WASHINGTON (4/28/08)—Credit unions have until June 24 to comment on a recent National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) proposal to streamline its system for complying with freedom of information and privacy laws. The proposed changes were largely prompted by recent amendments to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) addressing several procedural issues concerning fee practices, time limits for complying with requests, and new reporting requirements. The NCUA’s own revision plan embraces both housekeeping changes and other more substantive ones:
* Regarding FOIA, the NCUA would amend regulations to identify more precisely the agency's Information Centers and addresses, and describe required content for request letters; * On the privacy issue, the agency proposal would abolish present language that permits persons to submit telephone requests because of difficulties in enforcing the regulation's identification requirements.
The proposal was approved for comment at an NCUA April 17 open board meeting. At that time the agency indicated that contemplated housekeeping changes in the privacy area include correcting cross-references, grammar and punctuation; a change in nomenclature and additional definitions to improve understanding of rights and requirements, and more exact definitions for "system manager" and "working day." The NCUA also said the proposed language on privacy would clarify that requests must be submitted in writing to the appropriate system manager or to other staff as specified. For more on the agency plan, use the resource link below.