Financial Transactions of SSA Accounting and Finance Offices, Social Security Administration, Deputy Commissioner for Finance, Assessment and Management, Office of Financial Policy and Operations

Effective Date: January 11, 2006

(71 F.R. 1847)

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION NOTICE OF SYSTEM OF RECORDS REQUIRED BY THE PRIVACY ACT OF 1974

SYSTEM NUMBER: 60-0231

System name:

    Financial Transactions of SSA Accounting and Finance Offices, Social Security Administration, Deputy Commissioner for Finance, Assessment and Management, Office of Financial Policy and Operations.

System classification:

    None.

System Location:

            Deputy Commissioner for Finance

          Assessment and Management

          800 Altmeyer Building

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

    Travel vouchers submitted for reimbursement of travel and other expenditures while on official business may also be maintained at the administrative office of the Social Security Administration (SSA) employee's unit of work. Records concerning delinquent debts may also be maintained at the program office or by designated claims officers apart from the finance office.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    All persons who receive a payment from SSA finance offices and all persons owing monies to these offices. Persons receiving payments include, but are not limited to, travelers on official business, contractors, grantees and consultants. Persons owing monies include, but are not limited to, persons who have been overpaid and who owe SSA a refund and persons who have received from SSA goods or services for which there is a charge or fee (e.g., Freedom of Information Act requesters).

Categories of Records in the system:

    Name, Social Security number (SSN), address, employer identification numbers (EINs), purpose of payment, accounting classification and amount paid. Also, in the event of an overpayment, and for delinquent grants, the amount of the indebtedness, the repayment status and the amount to be collected.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

    Budget and Accounting Act of 1950 (Pub. L. 81-784), Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365).

Purpose(s):

    These records are an integral part of SSA's accounting system. The records are used to track payments to individuals, exclusive of salaries and wages, based upon prior entry into the systems of the official commitment and obligation of government funds. When an individual is to repay funds advanced, the records will be used to establish a receivable record and to track repayment status. In the event of an overpayment to an individual, the record is used to establish a receivable record for recovery of the amount claimed. The records are also used internally to develop reports to the Internal Revenue Service and applicable State and local taxing officials of taxable income. This is an Agency-wide notice of payment and collection activities at all locations. Intra-Agency uses and transfers concern the validation and certification for payment, and for SSA internal audits.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses:

    Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below:

    1. To the Department of the Treasury for check preparation.

    2. To members of Congress concerning a Federal financial assistance program.

    3. To a congressional office from an individual's record in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    4. To the Department of Justice in the event SSA deems it desirable, or necessary, in determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.

    5. To a Federal, State or local agency maintaining civil, criminal or other relevant enforcement records or other pertinent records, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain a record relevant to an Agency decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract or the issuance of a license or other benefit.

    6. To a Federal agency, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.

    7. To a Federal agency having the power to subpoena records, for example, the Internal Revenue Service or the Civil Rights Commission, in response to a subpoena for information contained in this system of records.

    8. To officials of labor organizations recognized under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 when relevant and necessary to their duties of exclusive representation concerning personnel policies, practices, and matters affecting conditions of employment.

    9. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court or other tribunal, or to another party before such tribunal, when:

    (a) The Social Security Administration (SSA), or any component thereof; or

    (b) Any SSA employee in his/her official capacity; or

    (c) Any SSA employee in his/her individual capacity where DOJ (or SSA where it is authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or

    (d) The United States or any agency thereof where SSA determines that the litigation is likely to affect the operations of SSA or any of its components, is a party to the litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, a court or other tribunal, or another party before tribunal, is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, however, that in each case, SSA determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

    10. To credit reporting agencies to obtain a credit report about a potential contractor or grantee in order to determine the potential contractor's or grantee's creditworthiness.

    11. To the Department of the Treasury:

    (a) To find out whether or not the individual has a delinquent tax account for the purpose of determining the individual's creditworthiness for the loan in question under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6103(1)(3)(A)-(C)); and

    (b) To assist SSA in recovering the collection of delinquent administrative debts through Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG) (31 U.S.C. 3720D) via the Treasury Crossing Servicing program as authorized by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.

    12. To the following entities in order to help collect a debt owed the United States :

    (a) To another Federal agency so that agency can effect a salary offset;

    (b) To another Federal agency so that agency can effect an administrative offset under common law or under 31 U.S.C. 3716 (withholding from money payable to, or held on behalf of, the individual);

    (c) To the Department of the Treasury to request the mailing address of an individual under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6103(m)(2)(A)) for the purpose of locating the individual to collect or compromise a Federal claim against the individual in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711, 3717 and 3718;

    (d) To an agent of the Social Security Administration (SSA) that is a consumer reporting agency within the meaning of 15 U.S.C. 1681a(f), the mailing address of an individual may be disclosed to such agent for the purpose of allowing such agent to prepare a commercial credit report on the individual for use by SSA in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711, 3717 and 3718;

    (e) To debt collection agents under 31 U.S.C. 3718 or under common law to help collect a debt; and

    (f) To the Department of Justice for litigation or for further administrative action. In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e)(1)(F), disclosure under parts (a)-(c) and (e) is limited to information necessary to establish the identity of the person, including name, address and taxpayer identification or Social Security number; the amount, status, and history of the claim; the agency or program under which the claim arose.

