About the Office
Defense Privacy Board Advisory Opinions
THE PRIVACY ACT SYSTEM NOTICE REQUIREMENT APPLIES TO COURT–MARTIAL FILES
Procedures and policies regarding courts–martial are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Courts–Martial. Congress recognized the unique nature of court–martial proceedings and exempted them from requirements of the Privacy Act by specifically excluding them from the definition of "agency." See 5 U.S.C. § 551(1)(F). Although courts–martial, themselves, are not "agencies" for purposes of the Privacy Act, records of trials by courts–martial are maintained by agencies long after the courts–martial involved have been dissolved. The Privacy Act requires each agency that maintains a system of records to "publish in the Federal Register upon establishment or revision a notice of the existence and character of the system of records . . . ." 5 U.S.C. § 552a(e)(4). Hence, the requirement to publish a system notice applies to systems containing courts–martial records.