SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
PRIVACY IMPACT ASSESSMENT
· Name of project.
Disqualified, Suspended Representatives and Non-Recognized Persons
· Unique project identifier.
· Privacy Impact Assessment Contact.
Office of General Counsel
Office of General Law
Social Security Administration
The Representative Disqualification, Suspension, and Non-Recognition Information File is a system of records that covers disqualified and suspended representatives who have represented claimants and beneficiaries before us and persons who want to serve as representatives but fail to meet the qualifications for recognition by us to do so. For example, covered persons include representatives alleged to have violated the provisions of the Social Security Act or regulations relating to representation of claimants and beneficiaries, representatives whom we have found to have committed such violations and are disqualified or suspended, and representatives we have investigated but are not disqualified or suspended because we resolved the matter without an action to disqualify or suspend the representative or because we found that the violation did not occur.
· Describe the information we plan to collect, why we will collect the information, how we intend to use of the information, and with whom we will share the information.
The information we collect is specific to persons seeking to represent our claimants and disqualified and suspended representatives who have represented claimants and beneficiaries before us. For example, we collect name, date of birth, Social Security number, representative identification number, home or business address(es), telephone and facsimile (fax) numbers, email address, and type of representative (e.g., attorney, non-attorney, eligible direct pay non-attorney). We also collect and maintain information about the representative’s legal standing and business affiliation. For example, we collect status of the representative (e.g., suspended, disqualified); bar, court, and Federal program or agency admission information (e.g., year admitted, license number, present standing, and disciplinary history); copies of all documentation resulting from our investigation and administrative prosecution of alleged violations of the Social Security Act and regulations relating to the representative; and employer identification number.
The information we collect is maintained in the Appointed Representative Database, a single repository for all representational type information. We will use the information in the database to identify persons and representatives covered by the system of records and respond to representational activities. For example, we will use the information to investigate alleged administrative or criminal violations, administratively prosecute actions against representatives, respond to the Appeals Council when a representative has requested reinstatement, provide detailed notice of, and information on, cases in which we have disqualified or suspended a representative, and assist the Department of Justice in Federal court litigation, including that which relates to our decision to disqualify or suspend a representative or not recognize a person as a claimants’ representative.
We will disclose information in the database only to the subject of the record, under a routine use, or as otherwise required by Federal law. For example, under a routine use, we will disclose to the public via our internet website that we have disqualified or suspended a representative from representation before us, or not recognized a person as a claimants’ representative. A full list of routine uses applicable to this information collection may be found in the Representative Disqualification, Suspension, and Non-Recognition Information File system of records notice, 60-0219.
· Describe the administrative and technological controls we have in place or that we plan to secure the information we will collect.
We maintain all representational type information in paper and electronic form. We keep paper records in locked cabinets or in other secure areas. Information in electronic form is maintained in the Appointed Representative database. We safeguard the security of the electronic information by requiring the use of access codes to enter the computer system that houses the data.
We annually provide appropriate security awareness and training to all of our employees and contractors that includes reminders about the need to protect personally identifiable information and the criminal penalties that apply to unauthorized access to, or disclosure of, personally identifiable information. See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(i)(1). Furthermore, employees and contractors with access to databases maintaining personally identifiable information must annually sign a sanction document, acknowledging their accountability for inappropriately accessing or disclosing such information.
· Describe the impact on people’s privacy rights. Do we afford people an opportunity to decline to provide information?
Yes. We collect, maintain, and use information only where we have specific legal authority to do so in order to administer our responsibilities under the Social Security Act. When we collect a person’s or representative’s information, we advise the person or representative of our legal authority for requesting the information, the purpose for which we will use and disclose the information, and explain the consequences should the person or representative choose not to provide the information. The person or representative can then make an informed decision as to whether or not to provide the information.
Do we afford people an opportunity to consent to only particular uses of the information?
No. When we collect a person’s or representative’s information, we advise that person or representative of the purposes for which we will use the information. We further advise the person or representative that we will disclose the information without prior written consent only when we have specific legal authority to do so (e.g., the Privacy Act). We do not otherwise offer persons and representatives an opportunity to determine how and with whom their information will be shared.
· Does the collection of this information require a new system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. § 552a) or an alteration to an existing system of records?
Yes. This collection of information required us to alter an existing system of records, the Representative Disqualification/Suspension Information System (60-0219). The system of records was renamed the Representative Disqualification, Suspension, and Non-Recognition Information File. The alteration appropriately reflects the persons and representatives covered by the system as well as the purpose for which we collect, maintain, and use the information maintained in the database.
PIA CONDUCTED BY PRIVACY OFFICER, SSA:
/s/ Dawn S.Wiggins February 16, 2010
PIA REVIEWED BY SENIOR AGENCY PRIVACY OFFICIAL, SSA:
/s/ David F. Black February 18, 2010