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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committees System of Records

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Privacy Office; DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of Privacy Act system of records.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and as part of the Department of Homeland Security's ongoing effort to review and update legacy system of record notices, the Department of Homeland Security proposes to consolidate two legacy record systems: FEMA/ADM-3-Advisory Committee Files (55 FR 37182 September 7, 1990) and DOT/CG 586 Chemical Transportation Industry Advisory Committee (65 FR 19475 April 11, 2000) into one system, titled Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committees. This system will allow the Department of Homeland Security to collect and maintain information on advisory committee members and applicants. Categories of individuals, categories of records, and the routine uses of these legacy system of records notices have been consolidated and updated to better reflect the Department's advisory committee record systems. This consolidated system will be included in the Department of Homeland Security's inventory of system records.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before November 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-2008-0007 by one of the following methods:

  • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 1-866-466-5370.
  • Mail: Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.
  • Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change and may be read at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
  • Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For general questions and privacy issues please contact: Hugo Teufel III (703-235-0780), Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Pursuant to the savings clause in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, Section 1512, 116 Stat. 2310 (November 25, 2002), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components and offices have relied on preexisting Privacy Act systems of records notices for the collection and maintenance of records that concern any individual who serves on a DHS-wide and/or component specific advisory committee.

As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its records systems, DHS is establishing a new agency-wide system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) for DHS advisory committees. This record system will allow all component parts of DHS to collect and preserve the required personally identifiable information needed for members who apply for or participate in DHS advisory committees. The system will consist of both electronic and paper records and will be used by DHS and its components and offices to maintain records of Federal government employees and other persons who participate in DHS-sponsored Federal advisory committees. The data will be collected by individual name, name of committee, and/or other unique personal identifier. The collection and maintenance of this information will assist DHS in maintaining a list of members of the various Federal advisory committees, internal committees, and interagency committees to provide DHS with information on committee functions, Start Printed Page 57640meeting dates, agendas, and other purposes for managing committees.

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and as part of DHS's ongoing effort to review and update legacy system of record notices, DHS proposes to consolidate two legacy record systems: FEMA/ADM-3-Advisory Committee Files (55 FR 37182 September 7, 1990) and DOT/CG 586 Chemical Transportation Industry Advisory Committee (65 FR 19475 April 11, 2000) into one system, titled Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committees. This system will allow DHS to collect and maintain information on advisory committee members and applicants. Categories of individuals, categories of records, and the routine uses of these legacy system of records notices have been consolidated and updated to better reflect the Department's advisory committee record systems. This consolidated system will be included in DHS's inventory of system records.

II. Privacy Act

The Privacy Act embodies fair information principles in a statutory framework governing the means by which the United States Government collects, maintains, uses, and disseminates individuals' records. The Privacy Act applies to information that is maintained in a “system of records.” A “system of records” is a group of any records under the control of an agency for which information is retrieved by the name of an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual. In the Privacy Act, an individual is defined to encompass United States citizens and legal permanent residents. As a matter of policy, DHS extends administrative Privacy Act protections to all individuals where systems of records maintain information on U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visitors. Individuals may request access to their own records that are maintained in a system of records in the possession or under the control of DHS by complying with DHS Privacy Act regulations, 6 CFR part 5.

The Privacy Act requires each agency to publish in the Federal Register a description denoting the type and character of each system of records that the agency maintains, and the routine uses that are contained in each system in order to make agency record keeping practices transparent, to notify individuals regarding the uses of their records, and to assist individuals to more easily find such files within the agency. Below is the description of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committees System of Records.

In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), DHS has provided a report of this new system of records to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and to Congress.

SYSTEM OF RECORDS: DHS/ALL-009

System Name:

Department of Homeland Security Advisory Committees.

Security classification:

Unclassified.

System Location:

Records are maintained at several Headquarters locations and in component offices of DHS in both Washington, DC, and field locations.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

Categories of individuals covered by this system include any individual who applied to be on a committee, is currently serving on a committee, and/or has served on a committee and is no longer serving. Committee alternates are also included in this system. Individuals may be Federal employees.

Categories of Records in the System:

Categories of records in this system may include:

  • Individual's name;
  • Social security number;
  • Place and date of birth;
  • Gender;
  • Ethnicity;
  • Home address;
  • E-mail address;
  • Telephone number(s);
  • Political affiliation, when appropriate;
  • Work address;
  • Employer;
  • Title;
  • Marital status;
  • Military service;
  • Education;
  • Registration in professional societies;
  • Work experience;
  • Record of performance;
  • Publications authored;
  • Membership on boards and committees;
  • Professional awards; and
  • Other information which can be used to determine if the individual is fit to serve on the committee, such as description of private associations.

Authority for Maintenance of the System:

5 U.S.C. 301; the Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 3101; Pub. L. 92-463, Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended; 5 U.S.C., App. 2 § 8; E.O. 9397; 14 U.S.C. 632; The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, Pub. L. 101-103, sec 9503(c), 101 Stat. 1330, 1330-381 (1987) (codified at 19 U.S.C. sec 2071 note).

Purpose(s):

The purpose of this system is to collect and maintain information on advisory committee members. This system also collects and maintains information on applicants to identify the most qualified applicant and ensure a balanced advisory committee.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses:

In addition to those disclosures generally permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b) of the Privacy Act, all or a portion of the records of information contained in this system may be disclosed outside DHS as a routine use pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

A. To the Department of Justice (including United States Attorney Offices) or other Federal agency conducting litigation or in proceedings before any court, adjudicative or administrative body when it is necessary to the litigation and one of the following is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation:

1. DHS or any component thereof;

2. Any employee of DHS in his/her official capacity;

3. Any employee of DHS in his/her individual capacity where the Department of Justice or DHS has agreed to represent the employee; or

4. The United States or any agency thereof, is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and DHS determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation and the use of such records is compatible with the purpose for which DHS collected the records.

