U.S Code last checked for updates: Oct 21, 2021
§ 3162.
Requests by authorized investigative agencies
(a)
Generally
(1)
Any authorized investigative agency may request from any financial agency, financial institution, or holding company, or from any consumer reporting agency, such financial records, other financial information, and consumer reports as may be necessary in order to conduct any authorized law enforcement investigation, counterintelligence inquiry, or security determination. Any authorized investigative agency may also request records maintained by any commercial entity within the United States pertaining to travel by an employee in the executive branch of Government outside the United States.
(2)
Requests may be made under this section where—
(A)
the records sought pertain to a person who is or was an employee in the executive branch of Government required by the President in an Executive order or regulation, as a condition of access to classified information, to provide consent, during a background investigation and for such time as access to the information is maintained, and for a period of not more than three years thereafter, permitting access to financial records, other financial information, consumer reports, and travel records; and
(B)
(i)
there are reasonable grounds to believe, based on credible information, that the person is, or may be, disclosing classified information in an unauthorized manner to a foreign power or agent of a foreign power;
(ii)
information the employing agency deems credible indicates the person has incurred excessive indebtedness or has acquired a level of affluence which cannot be explained by other information known to the agency; or
(iii)
circumstances indicate the person had the capability and opportunity to disclose classified information which is known to have been lost or compromised to a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.
(3)
Each such request—
(A)
shall be accompanied by a written certification signed by the department or agency head or deputy department or agency head concerned, or by a senior official designated for this purpose by the department or agency head concerned (whose rank shall be no lower than Assistant Secretary or Assistant Director), and shall certify that—
(i)
the person concerned is or was an employee within the meaning of paragraph (2)(A);
(ii)
the request is being made pursuant to an authorized inquiry or investigation and is authorized under this section; and
(iii)
the records or information to be reviewed are records or information which the employee has previously agreed to make available to the authorized investigative agency for review;
(B)
shall contain a copy of the agreement referred to in subparagraph (A)(iii);
(C)
shall identify specifically or by category the records or information to be reviewed; and
(D)
shall inform the recipient of the request of the prohibition described in subsection (b).
(b)
Prohibition of certain disclosure
(1)
Prohibition
(A)
In general

If a certification is issued under subparagraph (B) and notice of the right to judicial review under subsection (c) is provided, no governmental or private entity that receives a request under subsection (a), or officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall disclose to any person that an authorized investigative agency described in subsection (a) has sought or obtained access to information under subsection (a).

(B)
Certification
The requirements of subparagraph (A) shall apply if the head of an authorized investigative agency described in subsection (a), or a designee, certifies that the absence of a prohibition of disclosure under this subsection may result in—
(i)
a danger to the national security of the United States;
(ii)
interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation;
(iii)
interference with diplomatic relations; or
(iv)
(2)
Exception
(A)
In general
A governmental or private entity that receives a request under subsection (a), or officer, employee, or agent thereof, may disclose information otherwise subject to any applicable nondisclosure requirement to—
(i)
those persons to whom disclosure is necessary in order to comply with the request;
(ii)
an attorney in order to obtain legal advice or assistance regarding the request; or
(iii)
other persons as permitted by the head of the authorized investigative agency described in subsection (a) or a designee.
(B)
Application

A person to whom disclosure is made under subparagraph (A) shall be subject to the nondisclosure requirements applicable to a person to whom a request is issued under subsection (a) in the same manner as the person to whom the request is issued.

(C)
Notice

Any recipient that discloses to a person described in subparagraph (A) information otherwise subject to a nondisclosure requirement shall inform the person of the applicable nondisclosure requirement.

(D)
Identification of disclosure recipients

At the request of the head of an authorized investigative agency described in subsection (a), or a designee, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under clause (i) or (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall identify to the head of the authorized investigative agency or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request.

(c)
Judicial review
(1)
In general

A request under subsection (a) or a nondisclosure requirement imposed in connection with such request under subsection (b) shall be subject to judicial review under section 3511 of title 18.

(2)
Notice

A request under subsection (a) shall include notice of the availability of judicial review described in paragraph (1).

(d)
Records or information; inspection or copying
(1)
Notwithstanding any other provision of law (other than section 6103 of title 26), an entity receiving a request for records or information under subsection (a) shall, if the request satisfies the requirements of this section, make available such records or information within 30 days for inspection or copying, as may be appropriate, by the agency requesting such records or information.
(2)
Any entity (including any officer, employee, or agent thereof) that discloses records or information for inspection or copying pursuant to this section in good faith reliance upon the certifications made by an agency pursuant to this section shall not be liable for any such disclosure to any person under this subchapter, the constitution of any State, or any law or regulation of any State or any political subdivision of any State.
(e)
Reimbursement of costs

Any agency requesting records or information under this section may, subject to the availability of appropriations, reimburse a private entity for any cost reasonably incurred by such entity in responding to such request, including the cost of identifying, reproducing, or transporting records or other data.

(f)
Dissemination of records or information received
An agency receiving records or information pursuant to a request under this section may disseminate the records or information obtained pursuant to such request outside the agency only—
(1)
to the agency employing the employee who is the subject of the records or information;
(2)
to the Department of Justice for law enforcement or counterintelligence purposes; or
(3)
with respect to dissemination to an agency of the United States, if such information is clearly relevant to the authorized responsibilities of such agency.
(g)
Construction of section

Nothing in this section may be construed to affect the authority of an investigative agency to obtain information pursuant to the Right to Financial Privacy Act (12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.) or the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).

(July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title VIII, § 802, as added Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 802(a), Oct. 14, 1994, 108 Stat. 3436; amended Pub. L. 109–177, title I, § 116(f), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 216; Pub. L. 109–178, § 4(e), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 281; Pub. L. 114–23, title V, §§ 502(e), 503(e), June 2, 2015, 129 Stat. 287, 290.)
cite as: 50 USC 3162