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Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

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AGENCY:

General Services Administration.

ACTION:

Notice of a new system of records subject to the Privacy Act of 1974.

SUMMARY:

The General Services Administration (GSA) is providing notice of intent to revise the Credit Data on Individual Debtors (GSA/PPFM-7) system of records. The revision incorporates new and revised laws and regulations and reflects organizational and procedural changes in GSA since the last update.

DATES:

Comments on the proposed revision must be provided by November 21, 2002. The revised system or records will become effective without further notice on November 21, 2002 unless comments require otherwise.

ADDRESSES:

GSA Privacy Act Officer, General Services Administration (GSA), CAI, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jinaita Kanarchuk by phone, (202) 501-1452, or e-mail jinaita.kanarchuk@gsa.gov.

GSA/PPFM-7

System name:

Credit Data on Individual Debtors.

System location:

Records are located at the following GSA Central Office and Regional addresses of the GSA Office of Finance:

  • GSA Building, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405.
  • 1500 East Bannister Road, Kansas City, MO 64131.
  • Fritz G. Lanham Federal Building, 819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth TX 76102.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

Individuals covered include employees, former employees, and other individuals who are indebted to GSA or any other agency or department of the United States; a State, territory or commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia (hereinafter collectively referred to as “States”); or individuals that may become indebted to GSA or another agency or department of the United States as the result of a privately owned vehicle (POV) being involved in an accident with a GSA Fleet vehicle.

Categories of Records in the System:

The records may contain information from commercial and agency investigative reports showing debtors' assets, liabilities, income, and expenses; identifying information, such as names and taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) (i.e., Social Security Numbers or employer identification numbers); debtor contact information, such as work and home address, and work and home telephone numbers; and name of employer and employer address. The records for claims against nongovernmental individuals (i.e., claims arising from vehicle accidents) may contain information on privately owned vehicles (POVs), including, but not limited to: (a) The owner, year, make, model, tag number and State of the vehicle; and (b) the driver's or owner's insurance company information, including name, address, telephone number and policy number. Debts include unpaid taxes, loans, assessments, fines, fees, penalties, overpayments, advances, extensions of credit from sales of goods or services, third party claims, and other amounts of money or property owed to, or collected by, GSA, any other Federal entity or a State, including past due support that is being enforced by a State.

The records also may contain information about: (a) The debt, such as the original amount of the debt, the debt account number, the date of debt origination, the amount of delinquency or default, date of delinquency or default, the basis for the debt, the amounts accrued for interest, penalties, and administrative costs; and the payments on the account; (b) actions taken to collect or resolve the debt, such as demand letters or invoices sent, documents or information required for referral of accounts to collection agencies, to other Federal entities, or for litigation, and notes taken regarding telephone or other communications related to the collection or resolution of the debt; and (c) the referring or collecting governmental entity that is collecting or is owed the debt, such as the name, telephone number, and address of the governmental entity contact.

Authorities for maintenance of the system:

Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3) and 3711(e), as amended by the Debt Collection Act of 1982, 5 U.S.C. 5514; the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.; Cash Management Improvement Act Amendments of 1992, 31 U.S.C. 3335, 3718, 3720A and 6503; Deficit Reduction act of 1984, Pub. L. 98-369, 98 Stat. 494 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 26 U.S.C.); Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105-34, 11 Stat. 788 (codified in scattered sections of 26 U.S.C.); Internal Revenue Service Restructuring And Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-206, 112 Stat. 685 (codified in scattered sections of 26 U.S.C.); 26 U.S.C. 6402; 26 U.S.C. 6331; 31 U.S.C. Chapter 37 (Claims), Subchapter I (General) and Subchapter II (Claims of the U.S. Government); Title 31 Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter IX, parts 901-904.

Purpose(s):

The purpose of the system is to assemble and maintain information on individuals who are indebted to GSA, other Federal entities, and States for the purpose of effecting enforced collections from the debtors, including past due support enforced by States. The information contained in the records is maintained for the purpose of taking action to facilitate collection and resolution of debts using various methods, including, but not limited to, requesting repayment of debt by telephone or in writing, pursuing offset, levy, administrative wage garnishment, centralized salary offset, referral to collection agencies or litigation, and using other collection or resolution methods authorized or required by law. The information is also maintained for the purpose of providing collection information about the debt to other Federal entities or States collecting the debt, providing statistical information on debt collection operations, and testing and developing enhancements to computer systems containing the records.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and their purpose for using the system:

