Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records, 46713-46717 [E8-18518]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 155 / Monday, August 11, 2008 / Notices Affairs has exempted this system of records, to the extent that it encompasses information pertaining to criminal law-related activities, from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2): 5 U.S.C. 552a(c) (3) and (4) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e) (1), (2) and (3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (G), and (H) and (I) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e) (5) and (8) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f) 5 U.S.C. 552a(g) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has also exempted this system of records to the extent that it does not encompass information pertaining to criminal lawrelated activities under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2): 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) 5 U.S.C. 552a(d) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (G), (H) and (I) 5 U.S.C. 552a(f) REASONS FOR EXEMPTIONS: The exemption of information and material in this system of records is necessary in order to accomplish the law enforcement functions of the Office of Inspector General, e.g., to prevent subjects of investigations from frustrating the investigatory process by discovering the scope and progress of an investigation, to prevent the disclosure of investigative techniques, to fulfill commitments made to protect the confidentiality of sources, to maintain access to sources of information and to avoid endangering these sources and law enforcement personnel. [FR Doc. E8–18505 Filed 8–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records Department of Veterans Affairs. Notice of Amendment to System of Records, ‘‘Criminal Investigations— VA’’. AGENCY: rmajette on PRODPC74 with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a(e), notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending the system of records currently known as ‘‘Investigation Reports of Persons Allegedly Involved in Irregularities Concerning VA Laws, Regulations, Etc.’’ (11VA51) as set forth in the Federal Register at 70 FR 76498. VA is VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Aug 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 amending the system of records by renaming the system, revising the Categories of Individuals Covered by the System, the Categories of Records in the System, the Purpose(s), the Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, including Categories of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses, and Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System. VA is republishing the system notice in its entirety. DATES: Comments on the amendment of this system of records must be received not later than September 10, 2008. If no public comment is received, the amended system will become effective September 10, 2008. ADDRESSES: Written comments concerning the proposed amended system of records may be submitted by: Mail or hand-delivery to Director, Regulations Management (OOREG1), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; fax to (202) 273–9026; or e-mail to VAregulations@va.gov. All comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 273–9515 for an appointment. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Timothy J. McGrath, Attorney Advisor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420; or fax comments to (202) 565–8667; or e-mail comments to timothy.mcgrath@va.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This publication is in accordance with the Privacy Act requirement that agencies publish their amended system of records in the Federal Register when there is revision, change, or addition. The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has reviewed its systems of records notices and has determined its record system, Investigation Reports of Persons Allegedly Involved in Irregularities Concerning VA Laws, Regulations, Etc., VA (11VA51) should be amended to reflect evolving technology and procedures and to conform to current practice. The system name is being changed to ‘‘Criminal Investigations’’ to more accurately reflect the mission of the OIG Office of Investigations and the records created. The Categories of Individuals Covered by the System is amended to include VA beneficiaries other than veterans, as well as private citizens whose actions PO 00000 Frm 00132 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46713 affect or relate to programs and operations of VA. This section is amended slightly by adding some language to clarify those individuals who are or have been subjects of investigations or are those alleged to have violated criminal laws, either Federal or state either in performance of official duties or related to programs or operations of VA. The Categories of Records in the System is amended to clarify that the records include allegations of specific wrongdoing or crimes committed as well as case progress reports. In keeping with technological advances, information such as names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and home addresses of subjects are maintained in an electronic database instead of on file cards. This system of records is also amended by adding a Purposes section. The records are used for identifying criminal offenders and alleged offenders, identifying witnesses and documents relevant to the investigation of the allegations and compiling evidence to prove or disprove criminal conduct. The records and information are used in Federal and state grand jury proceedings, pretrial negotiations, plea agreements, pretrial diversions, court hearings, trials or other administrative action against the subject of the investigation. There are several changes made to the routine use disclosures. Former routine use numbers 1, 4, and 5 remain the same, and former routine use number 13 is now renumbered as number 14. For clarity purposes former routine use numbers 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are deleted in their entirety and new text is substituted. The text changes reflect new routine uses that are consistent with law as well as for the purposes for which the records are maintained. The proposed changes are as follows: Routine use number 1 remains the same and allows for disclosure of information from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from a congressional office on behalf of that individual. Routine use number 2 is a new routine use and is added to reflect that disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). NARA is responsible for archiving records no longer actively used but may be appropriate for preservation, and is responsible in general for the physical maintenance of the Federal government’s records. VA must be able to turn records over to NARA in order to determine the proper disposition of such records. E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 rmajette on PRODPC74 with NOTICES 46714 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 155 / Monday, August 11, 2008 / Notices Routine use number 3 allows VA to disclose records to the U.S. Department of Justice. When VA is involved in litigation or an adjudicative or administrative process, or occasionally when another party is involved in litigation or an adjudicative or administrative process, and VA policies or operations could be affected by the outcome of the litigation or process, VA must be able to disclose that information to the court, adjudicative or administrative bodies, or parties