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[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 20, Volume 1]
[Revised as of April 1, 2003]
[CITE: 20CFR200]

[Page 137-165]
 
TITLE 20--EMPLOYEES' BENEFITS
CHAPTER II--RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD
PART 200--GENERAL ADMINISTRATION--Table of Contents


Sec.
200.1  Designation of central and field organization.
200.2  The general course and method by which the Board's functions are 
          channeled and determined.
200.3  Obtaining forms from the Railroad Retirement Board.
200.4  Availability of information to public.
200.5  Protection of privacy of records maintained on individuals.
200.6  Open meetings.
200.7  Assessment or waiver of interest, penalties, and administrative 
          costs with respect to collection of certain debts.
200.8  Disclosure of information obtained in the administration of the 
          Railroad Retirement Act and the Railroad Unemployment 
          Insurance Act.
200.9  Selection of members of Actuarial Advisory Committee.
200.10  Representatives of applicant or beneficiaries.

    Authority: 45 U.S.C. 231f(b)(5) and 45 U.S.C. 362; Sec. 200.4 also 
issued under 5 U.S.C. 552; Sec. 200.5 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a; 
Sec. 200.6 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552b; and Sec. 200.7 also issued 
under 31 U.S.C. 3717.

Sec. 200.1  Designation of central and field organization.

    (a) Introduction. (1) The Railroad Retirement Board (hereinafter 
referenced as the ``Board'') is an independent agency in the executive 
branch of the Federal Government and is administered by three members 
appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. 
By law, one member is appointed upon recommendations made by railroad 
labor organizations, one upon recommendations of railroad employers, and 
the third member, the Chairman, is in effect independent of employees 
and employers and represents the public interest. The terms of office 
are five years and are arranged so as to expire in different calendar 
years.
    (2) The primary function of the Board is the determination and 
payment of benefits under the retirement-survivor and unemployment-
sickness programs. To this end, the Board must maintain lifetime 
earnings records for covered employees, a network of field offices to 
assist railroad personnel and their dependents in filing claims for 
benefits, and examiners to adjudicate the claims.
    (3) The Board administers the Railroad Retirement Act and the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. The Railroad Retirement Tax Act, 
which imposes employment taxes to fund the railroad retirement system, 
is administered by the Internal Revenue Service of the U.S. Department 
of Treasury. The Board also participates in the administration of the 
Federal Medicare health insurance program.
    (4) The headquarters of the Board is in Chicago, Illinois, at 844 
North Rush Street. The Board maintains numerous district offices across 
the country in localities easily accessible to large numbers of railroad 
workers, in addition to three regional offices located in Atlanta, 
Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    (b) Internal organization. (1) Reporting directly to the Board 
Members is the six member Executive Committee. The Executive Committee 
is comprised of the General Counsel, who also serves as the Senior 
Executive Officer, the Director of Administration, the Director of 
Programs, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, 
and the Chief Actuary.
    (2) The Executive Committee is responsible for the day to day 
operations of the agency. The Senior Executive Officer is responsible 
for direction and oversight of the Executive Committee. The General 
Counsel is responsible for advising the Board Members on major issues, 
interpreting the Acts and regulations administered by the Board, 
drafting and analyzing legislation, and planning, directing, and 
coordinating the work of the Office of General Counsel, the Bureau of 
Hearings and Appeals, and the Office of Legislative Affairs through 
their respective directors, and the Office of Secretary to the Board. 
The Director of Programs is responsible for managing, coordinating, and 
controlling the program operations of the agency which carry out 
provisions of the Railroad Retirement and

[[Page 138]]

Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. The Director of Administration is 
responsible for managing, coordinating, and controlling certain 
administrative operations of the Board including the Bureau of Supply 
and Service, the Bureau of Human Resources, the Office of Public 
Affairs, and the Office of Equal Opportunity. The Chief Financial 
Officer is responsible for the financial management of the agency, and 
the Chief Information Officer is responsible for coordinating the 
agency's information resources management program. The Board's Chief 
Actuary is responsible for the actuarial program of the Board. The Chief 
Actuary is a non-voting member of the Executive Committee.
    (3) Further, the following offices provide administrative and other 
services in support of Board Operations: Office of Equal Employment 
Opportunity, Washington Legislative/Liaison Office, Office of Planning, 
Office of Public Affairs and Bureau of Quality Assurance.
    (c) Office of Inspector General. The Railroad Retirement Solvency 
Act of 1983 established the Office of Inspector General within the Board 
to be governed by the Inspector General Act of 1978. As structured, the 
Inspector General reports directly to the Chairman. The Office of 
Inspector General is responsible for policy direction and conduct of 
audit, inspection, and investigation activities relating to program and 
operations of the Board; and maintaining liaison with other law 
enforcement agencies, the Department of Justice, and United States 
Attorneys on all matters relating to the detection and prevention of 
fraud and abuse. The Inspector General reports semi-annually to the 
Congress through the Chairman concerning fraud, abuses, other serious 
problems, and deficiencies of agency programs and operations; recommends 
corrective action; and, reports on progress made in implementing these 
actions.

[52 FR 11010, Apr. 6, 1987, as amended at 67 FR 5723, Feb. 7, 2002]

Sec. 200.2  The general course and method by which the Board's functions 
          are channeled and determined.

    (a) Retirement and death benefits. (1) Retirement and death benefits 
must be applied for by filing application therefor. (For details as to 
application, see parts 210 and 237 of this chapter). The Bureau of 
Retirement Claims considers the application and the evidence and 
information submitted with it. Wage and service records maintained by 
the Board are checked and if necessary, further evidence is obtained 
from the employee, the employer, fellow employees, public records and 
any other person or source available. The Bureau makes initial decisions 
on the following matters:
    (i) Applications for benefits;
    (ii) Requests for the withdrawal of an application;
    (iii) Requests for a change in an annuity beginning date;
    (iv) The termination of an annuity;
    (v) The modification of the amount of an annuity or lump sum;
    (vi) Requests for the reinstatement of an annuity which had been 
terminated or modified;
    (vii) The existence of an erroneous payment;
    (viii) The eligibility of an individual for a supplemental annuity 
or the amount of such supplemental annuity.
    (ix) Whether representative payments shall serve the interests of an 
individual by reason of his incapacity to manage his annuity payments; 
and
    (x) Who shall be appointed or continued as representative payee on 
behalf of an annuitant.
    (2) A claimant dissatisfied with the Bureau's decision may, upon 
filing notice within one year from the date the decision is mailed to 
the claimant, appeal to the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals. Provided, 
however, That (i) an individual under age 16 shall not have the right to 
appeal a finding of incapacity to manage his annuity payments, but shall 
have the right to contest on appeal that he is, in fact, under age 16; 
(ii) an individual who has been adjudged legally incompetent shall not 
have the right to appeal a finding of incapacity to manage his annuity 
payments, but shall have the right to contest on appeal the fact of his 
having been adjudged legally incompetent; and (iii) an individual shall 
not have the right to appeal a denial of his application to serve as 
representative payee on behalf of an annuitant. There he

[[Page 139]]

may have an oral hearing before a hearings officer of which a 
stenographic record is made, submit additional evidence, be represented, 
and present written and oral argument. If dissatisfied with the decision 
of the hearings officer, the claimant may appeal to the Board itself. 
This appeal must be made on a prescribed form within four months of the 
date a copy of the hearings officer's decision was mailed to him. If new 
evidence is received, the Board may remand the case to the hearings 
officer for investigation and recommendation concerning the new 
evidence. (For details on appeals procedure, see part 260 of this 
chapter.) A claimant, after he has unsuccessfully appealed to the Board 
itself and has thus exhausted all administrative remedies within the 
Board, may obtain a review of a final decision of the Board by filing a 
petition for review, within one year after the entry of the decision on 
the records of the Board and its communication to the claimant, in the 
U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the claimant resides, or 
in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, or in the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
    (b) Unemployment, sickness, and maternity benefits. (1) Claims for 
unemployment benefits are handled by a comprehensive organization set up 
in the field. Under agreements between the Railroad Retirement Board and 
covered employers, the employers select employees of theirs to act as 
unemployment claims agents. These agents perform their services, 
specified in the agreement, in accordance with instructions issued by 
the Board but under general supervision and control of the employer. In 
accordance with the agreements, employers are reimbursed for such 
services at the rate of 50 cents for each claim taken by an unemployment 
claims agent and transmitted to the Board. There are some 13,000 such 
contract claims agents. An unemployed person who wishes to file a claim 
for unemployment benefits need only consult his recent railroad employer 
to be directed to the unemployment claims agent with whom he may file 
his claim.
    (2) When an employee makes his first claim in any benefit year, he 
identifies himself and fills out an application for unemployment 
benefits (UI-1), an application for employment service (Form ES-1), and 
a pay rate report (Form UI 1a) to be used in determining the rate at 
which benefits may be paid. The employee is given an informational 
booklet UB-4 and an Unemployment Bulletin No. UB-3 informing him of his 
responsibilities and explaining the statements to which he is required 
to certify and to which he does certify when he registers for benefits. 
When the applications and pay rate report are completed, the 
unemployment claims agent sends them to the nearest field office of the 
Board. That office inspects the applications to detect errors and 
omissions and to note items requiring investigation. The office also 
attempts to verify the employee's statement about his pay rate unless 
the unemployment claims agent has already done so. The application for 
unemployment benefits and the pay rate report are then sent to the 
appropriate regional office of the Board. The application for employment 
service is retained in the field office for use in referring the 
claimant to suitable job openings. On the basis of the information 
furnished on the application for unemployment benefits, the regional 
office determines whether the applicant is a qualified employee (that 
is, whether he earned $500 or more from covered employment in the base 
year). The applicant is notified by letter if he is found to be not 
qualified.
    (3) In addition to the application forms and pay rate report, the 
claimant executes a registration and claim for unemployment insurance 
benefits (Form UI-3). In substance, registration consists of his 
appearing before an unemployment claims agent during the agent's working 
hours and signing his name on the registration and claim form for the 
days he wishes to claim as days of unemployment. Registration for any 
day must be made on the day or not later than the sixth calendar day 
thereafter, except that, if such calendar day is not a business day, the 
claimant may make his registration on the next following business day. 
In other words, a claimant must ordinarily appear for registration at 
seven-

