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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security Accounts Receivable 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 five legacy record systems: Treasury/CS.005 Accounts Receivable, October 18, 2001, Treasury/CS.030 Bankrupt Parties-In-Interest, October 18, 2001, Treasury/CS.031 Bills Issued Files, October 18, 2001, Treasury/CS.211 Sanction List, October 18, 2001, and FEMA/OC-2, Debt Collection Files, December 3, 1993, into one Department-wide system of records. This system will allow the Department to collect and maintain records of debts owed to the Department. 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 accounts receivable record systems. This consolidated system, titled Accounts Receivable, will be included in the Department's inventory of records systems.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before November 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-2008-0008 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 to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personally identifiable 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 system of records notices for the collection and maintenance of records that concern DHS's accounts receivable records.

As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its Privacy Act records systems, DHS is establishing a new agency-wide system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) for DHS accounts receivable records. This will ensure that all components of DHS follow the same privacy rules for collecting and maintaining accounts receivable records. This system will consist of both electronic and paper Start Printed Page 61886records and will be used by DHS and its components and offices to collect and maintain accounts receivable records. The data will be collected and maintained by name and other unique personal identifier. The collection and maintenance of accounts receivable information assists DHS in meeting its obligation to manage Departmental funds and ensures that the Department has an accurate accounting of all the money which it is owed.

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 five legacy record systems: Treasury/CS.005 Accounts Receivable (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), Treasury/CS.030 Bankrupt Parties-In-Interest (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), Treasury/CS.031 Bills Issued Files (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), Treasury/CS.211 Sanction List (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), and FEMA/OC-2, Debt Collection Files (Last revised as 58 FR 63986, formerly FEMA/RMA-9, Claims Collection Files, 52 FR 324 December 3, 1993) into one DHS-wide system of records. This system will allow DHS to collect and maintain records of debts owed to the Department. 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 accounts receivable record systems. This consolidated system, titled Accounts Receivable, will be included in the Department's inventory of records systems.

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 that each agency publish in the Federal Register a description denoting the type and character of each system of records in order to make agency recordkeeping practices transparent, to notify individuals about the use of their records, and to assist the individual to more easily find files within the agency. Below is a description of the Account Receivable System of Records.

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

System of Records:

DHS/ALL-008.

System name:

Department of Homeland Security Accounts Receivable Records.

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:

Any individual who is indebted to DHS.

Categories of records in the system:

Categories of records in this system include:

  • Individual's name;
  • Social security number;
  • Addresses;
  • Waiver of Debt Letter of Appeal;
  • Receipts;
  • Notices of debts;
  • Invoices;
  • Record of payments, including refunds and overpayments;
  • Number and amount of unpaid or overdue bills;
  • Record of satisfaction of debt or referral for further action;
  • Correspondence and documentation with debtors and creditors; and
  • Electronic financial institution data.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

5 U.S.C. 301; The Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 3101; The Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 6 U.S.C. 121; Public Law 89-508; Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, 31 U.S.C. 3701; Executive Order 9373.

Purpose(s):

The purpose of this system is to keep track of debts owed to DHS.

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 or 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 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.

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 Start Printed Page 61887maintained 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 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.

I. To a Federal, State, or local agency so that the agency may adjudicate an individual's eligibility for a benefit.

J. To the Department of Justice or other Federal agency for further collection action on any delinquent debt when circumstances warrant.

K. To a debt collection agency for the purposes of debt collection.

L. To requesting agencies or non-Federal entities under approved computer matching efforts to improve program integrity and to collect debts and other money owed under those programs (e.g. matching for delinquent loans or other indebtedness to the Government). Computer matching efforts are limited only to those data elements considered relevant to making a determination of eligibility under a particular benefit program administered by those agencies or entities, or by the Department of Treasury, or any constituent unit of the Department.

M. To unions recognized as exclusive bargaining representatives under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. 7111 and 7114, the Merit Systems Protection Board, arbitrators, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and other parties responsible for the administration of the Federal labor-management program for the purpose of processing any corrective actions, or grievances, or conducting administrative hearings or appeals, or if needed in the performance of other authorized duties.

N. To Federal servicing agencies to record payments received;

O. To the General Accounting Office, Department of Justice, or a United States Attorney, copies of the Debt Collection Officer's file regarding the debt and actions taken to attempt to collect monies owed.

P. 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:

To consumer reporting agencies, as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681a(f) or the Federal Claims Act of 1966, 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3). Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies is made pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12).

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:

Data may be retrieved by an individual's name, personnel number, social security number, and/or other 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 are destroyed six years and three months after period covered by the account, in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration General Records Schedule 6, Item 1 and Item 10.

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 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 61888In 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:

Information originates with DHS and its components.

Exemptions claimed for the system:

None.

Start Signature

Dated: October 7, 2008.

Hugo Teufel III,

Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.

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[FR Doc. E8-24749 Filed 10-16-08; 8:45 am]

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