involved. This routine use would not constitute authority to disclose records in response to a grand jury or other subpoena under Privacy Act subsection (b) because of the Court’s analysis in Doe v. DiGenova, 779 F.2d 74, 78–84 (D.C. Cir. 1985) and Doe v. Stephens, 851 F.2d 1457, 1465–67 (D.C. Cir. 1988). Routine use number 4 remains the same and allows disclosure of information to a Federal, state, or local agency maintaining civil or criminal violation records or other pertinent information such as prior employment history, prior Federal employment background investigations, and/or personal or educational information relevant to the hiring transfer, or retention of an employee, the letting of a contract, the granting of a security clearance, or the issuance of a grant or other benefit. Routine use number 5 remains the same and allows VA on its own initiative to disclose information, except names and addresses of veterans and their dependents, which is relevant to a suspected or reasonably imminent violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature and whether arising by general or program statute or by regulation, to a Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, rule or order. VA may also disclose the names and addresses of veterans and dependents to a Federal or state agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting civil, criminal or regulatory violations. Routine use number 6 allows disclosure to attorneys representing clients who are subjects of criminal investigations. This routine use is necessary to allow VA to be able to provide information and records to attorneys representing subjects of criminal investigations, including veterans, Federal employees, retirees, volunteers, contractors or private citizens. Routine use number 7 allows disclosure to the Federal Labor VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Aug 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 Relations Authority (FLRA) (including its General Counsel) in connection with the investigation and resolution of allegations of unfair labor practices, in connection with the resolution of exceptions to arbitrator awards when a question of material fact is raised, in connection with matters before the Federal Service Impasses Panel, and to investigate representation petitions and conduct or supervise representation elections. This release of information to FLRA from this Privacy Act system of records is necessary to comply with the statutory mandate under which FLRA operates. This information is necessary to allow the FLRA to properly investigate and resolve allegations of unfair labor practices brought against VA. Routine use number 8 allows information to be disclosed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in connection with investigations of alleged or possible discriminatory practices, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance with the Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission by the President’s Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978. This disclosure is necessary to allow the EEOC access to relevant information. Routine use number 9 allows information to be disclosed to officials of the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Office of Special Counsel, in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, reviews of rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other functions, promulgated in Title 5, United States Code, Sections 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law. This disclosure is necessary to allow the MSPB and OSC access to relevant information when properly requested. Routine use number 10 allows disclosure of information, in the course of presenting evidence in or to a court, magistrate, administrative tribunal or grand jury, including disclosures to opposing counsel, in the course of such proceedings in order to further the interests of justice. Routine use number 11 allows information in this system of records to be disclosed to any source or person, either private or governmental, to the extent necessary to secure from such source or person information relevant to, and sought in furtherance of, a legitimate investigation, review, or inspection. Routine use number 12 allows disclosure to Federal, state, or local PO 00000 Frm 00133 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 professional, regulatory, or disciplinary organizations, including but not limited to bar associations, state licensing boards, and similar professional entities, for use in disciplinary proceedings. This routine use is necessary so VA can appropriately provide information about a person’s conduct or actions, related to their employment, to an entity that regulates such conduct. Routine use number 13 allows disclosure of information to individuals or entities with which VA has a contract, subcontract, or agreement to perform services. VA must be able to provide information to its contractors or subcontractors in order for them to perform the services of the contract or agreement. Former routine use number 13 is now renumbered as routine use number 14. It allows disclosure of information to any official charged with responsibility to conduct qualitative assessment reviews of internal safeguards and management procedures employed in investigative operations. This routine use is necessary in order to comply with the requirements established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107–296, Nov. 25, 2002), to allow disclosure to authorized officials within the President’s Counsel on Integrity and Efficiency, who are charged with the responsibility for conducting qualitative assessment reviews of investigative operations for purposes of reporting to the President and Congress on the activities of the OIG. Routine use number 15 is a suggested routine use by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for all Privacy Act systems of records, in order to allow for the appropriate mitigation of a possible data breach. The Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System section is amended to more accurately reflect the advances in technology from solely a paper environment to an electronic one. Records and information are stored electronically in the VA OIG’s MCI database and servers. Backup records are stored on magnetic disc, tape and CD–ROM and may also be maintained in hard copy format in secure file folders. Storage: This section is amended to clarify that the particular Office of Investigations office that conducted the investigation maintains hard copies of the documents and information. That office will maintain all documents, evidence and work papers compiled or collected. Hard copies of reports and certain administrative documents are also maintained at OIG Headquarters. Records and documents are also E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 155 / Monday, August 11, 2008 / Notices maintained electronically in the MCI database. Retrievability: This section is amended to reflect that information and records are now retrieved by MCI case number and the name of the subject of the investigation. Scanned documents, reports and other uploaded information that are made part of the electronic case file cannot be searched or retrieved from the MCI database as part of a general search. Safeguards: This section is amended to further describe the administrative, physical, and technical safeguards the OIG uses to protect records and information. Retention and Disposal: This section is amended to reflect that OIG follows retention and disposal authorities approved by the Archivist of the