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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 “National Chaplain Management Information System (NCMIS)-VA” (84VA111K) as set forth in the Federal Register 59 FR 13765 and last amended in the Federal Register on March 23, 1994. 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 June 8, 2009. If no public comment is received, the amended system will become effective June 8, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments may be submitted through 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 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:

Chaplain Service of the Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, has developed a data base to maintain information that will be used as part of a comprehensive program to evaluate applicants for employment as chaplains, and to plan the Spiritual and Pastoral Care Program. The information will be used to facilitate personnel succession planning. It will also support the documentation and tracking of credentialing and privileging for all chaplains providing patient care in the system.

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.

Routine Use 13 was added to disclose relevant information that may be made to individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, or other entities with whom VA has a contract or agreement or where there is a subcontract to perform such service 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.

Routine use 14 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 15 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.

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Approved: April 21, 2009.

John R. Gingrich,

Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.

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84VA111K

SYSTEM NAME:

“National Chaplain Management Information System (NCMIS)-VA.”

SYSTEM LOCATION:

The data base will reside on its own micro-computers at the National VA Chaplain Center (301/111K) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center (VAMC) located at 100 Emancipation Road, Hampton, Virginia 23667.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

The personal data collected will be limited to VA Chaplains, other VA Start Printed Page 21747Chaplain Service staff, applicants for VA chaplain positions (VA employees and individuals seeking VA employment), and selected providers of services to the VA chaplaincy.

Categories of records in the system:

1. The following data will be collected on individuals who are VA chaplains or chaplain candidates: Name, date of birth, Social Security Number, educational data (e.g., college degrees), membership in religious bodies and related religious experience, employment history relevant to the chaplaincy, name, location and dates of significant professional events (e.g., ordination), continuing education data (e.g., name, location and type of continuing education course), psychological and related survey data relevant to personal and professional development activities in support of chaplain development and research in the Chaplain Service (e.g., Myers-Briggs, 16PF Survey, leadership style surveys, etc.), data to verify and validate the effectiveness of affirmative action programs, work-related performance data, and performance data appropriate for national aggregation and management applications (e.g., bedside visits, number of chapel services, office visits, etc.), and 2. The following additional data may be maintained for resource providers who have or may assist in the work of the chaplaincy; names of consultants or providers, their organization, type of services provided, effectiveness and performance on contracts, special characteristics related to nature of their service (e.g., techniques or manner of teaching bereavement counseling, resources used, etc.), and nature of correspondence and related administrative matters.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

Title 38, United States Code, Sec. 7304(a).

PURPOSE(S):

The information will be used as part of a comprehensive program in Total Quality Improvement (TQI) in order to facilitate: (1) More meaningful and effective management of the functions and performance of Chaplain Services, (2) staff development to enhance and improve the work related activities of chaplains nationally, (3) the personal growth and spiritual development of all chaplains over and above improving the performance of their duties, (4) the documentation and tracking of credentialing and privileging for all chaplains providing patient care in the system, and (5) personnel related decisions.

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. A record from this system of records may be disclosed to any source from which additional information is requested (to the extent necessary to identify the individual, inform the source of purpose(s) of the request, and to identify the type of information requested), when necessary to obtain information relevant to a Department decision concerning the hiring or retention of any employee, the issuance or reappraisal of clinical privileges, the conducting of a security or suitability investigation of an individual, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit.

2. A record from this system of records may be disclosed to an agency in executive, legislative, or judicial branch, in response to its request, or at the initiation of VA, information in connection with the hiring of an employee, the issuance of security clearance, the conducting of a security or suitability investigation of an individual, the letting of a contract, the issuance of a license, grant or other benefits by the requesting agency, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision.

3. Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

4. Disclosure may be made to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) in records management inspections conducted under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906.

5. 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.

6. Hiring, performance, or other personnel related information may be disclosed to any facility with which there is, or there is proposed to be, an affiliation, sharing agreement, contract, or similar arrangement, for purposes of establishing, maintaining, or expanding any such relationship.

7. Information may be disclosed 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.

8. Disclosure may be made to the VA-appointed representative of an employee of 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.

9. Information may be disclosed 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.

10. Information may be disclosed 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.Start Printed Page 21748

11. Information may be disclosed 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.

12. 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.

13. Disclosure of relevant information may be made to individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, or other entities with whom VA has a contract or agreement or where there is a subcontract 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

Records are maintained on micro-computers.

RETRIEVABILITY:

Records are retrieved by the names. Social Security Numbers, or other assigned identifiers of the individuals on whom they are maintained.

SAFEGUARDS:

1. Access to VA working and storage areas is restricted to VA employees on a “need-to-know” basis; strict control measures are enforced to ensure that disclosure to these individuals is also based on this same principle. Generally, VA file areas are locked after normal duty hours and the facilities are protected from outside access by the Federal Protective Service or other security personnel.

2. All chaplains and other VA employees who enter or use data in the data base will do so by direct access into the system, or by means of the national VA communications network (VADATS/IDCU). All users must have access and verify codes maintained by the National Chaplain Center. All staff access to the system data will be restricted to only that data required on a “need-to-know” basis consistent with the routine performance of their duties. Access to individual work stations will be protected under security protocols established at the user's facility. Computers will be maintained in the locked environment in the main computer room of the VA Medical Center, Hampton, Virginia.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

Paper records and information stored on electronic storage media are maintained and disposed of in accordance with records disposition authority approved by the Archivist of the United States.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

Director, Chaplain Service (301/111K), National VA Chaplain Center, VA Medical Center, 100 Emancipation Road, Hampton, Virginia 23667.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

Individuals who wish to determine whether this system of records contains information about them should write to the System Manager at the above address. Inquiries should include the individual's name, address, and social security number.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:

Individuals seeking information regarding access to and contesting of records in this system may write, call or visit the System Manager at the above address.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

(See Record Access Procedures above.)

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

Information in this system of records is provided by the applicant/employee, or obtained from current or previous employers, references, educational institutions, religious bodies and/or their representatives and VA staff.

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[FR Doc. E9-10712 Filed 5-7-09; 8:45 am]

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