In addition to the disclosures permitted under subsection (b) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a(b), GSA may disclose information contained in this system of records without the consent of the subject individual if the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the record was collected under the following routine uses:

a. A record from this system may be used where pertinent in any legal proceeding before a court, magistrate, or administrative body in the course of presenting evidence, including disclosures to opposing counsel or witnesses in the course of civil discovery, litigation, or settlement negotiations, in response to a subpoena where relevant or potentially relevant to a proceeding, or in connection with criminal law proceedings.Start Printed Page 65005

b. A record from this system may be disclosed to the Department of Justice, United States Attorney, or Department of the Treasury for the purpose of litigation or in anticipation of litigation to enforce collection of a delinquent debt or to obtain the Department of Justice's concurrence in a decision to compromise, suspend, or terminate collection action on a debt and GSA determines that the disclosure is relevant or necessary to the litigation.

c. A record from this system may be disclosed to a congressional office on behalf of and at the request of the individual who is the subject of the record.

d. A record from this system may be disclosed to any Federal agency where the debtor is employed or receiving some form of remuneration for the purpose of enabling that agency to collect a debt owed the Federal government on GSA's behalf. GSA may negotiate with the debtor for voluntary repayment or may initiate administrative or salary offset procedures or other authorized debt collection methods under the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, 5 U.S.C. 5514, or the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.

e. In the event that a record in this system indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute, particular program statute, or regulation, rule, order, or license issued pursuant thereto, the relevant record may be referred to the appropriate Federal, State, local or foreign agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, order, or license.

f. A record from this system may be disclosed to any Federal, State or local agency, U.S. Territory or commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, or their agents or contractors, including private collection agencies (consumer and commercial):

(1) To facilitate the collection of debts through the use of any combination of various debt collection methods required or authorized by law, including, but not limited to: Requests for repayment by telephone or in writing; negotiation of voluntary repayment or compromise agreements; offsets of Federal payments, which may include the disclosure of information contained in the records for the purpose of providing the debtor with appropriate pre-offset notice and to otherwise comply with offset prerequisites, to facilitate voluntary repayment in lieu of offset, and to otherwise effectuate the offset process; referral of debts to private collection agencies, to Treasury-designated debt collection centers, or for litigation; obtaining administrative and court-ordered wage garnishment; conducting debt sales; publishing names and identities of delinquent debtors in the media or other appropriate places; creating a Centralized Salary Offset program; and pursuing any other debt collection method authorized by law.

(2) To conduct computerized comparisons to locate Federal payments to be made to debtors.

(3) To conduct authorized computer matching programs in compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, to identify and locate individuals receiving Federal payments (including but not limited to salaries, wages and benefits), which may include the disclosure of information contained in the records for the purpose of requesting voluntary repayment or implementing Federal employee salary offset or other offset procedures.

(4) To collect a debt owed to GSA, another Federal entity, or State through the offset of payments made by States, territories, commonwealths, or the District of Columbia.

(5) To account for or report on the status of debts for which such entity has a financial or other legitimate need for the information in the performance of official duties.

(6) To deny Federal financial assistance in the form of loans or loan guarantees to an individual who owes a delinquent debt to GSA or another Federal entity or who owes delinquent child support that has been referred to GSA for collection by administrative offset.

(7) To develop, enhance, and/or test databases, matching communications, or other computerized systems that facilitate debt collection processes.

(8) To provide assistance with any other appropriate debt collection purpose.

g. A record from this system may be disclosed to any individual or other entity receiving Federal payments in conjunction with payments made to a debtor for the purpose of providing notice of an information about offsets from such Federal payments.

h. A record from this system may be disclosed to any individual or entity:

(1) To facilitate the collection of debts through the use of any combination of various debt collection methods required or authorized by law, including, but not limited to: pursuing administrative or court-ordered wage garnishment; reporting information to commercial credit bureaus; conducting asset searches; publishing the names and identities of delinquent debtors in the media or other appropriate places; conducting debt sales; or initiating Centralized Salary Offsets.

(2) To deny Federal financial assistance in the form of loans or loan guarantees to an individual who owes a delinquent debt to the United States or delinquent child support that has been referred to GSA for collection by administrative offset.

