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Initial Request Determinations

Once SBA has processed a request, a written initial determination letter will be provided. This letter will advise whether SBA is withholding any information pursuant to one or more of the exemptions to the Privacy Act (as discussed below).

There are two general and seven specific exemptions in the Privacy Act. The two general exemptions cover:

  • All records maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency (not applicable to SBA).

  • Selected records maintained by an agency or component thereof which performs as its principal functions any activity pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws (only used by SBA’s Office of the Inspector General).

In addition, the Privacy Act provides seven specific exemptions:

  1. Information that is properly classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.

  2. Investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes not covered by the general exemptions. The specific law enforcement exemption is limited when—as a result of the maintenance of the records—an individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit to which he or she would be entitled by Federal law or for which he or she would otherwise be entitled. In such cases, disclosure is required except where it would reveal the identity of a confidential source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

  3. Information maintained in connection with providing protective services to the President of the United States or other individuals who receive protection from the Secret Service.

  4. Information required by statute to be maintained and used solely as statistical records.

  5. Investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining suitability, eligibility, or qualifications for Federal civilian employment, military service, Federal contracts, or access to classified information, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

  6. Testing or examination material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal Service, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would compromise the objectivity or fairness of the testing or examination process.

  7. Evaluation material used to determine potential for promotion in the armed services, but only to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.