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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Notice of a Computer Matching Program

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AGENCY:

Defense Manpower Data Center, DoD.

ACTION:

Notice of a computer matching program.

SUMMARY:

Subsection (e)(12) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires agencies to publish advance notice of any proposed or revised computer matching program by the matching agency for public comment. The DoD, as the matching agency under the Privacy Act is hereby giving notice to the record subjects of a computer matching program between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD that their records are being matched by computer. The purpose of this agreement is to verify an individual's continuing eligibility for VA benefits by identifying VA disability benefit recipients who return to active Start Printed Page 39648duty and to ensure that benefits are terminated if appropriate.

DATES:

This proposed action will become effective September 8, 2009 and matching may commence unless changes to the matching program are required due to public comments or by Congressional or by Office of Management and Budget objections. Any public comment must be received before the effective date.

ADDRESSES:

Any interested party may submit written comments to the Director, Defense Privacy Office, 1901 South Bell Street, Suite 920, Arlington, VA 22202-4512.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Samuel P. Jenkins at telephone (703) 607-2943.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to subsection (o) of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, (5 U.S.C. 552a), the DMDC and VA have concluded an agreement to conduct a computer matching program between the agencies. The purpose of this agreement is to verify an individual's continuing eligibility for VA benefits by identifying VA disability benefit recipients who return to active duty and to ensure that benefits are terminated if appropriate.

The parties to this agreement have determined that a computer matching program is the most efficient, expeditious, and effective means of obtaining the information needed by the VA to identify ineligible VA disability compensation recipients who have returned to active duty. This matching agreement will identify those veterans who have returned to active duty, but are still receiving disability compensation. If this identification is not accomplished by computer matching, but is done manually, the cost would be prohibitive and it is possible that not all individuals would be identified.

A copy of the computer matching agreement between VA and DMDC is available upon request to the public. Requests should be submitted to the address caption above or to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefit Administration, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420.

Set forth below is the notice of the establishment of a computer matching program required by paragraph 6.c. of the Office of Management and Budget Guidelines on computer matching published in the Federal Register at 54 FR 25818 on June 19, 1989.

The matching agreement, as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) of the Privacy Act, and an advance copy of this notice was submitted on July 23, 2009, to the House Committee on Government Reform, the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget pursuant to paragraph 4d of Appendix I to OMB Circular No. A-130, `Federal Agency Responsibilities for Maintaining Records about Individuals,' February 8, 1996 (February 20, 1996, 61 FR 6427).

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Dated: July 23, 2009.

Patricia L. Toppings,

OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.

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Notice of a Computer Matching Program Between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense for Verification of Disability Compensation

A. Participating Agencies: Participants in this computer matching program are the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) of the Department of Defense (DoD). The VA is the source agency, i.e., the activity disclosing the records for the purpose of the match. The DMDC is the specific recipient activity or matching agency, i.e., the agency that actually performs the computer matching.

B. Purpose of the Match: The purpose of this agreement is to verify eligibility for DoD/USCG members of the Reserve forces who receive VA disability compensation or pension to also receive military pay and allowances when performing reserve duty.

The VA will provide to DMDC identifying information on all VA recipients receiving a VA disability compensation or pension. DMDC will match the information with its reserve military pay data and provide for each match (hit) the number of training days, by fiscal year, for which the veteran was paid. The VA will use this information to make, where appropriate, necessary VA payment adjustments.

C. Authority for Conducting the Match: 38 U.S.C. 5304(c) Prohibition Against Duplication of Benefits provides that VA disability compensation or pension based upon his or her previous military service shall not be paid to a person for any period for which such person receives active service pay. 10 U.S.C. 12316, Payment of certain Reserves while on duty further provides that a reservist who is entitled to disability payments due to his or her earlier military service and who performs duty for which he or she is entitled to DoD/USCG compensation may elect to receive for that duty either the disability payments or, if he or she waives such payments, the DoD/USCG compensation for the duty performed.

D. Records To Be Matched: The systems of records maintained by the respective agencies under the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 552a, from which records will be disclosed for the purpose of this computer match are as follows:

The VA will use the system of records identified as “VA Compensation, Pension and Education and Vocational Rehabilitation Records—VA (58 VA 21/22/28),” republished in its entirety at 74 FR 14865 (April 1, 2009). Attachment 3 is a copy of the system notice with the appropriate routine use, i.e., RU 39.

DoD will use the system of records identified as DMDC 01, entitled, “Defense Manpower Data Center Data Base,” published at 73 FR 5820, January 31, 2008. Attachment 5 is a copy of the system notice with the appropriate routine use, i.e., RU l(e)(l) annotated.

E. Description of Computer Matching Program: Annually, VA will submit to DMDC an electronic data of all VA pension and disability compensation beneficiaries as of the end of September. Upon receipt of the data, DMDC will match by SSN with reserve pay data as submitted to DMDC by the military services and the USCG. Upon a SSN match, or a “hit,” of both data sets, DMDC will provide VA the individual's name and other identifying data, to include the number of training days, by Fiscal Year, for each matched record. Training days are the total of inactive duty drills paid plus active duty days paid.

The hits will be furnished to VA which will be responsible for verifying and determining that the data in the DMDC electronic files is consistent with the VA files and for resolving any discrepancies or inconsistencies on an individual basis. VA will initiate actions to obtain an election by the individual of which pay he or she wishes to receive and will be responsible for making final determinations as to positive identification, eligibility for, or amounts of pension or disability compensation benefits, adjustments thereto, or any recovery of overpayments, or such other action as authorized by law.

The electronic file provided by VA will contain information on approximately 2.9 pension and disability compensation recipients.

The DMDC computer database file contains approximately 832,000 DoD and 8,000 USCG reservists who receive pay in allowance for performing authorized duty.

The VA will furnish DMDC the name and SSN of all VA pension and disability compensation recipients and Start Printed Page 39649DMDC will supply VA the name, SSN, date of birth, and the number of training days by fiscal year of each reservist who is identified as a result of the match.

F. Inclusive Dates of the Matching Program: This computer matching program is subject to public comment and review by Congress and the Office of Management and Budget. If the mandatory 30-day period for comment has expired and no comments are received and if no objections are raised by either Congress or the Office of Management and Budget within 40 days of being notified of the proposed match, the computer matching program becomes effective and the respective agencies may begin the exchange at a mutually agreeable time and thereafter on a quarterly basis. By agreement between VA and DMDC, the matching program will be in effect for 18 months with an option to renew for 12 additional months unless one of the parties to the agreement advises the other by written request to terminate or modify the agreement.

G. Address for Receipt of Public Comments or Inquiries: Director, Defense Privacy Office, 1901 South Bell Street, Suite 920, Arlington, VA 22202-4512. Telephone (703) 607-2943.

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[FR Doc. E9-18893 Filed 8-6-09; 8:45 am]

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