[[Page 140]]

day intervals. Under certain circumstances, such as illness, employment, 
looking for employment, etc., an employee may make a delayed 
registration for any day for which he is unable to register within the 
time limit mentioned above. The unemployment claims agent sends the 
claim to the nearest field office where it is inspected with a view to 
calling the claimant in for interview or referral to job openings, 
detecting errors and omissions, and noting items requiring 
investigation. The claim is then forwarded to the regional office.
    (4) Claims for sickness benefits are handled by the field 
organization of the Board. An employee need not register in person for 
sickness benefits but claims for such benefits must be made on the forms 
prescribed by the Board and executed by the individual claiming benefits 
except that, if the Board is satisfied that an employee is so sick or 
injured that he cannot sign forms, the Board may accept forms executed 
by someone else in his behalf. Forms used in connection with claims for 
sickness benefits may be obtained from a railroad employer, a railway 
labor organization, or any Board office. An application for sickness 
benefits (Form SI-1a) and the required statement of sickness (Form SI-
1b) may be mailed to any office of the Board (see part 335 of this 
chapter). It is important that a statement of sickness be filed 
promptly, for no day can be considered as a day of sickness unless a 
statement of sickness with respect to such day is filed at an office of 
the Board within ten days. The application and statement of sickness are 
forwarded to a regional office where they are examined. If it appears 
that the employee is entitled to benefits, the regional office will send 
him a claim form covering a 14-day registration period, and a pay rate 
report (Form SI-1d). The employee completes the forms, indicating on the 
claim form the days during the period he claims as days of sickness and 
returns both forms to the regional office to which the claim form is 
preaddressed. When additional medical information is needed, a form for 
supplemental doctor's statement is sent to the employee. This should be 
filled out by a doctor and returned to the Board.
    (5) Maternity benefits must be applied for on a form prescribed by 
the Board. A statement of maternity sickness, executed by a person 
authorized to execute statements of sickness (see part 335 of this 
chapter), is required also. The necessary forms may be obtained from a 
railroad employer, a railway labor organization, or any Board office. An 
application for maternity benefits (Form SI-101) and the statement of 
maternity sickness (Form SI-104) may be filed in person or by mail with 
any Board office. It is important that the statement of maternity 
sickness be filed promptly since no day can be considered as a day of 
sickness in a maternity period unless a statement of maternity sickness 
with respect to the day is filed at an office of the Board within ten 
days. As in the case of claims for sickness benefits, the forms are 
forwarded to a regional office. Claim forms are mailed to the claimant 
and are pre-addressed for return to the regional office.
    (6) Whether benefits are payable to a claimant and, if so, the 
amount of benefits payable, is determined with respect to claims for 
unemployment, sickness, and maternity benefits, by the regional office. 
The names and addresses of claimants to whom benefits are found payable, 
and the amounts payable to them, are certified to the local disbursing 
office of the Treasury Department which mails the benefit checks to the 
claimants. If a claim is denied in whole or in part, an explanation is 
given to the claimant by letter.
    (7) The rate at which benefits are payable is determined from the 
claimant's railroad wages earned in a base year period or from his daily 
pay rate for his last railroad employment in the base year period, 
whichever will result in the higher benefit rate. His daily benefit rate 
will be at least 60 per centum of his daily pay rate for his last 
railroad employment in the base year period, but not exceeding $10.20.
    (8) Any qualified employee whose claim for benefits under the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act has been denied in whole or in part 
may, within one year from the date such denial is communicated to him, 
appeal from the initial determination, and such appeal

[[Page 141]]

will be heard before an impartial hearings officer. An unsuccessful 
claimant in an appeal before such hearings officer may appeal to the 
Board. (For further details of appeals procedure by claimants for 
benefits and for appeals procedure by employers, see parts 319 and 320 
of this chapter.)

Any claimant, or any railway labor organization organized in accordance 
with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, of which the claimant is a 
member, or any other party aggrieved by a final decision pursuant to the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, may, only after all administrative 
remedies within the Board will have been availed of and exhausted, 
obtain a review of such final decision of the Board by filing a petition 
for review within 90 days after the mailing of notice of such decision 
to the claimant or other party, or within such further time as the Board 
may allow, in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in 
which the claimant or other party resides or will have had his principal 
place of business or principal executive office, or in the United States 
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, or in the United States Court 
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
    (c) Current compensation and service records. Current compensation 
and service records are maintained by the Bureau of Research and 
Employment Accounts. These records are obtained from reports made 
periodically on either a quarterly or annual basis by employers and 
employee representatives. General instructions in this regard may be 
found in part 250 of this chapter. Special instructions to employers and 
employee representatives are issued from time to time by the Director of 
Research and Employment Accounts.
    (d) Collection of contributions. The Office of Budget and Fiscal 
Operations acts as the collecting agency of the Board in receiving 
contributions due under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. 
Contributions are, with some few exceptions, due quarterly and with the 
payment, the employer must file a report, Form DC-1, Employers Quarterly 
or Annual Report of Contributions under the Railroad Unemployment 
Insurance Act. (For further details see part 345 of this chapter.)
    (e) Employment service. Employers needing workers may avail 
themselves of the Board's employment service by making requests of any 
field office for referrals, in writing, on forms provided by the Board, 
or by telephone.

[15 FR 6752, Oct. 6, 1950, as amended at 21 FR 4808, June 29, 1956; 
Board Order 62-115, 27 FR 9254, Sept. 19, 1962; Board Order 67-67, 32 FR 
9064, June 27, 1967; 41 FR 22557, June 4, 1976. Redesignated at 52 FR 
11010, Apr. 6, 1987, as amended at 55 FR 26430, June 28, 1990]

Sec. 200.3  Obtaining forms from the Railroad Retirement Board.

    Forms used by the Board, including applications for benefits and 
informational publications, may be obtained from the Board's 
headquarters at 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and from local 
Board offices.

[63 FR 17326, Apr. 9, 1998]

Sec. 200.4  Availability of information to public.

    (a) The following materials (more particularly described in 
paragraph (d) of this section), with identifying details deleted 
pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, are available for public 
inspection and copying:
    (1) All final opinions (including concurring and dissenting 
opinions), and all orders made in the adjudication of cases, which have 
precedential effect;
    (2) All statements of policy and interpretations which have been 
adopted by the Board, or by anyone under authority delegated by the 
Board, which have not been published in the Federal Register; and
    (3) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that 
affect any member of the public.
    (b) The identifying details to be deleted shall include, but not be 
limited to, names and identifying numbers of employees and other 
individuals as needed to comply with sections 12(d) and (n) of the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, section 7(b)(3) of the Railroad 
Retirement Act, and Sec. 200.8 of this part, or to prevent a clearly 
unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
    (c) There shall be maintained in the Board's library a current index 
of the materials referred to in paragraph (a)

[[Page 142]]

of this section which will have been issued, adopted, or promulgated 
subsequent to July 4, 1967. This index shall be available for public 
inspection and copying at the Board's headquarters offices located at 
844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois, during the normal business hours of 
the Board. Copies of the index or any portion thereof may be obtained 
for a fee equivalent to the costs of reproduction by submitting a 
written request therefor. Such request should comply with the form for 
requests as described in paragraph (h) of this section.
    (d) The materials and indexes thereto shall be kept, and made 
available to the public upon request, in the bureaus and offices of the 
Board which produce or utilize the materials. The following materials 
currently in use shall, as long as they are in effect as precedents and 
instructions, be made available in offices of the Board at 844 Rush 
Street, Chicago:
    (1) In the Bureau of Retirement Claims: The Retirement Claims 
Manual, RCM Circulars, Special Services Manual, Policy Decisions, 
Procedural Memoranda containing information on the adjudication of 
claims not contained in the Retirement Claims Manual or in RCM 
Circulars, Instructions and Circular Letters to Employers, Field 
Operating Manual (Parts I and VI), FOM Circulars and Memoranda, and the 
Occupational Disability Rating Schedule.
    (2) In the Bureau of Unemployment and Sickness Insurance: the 
Adjudication Instruction Manual, Regional Operating Manual (Part I), 
Field Operating Manual (Part II), FOM Circulars and Memoranda, Bureau of 
Unemployment and Sickness Insurance Circulars, Memorandum Opinions, 
memorandum instructions on adjudication, and circular letters of 
instruction to railroad officials.
    (3) In the Bureau of Research and Employment Accounts: the 
Instructions to Employers, and Circular Letters to Employers.
    (4) In the Bureau of Law: Legal Opinions.
    (5) In the Office of the Secretary of the Board: Decisions and 
rulings of the Board.

Regional offices and field offices shall also make available to the 
extent practicable such of these materials and indexes as are furnished 
them in the ordinary course of business.
    (e) The copies of manuals and instructions made available for public 
copying and inspection shall not include:
    (1) Confidential statements, standards, and instructions which do 
not affect the public, and
    (2) Instructions not affecting the public (such as those relating 
solely to processing and procedure, to management, or to personnel) 
which it is feasible to separate from instructions that do affect the 
public.
    (f) With the exception of records specifically excluded from 
disclosure by section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code, or other 
applicable statute, any records of or in the custody of this agency, 
other than those made available under paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of 
this section, shall, upon receipt of a written request reasonably 
describing them, promptly be made available to the person requesting 
them.
    (g) The RRB may charge the person of persons making a request for 
records under paragraph (f) of this section a fee in an amount not to 
exceed the costs actually incurred in complying with the request and not 
to exceed the cost of processing a check for payment. Depending on the 
category into which the request falls, a fee may be assessed for the 
cost of search for documents, reviewing documents to determine whether 
any portion of any located documents is permitted to be withheld, and 
duplicating documents.
    (1) Fee schedule. To the extent that the following are chargeable, 
they are chargeable according to the following schedule:
    (i) The charge for making a manual search for records shall be the 
salary rate, including benefits, for a GS-7, step 5 Federal employee;
    (ii) The charge for reviewing documents to determine whether any 
portion of any located document is permitted to be withheld shall be the 
salary rate, including benefits, for a GS-13, step 5 Federal employee;

[[Page 143]]

    (iii) The charge for making photocopies of any size document shall 
be $.10 per copy per page:
    (iv) The charge for computer-generated listings or labels shall 
include the direct cost to the RRB of analysis and programming, where 
required, plus the cost of computer operations to produce the listing or 
labels. The maximum computer search charge shall be $2,250.00 per hour 
($37.50 per minute). Search time shall not include the time expended in 
analysis or programming where these operations are required.
    (v) There shall be no charge for transmitting documents by regular 
post. The charge for all other methods of transmitting documents shall 
be the actual cost of transmittal.
    (2) Categories of requesters. For the purpose of assessing fees, 
requesters shall be classified into one of the following five groups:
    (i) Commercial use requesters. Commercial use requesters are 
requesters who seek information for a use or purpose that furthers the 
commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on 
whose behalf the request is made. For such requesters, the RRB will 
fully charge for the cost of searching, reviewing and copying and shall 
not consider a request for waiver or reduction of fees based upon an 
assertion that disclosure would be in the public interest; however, the 
RRB will not charge a fee if the total cost for searching, reviewing, 
and copying is less than $10.00.
    (ii) Educational and non-commercial scientific institution 
requesters. Educational requesters are educational institutions which 
operate a program or programs of scholarly research. They may be a 
preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an 
institution of graduate higher education, an institution of 
undergraduate higher education, an institution of professional 
education, or an institution of vocational education. Non-commercial 
scientific requesters are institutions that are not operated on a 
``commercial'' basis and which are operated solely for the purpose of 
conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to 
promote any particular product or industry. To be eligible for inclusion 
in this category, requesters must show that the request is being made 
under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are 
not sought for a commercial use, but are sought in furtherance of 
scholarly (if the request is from an educational institution) or 
scientific (if the request is from a non-commercial scientific 
institution) research. For requesters in this category, the RRB shall 
charge for the cost of reproduction alone, excluding the first 100 
pages, for which no charge will be made. If after excluding the cost of 
the first 100 pages of reproduction, there remain costs to be assessed, 
the RRB will not charge for such costs is such costs total less than 
$10.00. If the cost is $10.00 or more, the RRB may waive the charge or 
reduce it if it determines that disclosure of the information is in the 
public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to 
public understanding of the operations or activities of the government 
and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. To be 
eligible for free search time, these requesters must reasonably describe 
the records sought.
    (iii) Requesters who are representatives of the news media. The term 
``representative of the news media'' refers to any person actively 
gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish 
or broadcast news to the public. The term ``news'' means information 
that is about current events or that could be of interest to the public. 
In the case of ``freelance'' journalists, they may be regarded as 
working for a news organization if they can demonstrate a solid basis 
for expecting publication through that organization, even though not 
actually employed by it. For requesters in this category the RRB shall 
charge for the cost of reproduction alone excluding the cost of the 
first 100 pages, for which no charge will be made. If, after excluding 
the cost of the first 100 pages of reproduction, there remain costs to 
be assessed, the RRB will not charge for such costs if such costs total 
less than $10.00. If the cost is $10.00 or more, the RRB may waive the 
charge or reduce it if it determines that disclosure is in the public 
interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public 
understanding of the operations or activities

