Privacy Act; Background Check Services System of Records, 31082-31085 [07-2782]

Download as PDF 31082 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 5, 2007 / Notices before any court, adjudicative, or administrative body when (1) DHS; or (2) Any employee of DHS in his/her official capacity; or (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 proceeding, or has an interest in such litigation or proceeding. I. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) it is suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) DHS 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 ham to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by DHS or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure is made to such agencies, entities, and persons when 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. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE: Information can be stored in case file folders, cabinets, safes, or a variety of electronic or computer databases and storage media. RETRIEVABILITY: Records may be retrieved by biometrics or select personal identifiers, including but not limited to names, identification numbers, date of birth, nationality, document number, and address. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES SAFEGUARDS: The system is protected through multi-layer security mechanisms. The protective strategies are physical, technical, administrative, and environmental in nature, and provide access to control to sensitive data, physical access control to DHS facilities, confidentiality of communications, authentication of sending parties, and personnel screening to ensure that all personnel with access to data are screened through background investigations commensurate with the level of access required to perform their duties. RETENTION AND DISPOSAL: The following proposal for retention and disposal is pending approval with VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:28 Jun 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): Records that are stored in an individual’s file will be purged according to the retention and disposition guidelines that relate to the individual’s file in DHS/US–VISIT–001, IDENT. Testing and training data will be purged when the data is no longer required (GRS 20). Electronic records for which the statute of limitations has expired for all criminal violations or that are older than 75 years will be purged. Fingerprint cards, created for the purpose of entering records in the database, will be destroyed after data entry. Work Measurement Reports and Statistical Reports will be maintained within the guidelines set forth in NCI– 95–78–5/2 and NCI–85–78–1/2 respectively. SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS: System Manager, IDENT Program Management Office, US–VISIT Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528, USA. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: To determine whether this system contains records relating to you, write to the US–VISIT Privacy Officer, US–VISIT Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Lane, SW., Washington, DC 20528, USA. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: The major part of this system is exempted from this requirement pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) and (k)(2). A determination as to the granting or denial of access shall be made at the time a request is received. Requests for access to records in this system must be in writing, and should be addressed to the US–VISIT Privacy Officer at the address in the Notification procedure section above. Such request may be submitted either by mail or in person. The envelope and letter shall be clearly marked ‘‘Privacy Officer— Access/Redress Request.’’ To identify a record, the record subject should provide his or her full name, date and place of birth; if appropriate, the date and place of entry into or departure from the United States; verification of identity by submitting a copy of fingerprints if appropriate (in accordance with 8 CFR 103.21(b) and/or pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1746, make a dated statement under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization), and any other identifying information that may be of assistance in locating the record. The requestor shall also provide a return address for transmitting the records to be released. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: The major part of this system is exempted from this requirement pursuant to U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) and (k)(2). A determination as to the granting or denial of a request shall be made at the time a request is received. An individual requesting amendment of records maintained in this system should direct his or her request to the System Manager noted above. The request should state clearly what information is being contested, the reasons for contesting it, and the proposed amendment to the information. RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Basic information contained in this system is supplied by individuals covered by this system, and from Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign governments; private citizens; and public and private organizations. EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM: The Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted this system from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); (d); (e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3), (e)(4)(G), (e)(4)(H), (e)(5) and (e)(8); (f)(2) through (5); and (g) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2). In addition, the Secretary of Homeland Security has exempted portions of this system from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), and (e)(4)(H) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). These exemptions apply only to the extent that records in the system are subject to exemption pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) and (k)(2). Dated: May 25, 2007. Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer. [FR Doc. 07–2781 Filed 5–31–07; 1:24 pm] BILLING CODE 4410–10–M DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of the Secretary [Docket No. DHS–2007–0039] Privacy Act; Background Check Services System of Records Privacy Office, Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notice of Updated Privacy Act system of records notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Pursuant to Updated Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is updating the Background Check Service system of records to include a new category of E:\FR\FM\05JNN1.SGM 05JNN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 5, 2007 / Notices individuals, which is other individuals over the age of 18 residing in a prospective adoptive parent’s household pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3 (herein referred to as ‘‘other individuals’’). Additionally, DHS is adding a new routine use consistent with Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M–07–16, Attachment 2 that permits DHS to be in the best position to respond in a timely and effective manner in the event of a data breach. This republished system of records notice will replace the previously published system of records notice for the Background Check System, Federal Register on December 4, 2006 (71 FR 070413). DATES: The established system of records will be effective July 5, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number DHS– 2007–0039 by one of the following methods: • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 1–866–466–5370. • Mail: Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For system related questions please contact: Greg Collett, Branch Chief of Application Support for Office of Field Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20520. For privacy issues please contract: Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is congressionally tasked with processing all immigration benefit applications and petitions. In order to assist in this tasks, USCIS established a system of records that consolidates all background check requests and results on immigration benefit applicants/petitioners. This system of records is called the Background Check Service (BCS). At this time, USCIS is updating this system of records notice to add the following category of individuals to the Background Check System: Other individuals over the age of 18 residing in a prospective adoptive parent’s household pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3 (herein referred to as ‘‘other individuals’’). Additionally, USCIS is adding a new routine use consistent with Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M–07–16, Attachment 2 VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:28 Jun 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 that permits DHS to be in the best position to respond in a timely and effective manner in the event of a data breach. USCIS conducts four different background checks on applicants/ petitioners applying for USCIS benefits: (1) A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check, (2) a FBI name check, (3) a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Treasury Enforcement Communication System/Interagency Border Inspection System (TECS/IBIS) name check, and (4) US–VISIT IDENT fingerprint check. BCS will maintain the requests and results of all background check activity for USCIC. As a centralized repository containing all background check activity, BCS provides the status and results of background checks required for completion of immigration eligibility petitions and application determinations from one web-based system to geographically dispersed field offices. This system supports USCIS’s initiatives to reduce immigration benefit/petition case backlog and provide significant efficiencies in vetting and resolving the background checks that are required for USCIS benefits. Prior to BCS, information relating to the US–VISIT IDENT fingerprint checks, FBI fingerprint checks and the FBI name checks were stored in the FD–258 system and FBI Query system respectively. Information relating to the TECS/IBIS name checks was not stored in any system. The information maintained in BCS is initially collected and maintained in one of the following USCIS case management systems and then it is transferred to BCS: • Computer-Linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS) 3, which is used to process applications including, but not limited to, an Adjustment of Status (Green Card) and Temporary Protective Status (TPS); • CLAIMS 4, which is used to process applications for Naturalization; • Refugee Asylum Parole System (RAPS), which is used to process Asylum applications; and • Marriage Fraud Assurance System (MFAS), which is used for processing information relating to investigations of marriage fraud. The benefit applicant/petitioner and other individuals do not have direct interaction with BCS. The above systems will send necessary and relevant information to BCS in order to generate a Name Check Request for both the FBI name check and TECS/IBIS name check. Both the requests and results will be stored in BCS. PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31083 Applicants and other individuals submit information at the time the fingerprints are taken in order to conduct the FBI fingerprint check and the US–VISIT IDENT fingerprint check. Fingerprints are taken electronically at USCIS Application Support Centers (ASC) or taken from hard copy fingerprint cards (FD–258) that are submitted for those applicants and other individuals who are unable to go to an ASC. The fingerprints are currently stored in the Benefit Biometric Support System (BBSS), which interfaces directly with FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). The FBI provides responses to the FBI fingerprint check electronically and responses are stored in BCS. US–VISIT IDENT fingerprint check provides responses to BCS. All information is currently collected as part of the established USCIS application/petition process and is required to verify the applicant/ petitioner’s eligibility for the benefit being sought. The FBI fingerprint check consists of a search of the FBI’s Criminal Master File via IAFIS. This search will identify applicants/petitioners and other individuals who have an arrest record. The FBI Name Check consists of a search of the FBI’s Universal Index that includes administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel, and other files compiled for law enforcement purposes. The TECS/IBIS Name Check consists of a search of a multi-agency database containing information from 26 different agencies. The information in TECS/IBIS includes records of known and suspected terrorists, sex offenders, and other individuals that may be of interest to the law enforcement community. USCIS will use TECS/IBIS to access National Crime Information Center (NCIC) records on wanted persons, criminal histories, and previous federal inspections. The information