Privacy and Civil Liberties Complaint Procedures

What is a privacy or civil liberties complaint?

The Office of Financial Research (OFR) accepts formal written complaints about a problem with or violation of privacy protections, or harm or violation of an individual’s constitutional rights in the administration of programs and operations of the OFR.

How do I file a privacy or civil liberties complaint with the OFR?

Written complaints should be submitted to the OFR Privacy Program at Include “Privacy Complaint” or “Civil Liberties Complaint” in the subject line to ensure review of your complaint. All complaints must be written in English and submitted as requested.

Please include the following information when filing your complaint:

  • Name
  • A brief summary of the complaint or description of the specific circumstances
  • A brief summary of other steps taken, if any, by you or the OFR to resolve the complaint

Are there any exclusions for privacy or civil liberties complaints?

Complaints about the privacy or constitutional rights of business entities, a corporation, or any entity other than a natural person are not considered a privacy or civil liberties complaint. However, such entities may file a complaint if the complaint pertains to the concerns of a natural person.

Requests for access, amendment, or correction of records under the Privacy Act (Privacy Act requests) are not complaints. Individuals seeking to make a Privacy Act request should refer to the procedures for Privacy Act requests.

Comments submitted by individuals, business entities, corporations, and other members of the public to OFR and Treasury notices, such as System of Records Notices or rulemakings, are not complaints.

What should I expect when filing a privacy or civil liberties complaint?

The OFR seeks to acknowledge receipt of complaints within seven business days. Complaints are reviewed and categorized. The OFR may take direct action on the complaint, refer you or the complaint to another agency or entity (including within Treasury) to assist in addressing the complaint, or determine that no action is required.

Responses are provided as necessary and will include what action the OFR is taking or has taken in response to the complaint, including referral. The OFR aims to review complaints within 25 business days.