Civil Rights Complaints Filed by Members of the Public, Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel

Effective Date: January 11, 2006

(71 F.R. 1874)

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

SYSTEM NUMBER: 60-0275

System name:

    Civil Rights Complaints Filed by Members of the Public, Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel.

Security classification:

    None.

System Location:

    Records are located at the following Social Security Administration (SSA) offices:

          Office of the General Counsel

          Social Security Administration

          Room 600 Altmeyer Building

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

In the Boston Region ( Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region I

          Social Security Administration

          John F. Kennedy Federal Building

          Room 625, Government Center

          Boston, Massachusetts 02203

In the New York Region ( New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region II

          Social Security Administration

          Room 3904, 26 Federal Plaza

          New York, NY 10278

In the Philadelphia Region ( Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region III

          Social Security Administration

          P.O. Box 41777

          Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101

In the Atlanta Region ( Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia , Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region IV

          Social Security Administration

          Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 20T45

          61 Forsyth Street, SW.

          Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8920

In the Chicago Region ( Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region V

          Social Security Administration

          200 West Adams Street, 30th Floor

          Chicago, Illinois 60606-2898

In the Dallas Region ( Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region VI

          Social Security Administration, Suite 130

          1301 Young Street

          Dallas, Texas 75202-5433

In the Kansas City Region ( Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region VII

          Social Security Administration, Room 535

          601 East 12th Street

          Kansas City, Missouri 64106-2898

In the Denver Region ( Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region VIII

          Social Security Administration

          Suite 120, Federal Office Building

          1961 Stout Street

          Denver, Colorado 80294

In the San Francisco Region ( American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Marianna Islands):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region IX

          Social Security Administration, Room 405

          50 United Nations Plaza

          San Francisco, California 94102

In the Seattle Region ( Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington):

          Office of the General Counsel

          Chief Counsel, Region X

          Social Security Administration

          701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2900, M/S 901

          Seattle, Washington 98104-7075

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

    Members of the public who file civil rights complaints against SSA, a component of SSA and/or present or former SSA employees, alleging discrimination on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or retaliation in any program or activity

conducted by SSA.

Categories of records in the system:

    Personal identifying information regarding the member of the public who filed the civil rights complaint, complaint docket number, complaint allegations, information gathered during the complaint investigation, including witness interviews from SSA employees or

eyewitnesses to an allegation of discrimination, findings and results of the investigation, reconsideration findings, and correspondence and telephone contact reports related to the complaint and investigation.

Authority for maintenance of the system:

    The information collection is authorized by 5 U.S.C. 301; 29 U.S.C. 791 et. seq.; 42 U.S.C. 902(a)(5), 1304 note. Those statutes require SSA not to discriminate on the basis of disability and authorize the Commissioner to establish policies to prohibit SSA and SSA employees from discriminating based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, or retaliation in any program or activity conducted by SSA.

Purpose(s):

    The file system is designed to store all civil rights complaints filed by members of the public, information gathered during the complaint investigation, correspondence and telephone contact reports related to the complaint and investigation, the findings and results of all OGC headquarters and regional complaint investigations, reconsideration decisions, and for retrieval of information about civil rights complaints. Files are maintained to track civil rights complaints and to record the findings and results of the complaint investigations so that OGC may enforce findings, monitor compliance, revise internal administrative procedures, manage and docket complaints, and provide status reports.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such use:

    Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below:

    1. To the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other Federal and State agencies when necessary for the administration or enforcement of civil rights laws or regulations.

    2. To a congressional office in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of the record.

    3. To the Office of the President for the purpose of responding to an individual pursuant to an inquiry from that individual or from a third party on his or her behalf.

    4. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court or other tribunal, or 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 such 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.

    5. To a Federal, State or local agency for law enforcement purposes concerning a violation of law pertaining to the records in this system.

    6. 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.

    7. To Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors as appropriate, if information is necessary:

    (a) To enable them to protect the safety of Social Security Administration (SSA) employees and customers, the security of the SSA workplace, and the operation of SSA facilities; or

    (b) To assist in investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that disrupt the operation of SSA facilities.

    8. 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.

    9.  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.

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

Storage:

    Records are maintained in paper form (e.g., file folders) in file cabinets. Some records may be maintained on Agency computers.

Retrievability:

    Records are retrieved by name of the complainant and/or docket number.

Safeguards:

    Office buildings in which these records are maintained are locked after the close of the business day. These records are only accessible by General Counsel Staff and other Agency employees for the processing of complaints or litigation.

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

Retention and disposal:

    The records are maintained in SSA headquarters OGC or regional OGC offices. They are disposed of in accordance with the Federal Records Act and applicable retention schedules.

System manager(s) and address:

            Social Security Administration

          Office of the General Counsel

          Office of General Law

          Room 617 Altmeyer Building

          6401 Security Boulevard

          Baltimore, Maryland 21235

(For additional addresses see Systems location).

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 reasonably specify the record contents being sought. These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulation (20 CFR 401.40(c)).

Contesting record procedures:

    Same as Notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably identify the records, specify the information they are contesting and the correction sought, and the reasons for the correction, with supporting justification showing how the record is incomplete, untimely, inaccurate or irrelevant. These procedures are in accordance

with SSA Regulations (20 CFR 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:

    Complaint and information filed with SSA by, or on behalf of, the individual complainant, witnesses, SSA employees, telephone contact reports, complainant's attorney, and the alleged discriminator.

System exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:

    This system is exempt from certain provisions of the Privacy Act under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). Pursuant to SSA regulations at 20 CFR 401.85(b)(2)(ii)(E), this system is exempt from the following subsections of the Privacy Act: (c)(3), (d)(1)-(4), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I), and (f).