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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 U.S.C. 552a), requires agencies to publish advanced notice of any proposed or revised computer matching program by the matching agency for public comment. The DoD, as the matching agency under the Privacy Act, is hereby giving notice to the record subjects of a computer matching program between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD that their records are being matched by computer. The purpose is to identify and locate Federal personnel, employed, serving, or retired, who owe delinquent debts to the Federal Government under certain programs administered by VA.

DATES:

This proposed action will become effective April 9, 2003, and matching may commence unless changes to the matching program are required due to public comments or by Congressional or by Office of Management and Budget objections. 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 (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 Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) 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 Start Printed Page 11385between 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.

The parties to this agreement have determined that a computer matching program is 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. 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, Minnesota 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 February 12, 2003, to the House Committee on Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental 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 21, 2003.

Patricia L. Toppings,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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Notice of a Computer Matching Program Between the Defense Manpower Data Center, the Department of Defense, and the Debt Management Center, Department of Veterans Affairs, for Debt Collection

A. Participating Agencies: Participants in this computer matching program are the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), the Department of Defense, and the Debt Management Center, Department of Veterans Affairs. 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 matched 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(l) of Executive Order 12731; 31 CFR chapter IX, Federal Claims Collection Standards; 5 CFR 550.1101-550.1110 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 systems for the match: Accounts Receivable Records-VA, 88VA244, published in the Federal Register at 63 FR 16864 on April 6, 1998.

DoD will use personal 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, 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 for 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 determining that the data on the DMDC electronic reply 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 240,000 delinquent debtors.

The DMDC computer database file contains approximately 4.84 million records of active duty and retired military members, including the Reserve and Guard, and approximately 3.56 million records of active and retired non-postal Federal civilian employees.

DMDC will match the SSN on the VA file by computer against the DMDC database. Matching records, “hits” based on SSNs, 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 public comment and review by Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. If the mandatory 30 day period for comment has expired and no comments are received 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 and thereafter every six months. By agreement between VA and DMDC, the matching program will be in effect for Start Printed Page 1138618 months with an option to renew 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. 03-5536 Filed 3-7-03; 8:45 am]

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