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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

ACTION:

Notice of amendment to system of records.

SUMMARY:

As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a(e), notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending the system of records currently entitled “Call Detail Records—VA” (90VA194) as set forth in the Federal Register 68 FR 12738. VA is amending the system of records by revising the Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System Including Categories of Users and the Purpose of Such Uses. VA is republishing the system notice in its entirety.

DATES:

Comments on the amendment of this system of records must be received no later than May 14, 2009. If no public comment is received, the amended system will become effective May 14, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments may be submitted through http://www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulations Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 (this is not a toll-free number) for an appointment. In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed Online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at http://www.Regulations.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Privacy Officer, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420; telephone (704) 245-2492.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Report of Intent to Amend a System on Records Notice and an advance copy of the system notice have been sent to the appropriate Congressional committees and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) (Privacy Act) and guidelines issued by OMB (65 FR 77677), December 12, 2000.Start Printed Page 17284

Routine use 14 was added for the VA to disclose information from this system of records to the Department of Justice (DoJ), either on VA's initiative or in response to DoJ's request for the information, after either VA or DoJ determines that such information is relevant to DoJ's representation of the United States or any of its components in legal proceedings before a court or adjudicative body, provided that, in each case, the agency also determines prior to disclosure that release of the records to the DoJ is a use of the information contained in the records that is compatible with the purpose for which VA collected the records. VA, on its own initiative, may disclose records in this system of records in legal proceedings before a court or administrative body after determining that the disclosure of the records to the court or administrative body is a use of the information contained in the records that is compatible with the purpose for which VA collected the records.

Routine use 15 was added to disclose information to other Federal agencies that may be made to assist such agencies in preventing and detecting possible fraud or abuse by individuals in their operations and programs.

Routine use 16 was added so that the VA may, on its own initiative, disclose any information or records to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) VA suspects or has confirmed that the integrity 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 embarrassment or harm to the reputations of the record subjects, harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security, confidentiality, or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Department or another agency or entity) that rely upon the potentially compromised information; and (3) the disclosure is to agencies, entities, or persons whom VA determines are reasonably necessary to assist or carry out the Department's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm. This routine use permits disclosures by the Department to respond to a suspected or confirmed data breach, including the conduct of any risk analysis or provision of credit protection services as provided in 38 U.S.C. 5724, as the terms are defined in 38 U.S.C. 5727.

Routine use 17 was added so that the VA may disclose on its own initiative any information in the system, except the names and home addresses of veterans and their dependents, that is relevant to a suspected or reasonably imminent violation of the law whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature and whether arising by general or program statute or by regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto, to a Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, rule, or order. VA may also disclose on its own initiative the names and addresses of veterans and their dependents to a Federal agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting civil, criminal, or regulatory violations of law, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.

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Approved: March 25, 2009.

John R. Gingrich,

Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.

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90VA194

SYSTEM NAME:

Call Detail Records—VA.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

Records are maintained at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities. Address locations for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities are listed in VA Appendix 1 of the biennial publication of VA's systems of records.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

Individuals who are assigned VHA telephone numbers or are authorized to use VHA telephone services, and individuals who receive or make calls billed to VHA.

Categories of records in the system:

Call detail records consist of information on Federal Telecommunication System (FTS) telephone calls placed from VHA telephones or otherwise billed to VHA including the originating and destination telephone numbers; States and cities called; date and time of call; duration of each call; cost of call; name and title of caller; request number; account code; deactivation code; authorization code records indicating the assignment of telephone numbers to organizations and individuals; and the organizational location of telephones.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

Title 38, United States Code, section 501.

PURPOSE(S):

The records are used to generate call detail records; to verify telephone usage; to allocate costs of telephone services to individual users; to identify unofficial telephone calls; and to justify action when individuals misuse or abuse VA telephone services.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

To the extent that records contained in the system include information protected by 45 CFR parts 160 and 164, (i.e., individually identifiable health information, and 38 U.S.C. 7332), (i.e., medical treatment information related to drug abuse, alcoholism or alcohol abuse, sickle cell anemia or infection with the human immunodeficiency virus), that information cannot be disclosed under a routine use unless there is also specific statutory authority in 38 U.S.C. 7332 and regulatory authority in 45 CFR parts 160 and 164 permitting disclosure.

1. Disclosure may be made to individuals to determine their responsibility for telephone calls.

2. Disclosure may be made to another Federal agency or a telecommunications company providing telephone services to permit maintenance and repair of the account.

3. Information from this system of records may be disclosed to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made on behalf of that individual.

4. Disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) or to the General Services Administration (GSA) for records management inspections under Title 44 of United States Code.

5. Disclosure may be made at VA's initiative to the appropriate Federal, State, or local agency responsible for investigating, prosecuting, enforcing, or implementing a statute, rule, regulation, or order, where the agency becomes aware of an indication of a violation or potential violation of civil or criminal law or regulation.

6. A record from this system of records may be disclosed to a Federal agency, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the conducting of a security or suitability investigation of an individual, the reporting of an investigation, the letting of a grant or other benefit, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.Start Printed Page 17285

7. Records from this system of records may be disclosed in a proceeding before a court, adjudicative body, or other administrative body when the Agency, or any Agency component or employee (in his or her official capacity as a VA employee), is a party to litigation; when the Agency determines that litigation is likely to affect the Agency, any of its components or employees, or the United States has an interest in the litigation, and such records are deemed to be relevant and necessary to the legal proceedings; provided that the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

8. Disclosure of relevant information may be made to individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, etc., with whom VA has a contract or agreement to perform such services as VA may deem practicable for the purposes of laws administered by VA, in order for the contractor or subcontractor to perform the services of the contract or agreement.

