then seeks information from us for a response, we will treat the inquiry as if it we received it from the first member of Congress.

  • If a member of Congress is no longer in office when we reply to the inquiry, we notify his or her successor.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 03313.105 - Disclosure to Congressional Committ