in US– VISIT IDENT links information on individuals with their encounters, biometrics, records, and other data elements. The information collected in BCS as part of the background check process provides USCIS with information about an applicant/petitioner and other individuals that have national security or public safety implications or indicia of fraud. Collecting this information and taking action to prevent potentially undesirable and often dangerous people from staying in this country clearly supports two primary missions of DHS: Preventing terrorist attacks within the United States and reducing America’s vulnerability to terrorism, while facilitating the adjudication of lawful benefit applications. E:\FR\FM\05JNN1.SGM 05JNN1 31084 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 5, 2007 / Notices USCIS will use the results of these background checks to make eligibility determinations, which will result in the approval or denial of a benefit. If fraudulent or criminal activity is detected as a result of the background check, USCIS will forward the information to appropriate law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), FBI, CBP, and/or local law enforcement. 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 personally identifiable information. 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 from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual. 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 to make agency recordkeeping practices transparent, to notify individuals of the uses to which personally identifiable information is put, and to assist the individual in more easily finding such files within the agency. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), a report on this system has been sent to Congress and to the Office of Management and Budget. DHS–USCIS–002 SYSTEM NAME: Background Check Service (BCS). Security Classification: Sensitive but Unclassified. SYSTEM LOCATION: The primary BCS system is located at a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved data center in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Backups are maintained offsite. BCS will be accessible world-wide from all USCIS field offices, service centers, and ASC that are part of the DHS Network. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM: Categories of individuals covered by this notice consist of: A. All individuals who are applying for benefits and or who are petitioning on behalf of individuals applying/ petitioning for benefits pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act of VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:28 Jun 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 1952, as amended, 101 [8 U.S.C. 1101] (a)(b). B. All individuals over the age of 18 residing in a prospective adoptive parent’s household whose principal or only residence is the home of the prospective adoptive parents pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3 (herein referred to as ‘‘other individuals’’). CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: BCS maintains four general categories of records: Applicant/petitioner identification information, other individual identification information, Background Check Request information, and Background Check Result information. A. Applicant/Petitioner information includes biographic information associated with each applicant/ petitioner including, but not limited to: Name, date of birth, country of birth, address, and employment status. The applicant/petitioner information also includes uniquely identifiable numbers, including but not limited to: Alien number, z-number, receipt number, social security number, armed forces identification number, etc. This information would be derived from newly created benefit applications in USCIS Systems of Records or an update to previously submitted benefit applications. B. Information related to other individuals over the age of 18 residing in a prospective adoptive parent’s household would be derived from newly created inter-country adoption applications pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3. The information collected about these individuals includes: Full name and date of birth. C. Background Check Request information contains data necessary to perform a background check through the US–VISIT IDENT fingerprint check, FBI fingerprint check, FI name check, and CBP IBIS name check services. This data may include: Transaction control numbers associated with FBI fingerprint checks, receipt numbers, date/time of submission, physical description of subject, and a reason for the submission of the application (i.e. USCIS form code). This category also covers logs associated with the requests of background checks, which may include: Requesting location and requesting person. D. Background Check Result information encompasses data received from FBI and DHS. This data may include: Identifying transactional information (i.e. transaction control number), biographical information, a subject’s FBI information sheet (informally known as a RAP Sheet) as a PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 result of an FBI fingerprint check, an FBI name check report, information from the CBP IBIS database, and information from US–VISIT IDENT fingerprint check. The CBP IBIS database includes data from TECS and NCIC databases. AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM: 8 U.S.C. 1103(a). PURPOSE(S): BCS is a single, centralized system that records, reconciles, and stores Background Check Requests and Results of applicants and petitioners seeking USCIS benefits. The following types of background checks will be recorded by BCS: FBI Name Checks, TECS/IBIS Name Checks, and FBI Fingerprint Checks. The collection of information is required to verify the applicant/ petitioner’s eligibility for USCIS benefits. A background check of varying degree, determined by the benefit/ petition, is required for any individual applying for USCIS benefits. In order to seek USCIS benefits, the applicant/ petitioner must provide USCIS with all requested information. In the case of other individuals over the age of 18 residing in a prospective adoptive parent’s household, USCIS collects their information to facilitate the appropriate USVISIT IDENT, FBI Name Checks, TECS/IBIS Name Checks, and FBI Fingerprint Checks. This check is conducted in order to assess whether the child will be placed in a safe environment. 