Electronic Freedom of Information Act (eFOIA) System, SSA/OGC/OPD.

Effective Date: January 25, 2003

(70 F.R. 3571)

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

System number: 60-0340

System name:

Electronic Freedom of Information Act (eFOIA) System, SSA/OGC/OPD.

Security classification:

None.

System location:

Office of Public Disclosure

Office of the General Counsel

Social Security Administration

6401 Security Boulevard

Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:

Individuals, or groups of individuals, who write to the Freedom of Information Officer, Social Security Administration.

Categories of records in the system:

Copies of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) initial requests from individuals and groups of individuals and replies from SSA’s Freedom of Information Officer; FOIA appeals and replies to those appeals; and SSA records that relate to initial and appeal requests (e.g., copies of records that are disclosed and withheld).

Authority for maintenance of the system:

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552).

Purpose(s):

This system will be used to manage the Agency’s FOIA workload.  This includes assigning work, processing work electronically, tracking the status of assignments and providing management information reports relating to the FOIA requests received by SSA. 

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

Disclosure may be made for routine uses as indicated below.

However, disclosure of any information defined as “return or return information” under 26 U.S.C. § 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) will not be made unless authorized by a statute, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or IRS regulations.

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

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

3)  To the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), as necessary, for the purpose of auditing SSA's compliance with safeguard provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) of 1986, as amended.

4)  To the Department of Justice (DOJ) to defend SSA in FOIA litigation involving a record maintained in this system of records.

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

a) SSA, 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 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.

6)  Disclosure of any information defined as “returns or return information” under 26   U.S.C. § 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) will not be made unless authorized by a statute, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or IRS regulations.

7)  Non-tax return information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law may be disclosed to the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. § 2904 and § 2906, as amended by NARA Act of 1984, for the use of those agencies in conducting records management studies.

8)  To student volunteers, individuals working under a personal service contract, and other individuals performing functions for SSA but technically not having the status of Agency employees, if they need access to the records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions.

9)  To Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors, as appropriate, information necessary:

-To enable them to protect the safety of SSA employees and customers, the security of the SSA workplace, and the operation of SSA facilities, or

-To assist investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that affect such safety and security or activities that disrupt the operation of SSA facilities.

10)  To contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting SSA in the efficient administration of its programs.  We contemplate disclosing 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.

11)  The Commissioner shall disclose to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), or to any State, any record or information requested in writing by the Secretary to be so disclosed for the purpose of administering any program administered by the Secretary, if records or information of such type were so disclosed under applicable rules, regulations and procedures in effect before the date of enactment of the Social Security Independence and Program Improvements Act of 1994.

** 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 in this system are maintained and stored in electronic form.

Retrievability:

Records in this system are retrieved by a requester’s or third party’s first name, last name, Social Security Number (SSN), subject matter, or control number.

Safeguards:

Security measures include the use of access codes to enter the computer system which will maintain the data, the storage of computerized records in secured areas which are accessible only to employees who require the information in performing their official duties.  Any manually maintained records will be kept in locked cabinets or in otherwise secure areas.  SSA employees who have access to the data will be informed of the criminal penalties of the Privacy Act for unauthorized access to or disclosure of information maintained in the system.  See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(i)(1).

Contractor personnel having access to data in the system of records will be required to adhere to SSA rules concerning safeguards, access and use of the data.

Retention and disposal: 

Any document related to a FOIA request that has been denied will be retained (stored electronically) for six years from the response date.  Requests that have been granted will be retained for two years from the response date.  When the time period has elapsed, the case will be deleted provided (1) it is a closed case and (2) there are no open cases linked to that case.  If the case is still open or linked to another open case, deletion will be delayed until closure of all cases involved.

System manager(s):

Freedom of Information Officer

Office of Public Disclosure

Office of the General Counsel

Social Security Administration

6401 Security Boulevard

Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401

Notification procedure(s):

An individual can determine if this system contains a record about him/her by writing to the systems 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 name, SSN, address, date of birth, place of birth, and at least one other piece of identifying information that parallels 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 permission to provide the 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 C.F.R. § 401.40).

Record access procedure(s):

Same as Notification procedures.  Requesters also should reasonably specify the record contents they are seeking.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.50).

Contesting record procedure(s):

Same as Notification procedures.  Requesters should also reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting, and state the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification showing how the record is untimely, incomplete, inaccurate, or irrelevant.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.65).

Record source categories:

Information is furnished by the inquirer and generated by SSA in response to FOIA requests.

Systems exempt from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:

None.