United States. Record Source Categories: This section is amended to reflect from whom information can be obtained. The Report of Intent to Amend a System of Records Notice and an advance copy of the system notice have been sent to the appropriate congressional committees and to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) (Privacy Act) and guidelines issued by OMB (65 FR 77677), December 12, 2000. Approved: July 24, 2008. Gordon H. Mansfield, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 11VA51 SYSTEM NAME: Criminal Investigations (11VA51). SYSTEM LOCATION: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Investigations (51), Washington, DC 20420. rmajette on PRODPC74 with NOTICES CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM: The following categories of individuals will be covered by the system: (1) Employees, (2) veterans and other VA beneficiaries, and (3) private citizens, such as contractors, who conduct official business with the VA, or private citizens whose actions affect or relate to the programs and operations of VA. The individuals who are or have been the subjects of investigations are those alleged to have violated criminal laws, either Federal or state, either in the performance of their official duties or related to the programs and operations of VA. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Aug 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: Records (or information contained in records) in this system include reports of criminal investigations of the OIG, Office of Investigations. These reports may include (1) A narrative summary or synopsis, (2) allegations of specific wrongdoing or crimes committed, (3) progress reports, (4) exhibits or attachments to the reports, (5) internal documentation and memoranda, and (6) affidavits or sworn statements. The name of the subject of an investigation, his or her title, his or her date of birth, his or her social security number, his or her home address, the station at which an investigation took place, the OIG’s case number, the time period the investigation took place, and the outcome of the case are maintained in an electronic database and in hard copy files. AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM: Title 5, United States Code, Appendix 3. PURPOSES(S): The records and information are used for the purpose of identifying individual criminal offenders and alleged offenders, identifying witnesses and documents relevant to the investigation of the allegations, and compiling evidence to prove or disprove criminal conduct. The records and information in the system are used in Federal and state grand jury proceedings, pre-trial negotiations, plea agreements, pre-trial diversions, court hearings and trials. The records and information in the system may also be used in administrative proceedings when administrative action is taken against the subject of the investigation. ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES: 1. Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office that is made at the request of that individual. 2. Disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in records management activities and inspections conducted under authority of Title 44, United States Code. 3. Disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice including United States Attorneys, or in a proceeding before a court, adjudicative body, or other administrative body when the litigation or adjudicative or administrative process is likely to affect VA, its employees, or any of its components, or when VA, its PO 00000 Frm 00134 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46715 employees, or any of its components is a party to the litigation process, or has an interest in the litigation or process and the use of these records is deemed by VA to be relevant and necessary to the litigation or process, provided that the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected. 4. Any information in this system, except the name and address of a veteran, may be disclosed to a Federal, state, or local agency maintaining civil or criminal violation records or other pertinent information such as prior employment history, prior Federal employment background investigations, and/or personal or educational background in order for VA to obtain information relevant to the hiring, transfer, or retention of an employee, the letting of a contract, the granting of a security clearance, or the issuance of a grant or other benefit. The name and address of a veteran may be disclosed to a Federal agency under this routine use if this information has been requested by the Federal agency in order to respond to the VA inquiry. 5. VA may disclose on its own initiative any information in this system, except the names and home addresses of veterans and their dependents, which is relevant to a suspected or reasonably imminent violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature and whether arising by general or program statute or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, to a Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, rule or order. On its own initiative, VA may also disclose the names and addresses of veterans and dependents to a Federal or state agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting civil, criminal, or regulatory violations of law, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto. 6. To assist attorneys in representing their clients, any information in this system may be disclosed to attorneys representing subjects of criminal investigations, including veterans, Federal government employees, retirees, volunteers, contractors, subcontractors, or private citizens, except where VA has decided release is inappropriate under Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a(j) and (k). 7. Disclosure of information to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), including its General Counsel, in connection with the investigation and E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 rmajette on PRODPC74 with NOTICES 46716 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 155 / Monday, August 11, 2008 / Notices resolution of allegations of unfair labor practices, in connection with the resolution of exceptions to arbitrator awards when a question of material fact is raised, in connection with matters before the Federal Service Impasses Panel, and to investigate representation petitions and conduct or supervise representation elections. 8. Information may be disclosed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in connection with investigations of alleged or possible discriminatory practices, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance with the Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission by the President’s Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978. 9. Information may be disclosed to officials of the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Office of Special Counsel, if properly requested, in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, reviews of rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other functions, promulgated in Title 5, United States Code, Sections 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law. 10. Any information in this system of records may be disclosed, in the course of presenting evidence in or to a court, magistrate, administrative tribunal, or grand jury, including disclosures to opposing counsel in the course of such proceedings or in settlement negotiations. 