[[Page 144]]

of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the 
requester. To be eligible for free search time, these requesters must 
reasonably describe the record sought.
    (iv) Requests by subjects of records in Privacy Act Systems of 
Records. Requests from subject individuals for records about themselves 
filed in any of the Board's Privacy Act Systems of records will continue 
to be treated under the fee provisions of the Privacy Act of 1984 which 
permit assessing fees only for reproduction.
    (v) All other requesters. For requesters who do not fall within the 
purview of paragraph (g)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section, 
the RRB will charge the full direct cost of searching for and 
reproducing records that are responsive to the request. The RRB will not 
charge for such costs to be assessed if the total is less than $10.00. 
If the total is $10.00 or more, the RRB may waive the charge or reduce 
it if it determines that disclosure of the information is in the public 
interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public 
understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is 
not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.
    (3) Charges for unsuccessful searches. Where search time is 
chargeable, the RRB may assess charges for time spent searching, even if 
the RRB fails to locate the records, or if located, the records are 
determined to be exempt from disclosure. If the Board estimates that 
search charges are likely to exceed $25.00 it will notify the requester 
of the estimated amount of fees, unless the requester has agreed in 
advance to pay fees as high as those anticipated. Such notice will offer 
the requester the opportunity to confer with agency personnel with the 
object of reformulating the request to meet his or here needs at a lower 
cost.
    (4) Aggregating requests. When the RRB reasonably believes that a 
requester or group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to 
break a request into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the 
assessment of fees, the RRB will aggregate any such requests and charge 
accordingly. One element the RRB will consider in determining whether a 
belief would be reasonable is the time period in which the requests have 
been.
    (5) Advance payments. (i) The RRB estimates or determines that the 
allowable charges payment unless:
    (A) The RRV estimates or determines that the allowable charges that 
a requester may be required to pay are likely to exceed $250.00, in 
which case the RRV will notify the requester of the likely cost and 
obtain satisfactory assurance of full payment where the requester has a 
history of prompt payment of FOIA fees, or require an advance payment of 
an amount up to the full estimated charges in the case of requesters 
with no history of payment; or
    (B) A requester has previously failed to pay a fee charged in a 
timely fashion (i.e., within 30 days of the date of the billing), in 
which case the RRB may require the requester to pay the full amount owed 
plus any applicable interest as provided below of demonstrate that he 
has, in fact, paid the fee, and to make an advance payment of the full 
amount of the estimated fee before the agency begins to process a new 
request or a pending request from that requester.
    (ii) When the Board acts under paragraph (g)(5)(i) of this section, 
the administrative time limits prescribed in subsection (a)(6) of the 
Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)) (i.e., 10 working days 
from receipt of initial requests and 20 working days from receipt of 
appeals from initial denials, plus permissible extensions of these time 
limits) will begin only after the Board has received the fee payments 
described in said paragraph (g)(5)(i) of this section.
    (6) Charging interest. Interest may be charged to any requester who 
fails to pay fees charged within 30 days fo the date of billing. 
Interest will be assessed beginning on the 31st day following the day on 
which the bill for fees was sent. Interest will be the rate prescribed 
in section 3717 of title 31 of the U.S. Code Annotated and will accrue 
from the date of the billing.
    (7) Collection of fees due. Whenever it is appropriate in the 
judgment of the Board in order to encourage repayment of fees billed in 
accordance with these

[[Page 145]]

regulations, the Board will use the procedures authorized by the Debt 
Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365), including disclosure to 
consumer reporting agencies and use of collection agencies.
    (h) Any person or organization requesting records pursuant to this 
section shall submit such request in writing to the Executive Director, 
Railroad Retirement Board, Room 536, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 
60611. All such requests should be clearly and prominently identified as 
requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act. If 
submitted by mail or otherwise submitted in an envelope or other cover, 
requests should be clearly and prominently identified as such on the 
envelope or cover.
    (i) The Executive Director, or any other individual specifically 
authorized to act on behalf of the Executive Director, shall have the 
authority to grant or deny a request for information submitted under 
this section. The Executive Director or such authorized representative 
shall, within 10 working days following the receipt of a request, except 
as provided in paragraph (j)(1) of this section, make a determination 
granting or denying the request and notify the requester of his or her 
decision and if a denial, the reasons therefor. The requester shall be 
further advised that a total or partial denial may be appealed to the 
Board as provided in paragraph (j) of this section.
    (j) In cases where a request for information is denied, in whole or 
in part, by the Executive Director or his or her authorized 
representative, the party who originally made the request may appeal 
such determination to the Board by filing a written appeal with the 
Secretary of the Board within 20 working days following receipt of the 
notice of denial. The Board shall render a decision on an appeal within 
20 working days following receipt of the appeal except as provided in 
paragraph (j)(1) of this section. The requester shall promptly be 
notified of the Board's decision and, in cases where the denial is 
upheld, of the provisions for judicial review of such final 
administrative decisions.
    (1) In unusual circumstances, as enumerated in section 552(a)(6)(B) 
of title 5, United States Code, the time restrictions of paragraphs (i) 
and (j) of this section may be extended in the aggregate by no more than 
10 days by notice to the requester of such extension, the reasons 
therefor, and the date on which a determination is expected to be 
dispatched.
    (2) For purposes of paragraphs (i) and (j) of this section, a 
request shall be received by the Executive Director of the Board when it 
arrives at the Board's headquarters. Provided, however, That when the 
estimated fee to be assessed for a given request exceeds $30.00, such 
request shall be deemed not to have been received by the Executive 
Director until the requester is advised of the estimated cost and agrees 
to bear it. Provided further, That a request which does not fully comply 
with all the provisions of paragraph (h) of this section shall be deemed 
to have been received by the Executive Director on the day it actually 
reaches his or her office.
    (k) Any person in the employ of the Railroad Retirement Board who 
receives a request for any information, document or record of this 
agency, or in the custody thereof, shall advise the requester to address 
such request to the Executive Director. If the request received is in 
writing, it shall be immediately referred for action to the Executive 
Director.
    (l) The Executive Director shall maintain records of:
    (1) The total amount of fees collected by this agency pursuant to 
this section;
    (2) The number of initial denials of requests for records made 
pursuant to this section and the reason for each;
    (3) The number of appeals from such denials and the result of each 
appeal, together with the reason(s) for the action upon each appeal that 
results in a denial of information;
    (4) The name(s) and title(s) or position(s) of each person 
responsible for each initial denial of records requested and the number 
of instances of action on a request for information for each such 
person;
    (5) The results of each proceeding conducted pursuant to section 
552(a)(4)(F) of title 5 U.S. Code, including a report of any 
disciplinary action against an official or employee who

[[Page 146]]

was determined to be primarily responsible for improperly withholding 
records, or an explanation of why disciplinary action was not taken;
    (6) Every rule made by this agency affecting or in implementation of 
section 552 of title 5 U.S. Code;
    (7) The fee schedule for copies of records and documents requested 
pursuant to this regulation; and
    (8) All other information which indicates efforts to administer 
fully the letter and spirit of section 552 of title 5 U.S. Code.
    (m) The Board shall, prior to March 1 of each year, prepare and 
submit a report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the 
President of the Senate covering each of the categories of records 
maintained in accordance with the foregoing for the preceding calendar 
year.
    (n) Special procedures for handling requests for business 
information:
    (1) The Freedom of Information Act exempts from mandatory disclosure 
matters that are ``trade secrets and commercial or financial information 
obtained from a person and privileged or confidential * * *.'' The Board 
maintains records that may include information within this exception and 
to protect the rights of submitters of business information with respect 
to the confidentiality of such information, all requests for records or 
information contained in contract bids, contract proposals, contracts, 
and similar business information documents shall be handled in 
accordance with the procedures established by this paragraph.
    (2) When the Executive Director or an individual authorized to grant 
or deny requests under the Freedom of Information Act receives a request 
for business information, the Executive Director or other individual 
shall promptly provide the person who submitted the information to the 
Board with written notice that a request for the information has been 
made. The notice shall specify what record or information has been 
requested and shall inform the business submitter that the submitter 
may, within ten working days after the date of the notice, file a 
written objection to disclosure of the information or portions of the 
information. The written objection to disclosure shall be addressed to 
the individual whose name appears in the notification and shall specify 
the portion or portions of the information that the submitter believes 
should not be disclosed and state the grounds or bases for objecting to 
disclosure of such portion or portions. No written notice to the 
business submitter shall be required under this subparagraph if it is 
readily determined that the information will not be disclosed or that 
the information has lawfully been published or otherwise made available 
to the public.
    (3) In determining whether to grant or deny the request for the 
business information, the official or entity making the determination 
shall carefully consider any objection to disclosure made by the 
submitter of the information in question.
    (4) If a determination is made to disclose information with respect 
to which the business submitter has filed an objection to disclosure, 
the official or entity making the determination shall, no later than ten 
working days prior to the date on which disclosure of the information 
will be made, provide the submitter with written notice of the 
determination to disclose. The written notice shall state the reasons 
why the submitter's grounds for objecting to disclosure were rejected 
and inform the submitter of the date on which the information is to be 
disclosed.
    (5) The Board shall promptly notify the business submitter of any 
suit commenced under the Freedom of Information Act to compel disclosure 
of information which he or she submitted to the Board.
    (o) Custom tailored information services; Fees charged. This 
paragraph and paragraph (p) of this section set forth the policy of the 
Railroad Retirement Board with respect to the assessment of a fee for 
providing custom tailored information where requested. Except as 
provided in paragraphs (o)(4)(vii) and (p) of this section, a fee shall 
be charged for providing custom tailored information.
    (1) Definition: Custom tailored information. Custom tailored 
information is information not otherwise required to be disclosed under 
this part but which can

[[Page 147]]

be created or extracted and manipulated, reformatted, or otherwise 
prepared to the specifications of the requester from existing records. 
For example, the Board needs to program computers to provide data in a 
particular format or to compile selected items from records, provide 
statistical data, ratios, proportions, percentages, etc. If this data is 
not already compiled and available, the end product would be the result 
of custom tailored information services.
    (2) Providing custom tailored information. The Board is not required 
to provide custom tailored information. It will do so only when the 
appropriate fees have been paid as provided in paragraph (o)(4) of this 
section and when the request for such information will not divert staff 
and equipment from the Board's primary responsibilities.
    (3) Requesting custom tailored information. Information may be 
requested in person, by telephone, or by mail. Any request should 
reasonably describe the information wanted and may be sent to the 
Director of Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush 
Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611-2092.
    (4) Fee schedule. Requests for custom tailored information are 
chargeable according to the following schedule:
    (i) Manual searching for records. Full cost of the time of the 
employees who perform the service, even if records cannot be found, 
management and supervisory costs, plus the full costs of any machine 
time and materials the employee uses. Consulting and other indirect 
costs will be assessed as appropriate.
    (ii) Photocopying or reproducing records on magnetic tapes or 
computer diskettes. The charge for making photocopies of any size 
document shall be $.10 per copy per page. The charge for reproducing 
records on magnetic tapes or computer diskettes is the full cost of the 
operator's time plus the full cost of the machine time and the materials 
used.
    (iii) Use of electronic data processing equipment to obtain records. 
Full cost for the service, including computer search time and computer 
runs and printouts, and the time of computer programmers and operators 
and of other employees.
    (iv) Certification or authentication. Full cost of certification and 
authentication.
    (v) Providing other special services. Full cost of the time of the 
employee who performs the service, management and supervisory costs, 
plus the full costs of any machine time and materials the employee uses. 
Consulting and other indirect costs will be assessed as appropriate.
    (vi) Special forwarding arrangements. Full cost of special 
arrangements for forwarding material requested.
    (vii) Statutory supersession. Where a Federal statute prohibits the 
assessment of a charge for a service or addresses an aspect of that 
charge, the statute shall take precedence over this paragraph (o).
    (p) Assessment of a fee with respect to the provision of custom 
tailored information where the identification of the beneficiary is 
obscure and where provision of the information can be seen as benefiting 
the public generally. When the identification of a specific beneficiary 
with respect to the provision of custom tailored information is obscure, 
the service can be considered primarily as benefiting broadly the 
general public, and the estimated cost of providing the information is 
less than $1,000.00, the Director of Administration shall determine 
whether or not a fee is to be charged. In any such case where the cost 
is $1,000.00 or more, the request shall be referred by the Director of 
Administration to the three-member Board for a determination whether or 
not a fee is to be assessed.

