[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 121 (Thursday, June 25, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30308-30311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-14911]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2009-0016]


Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security/United 
States Coast Guard--030 Merchant Seamen's 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 records notices, the Department of Homeland Security 
is giving notice that it proposes to update and reissue the following 
legacy record system DOT/CG 589 United States Merchant Seamen's 
Records, April 11, 2000, as a Department of Homeland Security system of 
records notice titled DHS/USCG--030 United States Merchant Seamen's 
Records. The Department of Homeland Security uses DHS/USCG--030 United 
States Merchant Seamen's Records to administer the Commercial Vessel 
Safety Program and to determine domestic and international 
qualification for the issuance of licenses, documents, and staff 
officer certifications. Categories of individuals, categories of 
records, and the routine uses of this legacy system of records notice 
have been reviewed and updated to better reflect the United States 
Merchant Seamen's Records system. 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 new system will be included in the 
Department of Homeland Security's inventory of record systems.

[[Page 30309]]


DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before July 27, 2009. 
This new system will be effective July 27, 2009.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number DHS-
2009-0016] by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 703-483-3099.
     Mail: Mary Ellen Callahan, 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 please contact: 
David Roberts (202-475-3521), Privacy Officer, United States Coast 
Guard. For privacy issues please contact: Mary Ellen Callahan (703-235-
0780), Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, U.S. 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 107-306, Section 1512, 116 Stat. 2310 (November 25, 
2002), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/United States Coast 
Guard (USCG) has relied on previous Privacy Act systems of records 
notices for the collection maintenance of records that concern the 
United States Merchant Seamen's Records system of records.
    As part of its efforts to streamline and consolidate its record 
systems, DHS is updating and reissuing a DHS/USCG system of records 
under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) that deals with United States 
Merchant Seamen's Records program management. The collection and 
maintenance of this information will assist DHS/USCG in meeting its 
obligation to administer the United States Merchant Seamen's Records 
program.
    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and as part of DHS's 
ongoing effort to review and update legacy system of records notices, 
DHS/USCG is giving notice that it proposes to update and reissue the 
following legacy record system DOT/CG 589 United States Merchant 
Seamen's Records (65 FR 19476 April 11, 2000) as a DHS/USCG system of 
records notice titled, DHS/USCG--030 United States Merchant Seamen's 
Records. The DHS/USCG--030 United States Merchant Seamen's Records 
system is the USCG's information system that administers the Commercial 
Vessel Safety Program to determine domestic and international 
qualifications for the issuance of licenses, documents, and staff 
officer certifications. Categories of individuals, categories of 
records, and the routine uses for this legacy system of records notice 
have been reviewed and updated to better reflect the United States 
Merchant Seamen's Records record system. This new system will be 
included in DHS's inventory of 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 new system will be 
included in the Department of Homeland Security's inventory of record 
systems.

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 lawful 
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 to more easily find such files 
within the agency. Below is the description of the United States 
Merchant Seamen's 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 and 
to Congress.
SYSTEM OF RECORDS
    DHS/USCG-030

SYSTEM NAME:
    DHS/USCG--030 United States Merchant Seamen's Records

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:
    Unclassified.

SYSTEM LOCATION:
    Records are maintained at the National Maritime Center in 
Martinsburg, WV, the USCG Headquarters in Washington, DC, the USCG 
Operations Systems Center in Kearneysville, WV, and in Regional 
Examination Centers. Archived records are located at the regional 
Federal Records Centers.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:
    Categories of individuals covered by this system include all 
current and former United States Merchant Seamen, as well as 
applicants.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
    Categories of records in this system include:
     Full name (including maiden name, if applicable);
     Employee identification number;
     Mailing address;
     Date and place of birth;
     Phone number(s), include home, work, fax;
     E-mail Address;
     Next of Kin's Name, mailing address, phone number and 
email address;
     Country of citizenship;
     Social Security number;
     Color of eyes, hair, weight and height;
     Type of license or certificate for which the individual is 
applying;
     Shipping articles;
     Log books;
     Seamen's license records;
     Seamen's biometrics including photographs and fingerprint 
records;
     Disciplinary records;
     Security records;
     Current state of application, including granted or denied 
with place and date of issuance;

[[Page 30310]]

     Information related to narcotics, drinking while under the 
influence, and conviction records; and
     Character references, including full name, contact 
information.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:
    5 U.S.C. 301; 14 U.S.C. 632; 46 U.S.C. 2103, 7302, 7305, 7314, 
7316, 7319, 7502, 7701, 8701; 46 CFR 12.02-25; 49 CFR 1.45, 1.46.