11. Any information in this system may be disclosed to any source or person, either private or governmental, to the extent necessary to secure from such source or person information relevant to, and sought in furtherance of, a legitimate investigation, review, or inspection. 12. Any information in this system, except the name and address of a veteran, may be disclosed to Federal, state, or local professional, regulatory, or disciplinary organizations or associations, including but not limited to bar associations, state licensing boards, and similar professional entities, for use in disciplinary proceedings and inquiries preparatory thereto, where VA determines that there is good cause to question the legality or ethical propriety of the conduct of a person employed by VA or a person representing a person in a matter before VA. The name and address of a veteran may be disclosed to a Federal agency under this routine use if this information has been requested by the Federal agency in order to respond to the VA inquiry. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Aug 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 13. VA may disclose information to individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, or other entities with which VA has a contract or agreement or where there is a subcontract to perform such services as VA may deem practicable for the purposes of laws administered by VA, in order for the contractor or subcontractor to perform the services of the contract or agreement. 14. A record may be disclosed to any official charged with the responsibility to conduct qualitative assessment reviews of internal safeguards and management procedures employed in investigative operations. This disclosure category includes members of the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency and officials and administrative staff within their investigative chain of command, as well as authorized officials of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 15. Disclosure of any information within this system may be made when it is suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system or records has been compromised and VA has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interest, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by VA or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and the disclosure is made to such agencies, entities, and persons who are reasonably necessary to assist in connection with VA’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: Records and information are stored electronically in the VA OIG’s MCI (Master Case Index) databases and servers at the OIG’s headquarters office at 801 I Street, NW., Washington, DC 20420, in the OIG’s Information Technology Division. Backup records are stored on magnetic disc, tape and CD–ROM and may also be retained in hard copy format in secure file folders. Office of Investigations personnel are responsible for electronically inputting records and information into the MCI database. Hard copies of records and information are discussed in the storage section below. Access to electronic records is limited to Office of Investigations personnel and certain other OIG employees with an official PO 00000 Frm 00135 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 need to know the information in the course of their official duties. STORAGE: Hard copies of documents and information are maintained by the OIG Office of Investigations office that conducts the investigation. The office that conducts the investigation will maintain all documents, evidence, and work papers compiled or collected in the course of the investigation. Hard copies of reports and attachments and certain administrative documents are also maintained at OIG headquarters. Records and documents are also maintained electronically in the MCI database. RETRIEVABILITY: Information and records are retrieved by MCI case number and the name of the subject of the investigation. Scanned documents, reports and other uploaded information that are made part of the electronic file cannot be searched or retrieved from the MCI database as part of a general search. SAFEGUARDS: Information in the system is protected from unauthorized access through administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. Access to the hard copy and computerized information is restricted to authorized OIG personnel on a needto-know basis. Hard copy records are maintained in offices that are restricted during work hours, or are locked after duty hours. The headquarters building is protected by security guards and access is restricted during non-duty hours. Access to the computerized information is limited to VA OIG employees by means of passwords and authorized user identification codes. Computer system documentation is maintained in a secure environment in the OIG, VA Central Office. RETENTION AND DISPOSAL: Records will be maintained and disposed of in accordance with a records disposition authority approved by the Archivist of the United States. SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS: Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (51), Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: An individual who wishes to determine whether a record is being maintained by the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations under his or her name in this system or wishes to determine the contents of such records E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 155 / Monday, August 11, 2008 / Notices should submit a written request to the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (51), at the address listed in the preceding paragraph. However, a majority of records in this system are exempt from the notification requirement under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k). To the extent that records in this system of records are not subject to exemption, they are subject to notification. A determination as to whether an exemption applies shall be made at the time a request for notification is received. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: An individual who seeks access to or wishes to contest records maintained under his or her name in this system must submit a written request to the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (51). However, a majority of records in this system are exempt from the record access and contesting requirements under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k). To the extent that records in this system of records are not subject to exemption, they are subject to access and contest. A determination as to whether an exemption applies shall be made at the time a request for access or contest is received. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: (See record access procedures above.) RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Information is obtained from VA employees, veterans, private citizens, VA records, private entities, and congressional, Federal, state, and local offices or agencies. SYSTEMS EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT: rmajette on PRODPC74 with NOTICES Under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), the head of any agency may exempt any system of records within the agency from certain VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:22 Aug 08, 2008 Jkt 214001 provisions of the Privacy Act, if the agency or component that maintains the system performs as its principal function any activities pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws. The Inspector General Act of 1978, Public Law 95–452, (IG Act) mandates the Inspector General to recommend policies for, and to conduct, supervise and coordinate activities in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and between VA and other Federal, state, and local governmental agencies with respect to all matters relating to the prevention and detection of fraud in programs and operations administered or financed by VA and the identification and prosecution of participants in such fraud. Under the IG Act, whenever the Inspector General has reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal criminal law, the Inspector General must report the matter expeditiously to the Attorney General. This system of records has been created in major part to support the criminal law-related activities assigned by the Inspector General to the Office of Investigations. These activities constitute the principal function of this staff. In addition to principal functions pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws, the Inspector General may receive and investigate complaints or information from various sources concerning the possible existence of activities constituting noncriminal violations of law, rules or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuses of authority or substantial and specific danger to the public and safety. This system of records also exists to support inquiries by the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations into these noncriminal violation types of activities. Based upon the foregoing, the PO 00000 Frm 00136 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46717 Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exempted this system of records, to the extent that it encompasses information pertaining to criminal law-related activities, from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2): 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4); 5 U.S.C. 552a(d); 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1), (2) and (3); 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G), (H) and (I); 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(5) and (8); 5 U.S.C. 552a(f); 5 U.S.C. 552a(g). The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exempted this system of records, to the extent that it does not encompass information pertaining to criminal lawrelated activities under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2): 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); 5 U.S.C. 552a(d); 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1); 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G), (H) and (I); 5 U.S.C. 552a(f). REASONS FOR EXEMPTIONS: The exemption of information and material in this system of records is necessary in order to accomplish the law enforcement functions of the Office of Inspector General, to prevent subjects of investigations from frustrating the investigatory process, to prevent the disclosure of investigative techniques, to fulfill commitments made to protect the confidentiality of sources, to maintain access to sources of information, and to avoid endangering these sources and law enforcement personnel. [FR Doc. E8–18518 Filed 8–8–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P E:\FR\FM\11AUN1.SGM 11AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 155 (Monday, August 11, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46713-46717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-18518]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Notice of Amendment to System of Records, ``Criminal 
Investigations--VA''.

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SUMMARY: As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a(e), 
notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is 
amending the system of records currently known as ``Investigation 
Reports of Persons Allegedly Involved in Irregularities Concerning VA 
Laws, Regulations, Etc.'' (11VA51) as set forth in the Federal Register 
at 70 FR 76498. VA is amending the system of records by renaming the 
system, revising the Categories of Individuals Covered by the System, 
the Categories of Records in the System, the Purpose(s), the Routine 
Uses of Records Maintained in the System, including Categories of Users 
and the Purposes of Such Uses, and Policies and Practices for Storing, 
Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining and Disposing of Records in the 
System. VA is republishing the system notice in its entirety.

DATES: Comments on the amendment of this system of records must be 
received not later than September 10, 2008. If no public comment is 
received, the amended system will become effective September 10, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Written comments concerning the proposed amended system of 
records may be submitted by: Mail or hand-delivery to Director, 
Regulations Management (OOREG1), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 
Vermont Avenue, NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; fax to (202) 273-
9026; or e-mail to VAregulations@va.gov. All comments received will be 
available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and 
Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 273-9515 for 
an appointment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Timothy J. McGrath, Attorney Advisor, 
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, 810 
Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420; or fax comments to (202) 
565-8667; or e-mail comments to timothy.mcgrath@va.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This publication is in accordance with the 
Privacy Act requirement that agencies publish their amended system of 
records in the Federal Register when there is revision, change, or 
addition. The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has reviewed its 
systems of records notices and has determined its record system, 
Investigation Reports of Persons Allegedly Involved in Irregularities 
Concerning VA Laws, Regulations, Etc., VA (11VA51) should be amended to 
reflect evolving technology and procedures and to conform to current 
practice. The system name is being changed to ``Criminal 
Investigations'' to more accurately reflect the mission of the OIG 
Office of Investigations and the records created.
    The Categories of Individuals Covered by the System is amended to 
include VA beneficiaries other than veterans, as well as private 
citizens whose actions affect or relate to programs and operations of 
VA. This section is amended slightly by adding some language to clarify 
those individuals who are or have been subjects of investigations or 
are those alleged to have violated criminal laws, either Federal or 
state either in performance of official duties or related to programs 
or operations of VA.
    The Categories of Records in the System is amended to clarify that 
the records include allegations of specific wrongdoing or crimes 
committed as well as case progress reports. In keeping with 
technological advances, information such as names, dates of birth, 
social security numbers, and home addresses of subjects are maintained 
in an electronic database instead of on file cards.
    This system of records is also amended by adding a Purposes 
section. The records are used for identifying criminal offenders and 
alleged offenders, identifying witnesses and documents relevant to the 
investigation of the allegations and compiling evidence to prove or 
disprove criminal conduct. The records and information are used in 
Federal and state grand jury proceedings, pretrial negotiations, plea 
agreements, pretrial diversions, court hearings, trials or other 
administrative action against the subject of the investigation.