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 or 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 United States Department of Justice (DOJ) (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: (a) DHS, or (b) any employee of DHS in his/her official capacity, or (c) any employee of DHS in his/her individual capacity where DOJ or DHS has agreed to represent said employee, or (d) the United States or any agency thereof; B. To another Federal agency (including the Merit Systems Protection E:\FR\FM\05JNN1.SGM 05JNN1 jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 107 / Tuesday, June 5, 2007 / Notices Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), or to a court, or a party in litigation before a court or in an administrative proceeding being conducted by a Federal agency, when the Government is a party to the judicial or administrative proceeding. C. To an agency, organization, or individual for the purpose of performing audit or oversight operations as authorized by law. D. To a Congressional office, for 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. E. 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. 2904 and 2906. F. To contractors, grantees, experts, consultants, and others performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or other assignment for the Federal Government, when necessary to accomplish a DHS mission function related to this system of records, in compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. G. To appropriate Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations responsible for investigating or prosecuting the violations of, or for enforcing or implementing, a statute, rule, regulation, order, or license, where USCIS believes the information would assist enforcement of civil or criminal laws; H. To Federal and foreign government intelligence or counterterrorism agencies or components where USCIS becomes aware of an indication of a threat or potential threat to national or international security, or where such use is to assist in anti-terrorism efforts and disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official duties of the person making the disclosure; I. To a Federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, foreign, or international agency, if necessary to obtain information relevant to a Department of Homeland Security decision concerning 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, grant or other benefit. J. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) it is suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) DHS has determined VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:28 Jun 04, 2007 Jkt 211001 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) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure is made to such agencies, entities, and persons when 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. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE: Records in the system will be stored in a central computer database. RETRIEVABILITY: A combination of the following BCS data elements may be used to initiate a query in order to retrieve data from the BCS User Interface. These data elements include, an individual’s alien file number, name and date of birth; and receipt number. SAFEGUARDS: Information in this system is safeguarded in accordance with applicable laws and policies, including the DHS Information Technology Security Program Handbook. All records are protected from unauthorized access through appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. These safeguards include restricting access to authorized personnel who have a need-to-know, using locks, and password protection identification features. The system is also protected through a multi-layer security approach. The protective strategies are physical, technical, administrative and environmental in nature and provide access control to sensitive data, physical access control to DHS facilities, confidentiality of communications, authentication of sending parties, and personnel screening to ensure that all personnel with access to data are screened through background investigations commensurate with the level of access required to perform their duties. RETENTION AND DISPOSAL: The following USCIS proposal for retention and disposal is pending approval by the National Archives and Records Administration. Records are stored and retained in the BCS Repository for 75 years, during which time the records will be archived. The PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31085 75-year retention rate is based on the length of time USCIS may interact with a customer. For example, background checks are conducted on individuals/ petitioners from the age of 14 and up. Retaining the data for this period of time also will enable USCIS to fight identify fraud and misappropriated benefits. SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS: Greg Collett, Branch Chief of Application Support for Office of Field Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20529. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: All individuals applying for immigration benefits are presented on the USCIS form, a Privacy Act Statements and a Signature and Authorization for Release of personally identifiable information. All forms must be signed by the individual. These two notices supply individuals with information regarding uses of the data. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: To determine whether this system contains records relating to you, write the USCIS Freedom of Information Act/ Privacy Act officer. Mail request to: Elizabeth S. Gaffin, Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Room 4210, Washington, DC 20529. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: See the ‘‘Notification Procedure’’ above. RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Information contained in this system of records is obtained from USCIS systems including: CLAIMS3, CLAIMS4, RAPS, and MFAS. Information contained in the system is also obtained from the FBI and DHS. All information contained in BCS is derived from the above systems. EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. Dated: May 25, 2007. Hugo Teufel, III, Chief Privacy Officer. [FR Doc. 07–2782 Filed 5–31–07; 1:24 pm] BILLING CODE 4410–10–M E:\FR\FM\05JNN1.SGM 05JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 107 (Tuesday, June 5, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31082-31085]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-2782]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Office of the Secretary

