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Privacy Act of 1974; United States Coast Guard-016 Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System of Records

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Privacy Office; DHS.


Notice of Privacy Act system of records.


In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security is giving notice that it proposes to issue DHS/USCG-016 Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System system of records notice. This system of record was covered previously by the DOT/CG 526 Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System, but was inadvertently retired in the Federal Register on October 7, 2008. Categories of individuals, categories of records, and the routine uses of this legacy system of records notice have been reviewed and updated to better reflect the United States Coast Guard's adjudication and settlement of claims record system. This new system will be included in the Department of Homeland Security's inventory of record systems.


Written comments must be submitted on or before January 20, 2009. This new system will be effective January 20, 2009.


You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-2008-0138 by one of the following methods:

  • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: 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, including any personal information provided.
  • Docket: For access to the docket, to read background documents, or comments received, go to
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For general questions please contact: David Roberts (202-475-3521), United States Coast Guard Privacy Officer, United States Coast Guard. For privacy issues please contact: Hugo Teufel III (703-235-0780), Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

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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 the adjudication and settlement of claims concerning the amounts of pay received by United States Cost Guard (USCG) military personnel.

As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its record systems, DHS is updating and reissuing a USCG system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) that deals with the adjudication and settlement of claims concerning the amounts of pay received by USCG military personnel. This record system will allow DHS/USCG to collect and preserve the records regarding military personnel salary claims. The collection and maintenance of this information will assist DHS/USCG in meeting its obligation to adjudicate and settle salary claims received by USCG military personnel.

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and as part of DHS's ongoing effort to review and update legacy system of records notices, DHS is giving notice that it proposes to update and reissue the following legacy record system DOT/CG 526 Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System (65 FR 19476, 4/11/2000) as a DHS/USCG system of records notice titled, Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System. This system of records was covered previously by the DOT/CG, Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System, but was inadvertently retired in the Federal Register on October 7, 2008. Start Printed Page 77789Categories of individuals and categories of records have been reviewed, and the routine uses of this legacy system of records notice have been updated to better reflect the DHS/USCG adjudication and settlement of claims record system. This new system will be included in DHS's inventory of record 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' information. 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 from which information is stored and retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number such as property address, mailing address, or symbol assigned to the individual. In the Privacy Act, an individual is defined to encompass United States citizens and lawful permanent residents. DHS extends administrative Privacy Act protections to all individuals where information is maintained on both U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visitors. Individuals may request 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 5.21.

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 Adjudication and Settlement of Claims 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 and to Congress.

System of Records


System name:

United States Coast Guard Adjudication and Settlement of Claims System.

Security classification:


System location:

Records are maintained at the United States Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC and field offices.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

Categories of individuals covered by this system include active duty, reserve, retired active duty, and retired reserve military personnel who submit a claim against USCG relates to disputes concerning monetary matters.

Categories of records in the system:

Categories of records in this system include:

  • Individual's name;
  • Social security number or employee ID Number (EMPLID);
  • Leave and earnings statements; and
  • Other related information regarding claims arising out of disputes concerning amounts of pay received.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

5 U.S.C. 301, 5512-5514; 10 U.S.C. 939, 1442, 1453, 2774-2775; 14 U.S.C. 461; 31 U.S.C. 3716; 37 U.S.C. 1007; the Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 3101; Debt Collection Act of 1982, Public Law 97-276, Section 124; Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-132; Federal Claims Collection Standards, 31 CFR Chapter IX.


The purpose of this system is to adjudicate and settle claims related to such activities as salary claims, overpayments resulting from travel and transportation entitlement, claims from spouses, former spouses or widows of military personnel involving an annuity, and other similar activities when submitted by USCG active duty, reserve, and retired active duty and retired reserve military personnel.

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 Unites States Attorney Offices) or other Federal agencies 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 of 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 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.Start Printed Page 77790

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 authorized officials of the Internal Revenue Service, General Accountability Office (GAO), and the Civil Service Commission, as required, to address salary claims submitted by USCG military and civilian personnel.

I. 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.

J. 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:


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


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.


Records may be retrieved by claimant's name, employee ID (EMPLID), or social security number.


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 individual 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 retained until adjudication and settlement. Most submissions are retained for present setting value, as required. Records are retained for 10 years, 3 months after the year in which the Government's right to collect first accrued. (AUTH: GRS 6, Item 10b(2)(a)) ( Records Officer).

System Manager and address:

Commandant (CG-12), United States Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001.

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 USCG, Commandant (CG-611), 2100 2nd St., SW., Attn: FOIA Coordinator, Washington, DC 20593-0001.

When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or any other USCG 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 to you 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, or 1-866-431-0486. In addition you should provide the following:

  • An explanation of why you believe the Department would have information on you,
  • Specify when you believe the records would have been created,
  • 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 USCG will 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:

Individual, USCG payroll offices, legal staff, investigators, Director of Personnel and Management, Comptroller General, GAO, and congressional correspondence.

Exemptions claimed for the system:


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Dated: December 10, 2008.

Hugo Teufel III

Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.

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[FR Doc. E8-29810 Filed 12-18-08; 8:45 am]