    13. To another Federal agency that has asked the Social Security Administration to effect an administrative offset under common law or under 31 U.S.C. 3716 to help collect a debt owed the United States . Disclosure under this routine use is limited to the individual's name, address, Social Security number, and other information necessary to identify the individual information about the money payable to, or held for, the individual, and other information concerning the administrative offset.

    14. To the Internal Revenue Service and State and local tax authorities when income and payments are reported to them concerning employees, contractors, and when amounts are written-off as legally or administratively uncollectible, in whole or in part.

    15. To banks enrolled in the treasury credit card network to collect a payment or debt when the individual has given his/her credit card number for this purpose.

    16. To student volunteers, individuals working under a personal services contract, and other workers who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for the Social Security Administration (SSA), as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

    17. To the General Services Administration and the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906, as amended by the NARA Act of 1984, information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law for the use of those agencies in conducting records management studies.

    18. To contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the efficient administration of its programs. We will disclose information under this routine use only in situations in which SSA may enter into a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in

accomplishing an agency function relating to this system of records.

    19.  We may disclose information to appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, entities, and persons when (1) we suspect or confirm that the security or confidentiality of information in this system of records has been compromised; (2) we determine 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 of SSA that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) we determine that disclosing the information to such agencies, entities, and persons is necessary to assist in our efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm. SSA will use this routine use to respond only to those incidents involving an unintentional release of its records.

Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies:

    Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12) may be made to consumer reporting agencies as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)) or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701, et seq.) as amended. The disclosure will be made in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3711(e) when authorized by sections 204(f), 808(e) or 1631(b)(4) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 404(f), 1008(e) or 1383(b)(4)). The purpose of this disclosure is to aid in the collection of outstanding debts owed to the Federal government, typically, to provide an incentive for debtors to repay delinquent Federal government debts by making these debts part of their credit records. The information to be disclosed is limited to the individual's name, address, SSN, and other information necessary to establish the individual's identity; the amount, status, and history of the debt and the agency or program under which the debt arose.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

    Records are maintained in automated form (e.g., disc packs and magnetic tapes).

Retrievability:

    Records are retrieved by name, SSN, and voucher number.

Safeguards:

    1. Only authorized users have access to these records: Employees and officials directly responsible for programmatic or fiscal activity, including administrative and staff personnel, financial management personnel, computer personnel, and managers who have responsibilities for implementing SSA programs.

    2. Physical Safeguards: File folders, reports and other forms of personnel data, and electronic diskettes are stored in areas where fire codes are strictly enforced. All documents and diskettes are protected during lunch hours and non-working hours in locked file cabinets or locked storage areas. Magnetic tapes, disks, etc., and computer matching tapes are locked in a computer room and tape vault.

    3. Procedural Safeguards: Password protection of automated records is provided. All authorized users protect information from public view and from unauthorized personnel entering an office. The safeguards are now maintained in accordance with SSA's Systems Security guides.

    Access http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foia/bluebook/app_g.htm for additional information relating to SSA data security measures.

Retention and disposal:

    Records are purged from automated files once the accounting purpose has been served. Printed copies and manual documents are retained and disposed of in accord with General Accounting Office principles and standards, as authorized by the National Archives and Records Administration.

System manager(s) and address(es):

            Deputy Commissioner for Finance

          Assessment and Management

          800 Altmeyer Building

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedures:

    An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to the system manager(s) at the above address and providing his/her name, SSN or other information that may be in the system of records that will identify him/her. An individual requesting notification of records in person should provide the same information, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver's license or some other means of identification. If an individual does not have any identification documents sufficient to establish his/her identity, the individual must certify in writing that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.   

    If notification is requested by telephone, an individual must verify his/her identity by providing identifying information that parallels information in the record to which notification is being requested. If it is determined that the identifying information provided by telephone is insufficient, the individual will be required to submit a request in writing or in person. If an individual is requesting information by telephone on behalf of another individual, the subject individual must be connected with SSA and the requesting individual in the same phone call. SSA will establish the subject individual's identity (his/her name, SSN, address, date of birth and place of birth, along with one other piece of information, such as mother's maiden name) and ask for his/her consent in providing information to the requesting individual.

    If a request for notification is submitted by mail, an individual must include a notarized statement to SSA to verify his/her identity or must certify in the request that he/she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Record access procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Requesters should also clearly specify the record contents being sought, and may include an accounting of disclosures that have been made of their records, if any. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Contesting record procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Also, requesters should reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting and the corrective action sought, and the reasons for requesting the correction, with supporting justification showing how the record is inaccurate, incomplete, untimely or irrelevant. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:

    Individual travel vouchers, grants, contract and purchase order award documents; delinquent grant records, invoices of services rendered; and/or goods received, and applications for travel and/or salary advances.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:

    None.