[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 218 (Monday, November 10, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66657-66659]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26691]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2008-0023]


Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security 
Correspondence 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, the Department of 
Homeland Security is giving notice that it proposes to consolidate two 
legacy record systems: Treasury/CS.056 Congressional and Public 
Correspondence File, October 18, 2001, FEMA/ADM-1 Office Files, 
September 7, 1990, into a new record system, titled Department of 
Homeland Security Correspondence Records. The Department of Homeland 
Security also proposes to partially consolidate Treasury/USSS.008 
Public Affairs Record System, August 28, 2001, into this new record 
system. This system will allow the Department of Homeland Security to 
collect and maintain incoming information and responses to inquiries, 
comments, or complaints made to the Department. Categories of 
individuals, categories of records, and the routine uses of these 
system of records notices have been consolidated and updated to better 
reflect the Department's correspondence record systems. This 
consolidated system will be included in the Department of Homeland 
Security's inventory of record systems.

DATES: Submit comments on or before December 10, 2008. This new system 
will be effective December 10, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2008-0023 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 and may be read at 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 
correspondence records.
    As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its Privacy 
Act record systems, DHS is establishing a new agency-wide system of 
records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) for DHS correspondence 
records. This will ensure that all components of DHS follow the same 
privacy rules for collecting, maintaining, and distributing 
correspondence records.
    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, DHS is giving notice 
that it proposes to consolidate two legacy record systems: Treasury/
CS.056 Congressional and Public Correspondence File (66 FR 52984 
October 18, 2001), FEMA/ADM-1 Office Files (55 FR 37182 September 7, 
1990) into a new record system, titled Department of Homeland Security 
Correspondence Records. DHS also proposes to partially consolidate 
Treasury/USSS.008 Public Affairs Record System (66 FR 45362 August 28, 
2001) into this new record system. This system will allow DHS to 
collect and maintain incoming information and responses to inquiries, 
comments, or complaints made to the Department. Categories of 
individuals, categories of records, and the routine uses of these 
system of records notices have been consolidated and updated to better 
reflect the Department's correspondence record systems. This 
consolidated system will be included in DHS's inventory of record 
systems.

[[Page 66658]]

II. Privacy Act

    The Privacy Act embodies fair information principles in a statutory 
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, and 
visitors. 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 each agency to publish in the Federal 
Register a description denoting the type and character of each system 
of records that the agency maintains, and the routine uses that are 
contained in each system in order to make agency record keeping 
practices transparent, to notify individuals regarding the uses of 
their records, and to assist individuals in locating such files within 
the agency. Below is the description of the DHS Correspondence Records 
System of Records.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), DHS has provided a report of 
this new system of records to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
and to Congress.

System of Records
    DHS/ALL-016

System Name:
    Department of Homeland Security Correspondence 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:
    Individuals who submit inquiries, complaints, comments, or other 
correspondence to DHS, and the responding party on behalf of DHS.

Categories of Records in the System:
    Categories of records in this system include:
     Individual's name;
     Individual's address;
     Individual's e-mail address;
     Web form information (e.g., IP addresses);
     Who the complaint, compliment, comment or issue is about;
     Incoming correspondence;
     DHS's reply;
     Responder's name on behalf of DHS;
     Additional unsolicited personal information provided by 
the individual; and
     Other related materials.

Authority for Maintenance of the System:
    5 U.S.C. 301; The Federal Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 3101.

Purpose(s):
    The purpose of this system is to manage incoming information and 
responses to inquiries, comments, or complaints made to DHS.

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 of 
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.
    H. To another Federal agency to refer correspondence or respond to 
correspondence given the nature of the

[[Page 66659]]

complaint, compliment, comment or issue.
    I. To unions recognized as exclusive bargaining representatives 
under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. 7111 and 7114, the 
Merit Systems Protection Board, arbitrators, the Federal Labor 
Relations Authority, and other parties responsible for the 
administration of the Federal labor-management program for the purpose 
of processing any corrective action, or grievances, or conducting 
administrative hearings or appeals, or if needed in the performance of 
other authorized duties.
    J. 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:
    Records may be retrieved by individual name and date of 
correspondence.

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:
    Executive level records are permanent, and files are cut off 
annually and transferred to the National Archives and Records 
Administration 10 years after cut off date, in accordance with National 
Archives and Records Administration General Schedule N1-563-07-13-4 
(Pending NARA Approval). Non-executive level records are destroyed 
after 10 years, in accordance with a pending National Archives and 
Records Administration General Records Schedule.

System Manager and Address:
    For Headquarters 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 the 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 used to compile records in this system is taken from 
all sources of incoming correspondence and response correspondence by 
DHS. A non-exclusive list of correspondence sources may include members 
of the general public, unions, trade organizations, non-profits, 
business or governmental entities, including the news media and 
congressional offices.

Exemptions Claimed for the System:
    None.

    Dated: October 28, 2008.
Hugo Teufel III,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. E8-26691 Filed 11-7-08; 8:45 am]
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