[Docket No. DHS-2007-0039]


Privacy Act; Background Check Services System of Records

AGENCY: Privacy Office, Office of the Secretary, Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: Notice of Updated Privacy Act system of records notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Updated Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of 
Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is 
updating the Background Check Service system of records to include a 
new category of

[[Page 31083]]

individuals, which is other individuals over the age of 18 residing in 
a prospective adoptive parent's household pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3 
(herein referred to as ``other individuals''). Additionally, DHS is 
adding a new routine use consistent with Office of Management and 
Budget Memorandum M-07-16, Attachment 2 that permits DHS to be in the 
best position to respond in a timely and effective manner in the event 
of a data breach. This republished system of records notice will 
replace the previously published system of records notice for the 
Background Check System, Federal Register on December 4, 2006 (71 FR 
070413).

DATES: The established system of records will be effective July 5, 
2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number DHS-
2007-0039 by one of the following methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-866-466-5370.
     Mail: Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy 
Office, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For system related questions please 
contact: Greg Collett, Branch Chief of Application Support for Office 
of Field Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20520. For privacy issues please contract: Hugo Teufel 
III, Chief Privacy Officer, Privacy Office, U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security, Washington, DC 20528.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is congressionally 
tasked with processing all immigration benefit applications and 
petitions. In order to assist in this tasks, USCIS established a system 
of records that consolidates all background check requests and results 
on immigration benefit applicants/petitioners. This system of records 
is called the Background Check Service (BCS). At this time, USCIS is 
updating this system of records notice to add the following category of 
individuals to the Background Check System: Other individuals over the 
age of 18 residing in a prospective adoptive parent's household 
pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3 (herein referred to as ``other individuals''). 
Additionally, USCIS is adding a new routine use consistent with Office 
of Management and Budget Memorandum M-07-16, Attachment 2 that permits 
DHS to be in the best position to respond in a timely and effective 
manner in the event of a data breach.
    USCIS conducts four different background checks on applicants/
petitioners applying for USCIS benefits: (1) A Federal Bureau of 
Investigation (FBI) fingerprint check, (2) a FBI name check, (3) a 
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Treasury Enforcement Communication 
System/Interagency Border Inspection System (TECS/IBIS) name check, and 
(4) US-VISIT IDENT fingerprint check. BCS will maintain the requests 
and results of all background check activity for USCIC.
    As a centralized repository containing all background check 
activity, BCS provides the status and results of background checks 
required for completion of immigration eligibility petitions and 
application determinations from one web-based system to geographically 
dispersed field offices. This system supports USCIS's initiatives to 
reduce immigration benefit/petition case backlog and provide 
significant efficiencies in vetting and resolving the background checks 
that are required for USCIS benefits. Prior to BCS, information 
relating to the US-VISIT IDENT fingerprint checks, FBI fingerprint 
checks and the FBI name checks were stored in the FD-258 system and FBI 
Query system respectively. Information relating to the TECS/IBIS name 
checks was not stored in any system.
    The information maintained in BCS is initially collected and 
maintained in one of the following USCIS case management systems and 
then it is transferred to BCS:
     Computer-Linked Application Information Management System 
(CLAIMS) 3, which is used to process applications including, but not 
limited to, an Adjustment of Status (Green Card) and Temporary 