B. To a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from that congressional office made at the request of the individual to whom the record pertains.

C. To the National Archives and Records Administration or other Federal government agencies pursuant to records management inspections being conducted under the authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

D. To an agency, organization, or individual for the purpose of performing audit or oversight operations as authorized by law, but only such information as is necessary and relevant to such audit or oversight function. Start Printed Page 57641

E. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when:

1. DHS suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised;

2. The Department has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by DHS or another agency or entity) or harm to the individual who relies upon the compromised information; and

3. The disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with DHS's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

F. To contractors and their agents, grantees, experts, consultants, and others performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or other assignment for DHS, when necessary to accomplish an agency function related to this system of records. Individuals provided information under this routine use are subject to the same Privacy Act requirements and limitations on disclosure as are applicable to DHS officers and employees.

G. To an appropriate Federal, State, tribal, local, international, or foreign law enforcement agency or other appropriate authority charged with investigating or prosecuting a violation or enforcing or implementing a law, rule, regulation, or order, where a record, either on its face or in conjunction with other information, indicates a violation or potential violation of law, which includes criminal, civil, or regulatory violations and such disclosure is proper and consistent with the official duties of the person making the disclosure.

H. To an appropriate Federal, State, local, tribal, foreign, or international agency, if the information is relevant and necessary to a requesting agency's decision concerning the hiring or retention of an individual, or issuance of a security clearance, license, contract, grant, or other benefit, or it the information is relevant and necessary to a DHS decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit and when disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the person making the request.

I. To the General Services Administration to facilitate committee management within the Federal Government.

J. To an authorized appeal or grievance examiner, formal complaints examiner, equal employment opportunity investigator, arbitrator, or other duly authorized official engaged in investigation or settlement of a grievance, complaint, or appeal filed by an employee.

K. To a court, magistrate, or administrative tribunal in the course of presenting evidence, including disclosures to opposing counsel or witnesses in the course of civil discovery, litigation, or settlement negotiations or in connection with criminal law proceedings or in response to a subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction.

L. To the news media and the public, with the approval of the Chief Privacy Officer in consultation with counsel, when there exists a legitimate public interest in the disclosure of the information or when disclosure is necessary to preserve confidence in the integrity of DHS or is necessary to demonstrate the accountability of DHS's officers, employees, or individuals covered by the system, except to the extent it is determined that release of the specific information in the context of a particular case would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies:

None.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

Records in this system are stored electronically or on paper in secure facilities in a locked drawer behind a locked door. The records are stored on magnetic disc, tape, digital media, and CD-ROM.

Retrievability:

By individual name and/or personal identifier.

Safeguards:

Records in this system are safeguarded in accordance with applicable rules and policies, including all applicable DHS automated systems security and access policies. Strict controls have been imposed to minimize the risk of compromising the information that is being stored. Access to the computer system containing the records in this system is limited to those individuals who have a need to know the information for the performance of their official duties and who have appropriate clearances or permissions.

Retention and Disposal:

Records documenting the committee's establishment, membership, policy, organization, deliberations, findings, and recommendations are permanent. These files are transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration on termination of the committee, in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Records Schedule 26. Earlier transfer is authorized for committees operating for three years or longer. Files relating to day-to-day committee activities and/or do not contain unique information of historical value are destroyed/deleted when the records are three years old.

System Manager and Address:

For Headquarters components of DHS, the System Manager is the Director of Departmental Disclosure, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528. For components of DHS, the System Manager can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/​foia under “contacts.”

Notification procedure:

Individuals seeking notification of and access to any record contained in this system of records, or seeking to contest its content, may submit a request in writing to the Headquarters or the component's FOIA Officer, whose contact information can be found at http://www.dhs.gov/​foia under “contacts.” If an individual believes more than one component maintains Privacy Act records concerning him or her the individual may submit the request to the Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Drive, SW., Building 410, STOP-0550, Washington, DC 20528.

When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or any other Departmental system of records your request must conform with the Privacy Act regulations set forth in 6 CFR part 5. You must first verify your identity, meaning that you must provide your full name, current address and date and place of birth. You must sign your request, and your signature must either be notarized or submitted under 28 U.S.C. 1746, a law that permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization. While no specific form is required, you may obtain forms for this purpose from the Director, Disclosure and FOIA, http://www.dhs.gov or 1-866-431-0486. Start Printed Page 57642In addition you should provide the following:

  • An explanation of why you believe the Department would have information on you,
  • Identify which component(s) of the Department you believe may have the information about you,
  • Specify when you believe the records would have been created,
  • Provide any other information that will help the FOIA staff determine which DHS component agency may have responsive records,
  • If your request is seeking records pertaining to another living individual, you must include a statement from that individual certifying his/her agreement for you to access his/her records.

Without this bulleted information the component(s) may not be able to conduct an effective search, and your request may be denied due to lack of specificity or lack of compliance with applicable regulations.

Record Access Procedures:

See “Notification Procedure” above.

Contesting Record Procedures:

See “Notification Procedure” above.

Record Source Categories:

From the individual of record.

Exemptions Claimed for the System:

None.

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Dated: September 23, 2008.

Hugo Teufel III,

Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.

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[FR Doc. E8-23304 Filed 10-2-08; 8:45 am]

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