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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 entitled “Community Placement Program—VA” (65VA122) as set forth in the Federal Register 56 FR 26186 and last amended in the Federal Register on June 6, 1991. 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 August 10, 2009. If no public comment is received, the amended system will become effective August 10, 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:

Routine use 10 was added for the VA to disclose information from this system of records to the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration in records management inspections conducted under authority of title 44, U.S.C.

Routine use 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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.

The Report of Intent to Amend a System of 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.

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Approved: June 22, 2009.

John R. Gingrich,

Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs.

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65VA122

SYSTEM NAME:

Community Placement Program—VA.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

Records are maintained at each VA health care facility; the VA Data Processing Center (DPC), 1615 East Woodward Street, Austin, Texas 78772; and at VA Central Office, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420. Addresses for the VA health care system are listed in VA Appendix I at the end of this document.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

Individuals who operate a Community Placement facility approved for placement of VA beneficiaries; VA beneficiaries in Community Placement facilities.

Categories of records in the system:

The record, or information contained in the record, may include personal identification information with data on the Community Placement facility, name of operator, address, phone number, name of veterans receiving care in these homes, a statement as to whether the veterans' medical conditions have been rated as service-connected or nonservice-connected, the veterans' social security number and the names, addresses and phone numbers of the veterans' next-of-kin; overall data regarding diagnoses of veterans in the facility, date the facility was last approved for participation, statement regarding whether or not the home is required to be licensed by the State and/or local government, copies of correspondence exchange between the VA and the persons interested in applying for participation in the Community Placement Program.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

Title 38, U.S.C. 210(c), 610 and 4101.

PURPOSE:

Records is to provide administrative documentation of State and/or local active licensed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Placement Program agencies.

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. The record of an individual who is covered by this system may be disclosed to a member of Congress or staff person acting for the member when the member or staff person requests the record on behalf of and at the request of that individual.

2. Any information in this system may be disclosed to a Federal agency, upon its official request, to the extent that it is relevant and necessary to that agency's decision regarding the hiring, retention or transfer of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance or continuance of a license, grant or other benefit given by that agency. However, in accordance with an agreement with the U.S. Postal Service, disclosures to the U.S. Postal Service for decisions concerning the employment of veterans, will only be made with the veteran's prior written consent.Start Printed Page 33026

3. Any information in this system may be disclosed to a State or local agency, upon its official request, to the extent that it is relevant and necessary to that agency's decision on the hiring, transfer or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance or continuance of a license, grant or other benefit by that agency; provided that, if the information requested pertains to a veteran, the name and/or address of the veteran will not be disclosed unless the name and/or address is provided first by the requesting State or local agency.

4. Any information in this system may be disclosed to a Federal, State or local governmental agency maintaining civil or criminal violation records, or other pertinent information such as prior employment history, prior Federal employment background investigations, and personal or educational background at the request of the veteran in order for the VA to obtain information relevant to the hiring, transfer or retention of an employee, the letting of a contract, the granting of a security clearance, or the issuance of a grant or other benefit.

5. 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.

6. The name and address of a veteran, which is relevant to a suspected violation or reasonably imminent violation of 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, may be disclosed to a Federal agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, in response to its official request.

7. The name and address of a veteran, which is relevant to a suspected violation or reasonably imminent violation of law concerning public health or safety, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature and whether arising by general or program statute or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, may be disclosed to any foreign, State or local governmental agency or instrumentality charged under applicable law with the protection of the public health or safety if a qualified representative of such organization, agency or instrumentality has made a written request that such name and address be provided or a purpose authorized by law.

8. Any information in this system including the name and address of a veteran may be disclosed to any nonprofit organization if the release is directly connected with the conduct of programs and the utilization of benefits under Title 38 U.S.C. (such disclosures include computerized lists of names and addresses.)

9. Any information in this system may be disclosed to a Federal agency, except for the name and address of a veteran, in order for the VA to obtain information relevant to the issuance of a benefit under Title 38 U.S.C. The name and address of a veteran may be disclosed to a Federal agency under this routine use if they are required by the Federal agency to respond to the VA inquiry.

10. Disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records Administration (and the General Services Administration in records management inspections conducted under authority of Title 44 U.S.C.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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 magnetic tapes which are stored at the Austin DPC, and paper documents (printouts) are maintained at VA Central Office and the health care facilities.

Retrievability:

Information can be retrieved by the use of veteran's name, social security number and by facility operator's name and location.Start Printed Page 33027

Safeguards:

Access to the basic file in the Austin DPC is restricted to authorized VA employees and vendors. Access to the computer room where the basic file is maintained within the DPC is further restricted to authorized VA employees and vendor personnel on a “need to know” basis and is protected from unauthorized access by an alarm system, the Federal Protective Service and VA security personnel. Access to paper documents at Central Office and VA health care facilities is restricted to authorized VA employees.

Retention and disposal:

Working magnetic tapes at the DPC are disposed of as soon as the purpose for which they were established has been served. Paper documents are to be retained and disposed of in accordance with authorization approved by the Archivist of the United States.

System manager(S) and address:

Director, Social Work Service (141A10), VA Central Office, Washington, DC 20420.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

Any individual who wishes to determine whether a record is being maintained in this system under his/her or other personal identifier, or wants to determine the contents of such record should submit a written request or apply in person to the Chief, Social Work Service (122) at the appropriate VA health care facility. Addresses for these offices may be found in VA Appendix I at the end of this document. Inquiries should include the individual's full name and identification number (social security number).

Record access procedure:

Individuals seeking information regarding access to and contesting of VA records in this system may write, call or visit the nearest appropriate health care facility.

Contesting record procedures:

(See Record Access Procedures above.)

Record source categories:

Information contained in the records is obtained from individuals requesting participation in the Community Placement Program; the patient, family members or accredited representative, and friends, employers or other third parties when otherwise unobtainable from the patient or his family; various automated clinical and managerial systems providing support at selected VA health care facilities; and the patient Consolidated Medical Records sections of the VA Medical Records System.

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[FR Doc. E9-16228 Filed 7-8-09; 8:45 am]

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