Protective Status (TPS);
     CLAIMS 4, which is used to process applications for 
Naturalization;
     Refugee Asylum Parole System (RAPS), which is used to 
process Asylum applications; and
     Marriage Fraud Assurance System (MFAS), which is used for 
processing information relating to investigations of marriage fraud.
    The benefit applicant/petitioner and other individuals do not have 
direct interaction with BCS.
    The above systems will send necessary and relevant information to 
BCS in order to generate a Name Check Request for both the FBI name 
check and TECS/IBIS name check. Both the requests and results will be 
stored in BCS.
    Applicants and other individuals submit information at the time the 
fingerprints are taken in order to conduct the FBI fingerprint check 
and the US-VISIT IDENT fingerprint check. Fingerprints are taken 
electronically at USCIS Application Support Centers (ASC) or taken from 
hard copy fingerprint cards (FD-258) that are submitted for those 
applicants and other individuals who are unable to go to an ASC. The 
fingerprints are currently stored in the Benefit Biometric Support 
System (BBSS), which interfaces directly with FBI's Integrated 
Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). The FBI provides 
responses to the FBI fingerprint check electronically and responses are 
stored in BCS. US-VISIT IDENT fingerprint check provides responses to 
BCS.
    All information is currently collected as part of the established 
USCIS application/petition process and is required to verify the 
applicant/petitioner's eligibility for the benefit being sought. The 
FBI fingerprint check consists of a search of the FBI's Criminal Master 
File via IAFIS. This search will identify applicants/petitioners and 
other individuals who have an arrest record. The FBI Name Check 
consists of a search of the FBI's Universal Index that includes 
administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel, and other files 
compiled for law enforcement purposes. The TECS/IBIS Name Check 
consists of a search of a multi-agency database containing information 
from 26 different agencies. The information in TECS/IBIS includes 
records of known and suspected terrorists, sex offenders, and other 
individuals that may be of interest to the law enforcement community. 
USCIS will use TECS/IBIS to access National Crime Information Center 
(NCIC) records on wanted persons, criminal histories, and previous 
federal inspections. The information in US-VISIT IDENT links 
information on individuals with their encounters, biometrics, records, 
and other data elements.
    The information collected in BCS as part of the background check 
process provides USCIS with information about an applicant/petitioner 
and other individuals that have national security or public safety 
implications or indicia of fraud. Collecting this information and 
taking action to prevent potentially undesirable and often dangerous 
people from staying in this country clearly supports two primary 
missions of DHS: Preventing terrorist attacks within the United States 
and reducing America's vulnerability to terrorism, while facilitating 
the adjudication of lawful benefit applications.

[[Page 31084]]

    USCIS will use the results of these background checks to make 
eligibility determinations, which will result in the approval or denial 
of a benefit. If fraudulent or criminal activity is detected as a 
result of the background check, USCIS will forward the information to 
appropriate law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement (ICE), FBI, CBP, and/or local law enforcement.
    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 personally identifiable 
information. 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 from which information is 
retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, 
symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual.
    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 to make agency recordkeeping practices 
transparent, to notify individuals of the uses to which personally 
identifiable information is put, and to assist the individual in more 
easily finding such files within the agency.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), a report on this system has 
been sent to Congress and to the Office of Management and Budget.
DHS-USCIS-002

System name:
    Background Check Service (BCS). Security Classification: Sensitive 
but Unclassified.

