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Requests for Personal Records

May 18, 2022

Under the Privacy Act, United States citizens and non-citizens lawfully admitted for permanent residence have the right to request:

  • Access to their personal records
  • Amendment of personal records that are inaccurate, irrelevant, out-of-date, or incomplete

Note that not all records are subject to the Privacy Act. The Act applies only to records about an individual maintained by an agency in a “system of records.” A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some other unique identifier, such as a social security number or a certificate of divestiture number. 

Requests for personal records maintained by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) must be made in writing to the appropriate system manager. The request must be clearly marked as a “Privacy Act Request” on both the envelope and at the top of the request. Requests should include the OGE system of records in which the records are maintained or other information that will assist in the identification of the requested records. Such information may include: the requester’s full name (including previous legal name, if pertinent), social security number, and dates of Federal employment. The request should also state whether the requester wants a copy of the record or wants to examine the record in person. For more information on submitting a request for personal records, see OGE’s Privacy Act regulations at 5 C.F.R. part 2606 (eCFR ).

Requests should be sent to the office where the requested records were originally filed.

NOTE: A requester seeking access to their own public financial disclosures need not file an OGE Form 201, "Request to Inspect or Receive Copies of SF 278/OGE Form 278 Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Reports or Other Covered Records." More information on accessing public financial disclosures is available here