(The information collection requirements for paragraph (n) were approved 
by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 3220-0150)

[Board Order 6784, 32 FR 9651, Sept. 4, 1967, as amended at 40 FR 7255, 
Feb. 19, 1975; 48 FR 51447, 51448, Nov. 9, 1983; 50 FR 26357, June 26, 
1985. Redesignated at 52 FR 11010, Apr. 6, 1987, as amended at 52 FR 
13820, Apr. 24, 1987; 54 FR 43055, Oct. 20, 1989; 59 FR 28765, June 3, 
1994; 60 FR 29984, June 7, 1995; 61 FR 25390, May 21, 1996]

Sec. 200.5  Protection of privacy of records maintained on individuals.

    (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to establish 
specific procedures necessary for compliance with the Privacy Act of 
1974 (Pub. L. 93-579).

[[Page 148]]

These regulations apply to all record systems containing information of 
a personal or private nature maintained by the Railroad Retirement Board 
that are indexed and retrieved by personal identifier.
    (b) Definitions--(1) Individual. The term ``individual'' pertains to 
a natural person who is a citizen of the United States or an alien 
lawfully admitted for permanent residence and not to a company or 
corporation.
    (2) System of records. For the purposes of this section, the term 
``system of records'' pertains to only those records that can be 
retrieved by an individual identifier.
    (3) Railroad Retirement Board. For purposes of this section, the 
term ``Railroad Retirement Board'' refers to the United States Railroad 
Retirement Board, an independent agency in the executive branch of the 
United States Government.
    (4) Board. For purposes of this section the term ``Board'' refers to 
the three member governing body of the United States Railroad Retirement 
Board.
    (c) Procedure for requesting the existence of personally 
identifiable records in a record system. An individual can determine if 
a particular record system maintained by the Railroad Retirement Board 
contains any record pertaining to him by submitting a written request 
for such information to the system manager of that record system as 
described in the annual notice published in the Federal Register. A 
current copy of the system notices, published in accordance with 
paragraph (i) of this section, is available for inspection at all 
regional and district offices of the Board. If necessary, Board 
personnel will aid requesters in determining what system(s) of records 
they wish to review and will forward any requests for information to the 
appropriate system manager. Also, requests for personal information may 
be submitted either by mail or in person to the system manager at the 
headquarters of the Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, 
Illinois 60611. Prior to responding to a request for information under 
this subsection, the system manager shall require the individual 
requesting such information to provide identifying data, such as his 
full name, date of birth, and social security number. The system manager 
shall respond to a request under this subsection within a reasonable 
time by stating that a record on the individual either is or is not 
contained in the system.
    (d) Disclosure of requested information to individuals. (1) Upon 
request, an individual shall be granted access to records pertaining to 
himself, other than medical records and records compiled in anticipation 
of a civil or criminal action or proceeding against him, which are 
indexed by individual identifier in a particular system of records. 
Requests for access must be in writing and should be addressed to the 
system manager of that record system as described in the annual notice 
published in the Federal Register. Requests under this subsection may be 
submitted either by mail or in person at the headquarters offices of the 
Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
    (2) The system manager shall, within ten working days following the 
date on which the request is received in his office, render a decision 
either granting or denying access and shall promptly notify the 
individual of his decision. If the request is denied, the notification 
shall inform the individual of his right to appeal the denial to the 
Board. An individual whose request for access under this subsection has 
been denied by the system manager may appeal that determination to the 
Board by filing a written appeal with the Secretary of the Board, 
Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611 
within twenty working days following receipt of the notice of denial. 
The Board shall render a decision on an appeal within thirty working 
days following the date on which the appeal is received in the office of 
the Secretary of the Board. The individual shall promptly be notified of 
the Board's decision.
    (3) In cases where an individual has been granted access to his 
records, the system manager shall, prior to releasing such records, 
require the individual to produce identifying data such as his name, 
date of birth, and social security number.

[[Page 149]]

    (4) Disclosure to an individual of his record may be made by 
providing him, upon written request therefor, a copy of the record or 
portion thereof which he reasonably describes in his request.
    (5) An individual, and if such individual so desires, one other 
person of his choosing, may review and have a copy made of his record 
(in a form comprehensible to him) during regular business hours at the 
location described as the repository of the record system containing 
such records in the annual notice published in the Federal Register or 
at such other location convenient to the individual as specified by the 
system manager. If an individual is accompanied by another person, the 
system manager may require written authorizations for disclosure in the 
presence of the other person from the individual before any record or 
portion thereof is released.
    (e) Special procedures--medical records. (1) An individual 
concerning whom the Railroad Retirement Board maintains medical records 
in a system of records shall, upon written request, be permitted to 
review such medical records or be furnished copies of such records if 
the system manager of the system containing the requested records 
determines that disclosure of the records or any portion thereof would 
not be harmful to the individual's mental or physical health.
    (2) If, upon review of the medical records requested, the system 
manager determines that disclosure of such records or any portion 
thereof might be harmful to the individual's mental or physical health, 
he shall inform the individual that copies of the records may be 
furnished to a physician of the individual's own choosing. If the 
individual should select a physician to conduct such a review and direct 
the Board to permit the physician to review the records, the system 
manger shall promptly forward copies of the records in question to that 
physician. The system manger shall inform the physician that the records 
are being provided to him or her for the purpose of making an 
independent determination as to whether release or the records directly 
to the individual who has requested them might be harmful to that 
individual. The physician shall be informed that if, in his or her 
opinion, direct disclosure of the records would not be harmful to the 
individual's mental or physical health, he or she may then provide the 
copies to the individual. The physician shall further be informed that 
should he or she determine that disclosure of the records in question 
might be harmful to the individual, such records shall not be disclosed 
and should be returned to the Board, but the physician may summarize and 
discuss the contents of the records with the individual.
    (3) The special procedure established by paragraph (e) of this 
section to permit an individual access to medical records pertaining to 
himself or herself shall not be construed as authorizing the individual 
to direct the Board to disclose such medical records to any third 
parties, other than to a physician in accordance with paragraph (e)(2) 
of this section. Medical records shall not be disclosed by the Board to 
any entities or persons other than the individual to whom the record 
pertains or his or her authorized physician regardless of consent, 
except as permissible under paragraphs (j)(1)(i), (iii), and (viii) of 
this section and as provided under paragraph (e)(4) of this section.
    (4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (e)(1), (2) and (3) 
of this section and of paragraph (d) of this section, if a determination 
made with respect to an individual's claim for benefits under the 
Railroad Retirement Act of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act is 
based in whole or in part on medical records, disclosure of or access to 
such medical records shall be granted to such individual or to such 
individual's representative when such records are requested for the 
purpose of contesting such determination either administratively of 
judicially.
    (5) The procedures for access to medical records set forth in 
paragraph (e) of this section shall not apply with respect to requests 
for access to an individual's disability decision sheet or similar 
adjudicatory documents, access to which is governed solely by paragraph 
(d) of this section.
    (f) General exemptions--(1) Systems of records subject to 
investigatory material exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2). RRB-

[[Page 150]]

43, Investigation Files, a system containing information concerning 
alleged violations of law, regulation, or rule pertinent to the 
administration of programs by the RRB or alleging misconduct or conflict 
of interest on the part of RRB employees in the discharge of their 
official duties.
    (2) Scope of exemption. (i) The system of records identified in this 
paragraph is maintained by the Office of Investigations (OI) of the 
Office of Inspector General (OIG), a component of the Board which 
performs as its principal function activities pertaining to the 
enforcement of criminal laws. Authority for the criminal law enforcement 
activities of the OIG's OI is the Inspector General Act of 1978, 5 
U.S.C. App.
    (ii) Applicable information in the system of records described in 
this paragraph is exempt from subsections (c)(3) and (4) (Accounting of 
Certain Disclosures), (d) (Access to Records), (e)(1), (2), (3), (4)(G), 
(H), and (I), (5), and (8), (Agency Requirements), (f) (Agency Rules) 
and (g) (Civil Remedies) of 5 U.S.C. 552a.
    (iii) To the extent that information in this system of records does 
not fall within the scope of this general exemption under 5 U.S.C. 
552(j)(2) for any reason, the specific exemption under 5 U.S.C. 
552(k)(2) is claimed for such information. (See paragraph (g) of this 
section.)
    (3) Reasons for exemptions. The system of records described in this 
section is exempt for one or more of the following reasons:
    (i) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) requires an agency to make available to the 
individual named in the records, at his or her request, an accounting of 
each disclosure of records. This accounting must state the date, nature, 
and purpose of each disclosure of a record and the name and address of 
the recipient. Accounting of each disclosure would alert the subjects of 
an investigation to the existence of the investigation and the fact that 
they are subjects of an investigation. The release of such information 
to the subjects of an investigation would provide them with significant 
information concerning the nature of the investigation, and could 
seriously impede or compromise the investigation and lead to the 
improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, or the 
fabrication of testimony.
    (ii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(4) requires an agency to inform any person or 
other agency about any correction or notation of dispute made by the 
agency in accordance with subsection (d) of the Act. Since the RRB is 
claiming that this system of records is exempt from subsection (d) of 
the Act, concerning access to records, this section is inapplicable and 
is exempted to the extent that this system of records is exempted from 
subsection (d) of the Act.
    (iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) requires an agency to permit an individual to 
gain access to records pertaining to him or her, to request amendment of 
such records, to request a review of an agency decision not to amend 
such records, and to contest the information contained in such records. 
Granting access to records in this system of records could inform the 
subject of the investigation of an actual or potential criminal 
violation of the existence of that investigation, of the nature and 
scope of the information and evidence obtained as to his or her 
activities, of the identity of confidential sources, witnesses, and law 
enforcement personnel, and could provide information to enable the 
subject to avoid detection or apprehension. Granting access to such 
information could seriously impede or compromise an investigation, lead 
to the improper influencing of witnesses, the destruction of evidence, 
or the fabrication of testimony, and disclose investigative techniques 
and procedures.
    (iv) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires each agency to maintain in its 
records only such information about an individual as is relevant and 
necessary to accomplish a purpose required by statute or executive order 
of the President. The application of this provision could impair 
investigations and law enforcement, because it is not always possible to 
detect the relevance or necessity of specific information in the early 
stages of an investigation. Relevance and necessity are often questions 
of judgment and timing, and it is only after the information is 
evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be 
established.