    There are several changes made to the routine use disclosures. 
Former routine use numbers 1, 4, and 5 remain the same, and former 
routine use number 13 is now renumbered as number 14. For clarity 
purposes former routine use numbers 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are 
deleted in their entirety and new text is substituted. The text changes 
reflect new routine uses that are consistent with law as well as for 
the purposes for which the records are maintained. The proposed changes 
are as follows:
    Routine use number 1 remains the same and allows for disclosure of 
information from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry 
from a congressional office on behalf of that individual.
    Routine use number 2 is a new routine use and is added to reflect 
that disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). NARA is responsible for archiving records no 
longer actively used but may be appropriate for preservation, and is 
responsible in general for the physical maintenance of the Federal 
government's records. VA must be able to turn records over to NARA in 
order to determine the proper disposition of such records.

[[Page 46714]]

    Routine use number 3 allows VA to disclose records to the U.S. 
Department of Justice. When VA is involved in litigation or an 
adjudicative or administrative process, or occasionally when another 
party is involved in litigation or an adjudicative or administrative 
process, and VA policies or operations could be affected by the outcome 
of the litigation or process, VA must be able to disclose that 
information to the court, adjudicative or administrative bodies, or 
parties involved. This routine use would not constitute authority to 
disclose records in response to a grand jury or other subpoena under 
Privacy Act subsection (b) because of the Court's analysis in Doe v. 
DiGenova, 779 F.2d 74, 78-84 (D.C. Cir. 1985) and Doe v. Stephens, 851 
F.2d 1457, 1465-67 (D.C. Cir. 1988).
    Routine use number 4 remains the same and allows disclosure of 
information to a Federal, state, or local agency maintaining civil or 
criminal violation records or other pertinent information such as prior 
employment history, prior Federal employment background investigations, 
and/or personal or educational information relevant to the hiring 
transfer, or retention of an employee, the letting of a contract, the 
granting of a security clearance, or the issuance of a grant or other 
benefit.
    Routine use number 5 remains the same and allows VA on its own 
initiative to disclose information, except names and addresses of 
veterans and their dependents, which is relevant to a suspected or 
reasonably imminent violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or 
regulatory in nature and whether arising by general or program statute 
or by regulation, to a Federal, state, local, tribal, or foreign agency 
charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such 
violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, 
regulation, rule or order. VA may also disclose the names and addresses 
of veterans and dependents to a Federal or state agency charged with 
the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting civil, criminal or 
regulatory violations.
    Routine use number 6 allows disclosure to attorneys representing 
clients who are subjects of criminal investigations. This routine use 
is necessary to allow VA to be able to provide information and records 
to attorneys representing subjects of criminal investigations, 
including veterans, Federal employees, retirees, volunteers, 
contractors or private citizens.
    Routine use number 7 allows disclosure to the Federal Labor 
Relations Authority (FLRA) (including its General Counsel) in 
connection with the investigation and resolution of allegations of 
unfair labor practices, in connection with the resolution of exceptions 
to arbitrator awards when a question of material fact is raised, in 
connection with matters before the Federal Service Impasses Panel, and 
to investigate representation petitions and conduct or supervise 
representation elections. This release of information to FLRA from this 
Privacy Act system of records is necessary to comply with the statutory 
mandate under which FLRA operates. This information is necessary to 
allow the FLRA to properly investigate and resolve allegations of 
unfair labor practices brought against VA.
    Routine use number 8 allows information to be disclosed to the 
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in connection with 
investigations of alleged or possible discriminatory practices, 
examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance with 
the Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures, or other 
functions vested in the Commission by the President's Reorganization 
Plan No. 1 of 1978. This disclosure is necessary to allow the EEOC 
access to relevant information.
    Routine use number 9 allows information to be disclosed to 
officials of the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Office of 
Special Counsel, in connection with appeals, special studies of the 
civil service and other merit systems, reviews of rules and 
regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel 
practices, and such other functions, promulgated in Title 5, United 
States Code, Sections 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law. 
This disclosure is necessary to allow the MSPB and OSC access to 
relevant information when properly requested.
    Routine use number 10 allows disclosure of information, in the 
course of presenting evidence in or to a court, magistrate, 
administrative tribunal or grand jury, including disclosures to 
opposing counsel, in the course of such proceedings in order to further 
the interests of justice.
    Routine use number 11 allows information in this system of records 
to be disclosed to any source or person, either private or 
governmental, to the extent necessary to secure from such source or 
person information relevant to, and sought in furtherance of, a 
legitimate investigation, review, or inspection.