System location:
    The primary BCS system is located at a Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) approved data center in the Washington, DC, metropolitan 
area. Backups are maintained offsite. BCS will be accessible world-wide 
from all USCIS field offices, service centers, and ASC that are part of 
the DHS Network.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:
    Categories of individuals covered by this notice consist of:
    A. All individuals who are applying for benefits and or who are 
petitioning on behalf of individuals applying/petitioning for benefits 
pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, 
101 [8 U.S.C. 1101] (a)(b).
    B. All individuals over the age of 18 residing in a prospective 
adoptive parent's household whose principal or only residence is the 
home of the prospective adoptive parents pursuant to 8 CFR 204.3 
(herein referred to as ``other individuals'').

Categories of records in the system:
    BCS maintains four general categories of records: Applicant/
petitioner identification information, other individual identification 
information, Background Check Request information, and Background Check 
Result information.
    A. Applicant/Petitioner information includes biographic information 
associated with each applicant/petitioner including, but not limited 
to: Name, date of birth, country of birth, address, and employment 
status. The applicant/petitioner information also includes uniquely 
identifiable numbers, including but not limited to: Alien number, z-
number, receipt number, social security number, armed forces 
identification number, etc. This information would be derived from 
newly created benefit applications in USCIS Systems of Records or an 
update to previously submitted benefit applications.
    B. Information related to other individuals over the age of 18 
residing in a prospective adoptive parent's household would be derived 
from newly created inter-country adoption applications pursuant to 8 
CFR 204.3. The information collected about these individuals includes: 
Full name and date of birth.
    C. Background Check Request information contains data necessary to 
perform a background check through the US-VISIT IDENT fingerprint 
check, FBI fingerprint check, FI name check, and CBP IBIS name check 
services. This data may include: Transaction control numbers associated 
with FBI fingerprint checks, receipt numbers, date/time of submission, 
physical description of subject, and a reason for the submission of the 
application (i.e. USCIS form code). This category also covers logs 
associated with the requests of background checks, which may include: 
Requesting location and requesting person.
    D. Background Check Result information encompasses data received 
from FBI and DHS. This data may include: Identifying transactional 
information (i.e. transaction control number), biographical 
information, a subject's FBI information sheet (informally known as a 
RAP Sheet) as a result of an FBI fingerprint check, an FBI name check 
report, information from the CBP IBIS database, and information from 
US-VISIT IDENT fingerprint check. The CBP IBIS database includes data 
from TECS and NCIC databases.

Authority for maintenance of the system:
    8 U.S.C. 1103(a).

Purpose(s):
    BCS is a single, centralized system that records, reconciles, and 
stores Background Check Requests and Results of applicants and 
petitioners seeking USCIS benefits. The following types of background 
checks will be recorded by BCS: FBI Name Checks, TECS/IBIS Name Checks, 
and FBI Fingerprint Checks. The collection of information is required 
to verify the applicant/petitioner's eligibility for USCIS benefits. A 
background check of varying degree, determined by the benefit/petition, 
is required for any individual applying for USCIS benefits. In order to 
seek USCIS benefits, the applicant/petitioner must provide USCIS with 
all requested information.
    In the case of other individuals over the age of 18 residing in a 
prospective adoptive parent's household, USCIS collects their 
information to facilitate the appropriate USVISIT IDENT, FBI Name 
Checks, TECS/IBIS Name Checks, and FBI Fingerprint Checks. This check 
is conducted in order to assess whether the child will be placed in a 
safe environment.