(3) To pursue any other appropriate debt collection purpose.

i. A record from this system may be disclosed to credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus for the purpose of adding to a credit history file or obtaining a credit history file or comparable credit information for use in debt collection. As authorized by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701 et seq., GSA may report current (not delinquent) and delinquent consumer or commercial debts to these entities to aid the collection of debts, typically by providing an incentive to the person to repay the debt in a timely manner. GSA may report on delinquent debts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS).

j. A record from this system may be disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service and applicable State and local governments for tax reporting purposes. Under the provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701 et seq., GSA is permitted to provide the Department of Treasury with Form 1099-C information on canceled or forgiven debts so that the Department of Treasury may file the form on GSA's behalf with the IRS. W-2 and 1099 Forms contain information on items to be considered as income to an individual, including payments to persons not treated as employees (e.g., fees paid to consultants and experts) and amounts written-off as legally or administratively uncollectible in whole or in part.

k. A record from this system may be disclosed to banks enrolled in the Treasury Credit Card Network to collect a payment or debt when the individual has given his or her credit card number for this purpose.

1. A record from this system may be disclosed to the Department of Treasury or other Federal agency with whom GSA has entered into an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for debt collection cross servicing operations on behalf of GSA to satisfy, in whole or in part, debts owed to the United States. Cross servicing includes the possible use of all debt collections Start Printed Page 65006tools such as administrative offset, referral to debt collection contractors, and referral to the Department of Justice.

m. Records from this system may be disclosed to the Department of Treasury, government corporations, State or local agencies, or other Federal agencies to conduct computer matching programs for the purpose of identifying and locating individuals who are receiving Federal salaries or benefit payments and are delinquent in their repayment of debts owed to the United States under certain programs administered by the GSA in order to collect the debts under the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 5514, or the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701 et seq., by voluntary payment or administrative or salary offset procedures.

n. A record from this system may be disclosed to the National Archives and Records Administration for records management inspections conducted under 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

o. A record from this system may be disclosed to, or received from, the Department of Treasury for the purpose of allowing the GSA National Payroll Center (NPC) to participate in the Centralized Salary Offset (CSO) program, or similar offset program. Agencies must notify the Department of Treasury of all delinquent debts over 180 days past due so that recovery may be made by centralized administrative offset. This includes debts that GSA seeks to recover from the pay account of an employee of another agency by salary offset, or by another agency seeking recovery from a GSA employee, including client agency employees, by salary offset.

p. A record from this system may be disclosed to, or received from, another agency or department of the United States when a GSA Fleet vehicle has been involved in an accident with an individual or commercial POV. Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies: Disclosures pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) may be made from this system to consumer reporting agencies as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681a(f), or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, as amended, 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3) and 3711(e).

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage:

Records are maintained in paper form in file folders stored in lockable metal filing cabinets and in electronic form in computers or on transportable electronic media including but not limited to, floppy discs, CD-ROMs or zip disks.

Retrievability:

Credit data is maintained by debtor name and claim number and is cross-referenced with the Social Security Number (when available) to verify name and address.

Safeguards:

When not in use by authorized personnel, records are stored in lockable metal filing cabinets. Electronic files are protected by the use of passwords.

Retention and disposal:

The records are a part of the GAO site auditing collection files and are cut off at the end of the fiscal year, held 1 year, and then retired under Record Group 217 (GAO). Records created prior to July 2, 1975, will be retained by GAO for 10 years and 3 months after the period of the account. Records created on or after July 2, 1975, will be retained by GAO for 6 years and 3 months after the period of the account.

System manager(s) and address:

Branch Chief (BCDR), Financial Initiatives Division, Office of Finance, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, General Services Administration, Room 3121, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405.

Notification procedure:

Inquiries by individuals under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. 552a) regarding claims pertaining to themselves should be addressed to the system manager. All individuals making inquiries should provide as much descriptive information as possible to identify the particular record desired. The system manager will advise as to whether GSA maintains the records requested by the individual.

Record access procedures:

Requests from individuals for access to records should be addressed to the system manager and should include the individual's name and address.

Contesting records procedures:

GSA rules for contesting the contents of the records and for appealing initial determinations are promulgated in 41 CFR 105.64.

Record source categories:

Information in this system is obtained from individual debtors; credit bureaus; agency investigative reports; other GSA systems of records; Federal and State agencies to which debts are owed; Federal employing agencies and other entities that employ the individual; Federal and State agencies issuing payments; collection agencies; locator and asset search companies; Federal, State or local agencies furnishings identifying information and/or addresses of debtors; or from public documents.

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Dated: October 17, 2002.

Daniel K. Cooper,

Director, Information Management Division.

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[FR Doc. 02-26843 Filed 10-21-02; 8:45 am]

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