9. Disclosure may be made to officials of labor organizations recognized under 5 U.S.C. chapter 71 when relevant and necessary to their duties of exclusive representation concerning personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting working conditions.

10. Disclosure may be made to the VA-appointed representative of an employee, including all notices, determinations, decisions, or other written communications issued to the employee in connection with an examination ordered by VA under medical evaluation (formerly fitness-for-duty) examination procedures or Department-filed disability retirement procedures.

11. Disclosure may be made to officials of the Merit Systems Protection Board, including the Office of the Special Counsel, when requested in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other functions, promulgated in 5 U.S.C. 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law.

12. Disclosure may be made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when requested in connection with investigations of alleged or possible discrimination practices, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance with the Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission by the President's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978.

13. Disclosure may be made to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, including its General Counsel, when requested in connection with investigation and resolution of allegations of unfair labor practices, in connection with the resolution of exceptions to arbitrator awards when a question of material fact is raised and matters before the Federal Service Impasses Panel.

14. VA may disclose information from this system of records to the Department of Justice (DoJ), either on VA's initiative or in response to DoJ's request for the information, after either VA or DoJ determines that such information is relevant to DoJ's representation of the United States or any of its components in legal proceedings before a court or adjudicative body, provided that, in each case, the agency also determines prior to disclosure that release of the records to the DoJ is a use of the information contained in the records that is compatible with the purpose for which VA collected the records. VA, on its own initiative, may disclose records in this system of records in legal proceedings before a court or administrative body after determining that the disclosure of the records to the court or administrative body is a use of the information contained in the records that is compatible with the purpose for which VA collected the records.

15. Disclosure to other Federal agencies may be made to assist such agencies in preventing and detecting possible fraud or abuse by individuals in their operations and programs.

16. VA may, on its own initiative, disclose any information or records to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) VA suspects or has confirmed that the integrity 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 embarrassment or harm to the reputations of the record subjects, harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security, confidentiality, or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Department or another agency or entity) that rely upon the potentially compromised information; and (3) the disclosure is to agencies, entities, or persons whom VA determines are reasonably necessary to assist or carry out the Department's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm. This routine use permits disclosures by the Department to respond to a suspected or confirmed data breach, including the conduct of any risk analysis or provision of credit protection services as provided in 38 U.S.C. 5724, as the terms are defined in 38 U.S.C. 5727.

17. VA may disclose on its own initiative any information in the system, except the names and home addresses of veterans and their dependents, that is relevant to a suspected or reasonably imminent violation of the law whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature and whether arising by general or program statute or by regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto, to a Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, rule, or order. VA may also disclose on its own initiative the names and addresses of veterans and their dependents to a Federal agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting civil, criminal, or regulatory violations of law, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.

Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies:

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12), VA may disclose records 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 (31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3)).

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

Storage:

Records are maintained on electronic media (hard disk and floppy disks) and paper.

Retrievability:

Records may be retrieved by name, authorization code, VA organizational unit, originating telephone number, destination telephone number, location code, date, time, cost, and/or duration of call.

Safeguards:

1. Access to telecommunication areas at health care facilities is generally limited by appropriate locking devices and restricted to authorized VA employees and vendor personnel. Generally, VA telecommunication areas are locked at all times and the facilities are protected from outside access by the Federal Protective Service or other security personnel.Start Printed Page 17286

2. Access to file information or the user database is controlled by access codes. The system recognizes authorized VA employees by individually unique passwords or access codes. Contractors accessing the database remotely use encryption and access codes.

Retention and disposal:

Records are maintained and disposed of in accordance with record disposition authority approved by the Archivist of the United States. Destruction of hard copy (paper) records is by shredding or burning or some other method that will macerate the record content. Working disks are erased as soon as the purpose for which they have been established has been served.

System manager(S) and address:

Director, Implementation and Training Services, Communications Services Office (194D), Office of Information, State Route 9, Building 307A, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25401.

Notification procedure:

Individuals wishing to inquire whether this system of records contains information about themselves should contact the designated individual at the VHA facility where the records are maintained. Individuals must furnish the following information for their records to be located and identified: a. Full name; b. VA assigned telephone number or telephone service authorization number; and c. Description of information being sought, including the time frame of information being sought.

Record access procedure:

Individuals wishing to request access to records about themselves should contact the designated individual at the VHA facility where the records are maintained. Individuals must furnish the following information for their records to be located and identified: a. Full name; b. VA assigned telephone number or telephone authorization number, and; c. Description of information being sought, including the time frame of information being sought. Individuals requesting access must also follow VA's Privacy Act regulations regarding verification of identify and access to records (38 CFR part 1).

Contesting record procedures:

(See Record Access Procedures above.)

Record source categories:

The information in this system of records is obtained from the following sources: a. Local VA telephone directories and other telephone assignment records; b. call detail records provided by suppliers of telephone services; and c. the individual on whom the record is maintained.

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[FR Doc. E9-8448 Filed 4-13-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8320-01-P