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 or 
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 United States Department of Justice (DOJ) (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: (a) DHS, or (b) any employee of DHS in his/her official 
capacity, or (c) any employee of DHS in his/her individual capacity 
where DOJ or DHS has agreed to represent said employee, or (d) the 
United States or any agency thereof;
    B. To another Federal agency (including the Merit Systems 
Protection

[[Page 31085]]

Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), or to a court, 
or a party in litigation before a court or in an administrative 
proceeding being conducted by a Federal agency, when the Government is 
a party to the judicial or administrative proceeding.
    C. To an agency, organization, or individual for the purpose of 
performing audit or oversight operations as authorized by law.
    D. To a Congressional office, for 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.
    E. 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. 2904 and 2906.
     F. To contractors, grantees, experts, consultants, and others 
performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative 
agreement, or other assignment for the Federal Government, when 
necessary to accomplish a DHS mission function related to this system 
of records, in compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.
     G. To appropriate Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign 
governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations 
responsible for investigating or prosecuting the violations of, or for 
enforcing or implementing, a statute, rule, regulation, order, or 
license, where USCIS believes the information would assist enforcement 
of civil or criminal laws;
     H. To Federal and foreign government intelligence or 
counterterrorism agencies or components where USCIS becomes aware of an 
indication of a threat or potential threat to national or international 
security, or where such use is to assist in anti-terrorism efforts and 
disclosure is appropriate to the proper performance of the official 
duties of the person making the disclosure;
     I. To a Federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, foreign, or 
international agency, if necessary to obtain information relevant to a 
Department of Homeland Security decision concerning 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, grant or other benefit.
     J. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) it is 
suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality of 
information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) DHS 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) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the 
disclosure is made to such agencies, entities, and persons when 
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.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, 
and disposing of records in the system:
Storage:
    Records in the system will be stored in a central computer 
database.

Retrievability:
    A combination of the following BCS data elements may be used to 
initiate a query in order to retrieve data from the BCS User Interface. 
These data elements include, an individual's alien file number, name 
and date of birth; and receipt number.

Safeguards:
    Information in this system is safeguarded in accordance with 
applicable laws and policies, including the DHS Information Technology 
Security Program Handbook. All records are protected from unauthorized 
access through appropriate administrative, physical, and technical 
safeguards. These safeguards include restricting access to authorized 
personnel who have a need-to-know, using locks, and password protection 
identification features. The system is also protected through a multi-
layer security approach. The protective strategies are physical, 
technical, administrative and environmental in nature and provide 
access control to sensitive data, physical access control to DHS 
facilities, confidentiality of communications, authentication of 
sending parties, and personnel screening to ensure that all personnel 
with access to data are screened through background investigations 
commensurate with the level of access required to perform their duties.

Retention and disposal:
    The following USCIS proposal for retention and disposal is pending 
approval by the National Archives and Records Administration. Records 
are stored and retained in the BCS Repository for 75 years, during 
which time the records will be archived. The 75-year retention rate is 
based on the length of time USCIS may interact with a customer. For 
example, background checks are conducted on individuals/petitioners 
from the age of 14 and up. Retaining the data for this period of time 
also will enable USCIS to fight identify fraud and misappropriated 
benefits.

System manager(s) and address:
    Greg Collett, Branch Chief of Application Support for Office of 
Field Operations, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department 
of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20529.

Notification procedure:
    All individuals applying for immigration benefits are presented on 
the USCIS form, a Privacy Act Statements and a Signature and 
Authorization for Release of personally identifiable information. All 
forms must be signed by the individual. These two notices supply 
individuals with information regarding uses of the data.

Record access procedures:
    To determine whether this system contains records relating to you, 
write the USCIS Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act officer. Mail 
request to: Elizabeth S. Gaffin, Privacy Officer, Department of 
Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 20 
Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Room 4210, Washington, DC 20529.

Contesting record procedures:
    See the ``Notification Procedure'' above.

Record source categories:
    Information contained in this system of records is obtained from 
USCIS systems including: CLAIMS3, CLAIMS4, RAPS, and MFAS. Information 
contained in the system is also obtained from the FBI and DHS. All 
information contained in BCS is derived from the above systems.

Exemptions claimed for the system:
    None.

    Dated: May 25, 2007.
Hugo Teufel, III,
Chief Privacy Officer.
[FR Doc. 07-2782 Filed 5-31-07; 1:24 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-M