Title 5

SECTION 294.103

294.103 Definitions of categories and assignment of requests and requesters to categories.

§ 294.103 Definitions of categories and assignment of requests and requesters to categories.

OPM will apply the definitions and procedures contained in this section to assign requesters to categories. The four categories established by 5 U.S.C. 552(a) are requests for commercial use, requests for non-commercial use made by educational or non-commercial scientific institutions, requests for non-commercial use made by representatives of the news media, and all others.

(a) Request for commercial use. A “commercial use request” is from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person or institution on whose behalf the request is made. In determining whether a request properly belongs in this category, OPM will look first to the intended use of the documents being requested.

(b) Request for non-commercial use made by an educational or non-commercial scientific institution. OPM will include requesters in one of the two categories described in paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this section when the request is being made as authorized by, and under the auspices of, a qualifying institution; and the records are sought, not for a commercial use, but in furtherance of scholarly or scientific research.

(1) Educational institution refers to any public or private, preschool, elementary, or secondary school, institution of undergraduate or graduate higher education, or institution of professional or vocational education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly or scientific research.

(2) A non-commercial scientific institution refers to an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis as that term is referenced in paragraph (a) of this section, and which is operated solely to conduct scientific or scholarly research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.

(c) Request from a representative of the news media. “Representative of the news media” refers to any person actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate news to the public. The term “news” means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large, and publishers of periodicals who make their products available for purchase or subscription by the general public. Free-lance journalists may be regarded as representatives of the news media if they demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication, or some other form of dissemination, through a particular organization even though they are not actually employed by it. OPM will assign news media officials to this category only when a request is not for commercial use. If a person meets the other qualifications for inclusion, OPM will not apply the term “commercial use” to his or her request for records in support of a news dissemination function.

(d) Requests from others. The category “all others,” consists of any requesters not covered by paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) of this section. However, as provided by § 294.105, OPM will use its Privacy Act regulations, rather than this subpart, when individuals ask for records about themselves that may be filed in OPM systems of records.