[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 209 (Tuesday, October 28, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63987-63989]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-25612]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2008-0013]


Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security Claims 
Records; System of Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office; DHS.

ACTION: Notice of Privacy Act system of records.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and as part of the 
Department of Homeland Security's ongoing effort to review and update 
legacy system of record notices, the Department of Homeland Security 
proposes to consolidate nine legacy record systems: DOT/CG 508 Claims 
and Litigation, Treasury/CS.045 Claims Act File, Treasury/CS.046 Claims 
Case File, Treasury/CS.144 Mail Protest File, Treasury/CS.148 Military 
Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claims Act File, Treasury/CS.232 Tort 
Claims Act File, Treasury/CS.234 Tort Claims Act File, Treasury/CS.268 
Military Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claim Act File, and FEMA/GC-
1 Claims (litigation) into one Department of Homeland Security-wide 
system of records. The Department of Homeland Security also proposes to 
partially consolidate one legacy record system: Treasury/USSS.001 
Administrative Information System, August 28, 2001, into this 
Department-wide system of records. This system will allow the 
Department of Homeland Security to respond to, and process, claims 
submitted to, or by, the Department of Homeland Security, including 
requests for waivers of claims. Categories of individuals, categories 
of records, and the routine uses of these legacy system of records 
notices have been consolidated and updated to better reflect the 
Department's claims record systems. Additionally, DHS is issuing a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concurrent with this SORN 
elsewhere in the Federal Register. The exemptions for the legacy system 
of records notices will continue to be applicable until the final rule 
for this SORN has been completed. This consolidated system, titled 
Claims Records, will be included in the Department's inventory of 
record systems.

DATES: Submit comments on or before November 28, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2008-0013 by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
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 to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.
     Docket: For access to the docket to read background 
documents or comments received go to http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions and privacy 
issues please contact: Hugo Teufel III (703-235-0780), Chief Privacy 
Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, 
DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 
claims submitted to DHS.
    As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its Privacy 
Act records systems, DHS is establishing a new agency-wide system of 
records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) for DHS claims records. 
This will ensure that all components of DHS follow the same privacy 
rules for collecting and maintaining records on claims. DHS will use 
this system to collect and maintain claims submitted to it by DHS 
personnel and others.
    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and as part of DHS's 
ongoing effort to review and update legacy system of record notices, 
DHS proposes to consolidate nine legacy record systems: DOT/CG 508 
Claims and Litigation (65 FR 19475 April 11, 2000), Treasury/CS.045 
Claims Act File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), Treasury/CS.046 Claims 
Case File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), Treasury/CS.144 Mail Protest 
File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), Treasury/CS.148 Military Personnel 
and Civilian Employees' Claims Act File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), 
Treasury/CS.232 Tort Claims Act File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), 
Treasury/CS.234 Tort Claims Act File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), 
Treasury/CS.268 Military Personnel and Civilian Employees' Claim Act 
File (66 FR 52984 October 18, 2001), and FEMA/GC-1, Claims (litigation) 
(66 FR 47228 September 11, 2001) into one DHS-wide system of records. 
DHS also proposes to partially consolidate one legacy record system: 
Treasury/USSS.001 Administrative Information System (66 FR 45362 August 
28, 2001) into this Department-wide system of records. This system will 
allow DHS to respond to, and process, claims submitted to, or by, DHS, 
including requests for waivers of claims. Categories of individuals, 
categories of records, and the routine uses of these legacy system of 
records notices have been consolidated and updated to better reflect 
DHS's claims record systems. Additionally, DHS is issuing a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concurrent with this SORN elsewhere in the 
Federal Register. The exemptions for the legacy system of records 
notices will continue to be applicable until the final rule for this 
SORN has been completed. This consolidated system of records, titled 
Claims Records, will be included in DHS's inventory of record systems.

II. Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act embodies fair information principles in a statutory

[[Page 63988]]

framework governing the means by which the United States Government 
collects, maintains, uses, and disseminates individuals' records. 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 for which information is retrieved by the name of 
an individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other 
identifying particular assigned to the individual. In the Privacy Act, 
an individual is defined to encompass United States citizens and legal 
permanent residents. As a matter of policy, DHS extends administrative 
Privacy Act protections to all individuals where systems of records 
maintain information on U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, 
visitors, and foreign nationals who are employed by the United States 
Government. Individuals may request access to 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 
Part 5.
    The Privacy Act requires that each agency publish in the Federal 
Register a description denoting the type and character of each system 
of records in order to make agency recordkeeping practices transparent, 
to notify individuals about the use of their records, and to assist the 
individual to more easily find files within the agency. Below is a 
description of the Claims Records System of Records.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), DHS has provided a report of 
this revised system of records to the Office of Management and Budget 
and to the Congress.
SYSTEM OF RECORDS: DHS/ALL-013

System name:
    Department of Homeland Security Claims Records.