[[Page 151]]

    (v) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(2) requires an agency to collect information to 
the greatest extent practicable directly from the subject individual 
when the information may result in adverse determinations about an 
individual's rights, benefits, and privileges under Federal programs. 
The application of this provision could impair investigations and law 
enforcement by alerting the subject of an investigation of the existence 
of the investigation, enabling the subject to avoid detection or 
apprehension, to influence witnesses improperly, to destroy evidence, or 
to fabricate testimony. Moreover, in certain circumstances the subject 
of an investigation cannot be required to provide information to 
investigators, and information must be collected from other sources. 
Furthermore, it is often necessary to collect information from sources 
other than the subject of the investigation to verify the accuracy of 
the evidence collected.
    (vi) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(3) requires an agency to inform each person 
whom it asks to supply information, on a form that can be retained by 
the person, of the authority under which the information is sought and 
whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary; of the principal purposes 
for which the information is intended to be used; of the routine uses 
which may be made of the information; and of the effects on the person, 
if any, of not providing all or any part of the requested information. 
The application of this provision could provide the subject of an 
investigation with substantial information about the nature of that 
investigation.
    (vii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G) and (H) require an agency to publish a 
Federal Register notice concerning its procedures for notifying an 
individual at his request if the system of records contains a record 
pertaining to him or her, how he or she can gain access to such a 
record, and how he or she can contest its contents. Since the RRB is 
claiming that the system of records is exempt from subsection (f) of the 
Act, concerning agency rules, and subsection (d) of the Act, concerning 
access to records, these requirements are inapplicable and are exempted 
to the extent that these systems of records are exempted from 
subsections (f) and (d) of the Act. Although the RRB is claiming 
exemption from these requirements, RRB has published such a notice 
concerning its notification, access, and contest procedures because, 
under certain circumstances, RRB might decide it is appropriate for an 
individual to have access to all or a portion of his or her records in 
this system of records.
    (viii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires an agency to publish in the 
Federal Register notice concerning the categories of sources or records 
in the system of records. Exemption from this provision is necessary to 
protect the confidentiality of the sources of information, to protect 
the privacy of confidential sources and witnesses, and to avoid the 
disclosure of investigative techniques and procedures. Although RRB is 
claiming exemption from this requirement, RRB has published such a 
notice in broad generic terms in the belief that this is all subsection 
(e)(4)(I) of the Act requires.
    (ix) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(5) requires an agency to maintain its records 
with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness as is 
reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the individual in making any 
determination about the individual. Since the Act defines ``maintain'' 
to include the collection of information, complying with this provision 
would prevent the collection of any data not shown to be accurate, 
relevant, timely, and complete at the moment it is collected. In 
collecting information for criminal law enforcement purposes, it is not 
possible to determine in advance what information is accurate, relevant, 
timely, and complete. Facts are first gathered and then placed into a 
logical order to prove or disprove objectively the criminal behavior of 
an individual. Material which may seem unrelated, irrelevant, or 
incomplete when collected may take on added meaning or significance as 
the investigation progresses. The restrictions of this provision could 
interfere with the preparation of a complete investigative report, 
thereby impending effective law enforcement.
    (x) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(8) requires an agency to make reasonable 
efforts to serve notice on an individual when any record on such 
individual is made

[[Page 152]]

available to any person under compulsory legal process when such process 
becomes a matter of public record. Complying with this provision could 
prematurely reveal an ongoing criminal investigation to the subject of 
the investigation.
    (xi) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(1) requires an agency to promulgate rules 
which shall establish procedures whereby an individual can be notified 
in response to his or her request if any system of records named by the 
individual contains a record pertaining to him or her. The application 
of this provision could impede or compromise an investigation or 
prosecution if the subject of an investigation was able to use such 
rules to learn of the existence of an investigation before it could be 
completed. In addition, mere notice of the fact of an investigation 
could inform the subject or others that their activities are under or 
may become the subject of an investigation and could enable the subjects 
to avoid detection or apprehension, to influence witnesses improperly, 
to destroy evidence, or to fabricate testimony. Since the RRB is 
claiming that these systems of records are exempt from subsection (d) of 
the Act, concerning access to records, the requirements of subsections 
(f)(2) through (5) of the Act, concerning agency rules for obtaining 
access to such records, are inapplicable and are exempted to the extent 
that this system of records is exempted from subsection (d) of the Act. 
Although RRB is claiming exemption from the requirements of subsection 
(f) of the Act, RRB has promulgated rules which establish Agency 
procedures because, under certain circumstances, it might be appropriate 
for an individual to have access to all or a portion of his or her 
records in this system of records. These procedures are described 
elsewhere in this part.
    (xii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(g) provides for civil remedies if an agency 
fails to comply with the requirements concerning access to records under 
subsections (d)(1) and (3) of the Act; maintenance of records under 
subsection (e)(5) of the Act; and any rule promulgated thereunder, in 
such a way as to have an adverse effect on an individual. Since the RRB 
is claiming that this system of records is exempt from subsections 
(c)(3) and (4), (d), (e)(1), (2), (3), (4)(G), (H), and (I), (5), and 
(8), and (f) of the Act, the provisions of subsection (g) of the Act are 
inapplicable and are exempted to the extent that this system or records 
is exempted from those subsections of the Act.
    (g) Specific exemptions--(1) Systems of records subject to 
investigatory material exemption under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). RRB-43, 
Investigation Files, a system containing information concerning alleged 
violations of law, regulation, or rule pertinent to the administration 
of programs by the RRB or alleging misconduct or conflict of interest on 
the part of RRB employees in the discharge of their official duties.
    (2) Privacy Act provisions from which exempt. The system of records 
described in this paragraph is exempt from subsections (c)(3) 
(Accounting of Certain Disclosures), (d) (Access to Records), (e)(1), 
4G, H, and I (Agency Requirements), and (f) (Agency Rules) of 5 U.S.C. 
552a.
    (3) Reasons for exemptions. The system of records described in this 
section is exempt for one or more of the following reasons:
    (i) To prevent the subject of the investigations from frustrating 
the investigatory process.
    (ii) To protect investigatory material compiled for law enforcement 
purposes.
    (iii) To fulfill commitments made to protect the confidentiality of 
sources and to maintain access to necessary sources of information.
    (iv) To prevent interference with law enforcement proceedings.
    (h) Request for amendment of a record. (1) An individual may request 
that a record pertaining to himself be amended by submitting a written 
request for such amendment to the system manager as described in the 
annual notice published in the Federal Register. Requests under this 
subsection may be made either by mail or in person at the headquarters 
offices of the Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, 
Illinois 60611. Such a request should include a statement of the 
information in the record which the individual believes is incorrect, a 
statement of any information not in the record which the individual 
believes

[[Page 153]]

would correct the record, if included, and a statement of any evidence 
which substantiates the individual's belief concerning the inaccuracy of 
the information presently contained in the record.
    (2) Prior to rendering a determination in response to a request 
under this subsection, the system manager shall require that the 
individual provide identifying data such as his name, date of birth, and 
social security number.
    (3) The system manager responsible for the system of records which 
contains the challenged record shall acknowledge receipt of the request 
in writing within ten working days following the date on which the 
request for amendment was received in his office and shall promptly 
render a decision either granting or denying the request.
    (i) If the system manager grants the individual's request to amend 
his record, the system manager shall amend the record accordingly, 
advise the individual in writing that the requested amendment has been 
made and where an accounting of disclosures has been made, advise all 
previous recipients of the record to whom disclosure of such record was 
made and accounted for of the fact that the amendment was made and the 
substance of the amendment.
    (ii) If the system manager denies the individual's request to amend 
his record, the system manager shall inform the individual that the 
request has been denied in whole or in part, the reason for the denial 
and the procedure regarding the individual's right to appeal the denial 
to the Board.
    (i) Appeal of initial adverse determination on amendment. (1) An 
individual, whose request for amendment of a record pertaining to him is 
denied, may appeal that determination to the Board by filing a written 
appeal with the Secretary of the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 
Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The written notice of appeal 
should include a statement of the information in the record which the 
individual believes is correct, a statement of any information not in 
the record which the individual believes would correct the record, if 
included, and a statement of any evidence which substantiates the 
individual's belief concerning the inaccuracy of the information 
presently contained in the record.
    (2) The Board shall consider the appeal and render a final decision 
thereon within thirty working days following the date on which the 
appeal is received in the office of the Secretary of the Board. An 
extension of the thirty day response period is permitted for a good 
cause upon notification of such to the requester.
    (3) If, upon consideration of the appeal, the Board upholds the 
denial, the appellant shall be so informed in writing. The appellant 
shall be advised that he may file a concise statement with the Board 
setting forth his reasons for disagreeing with the Board's decision and 
the procedures to be followed in filing such a statement of 
disagreement. The individual shall also be informed of his right to 
judicial review as provided under section 552a(g)(1)(A) of title 5 of 
the United States Code. If disclosure has or will be made of a record 
containing information about which an individual has filed a statement 
of disagreement, that contested information will be annotated and a copy 
of the statement of disagreement will be provided to past and future 
recipients of the information along with which the Board may include a 
statement of its reasons for not amending the record in question.
    (4) If, upon consideration of the appeal, the Board reverses the 
denial, the Board shall amend the record, advise the appellant in 
writing that such amendment has been made, and where an accounting of 
disclosures has been made, advise all previous recipients of the record 
to whom disclosure of such was made and accounted for, of the fact that 
the amendment was made and the substance of the amendment.
    (j) Disclosure of record to person other than the individual to whom 
it pertains. (1) Records collected and maintained by the Railroad 
Retirement Board in the administration of the Railroad Retirement Act 
and the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act which contain information of 
a personal or private nature shall not be disclosed to any person or to 
another agency without

[[Page 154]]

the express written consent of the individual to whom the record 
pertains. Such written consent shall not be required if the disclosure 
is not otherwise prohibited by law or regulation and is:
    (i) To officers or employees of the Railroad Retirement Board who, 
in the performance of their official duties, have a need for the record;
    (ii) Required under section 552 of title 5 of the U.S. Code;
    (iii) For a routine use of such record as published in the annual 
notice in the Federal Register;
    (iv) To the Bureau of the Census for uses pursuant to the provisions 
of title 13 of the United States Code;
    (v) To a recipient who has provided the Board with advance written 
assurance that the record will be used solely as a statistical or 
research record, and the record is to be transferred in a form that is 
not individually identifiable;
    (vi) To the National Archives of the United States as a record which 
has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued 
preservation by the U.S. Government or for evaluation by the 
administrator of General Services or his designee to determine whether 
the record has such value;
    (vii) To another agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental 
jurisidiction within or under the control of the United States for a 
civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized 
by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a 
written request to the agency which maintains the record specifying the 
particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which 
the record is sought;
    (viii) To a person pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances 
affecting the health or safety of an individual if, upon such 
disclosure, notification is transmitted to the last known address of 
such individual;
    (ix) To either House of Congress, or, to the extent of matter within 
its jurisdiction, any committee or subcommittee thereof, any joint 
committee of Congress or subcommittee of any such joint committee;
    (x) To the Comptroller General, or any of his authorized 
representatives, in the course of the performance of the duties of the 
General Accounting Office; or
    (xi) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (2) The Railroad Retirement Board shall maintain an accounting of 
all disclosures of records made under paragraph (h)(1) of this section, 
except those made under paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section. 
This accounting will include:
    (i) Date of disclosure;
    (ii) Specific subject matter of disclosure;
    (iii) Purpose of disclosure; and
    (iv) Name and address of the person or agency to whom the 
information has been released.