    Routine use number 12 allows disclosure to Federal, state, or local 
professional, regulatory, or disciplinary organizations, including but 
not limited to bar associations, state licensing boards, and similar 
professional entities, for use in disciplinary proceedings. This 
routine use is necessary so VA can appropriately provide information 
about a person's conduct or actions, related to their employment, to an 
entity that regulates such conduct.
    Routine use number 13 allows disclosure of information to 
individuals or entities with which VA has a contract, subcontract, or 
agreement to perform services. VA must be able to provide information 
to its contractors or subcontractors in order for them to perform the 
services of the contract or agreement.
    Former routine use number 13 is now renumbered as routine use 
number 14. It allows disclosure of information to any official charged 
with responsibility to conduct qualitative assessment reviews of 
internal safeguards and management procedures employed in investigative 
operations. This routine use is necessary in order to comply with the 
requirements established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 
107-296, Nov. 25, 2002), to allow disclosure to authorized officials 
within the President's Counsel on Integrity and Efficiency, who are 
charged with the responsibility for conducting qualitative assessment 
reviews of investigative operations for purposes of reporting to the 
President and Congress on the activities of the OIG.
    Routine use number 15 is a suggested routine use by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for all Privacy Act systems of records, in 
order to allow for the appropriate mitigation of a possible data 
breach.
    The Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, 
Retaining and Disposing of Records in the System section is amended to 
more accurately reflect the advances in technology from solely a paper 
environment to an electronic one. Records and information are stored 
electronically in the VA OIG's MCI database and servers. Backup records 
are stored on magnetic disc, tape and CD-ROM and may also be maintained 
in hard copy format in secure file folders.
    Storage: This section is amended to clarify that the particular 
Office of Investigations office that conducted the investigation 
maintains hard copies of the documents and information. That office 
will maintain all documents, evidence and work papers compiled or 
collected. Hard copies of reports and certain administrative documents 
are also maintained at OIG Headquarters. Records and documents are also

[[Page 46715]]

maintained electronically in the MCI database.
    Retrievability: This section is amended to reflect that information 
and records are now retrieved by MCI case number and the name of the 
subject of the investigation. Scanned documents, reports and other 
uploaded information that are made part of the electronic case file 
cannot be searched or retrieved from the MCI database as part of a 
general search.
    Safeguards: This section is amended to further describe the 
administrative, physical, and technical safeguards the OIG uses to 
protect records and information.
    Retention and Disposal: This section is amended to reflect that OIG 
follows retention and disposal authorities approved by the Archivist of 
the United States.
    Record Source Categories: This section is amended to reflect from 
whom information can be obtained.
    The Report of Intent to Amend a System of Records Notice and an 
advance copy of the system notice have been sent to the appropriate 
congressional committees and to the Director of the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) as required by 5 U.S.C. 552a(r) (Privacy 
Act) and guidelines issued by OMB (65 FR 77677), December 12, 2000.

    Approved: July 24, 2008.
Gordon H. Mansfield,
Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
11VA51

SYSTEM NAME:
    Criminal Investigations (11VA51).

SYSTEM LOCATION:
    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Inspector General 
(OIG), Office of Investigations (51), Washington, DC 20420.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:
    The following categories of individuals will be covered by the 
system: (1) Employees, (2) veterans and other VA beneficiaries, and (3) 
private citizens, such as contractors, who conduct official business 
with the VA, or private citizens whose actions affect or relate to the 
programs and operations of VA. The individuals who are or have been the 
subjects of investigations are those alleged to have violated criminal 
laws, either Federal or state, either in the performance of their 
official duties or related to the programs and operations of VA.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
    Records (or information contained in records) in this system 
include reports of criminal investigations of the OIG, Office of 
Investigations. These reports may include (1) A narrative summary or 
synopsis, (2) allegations of specific wrongdoing or crimes committed, 
(3) progress reports, (4) exhibits or attachments to the reports, (5) 
internal documentation and memoranda, and (6) affidavits or sworn 
statements. The name of the subject of an investigation, his or her 
title, his or her date of birth, his or her social security number, his 
or her home address, the station at which an investigation took place, 
the OIG's case number, the time period the investigation took place, 
and the outcome of the case are maintained in an electronic database 
and in hard copy files.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:
    Title 5, United States Code, Appendix 3.

PURPOSES(S):
    The records and information are used for the purpose of identifying 
individual criminal offenders and alleged offenders, identifying 
witnesses and documents relevant to the investigation of the 
allegations, and compiling evidence to prove or disprove criminal 
conduct. The records and information in the system are used in Federal 
and state grand jury proceedings, pre-trial negotiations, plea 
agreements, pre-trial diversions, court hearings and trials. The 
records and information in the system may also be used in 
administrative proceedings when administrative action is taken against 
the subject of the investigation.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES 
OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:
    1. Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record 
of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional 
office that is made at the request of that individual.
    2. Disclosure may be made to the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA) in records management activities and inspections 
conducted under authority of Title 44, United States Code.
