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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching Program

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AGENCY:

Defense Manpower Data Center, Defense Logistics Agency, DoD.

ACTION:

Notice of a computer matching program.

SUMMARY:

Subsection (e)(12) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (5 Start Printed Page 6180U.S.C. 552a) requires agencies to publish advance notice of any proposed or revised computer matching program by the matching agency for public comment. The Department of Defense (DoD), as the matching agency under the Privacy Act, is hereby giving notice to the record subjects of a computer matching program between Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD that their records are being matched by computer. The record subjects are VA delinquent debtors who may be current or former Federal employees receiving Federal salary or benefit payments and who are indebted and or delinquent in their repayment of debts owed to the United States Government under programs administered by VA.

DATES:

This proposed action will become effective March 9, 2000, and the computer matching will proceed accordingly without further notice, unless comments are received which would result in a contrary determination or if the Office of Management and Budget or Congress objects thereto. Any public comment must be received before the effective date.

ADDRESSES:

Any interested party may submit written comments to the Director, Defense Privacy Office, 1941 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 920, Arlington, VA 22202-4502.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Vahan Moushegian, Jr. at telephone (703) 607-2943.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to subsection (o) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (5 U.S.C. 552a), the DoD and VA have concluded an agreement to conduct a computer matching program between the agencies. The purpose of the match is to exchange personal data between the agencies for debt collection. The match will yield the identity and location of the debtors within the Federal government so that VA can pursue recoupment of the debt by voluntary payment or by administrative or salary offset procedures. Computer matching appeared to be the most efficient and effective manner to accomplish this task with the least amount of intrusion of personal privacy of the individuals concerned. It was therefore concluded and agreed upon that computer matching would be the best and least obtrusive manner and choice for accomplishing this requirement.

A copy of the computer matching agreement between VA and DoD is available upon request to the public. Requests should be submitted to the address caption above or to the Debt Management Center, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building, 1 Federal Drive, Ft. Snelling, MN 55111.

Set forth below is the notice of the establishment of a computer matching program required by paragraph 6.c. of the Office of Management and Budget Guidelines on computer matching published on June 19, 1989, at 54 FR 25818.

The matching agreement, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act, and an advance copy of this notice was submitted on January 21, 2000, to the House Committee on Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget pursuant to paragraph 4d of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, “Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records about Individuals,” dated February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

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Dated: February 2, 2000.

L.M. Bynum,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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NOTICE OF A COMPUTER MATCHING PROGRAM BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR DEBT COLLECTION

A. PARTICIPATING AGENCIES:

Participants in this computer matching program are the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) of the Department of Defense (DoD). The VA is the source agency, i.e., the activity disclosing the records for the purpose of the match. The DMDC is the specific recipient activity or matching agency, i.e., the agency that actually performs the computer matching.

B. PURPOSE OF THE MATCH:

Upon the execution of this agreement, VA will provide and disclose debtor records to DMDC to identify and locate any Federal personnel, employed, serving, or retired, who owe delinquent debts to the Federal Government under certain programs administered by VA. VA will use this information to initiate independent collection of those debts under the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, as amended, when voluntary payment is not forthcoming. These collection efforts will include requests by VA of the military service/employing agency in the case of military personnel (either active, reserve, or retired) and current non-postal civilian employees, and to OPM in the case of retired non-postal civilian employees, to apply administrative and/or salary offset procedures until such time as the obligation is paid in full.

C. AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING THE MATCH:

The legal authority for conducting the matching program is contained in the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365), as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-134, section 31001); 31 U.S.C. Chapter 37, Subchapter I (General) and Subchapter II (Claims of the United States Government), 31 U.S.C. 3711 Collection and Compromise, 31 U.S.C. 3716 Administrative Offset, 5 U.S.C. 5514, Installment Deduction for Indebtedness (Salary Offset); 10 U.S.C. 135, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller); Section 101(1) of Executive Order 12731; 4 CFR 101.1-105.5, Federal Claims Collection Standards; 5 CFR 550.1101-550.1108, Collection by Offset from Indebted Government Employees (OPM); 38 CFR 1.980-1.994 (VA).

D. RECORDS TO BE MATCHED:

The systems of records maintained by the respective agencies under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, from which records will be disclosed for the purpose of this computer match are as follows:

VA will use personal data from the following Privacy Act record system for the match: Accounts Receivable Records-VA, 88VA244, published in the Federal Register at 63 FR 16864 on April 6, 1998.

DoD will use personnel data from the record system identified as S322.11 DMDC, entitled “Federal Creditor Agency Debt Collection Data Base” last published in the Federal Register at 64 FR 42101 on August 3, 1999.

E. DESCRIPTION OF COMPUTER MATCHING PROGRAM:

VA, as the source agency, will provide DMDC with an electronic file which contains the names of delinquent debtors in programs VA administers. Upon receipt of the electronic file of debtor accounts, DMDC will perform a computer match using all nine digits of the SSN of the VA file against a DMDC computer database. The DMDC database, established under an interagency agreement between DoD, OPM, OMB and the Department of the Treasury, consists of personnel records of non-postal Federal civilian employees and military members, both active and retired. The “hits” or matches will be furnished to VA. VA is responsible for verifying and Start Printed Page 6181determining that the data on the DMDC electronic reply tape file are consistent with VA's source file and for resolving any discrepancies or inconsistencies on an individual basis. VA will also be responsible for making final determinations as to positive identification, amount of indebtedness and recovery efforts as a result of the match.

The electronic file provided by VA will contain data elements of the debtor's name, SSN, internal account numbers and the total amount owed for each debtor on approximately 200,000 delinquent debtors.

The DMDC computer database file contains approximately 4.8 million records of active duty and retired military members, including the Reserve and Guard, and approximately 3.1 million records of active and retired non-postal Federal civilian employees.

DMDC will match the SSNs on the VA tape by computer against the DMDC database. Matching records, “hits” based on SSN's, will produce data elements of the individual's name, SSN, military service or employing agency, and current work or home address.

F. INCLUSIVE DATES OF THE MATCHING PROGRAM:

This computer matching program is subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget and Congress. If the mandatory 30 day period for public comment has expired and if no objections are raised by either Congress or the Office of Management and Budget within 40 days of being notified of the proposed match, the computer matching program becomes effective and the respective agencies may begin the exchange of data at a mutually agreeable time on a six month basis. By agreement between VA and DoD, the matching program will be in effect and continue for 18 months with an option to extend for 12 additional months unless one of the parties to the agreement advises the other by written request to terminate or modify the agreement.

G. ADDRESS FOR RECEIPT OF PUBLIC COMMENTS OR INQUIRIES:

Director, Defense Privacy Office, 1941 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 920, Arlington, VA 22202-4502. Telephone (703) 607-2943.

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[FR Doc. 00-2818 Filed 2-7-00; 8:45 am]

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