The Railroad Retirement Board shall maintain the accounting for five 
years or the life of the system of records, whichever is longer, and 
make such accounting, with the exception of disclosures made under 
paragraph (h)(1)(vii) of this section, available to the individual to 
whom the record pertains upon his request. If, subsequent to disclosure 
of a record for which disclosure an accounting has been made pursuant to 
this subsection, an amendment is made to that record or an individual 
has filed a statement of disagreement concerning that record, the person 
or agency to whom such disclosure was made shall be notified of the 
amendment or statement of disagreement.
    (k) Annual notice of systems of records. The Railroad Retirement 
Board shall publish in the Federal Register on an annual basis a listing 
of the various systems of records which it maintains by individual 
identifier. That notice shall provide the following for each system:
    (1) The name and location of the system;
    (2) The categories of individuals on whom records are maintained in 
the system;
    (3) The routine uses of the system;
    (4) The methods of storage, disposal, retention, access controls and 
retrievability of the system;
    (5) The title and business address of the individual who is 
responsible for the system;
    (6) The procedure whereby an individual can be notified at his 
request

[[Page 155]]

whether or not the system contains a record pertaining to him;
    (7) The procedure whereby the individual can be notified at his 
request how he can gain access to any record pertaining to him which is 
contained in the system;
    (8) How the individual can contest the contents of such a record; 
and
    (9) The categories of sources of records in the system.
    (l) Collection of information and maintenance of records. With 
respect to each system of records indexed by individual identifer which 
is maintained by the Railroad Retirement Board, the Railroad Retirement 
Board shall:
    (1) Maintain in each system only such information about an 
individual as is relevant and necessary in accomplishing the purposes 
for which the system is kept;
    (2) To the greatest extent practicable, collect information directly 
from the individual when that information may result in an adverse 
determination about such individual's rights, benefits or privileges 
under programs administered by the Railroad Retirement Board;
    (3) Inform each individual who is asked to supply information:
    (i) The authority under which the solicitation of such information 
is carried out;
    (ii) Whether disclosure of the requested information is mandatory or 
voluntary and any penalties for failure to furnish such information;
    (iii) The principal purposes for which the information will be used;
    (iv) The routine uses and transfers of such information; and
    (v) The possible effects on such individual if he fails to provide 
the requested information.
    (4) Maintain all records which are used by the Railroad Retirement 
Board in making any determination about any individual with such 
accuracy, relevance, timeliness and completeness as is reasonably 
necessary to assure fairness to the individual in the determination;
    (5) Prior to disseminating any record about an individual to any 
person other than an agency, unless the dissemination is made pursuant 
to paragraph (h)(1)(ii) of this section, make reasonable efforts to 
assure that such records are accurate, complete, timely and relevant for 
purposes of the administration of the Railroad Retirement Act and the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act;
    (6) Maintain no record describing how any individual exercises 
rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by 
statute or by the individual to whom the record pertains or unless 
pertinent to and within the scope of an authorized law enforcement 
activity;
    (7) Make reasonable efforts to serve notice on an individual when 
any record on such individual is made available to any person under 
compulsory legal process when such process becomes a matter of public 
record; and
    (8) At least thirty days prior to publication of information under 
paragraph (i) of this section, publish in the Federal Register notice of 
any new use or intended use of the information in the system and provide 
an opportunity for interested persons to submit written data, views or 
arguments to the Railroad Retirement Board.
    (m) Fees. The Railroad Retirement Board may assess a fee for copies 
of any records furnished to an individual under paragraph (d) of this 
section. The fees for copies shall be $.10 per copy per page, not to 
exceed the actual cost of reproduction, and should be paid to the 
Director of Budget and Fiscal Operations for deposit to the Railroad 
Retirement Account. If payment is made by check, the check should be 
payable to the order of the Railroad Retirement Board. Any fee of less 
than $10 may be waived by the system manager if he determines that it is 
in the public interest to do so.
    (n) Government contractors. When the Railroad Retirement Board 
provides by a contract or by a subcontract subject to its approval for 
the operation by or on behalf of the Railroad Retirement Board of a 
system of records to accomplish an agency function, the Railroad 
Retirement Board shall, consistent with its authority, cause the 
requirements of section 552a of title 5 of the United States Code to be 
applied to such system. In each such contract or subcontract for the 
operation of a system of records, entered into on or after

[[Page 156]]

September 27, 1975, the Railroad Retirement Board shall cause to be 
included a provision stating that the contractors or subcontractors and 
their employees shall be considered employees of the Railroad Retirement 
Board for purposes of the civil and criminal penalties provided in 
sections (g) and (i) of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a (g) and 
(i)).
    (o) Mailing lists. The Railroad Retirement Board shall neither sell 
nor rent information containing any individual's name or address, unless 
authorized by statute.
    (p) Disclosure of social security account numbers. Whenever an 
individual is requested by the Railroad Retirement Board to disclose his 
social security account number he shall be informed as to whether such 
disclosure is mandatory or voluntary. If disclosure of the individual's 
social security account number is mandatory, he shall be informed of the 
statutory authority requiring such disclosure.

[41 FR 20580, May 19, 1976, as amended at 43 FR 17468, Apr. 25, 1978; 50 
FR 27222, July 2, 1985. Redesignated at 52 FR 11010, Apr. 6, 1987, as 
amended at 53 FR 3198, Feb. 4, 1988; 54 FR 43055, Oct. 20, 1989]

Sec. 200.6  Open meetings.

    (a) Definitions--(1) Meeting. For purposes of this section, the term 
``meeting'' shall mean the deliberations of at least two of the three 
members of the Railroad Retirement Board, which deliberations determine 
or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official agency 
business. The term ``meeting'' shall not include:
    (i) Deliberations of the Board members concerning the closure of a 
meeting, the withholding of any information with respect to a meeting, 
the scheduling of a meeting, the establishment of the agenda of a 
meeting, or any change in the scheduling, agenda, or the open or closed 
status of a meeting; or
    (ii) Consideration by the Board members of agency business 
circulated to them individually in writing for disposition by notation.
    (2) Public announcement. For purposes of this section the term 
``public announcement'' shall mean the posting of the notice of a 
scheduled meeting as required by this section on a bulletin board 
available to the public on the first floor of the Board's headquarters 
building located at 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
    (b)(1) The members of the Board shall not jointly conduct or dispose 
of agency business except in accordance with the procedures and 
requirements established by this section. Provided, however, That 
nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prohibit the Board 
from disposing of routine or administrative matters by sequential, 
notational voting.
    (2) Where agency business is disposed of by notational voting as 
provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the minutes of the next 
succeeding Board meeting shall reflect such action.
    (3) Every portion of every meeting of the Board at which agency 
business is conducted or disposed of shall be open to public 
observation, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (c)(1) Except as provided in this section, every portion of every 
meeting of the Board shall be open to the public. A meeting or a portion 
of a meeting may be closed where (i) the Board properly determines that 
the subject matter of the meeting or portion thereof is such as to make 
it likely that disclosure of matters falling within one or more of the 
exceptions set out in paragraph (c)(3) of this section would result, and 
(ii) the Board determines that the public interest would not require 
that the meeting or portion thereof be open to the public.
    (2) The requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section shall 
not apply to information pertaining to a meeting which would otherwise 
be required to be disclosed to the public under this section where the 
Board properly determines that the disclosure of the information is 
likely to disclose matters within the exceptions listed in paragraph 
(c)(3) of this section, and that the public interest would not require 
that the matters, even though excepted, should be disclosed.
    (3) The Board may close a meeting or a portion thereof and may 
withhold information concerning the meeting or portion thereof, 
including the explanation of closure, the description of the subject 
matter of the meeting, and the

[[Page 157]]

list of individuals expected to attend, which otherwise would be 
required to be made public under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, 
where it has determined, as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of 
this section, where it has determined, as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) 
and (2) of this section, that the public interest would not otherwise 
require that the meeting or portion thereof be open or that the 
information be made public, and that the meeting, or portion thereof, or 
the disclosure of the information is likely to:
    (i) Disclose matters that are (A) specifically authorized under 
criteria established by Executive Order to be kept secret in the 
interests of national defense or foreign policy and (B) in fact properly 
classified pursuant to such executive order;
    (ii) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of 
the Board;
    (iii) Disclose matters exempted from disclosure under 45 U.S.C. 
362(d) and 362(n) and 45 U.S.C. 231f(b)(3) or disclose matters 
specifically exempted from disclosure by any other statute (other than 5 
U.S.C 552), Provided, That such other statute either requires that the 
matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to afford no 
discretion on the issue or establishes particular criteria for 
withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
    (iv) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information 
obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
    (v) Involve accusing any person of a crime, or formally censuring 
any person;
    (vi) Disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure 
would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
    (vii) Disclose investigatory records compiled for law enforcement 
purposes, or information which if written would be contained in such 
records, but only to the extent that the production of such records or 
information would
    (A) Interfere with law enforcement proceedings,
    (B) Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial 
adjudication,
    (C) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
    (D) Disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case 
of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the 
course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful 
national security intelligence investigation, confidential information 
furnished only by the confidential source,
    (E) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or
    (F) Endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement 
personnel;
    (viii) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would 
be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed Board 
action, except that this paragraph shall not apply in any instance where 
the Board has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of 
its proposed action, or where the Board is required by law to make such 
disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final agency action on 
such proposal; or
    (ix) Specifically concern the agency's issuance of a subpoena, or 
the agency's participation in a civil action or proceeding, an action in 
a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, or the 
initiation, conduct, or disposition by the agency of a particular case 
of formal agency adjudication pursuant to the authority granted in 45 
U.S.C. 231f and 45 U.S.C. 365.
    (d)(1) Any action by the Board to close a meeting or a portion 
thereof, or to withhold any information pertaining to such meeting or 
portion thereof, shall be taken only upon the vote of at least two 
members of the Board that the meeting or portion thereof be closed or 
information withheld for one or more of the reasons set forth in 
paragraph (c)(3) of this section. A single vote may be taken with 
respect to a series of meetings, to close the meetings or portions 
thereof or to withhold information pertaining to such meetings, where 
the meetings or portions thereof involve the same subject matter and are 
scheduled within 30 calendar days after the date of the initial meeting 
in the series.
    (2) The vote of each member of the Board participating in the vote 
on closure of a meeting or portion thereof shall be recorded. Vote by 
proxy shall not be allowed.

[[Page 158]]

    (3) A person whose interests might be directly affected by a meeting 
or portion thereof which otherwise would be open may request that the 
meeting or portion thereof which concerns such person's interests be 
closed under paragraphs (c)(3)(v), (vi), or (vii) of this section. The 
request should be directed to The Secretary, Railroad Retirement Board, 
844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and must be received no later 
than the beginning of the meeting to which it applies. Upon receipt of 
such a request the Board shall vote by recorded vote on the question as 
to whether the meeting or portion thereof should be closed.
    (4) Within one day following a vote taken under paragraphs (d)(2) 
and (3) of this section, a copy of such vote showing the vote of each 
member shall be available for public inspection and copying in the 
office of the Secretary of the Board, located in the Board's 
headquarters office.
    (5) If a meeting or portion thereof is closed in accordance with an 
action under paragraphs (d)(2) or (3) of this section, the Board shall, 
within one day following the vote, except to the extent such information 
is exempt from disclosure under paragraph (c) of this section, make 
available for inspection and copying in the office of the Secretary of 
the Board a written explanation of the Board's action and a list of the 
persons expected to attend and their affiliations.
    (e)(1) Except as to those meetings or portions of meetings scheduled 
as provided in paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section, the Board 
shall for each meeting make public announcement at least one week prior 
thereto of the time, place and subject matter of the meeting, whether 
the meeting is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and 
telephone number of an official of the Railroad Retirement Board 
designated by the Board to respond to any requests from the public 
pertaining to the meeting.
    (2) The requirement contained in paragraph (e)(1) of this section 
that the Board give one week advance notice of each meeting shall not 
apply where the Board determines by majority vote, which vote shall be 
recorded, that agency business requires that a meeting be scheduled at 
an earlier date. If a meeting is scheduled less than one week in the 
future, as provided in this paragraph, the Board shall make a public 
announcement at the earliest practicable time of the time, place and 
subject matter of the meeting and whether the meeting is to be open or 
closed to the public.
    (3) The Board may change the time and place of a previously 
scheduled and announced meeting, but such change must be announced to 
the public at the earliest practicable time. The Board may change the 
subject matter, or its determination to open or close a meeting or 
portion thereof, of a previously scheduled and announced meeting only if 
(i) a majority of the Board determines by recorded vote that agency 
business requires the change and that no earlier public announcement of 
the change was possible, and (ii) the Board makes a public announcement 
of the change and the vote of each member thereon at the earliest 
practicable time.
    (4) Immediately following each public announcement required by this 
subsection, the Board shall submit for publication in the Federal 
Register notice of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, 
whether the meeting is to be open or closed, any changes in such items 
from a previous announcement, and the name and telephone number of the 
Railroad Retirement Board official designated by the Board to respond to 
requests concerning the announced meeting.
    (f)(1) Whenever the Board should determine to close a meeting or a 
portion of a meeting under any of the exemptions contained in paragraph 
(c)(3) of this section, the General Counsel of the Railroad Retirement 
Board shall, prior to the meeting, certify in writing that in his or her 
opinion the meeting or portion thereof may be closed to the public and 
shall state the applicable exemptions which permit closure. The Board 
shall maintain a copy of the General Counsel's certification and a copy 
of the statement of the presiding officer of the meeting setting forth 
the time and place of the meeting and a list of the persons present, 
other than those present merely as spectators.