Security classification:
    Unclassified.

System location:
    Records are maintained at several Headquarters locations and in 
component offices of DHS, in both Washington, DC and field locations.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:
    Any individual or entity who submits a claim to DHS and/or its 
components or against whom DHS files a claim.

Categories of records in the system:
    Categories of records in this system include:
     Individual's or entity's name;
     Social security number;
     Entity's corporate tax identification number;
     Addresses;
     Telephone numbers;
     Description of the claim;
     Status of the claim;
     Banking account and routing number;
     Correspondence between the claimant or claimant's 
representative and DHS;
     Witness statements;
     Photos;
     Documents submitted by the claimant or claimant's 
representative in support of the claim; and
     Documents relating to the administrative handling of the 
claim.

Authority for maintenance of the system:
    5 U.S.C. 301; The Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 3101; The Homeland 
Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296; 6 U.S.C. 121; 28 U.S.C. 2671-
2680; Federal Tort Claims Act; and Executive Order 9397.

Purpose(s):
    The purpose of this system is to respond to and process claims 
submitted to, or by, DHS, including requests for waivers of claims.

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 or 
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 United States Attorney 
Offices) or other Federal agency 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 or 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.
    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.

[[Page 63989]]

    H. 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 from a court of competent jurisdiction.
    I. To appropriate Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign 
governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations for 
the purpose of protecting the vital interests of a data subject or 
other persons, including to assist such agencies or organizations in 
preventing exposure to or transmission of a communicable disease or to 
combat other significant public health threats; appropriate notice will 
be provided of any identified health threat or risk.
    J. To another Federal agency or third party, including insurance 
companies or worker's compensation carriers, when the claimant(s) may 
be covered for the damage, loss or injury by insurance and/or a third 
party is alleged to have or may have, caused or contributed to the 
damage, loss or injury of the claimant(s).
    K. To foreign governments when the claimant is a citizen of that 
foreign nation or when the United States has an agreement with that 
foreign country which affects payment of the claim
    L. 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:
    None.

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

Retrievability:
    Data may be retrieved by an individual's or entity's name, Social 
Security number, corporate tax identification number, address, 
description and status of claim, and/or other personal identifier.

Safeguards:
    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 individuals 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 destroyed after six years and three months of claim 
settlement, in accordance with National Archives and Records 
Administration General Records Schedule 6, Item 10. For claims which 
the Government's right to collect was not extended, records are 
destroyed ten years, three months after the year in which the 
Government's right to collect first accrued, in accordance with 
National Archives and Records Administration General Records Schedule 
6, Item 10.

System Manager and address:
    For Headquarters components of DHS, the System Manager is the 
Director of Departmental Disclosure, Department of Homeland Security, 
Washington, DC 20528. For components of DHS, the System Manager can be 
found at http://www.dhs.gov/foia under ``contacts.''

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 the Headquarters' or component's 
FOIA Officer, whose contact information can be found at http://
www.dhs.gov/foia under ``contacts.'' If an individual believes more 
than one component maintains Privacy Act records concerning him or her 
the individual may submit the request to the Chief Privacy Officer, 
Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Drive, SW., Building 410, 
STOP-0550, Washington, DC 20528.
    When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or 
any other Departmental 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 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, http://www.dhs.gov 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,
     Identify which component(s) of the Department you believe 
may have the information about you,
     Specify when you believe the records would have been 
created,
     Provide any other information that will help the FOIA 
staff determine which DHS component agency may have responsive records,
     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 component(s) may 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:
    Information originates from individuals and entities who submit 
claims, responses to claims, or requests for waiver of claims to DHS.

Exemptions claimed for the system:
    The Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted this system from 
subsections (c)(3) and (4); (d); (e)(1), (2), (3), (5), and (8); and 
(g) of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C.(j)(2). In additional, the 
Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted this system from 
subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), (I), and (f) of the 
Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (2), and (3).

    Dated: October 15, 2008.
Hugo Teufel III,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. E8-25612 Filed 10-27-08; 8:45 am]
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