PURPOSE(S):
    The principle purpose of this system is to administer the 
Commercial Vessel Safety Program to determine domestic and 
international qualifications for the issuance of licenses, documents, 
and staff officer certifications. This includes establishing 
eligibility of a merchant mariner's document, duplicate documents, or 
additional endorsements issued by the Coast Guard and establishing and 
maintaining continuous records of the persons documentation 
transactions.

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 DOJ 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. 3004 and 3006.
    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 private organizations when considered beneficial to the 
seaman.
    I. To other Federal Agencies, such as the Veteran's Administration, 
the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, in 
connection with benefits and services administered by those agencies.
    J. To any source or potential source from which information is 
requested in the course of an investigation concerning the retention of 
an employee or other personnel action (other than hiring), or the 
retention of a security clearance, contract, grant, license, or other 
benefit, to the extent necessary to identify the individual, inform the 
source of the nature and purpose of the investigation, and to identify 
the type of information requested.
    K. To designated officers and employees of Federal, State, local or 
international agencies in connection with the hiring or continued 
employment of an individual, the conduct of a suitability or security 
investigation of an individual, the grant, renewal, suspension, or 
revocation of a security clearance, or the certification of security 
clearances, to the extent that DHS determines the information is 
relevant and necessary to the hiring agency's decision.
    L. To the Maritime Administration for the purpose of merchant 
mariner call-ups related to national security.
    M. To the U.S. Navy for the purpose of verifying the credential 
status of Navy personnel.
    N. 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:
    Disclosures pursuant to 5 U.S.C552a(b)(12) may be made from this 
system to ``consumer reporting agencies,'' as defined in the Fair 
Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S. C. 1681a(f)) or Federal Claims Collection 
Act of 1982 (31 U.S.C 3701(a)(3)).

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, 
AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
STORAGE:
    Paper files are stored at a secure, controlled access site managed 
by either Coast Guard personnel or contract personnel with oversight 
from Coast Guard personnel. Electronic records are stored on a secure 
database server at the Coast Guard Operation Systems Center.

[[Page 30311]]

Inactive records are stored by the National Archives and Records 
Administration at that agency's Federal Records Centers facilities.

RETRIEVABILITY:
    Information is retrieved by individual's name and identifying 
number (e.g. Social Security, MMLD assigned system number or Continuous 
Discharge Book number) .

SAFEGUARDS:
    Electronic 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. Paper records related to 
issuance of Merchant Mariners' Licenses and Documents (MMLD) are 
located in Coast Guard Regional Examination Centers or the National 
Maritime Center in locked file cabinets. Access to records is limited 
to personnel requiring access for their jobs.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:
    Paper records related to issuance of Merchant Mariner Licenses and 
Documents are held on site for five years past the last activity with 
the file. After that time they are then transferred to the Washington 
National Records Center in Suitland, MD. As disposition is pending on 
this system contingent on NARA approval, records are maintained 
indefinitely.

SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS:
    United States Coast Guard, National Maritime Center, NMC-4, 100 
Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404.

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 United States Coast Guard, National 
Maritime Center, NMC-4, 100 Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404.
    When seeking records about yourself from this system of records or 
any other USCG 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;
     Specify when you believe the records would have been 
created;
     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 USCG 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:
    Personnel File-seamen, United States Coast Guard officials, other 
Federal Agencies, and employer. Shipping Articles--Vessels' operators, 
seamen, masters of vessels, State Department, and Coast Guard 
officials. Training records--schools certified to provide training for 
U.S. mariners. Medical records--physicians, hospitals and other medical 
providers authorized by mariners to provide this information on their 
behalf. Disciplinary Records-Coast Guard Investigating Officers.

EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM:
    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)(2).

    Dated: June 18, 2009.
Mary Ellen Callahan,
Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. E9-14911 Filed 6-24-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P