[[Page 159]]

    (2) In the event that a meeting or any portion of a meeting is 
closed to the public, a complete transcript or recording shall be made 
of the meeting or portion thereof closed; Provided, however, That if the 
meeting or portion thereof is closed under paragraph (c)(3)(ix) of this 
section, a set of minutes may be made of the closed meeting or portion 
of a meeting in lieu of a complete transcript or recording thereof. If a 
set of minutes is the method chosen to record the proceedings of a 
meeting or portion thereof closed under paragraph (c)(3)(ix) of this 
section, such minutes shall fully and clearly describe the matters 
discussed. The minutes shall also fully reflect any actions taken by the 
Board, set forth a statement of the reasons for such actions, summarize 
each of the views expressed concerning such actions, identify any 
documents considered in connection with such agency actions, and show 
the vote of the Board and each of its members on such actions.
    (3) The transcript, recording, or minutes of each meeting or portion 
thereof closed to the public shall be available for public inspection or 
listening in the office of the Secretary of the Board, 844 Rush Street, 
Chicago, Illinois 60611, no later than two weeks following the meeting. 
There shall be expunged or erased from the transcript, recording, or 
minutes of each meeting which is made available to the public any items 
of discussion or testimony when it has been determined that they contain 
information which may be withheld under paragraph (c) of this section, 
and that the public interest would not require disclosure. The 
determination as to what items of discussion or testimony shall be 
expunged or erased from the copies of the transcript, recording, or 
minutes available to the public shall be made by the Secretary of the 
Board with the approval of the Board.
    (4) Copies of transcripts, minutes, or transcriptions of recordings 
maintained by the Board as provided in paragraph (e)(3) of this section 
shall be provided to members of the public who request such copies, at 
the actual cost of duplicating or transcription. Requests for copies of 
transcripts, minutes or transcriptions of recordings should be in 
writing, addressed to the Secretary of the Board, Railroad Retirement 
Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and should clearly 
indicate the date of the meeting or meetings for which such copies are 
requested. If the requester desires a copy of only a portion or portions 
of the transcript, minutes, or transcription of a specified meeting, the 
request should specify which portion or portions are desired.
    (5) The Board shall maintain the complete transcript, recording, or 
minutes required to be made under paragraph (e)(2) of this section for a 
period of at least two years after the meeting, or for at least one year 
after the conclusion of any agency proceeding with respect to which the 
meeting or portion of the meeting was held, whichever occurs later.
    (g) Nothing in this section shall expand or limit the rights of any 
person under 5 U.S.C. 552, and 20 CFR 200.3, except that the exemptions 
contained in paragraph (c) of this section shall govern in the case of 
any request under 5 U.S.C. 552 and 20 CFR 200.3 to copy, inspect, or 
obtain copies of transcripts, recordings, or minutes described in 
paragraph (f) of this section. Nothing in this section shall limit the 
rights of any individual under 5 U.S.C. 552a and 20 CFR 200.4 to gain 
access to any record which would be available to such individual under 
those provisions.

[42 FR 15312, Mar. 21, 1977, as amended at 42 FR 22865, Nov. 11, 1977. 
Redesignated at 52 FR 11010, Apr. 6, 1987]

Sec. 200.7  Assessment or waiver of interest, penalties, and 
          administrative costs with respect to collection of certain 
          debts.

    (a) Purpose. The Debt Collection Act of 1982 requires the Board to 
charge interest on claims for money owed the Board, to assess penalties 
on delinquent debts, and to assess charges to cover the costs of 
processing claims for delinquent debts. The Act permits, and in certain 
cases requires, an agency to waive the collection of interest, penalties 
and charges under circumstances which comply with standards enunciated 
jointly by the Comptroller General and the Attorney General. Those 
standards are contained in 4 CFR

[[Page 160]]

102.13. This section contains the circumstances under which the Board 
may either assess or waive interest, penalties, and administrative costs 
which arise from benefit or annuity overpayments made under any of the 
Acts which the Board administers.
    (b)(1) Simple interest shall be assessed once a month on the unpaid 
principal of a debt.
    (2) Interest shall accrue from the date on which notice of the debt 
and demand for repayment with interest is first mailed or hand-delivered 
to the debtor, or in the case of a debt which is subject to section 
10(c) of the Railroad Retirement Act or section 2(d) of the Railroad 
Unemployment Insurance Act, interest shall accrue from the date that a 
denial of waiver of recovery is mailed or hand-delivered to the debtor 
or, if waiver has not been requested, upon the expiration of the time 
within which to request waiver, except as otherwise specified in this 
section.
    (3) In the case of a lien for reimbursement of sickness benefits 
pursuant to part 341 of this chapter, interest on the amount of the lien 
shall accrue from the date of settlement or the entry of final judgment.
    (4) The rate of interest assessed shall be the rate of the current 
value of funds to the U.S. Treasury (i.e., the Treasury tax and loan 
account rate) as prescribed and published in the Federal Register and 
the Treasury Financial Manual Bulletins annually or quarterly, in 
accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3717.
    (5) The rate of interest as initially assessed shall remain fixed 
for the duration of the indebtedness, except that where a debtor has 
defaulted on a repayment agreement and seeks to enter into a new 
agreement, a new interest rate may be assessed.
    (c)(1) A penalty charge of 6 percent per year shall be assessed on 
any debt that is delinquent for more than 90 days.
    (2) The penalty charge shall accrue from the date on which the debt 
became delinquent.
    (3) A debt is delinquent if it has not been paid in full by the 30th 
day after the date on which the initial demand letter was first mailed 
or hand-delivered, or, if the debt is being repaid under an installment 
payment agreement, at any time after the debtor fails to satisfy his or 
her obligation for payment thereunder.
    (4) In the case of a lien for reimbursement of sickness benefits 
pursuant to part 341 of this chapter, the amount of the lien is 
delinquent if it has not been paid in full by the 30th day after the 
date of settlement or entry of final judgment.
    (d)(1) Charges shall be assessed against the debtor for 
administrative costs incurred as a result of processing and handling the 
debt because it became delinquent.
    (2) Administrative costs include costs incurred in obtaining a 
credit report and in using a private debt collector.
    (e) When a debt is paid in partial or installment payments, amounts 
received shall be applied first to outstanding penalty and 
administrative cost charges, second to accrued interest, and third to 
outstanding principal. Where a debtor is in default under an installment 
repayment agreement, uncollected interest, penalties and administrative 
cost charges which have accrued under the agreement shall be added to 
the principal to be paid under any new installment repayment agreement 
entered into between the Board and the debtor.
    (f) Exemptions. The assessment of interest, penalties, and 
administrative costs under this section does not apply to debts under 
sections 2(f) and 8(g) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 
U.S.C. 352(f) and 358(g)).
    (g)(1) The Board shall waive the collection of interest under the 
following circumstances:
    (i) When the debt is paid within thirty days after the date on which 
notice of the debt was mailed or personally delivered to the debtor,
    (ii) When, in any case where a decision with respect to waiver of 
recovery of an overpayment must be made:
    (A) The debt is paid within thirty days after the end of the period 
within which the debtor may request waiver of recovery, if no request 
for waiver is received within the prescribed time period; or
    (B) The debt is paid within thirty days after the date on which 
notice was

[[Page 161]]

mailed to the debtor that his or her request for waiver of recovery has 
been wholly or partially denied if the debtor requested waiver of 
recovery within the prescribed time limit; however, regardless of when 
the debt is paid, no interest may be charged for any period prior to the 
end of the period within which the debtor may request waiver of recovery 
or, if such request is made, for any period prior to the date on which 
notice was mailed to the debtor that his or her request for waiver of 
recovery has been wholly or partially denied;
    (iii) When, in the situations described in paragraphs (g)(1) (i) and 
(ii) of this section, the debt is paid within any extension of the 
thirty-day period granted by the Board;
    (iv) With respect to any portion of the debt which is paid within 
the time limits described in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), or 
(g)(1)(iii) of this section; or
    (v) In regard to any debt the recovery of which is waived.
    (2) The Board may waive the collection of interest, penalties and 
administrative costs in whole or in part in the following circumstances:
    (i) Where, in the judgment of the Board, collecting interest, 
penalty and administrative costs would be against equity and good 
conscience; or
    (ii) Where, in the judgment of the Board, collecting interest, 
penalty and administrative costs would not be in the best interest of 
the United States.
    (h)(1) In making determinations as to when the collection of 
interest, penalty and administrative costs is against equity and good 
conscience the Board will consider evidence on the following factors:
    (i) The fault of the overpaid individual in causing the underlying 
overpayment; and
    (ii) Whether the overpaid individual in reliance on the incorrect 
payment relinquished a valuable right or changed his or her position for 
the worse.
    (2) In rendering a determination as to when the collection of 
interest, penalties and administrative costs is not in the best interest 
of the United States the Board will consider the following factors:
    (i) Whether the collection of interest, penalties and administrative 
costs would result in the debt never being repaid; and
    (ii) Whether the collection of interest, penalties and 
administrative costs would cause undue hardship.
    (i) The Board shall waive the collection of interest, penalties, and 
administrative costs in any case where the debt to be recovered is being 
recovered by full or partial withholding of a current annuity payable 
under the Railroad Retirement Act and the debt was not incurred through 
fraud.

[52 FR 41559, Oct. 29, 1987, as amended at 59 FR 15049, Mar. 31, 1994; 
67 FR 5723, Feb. 7, 2002]

Sec. 200.8  Disclosure of information obtained in the administration of 
          the Railroad Retirement Act and the Railroad Unemployment 
          Insurance Act.

    (a) Purpose and scope. The purpose of this section is to establish 
specific procedures necessary for compliance with section 12(d) of the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, which is incorporated into the 
Railroad Retirement Act by section 7(b)(3) of that Act. Except as 
otherwise indicated in this section, these regulations apply to all 
information obtained by the Railroad Retirement Board in connection with 
the administration of the Railroad Retirement Act and the Railroad 
Unemployment Insurance Act.
    (b) Definitions--Agency. The term agency refers to the Railroad 
Retirement Board, an independent agency in the executive branch of the 
United States Government.
    Applicant. The term applicant means a person who signs an 
application for an annuity or lump-sum payment or unemployment benefits 
or sickness benefits for himself or herself or for some other person.
    Beneficiary. The term beneficiary refers to an individual to whom a 
benefit is payable under either the Railroad Retirement Act or the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
    Board. The term Board refers to the three-member governing body of 
the Railroad Retirement Board.
    Document. The term document includes correspondence, applications,

[[Page 162]]

claims, reports, records, memoranda and any other materials or data 
used, prepared, received or transmitted to, from, by or for the agency 
in connection with the administration of the Railroad Retirement Act or 
the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
    Information. The term information means any non-medical document or 
data which is obtained by the agency in the administration of the 
Railroad Retirement Act and/or the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. 
Information does not include the fact of entitlement to or the amount of 
a benefit under either of these Acts. Medical records are subject to the 
disclosure provisions set out in Sec. 200.5(e) of this part.
    Testify and testimony. The terms testify and testimony include both 
in-person oral statements before a court or a legislative or 
administrative body and statements made in the form of depositions, 
interrogatories, declarations, affidavits or other means of formal 
participation in such proceedings.
    (c) General rule. Except as otherwise authorized by this section, 
information shall not be produced, disclosed, delivered or open to 
inspection in any manner revealing the identity of an employee, 
applicant or beneficiary unless the Board or its authorized designee 
finds that such production, disclosure, delivery, or inspection is 
clearly in furtherance of the interest of the employee, applicant or 
beneficiary or of the estate of such employee, applicant, or 
beneficiary. Where no such finding is made, no information shall be 
released except in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 200.5 of this 
part, unless release of such information is required by a law determined 
to supersede this general rule. In addition, regardless of whether or 
not such finding can be made, information which is compiled in 
anticipation of a civil or criminal action or proceeding against an 
applicant or beneficiary may not be released under this general rule.
    (d) Subpoenas--statement of policy and general rule. (1) It is the 
policy of the Board to provide information, data, and records to non-
Federal litigants to the same extent and in the same manner that they 
are available to the general public. The availability of Board employees 
to testify before state and local courts and administrative and 
legislative bodies, as well as in Federal court and administrative 
proceedings which involve non-Federal litigants, concerning information 
acquired in the course of performing their official duties or because of 
the employee's official capacity, is governed by the Board's policy of 
maintaining strict impartiality with respect to private litigants and 
minimizing the disruption of an employee's official duties. Thus, the 
Board may refuse to make an employee available for testimony under this 
paragraph or paragraph (e) or (f) of this section if it determines that 
the information sought is available other than through testimony and 
where making such employee available would cause disruption of agency 
operations. However, this paragraph does not apply to any civil or 
criminal proceeding where the United States, the Railroad Retirement 
Board, or any other Federal agency is a party; to Congressional requests 
or subpoenas for testimony; to consultative services and technical 
assistance provided by the Board or the agency in carrying out its 
normal program activities; to employees serving as expert witnesses in 
connection with professional and consultative services rendered as 
approved outside activities (in cases where employees are providing such 
outside services, they must state for the record that the testimony 
represents their own views and does not necessarily represent the 
official position of the agency); or to employees making appearances in 
their private capacity in legal or administrative proceedings that do 
not relate to the official business of the agency (such as cases arising 
out of traffic accidents, crimes, domestic relations, etc.) and not 
involving professional and consultative services as described above.
    (2) No officer, agent, or employee of the agency is authorized to 
accept or receive service of subpoenas, summons, or other judicial 
process addressed to the Board or to the agency except as the Board may 
from time to time delegate such authority by power of attorney. The 
Board has issued such power of attorney to the Deputy General

[[Page 163]]

Counsel of the agency and to no one else.
    (3) In the event the production, disclosure, or delivery of any 
information is called for on behalf of the United States or the agency, 
such information shall be produced, disclosed, or delivered only upon 
and pursuant to the advice of the Deputy General Counsel.
    (4) When any member, officer, agent, or employee of the agency is 
served with a subpoena to produce, disclose, deliver, or furnish any 
information, he or she shall immediately notify the Deputy General 
Counsel of the fact of the service of such subpoena. Unless otherwise 
ordered by the Deputy General Counsel or his or her designee, he or she 
shall appear in response to the subpoena and respectfully decline to 
produce, disclose, deliver, or furnish the information, basing such 
refusal upon the authority of this section.
    (e) Subpoena duces tecum. (1) When any document is sought from the 
agency by a subpoena duces tecum or other judicial order issued to the 
agency by a court of competent jurisdiction in a proceeding wherein such 
document is relevant, a copy of such document, certified by the 
Secretary to the Board to be a true copy, may be produced, disclosed, or 
delivered by the agency if, in the judgment of the Board or its 
designee, such production is clearly in furtherance of the interest of 
the employee, applicant, or beneficiary to whom the document pertains, 
or is clearly in furtherance of the interest of the estate of such 
employee, applicant, or beneficiary, and such document does not consist 
of or include a report of medical information.
    (2) When the production, diclosure, or delivery of any document 
described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section would not be permitted 
under the standards therein set forth, no member, officer, agent, or 
employee of the agency shall make any disclosure of or testify with 
respect to such document.
    (f) Requests for voluntary testimony. All requests for testimony by 
a Board employee in his or her official capacity must be in writing and 
directed to the Deputy General Counsel. They shall state the nature of 
the requested testimony, why the information is not available by any 
other means, and the reasons, if any, why the testimony would be in the 
interest of the Board or the Federal government.
    (g) Authorized release of information. Subject to the limitation 
expressed in paragraph (h) of this section, disclosure of documents and 
information is hereby authorized, in such manner as the Board may by 
instructions prescribe, in the following cases:
    (1) To any employer, employee, applicant, or prospective applicant 
for an annuity or death benefit under the Railroad Retirement Act of 
1974, or his or her duly authorized representative, as to matters 
directly concerning such employer, employee, applicant, or prospective 
applicant in connection with the administration of such Act.
    (2) To any employer, employee, applicant or prospective applicant 
for benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, or his or 
her duly authorized representative, as to matters directly concerning 
such employer, employee, applicant, or prospective applicant in 
connection with the administration of such Act.
    (3) To any officer or employee of the United States lawfully charged 
with the administration of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, the Social 
Security Act, or acts or executive orders administered by the Department 
of Veterans Affairs, and for the purpose of the administration of those 
Acts only.
    (4) To any applicant or prospective applicant for death benefits or 
accrued annuities under the Railroad Retirement Act, or to his or her 
duly authorized representative, as to the amount payable as such death 
benefits or accrued annuities, and the name of the person or persons 
determined by the agency to be the beneficiary, or beneficiaries, 
thereof, if such applicant or prospective applicant purports to have a 
valid reason for believing himself or herself to be, in whole or in 
part, the beneficiary thereof.
    (5) To any officer or employee of the United States lawfully charged 
with the administration of any Federal law concerning taxes imposed with 
respect to amounts payable under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and 
the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act and the name of the person or 
persons to whom such amount was payable.

[[Page 164]]

    (6) To any officer or employee of any state of the United States 
lawfully charged with the administration of any law of such state 
concerning unemployment compensation, as to the amounts payable to 
payees or beneficiaries under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and 
the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.
    (7) To any court of competent jurisdiction in which proceedings are 
pending which relate to the care of the person or estate of an 
incompetent individual, as to amounts payable under the Railroad 
Retirement Act to such incompetent individual, but only for the purpose 
of such proceedings.
    (8) To parties involved in litigation, including an action with 
respect to child support, alimony, or marital property, the amount of 
any actual or estimated benefit payable under the Railroad Retirement 
Act or the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, where such amount or 
estimated amount is relevant to that litigation.
    (9) To any employer, as to the monthly amount of any retirement 
annuity under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 or benefit under the 
Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act to which a present or former 
employee of that employer is entitled.
    (10) To any governmental welfare agency, information about the 
receipt of benefits and eligibility for benefits.
    (11) To any law enforcement agency, information necessary to 
investigate or prosecute criminal activity in connection with claims for 
benefits under the Railroad Retirement Act, Railroad Unemployment 
Insurance Act, or any other Act the Board may be authorized to 
administer.
    (12) To any consular official, other than a consular officer of a 
country to which United States Treasury checks and warrants may not be 
sent, acting in behalf of a compatriot who has claimed benefits under 
the Railroad Retirement Act or Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, 
information that is pertinent to the claim and that the applicant 
himself could have upon his or her own request.
    (h) No document and no information acquired solely by reason of any 
agreement, arrangement, contract, or request by or on behalf of the 
agency, relating to the gathering, preparation, receipt or transmittal 
of documents or information to, from or for the agency, which is by 
virtue of such agreement, arrangement, contract, or request in the 
possession of any person other than an employee of the agency, shall be 
produced, reproduced, or duplicated, disclosed or delivered by any 
person to any other person or tribunal (other than the agency or an 
employee thereof, or the person to whom the document or information 
pertains), whether in response to a subpoena or otherwise, except with 
the consent of the Board or its designee. Any person, upon receipt of 
any request, subpoena, or order calling for the production, disclosure, 
or delivery of such document or information shall notify the Board or 
its designee of the request, subpoena, or order and shall take no 
further action except upon advice of the Board or its designee. Unless 
consent of the Board or its designee is given, the person shall 
respectfully decline to comply with the request, subpoena or order.
    (i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no 
disclosure of information may be made by the Board or any member, 
officer, agent, or employee of the agency, if the disclosure of such 
information is prohibited by law.
    (j) The Deputy General Counsel or his designee will request the 
assistance of the Department of Justice where necessary to represent the 
interests of the agency and its employees under this section.

[54 FR 43055, Oct. 20, 1989, as amended at 56 FR 50247, Oct. 4, 1991; 63 
FR 2141, Jan. 14, 1998]

Sec. 200.9  Selection of members of Actuarial Advisory Committee.

    (a) Introduction. Under section 15(f) of the Railroad Retirement Act 
of 1974 (45 U.S.C. 231n(f)), the Board is directed to select two 
actuaries to serve on an Actuarial Advisory Committee. This section 
describes how the two actuaries are selected.
    (b) Carrier actuary. One member of the Actuarial Advisory Committee 
shall be selected by recommendations made by ``carrier 
representatives.'' ``Carrier representatives,'' as used in

[[Page 165]]

this section, shall mean any organization formed jointly by the express 
companies, sleeping-car companies and carriers by railroad subject to 
the Interstate Commerce Act which own or control more than 50 percent of 
the total railroad mileage within the United States.
    (c) Railway labor actuary. The other member of the Actuarial 
Advisory Committee to be selected by the Board shall be recommended by 
``representatives of employees.'' ``Representatives of employees,'' as 
used in this section, shall mean any organization or body formed jointly 
by a majority of railway labor organizations organized in accordance 
with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, as amended, or any 
individual or committee authorized by a majority of such railway labor 
organizations to make such recommendation.

[54 FR 43056, Oct. 20, 1989]

Sec. 200.10  Representatives of applicant or beneficiaries.

    (a) Power of attorney. An applicant or a beneficiary shall not be 
required to hire, retain or utilize the services of an attorney, agent, 
or other representative in any claim filed with the Board. In the event 
an applicant or beneficiary desires to be represented by another person, 
he or she shall file with the Board prior to the time of such 
representation a power of attorney signed by such applicant or 
beneficiary and naming such other person as the person authorized to 
represent the applicant or beneficiary with respect to matters in 
connection with his or her claim. However, the Board may recognize one 
of the following persons as the duly authorized representative of the 
applicant or beneficiary without requiring such power of attorney when 
it appears that such recognition is in the interest of the applicant or 
beneficiary:
    (1) A Member of Congress;
    (2) A person designated by the railway labor organization of which 
the applicant or beneficiary is a member to act on behalf of members of 
that organization on such matters; or
    (3) An attorney who, in the absence of information to the contrary, 
declares that he or she is representing the applicant or beneficiary.
    (b) Payment of claim. The Board will not certify payment of any 
awarded claim to or through any person other than the applicant or 
beneficiary for the reason that a power of attorney for such person to 
represent such applicant or beneficiary has been filed.

[54 FR 43057, Oct. 20, 1989]

[[Page 166]]



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