    3. Disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice including 
United States Attorneys, or in a proceeding before a court, 
adjudicative body, or other administrative body when the litigation or 
adjudicative or administrative process is likely to affect VA, its 
employees, or any of its components, or when VA, its employees, or any 
of its components is a party to the litigation process, or has an 
interest in the litigation or process and the use of these records is 
deemed by VA to be relevant and necessary to the litigation or process, 
provided that the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which 
the records were collected.
    4. Any information in this system, except the name and address of a 
veteran, may be disclosed to a Federal, state, or local agency 
maintaining civil or criminal violation records or other pertinent 
information such as prior employment history, prior Federal employment 
background investigations, and/or personal or educational background in 
order for VA to obtain information relevant to the hiring, transfer, or 
retention of an employee, the letting of a contract, the granting of a 
security clearance, or the issuance of a grant or other benefit. The 
name and address of a veteran may be disclosed to a Federal agency 
under this routine use if this information has been requested by the 
Federal agency in order to respond to the VA inquiry.
    5. VA may disclose on its own initiative any information in this 
system, except the names and home addresses of veterans and their 
dependents, which is relevant to a suspected or reasonably imminent 
violation of law, whether civil, criminal, or regulatory in nature and 
whether arising by general or program statute or by regulation, rule or 
order issued pursuant thereto, to a Federal, state, local, tribal, or 
foreign agency charged with the responsibility of investigating or 
prosecuting such violation, or charged with enforcing or implementing 
the statute, regulation, rule or order. On its own initiative, VA may 
also disclose the names and addresses of veterans and dependents to a 
Federal or state agency charged with the responsibility of 
investigating or prosecuting civil, criminal, or regulatory violations 
of law, or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, 
regulation, rule, or order issued pursuant thereto.
    6. To assist attorneys in representing their clients, any 
information in this system may be disclosed to attorneys representing 
subjects of criminal investigations, including veterans, Federal 
government employees, retirees, volunteers, contractors, 
subcontractors, or private citizens, except where VA has decided 
release is inappropriate under Title 5, United States Code, Section 
552a(j) and (k).
    7. Disclosure of information to the Federal Labor Relations 
Authority (FLRA), including its General Counsel, in connection with the 
investigation and

[[Page 46716]]

resolution of allegations of unfair labor practices, in connection with 
the resolution of exceptions to arbitrator awards when a question of 
material fact is raised, in connection with matters before the Federal 
Service Impasses Panel, and to investigate representation petitions and 
conduct or supervise representation elections.
    8. Information may be disclosed to the Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission in connection with investigations of alleged or possible 
discriminatory practices, examination of Federal affirmative employment 
programs, compliance with the Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection 
Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission by the 
President's Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978.
    9. Information may be disclosed to officials of the Merit Systems 
Protection Board, and the Office of Special Counsel, if properly 
requested, in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil 
service and other merit systems, reviews of rules and regulations, 
investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, 
and such other functions, promulgated in Title 5, United States Code, 
Sections 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law.
    10. Any information in this system of records may be disclosed, in 
the course of presenting evidence in or to a court, magistrate, 
administrative tribunal, or grand jury, including disclosures to 
opposing counsel in the course of such proceedings or in settlement 
negotiations.
    11. Any information in this system may be disclosed to any source 
or person, either private or governmental, to the extent necessary to 
secure from such source or person information relevant to, and sought 
in furtherance of, a legitimate investigation, review, or inspection.
    12. Any information in this system, except the name and address of 
a veteran, may be disclosed to Federal, state, or local professional, 
regulatory, or disciplinary organizations or associations, including 
but not limited to bar associations, state licensing boards, and 
similar professional entities, for use in disciplinary proceedings and 
inquiries preparatory thereto, where VA determines that there is good 
cause to question the legality or ethical propriety of the conduct of a 
person employed by VA or a person representing a person in a matter 
before VA. The name and address of a veteran may be disclosed to a 
Federal agency under this routine use if this information has been 
requested by the Federal agency in order to respond to the VA inquiry.
    13. VA may disclose information to individuals, organizations, 
private or public agencies, or other entities with which VA has a 
contract or agreement or where there is a subcontract to perform such 
services as VA may deem practicable for the purposes of laws 
administered by VA, in order for the contractor or subcontractor to 
perform the services of the contract or agreement.
    14. A record may be disclosed to any official charged with the 
responsibility to conduct qualitative assessment reviews of internal 
safeguards and management procedures employed in investigative 
operations. This disclosure category includes members of the 
President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency and officials and 
administrative staff within their investigative chain of command, as 
well as authorized officials of the Department of Justice and the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    15. Disclosure of any information within this system may be made 
when it is suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality 
of information in the system or records has been compromised and VA has 
determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise 
there is a risk of harm to economic or property interest, identity 
theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or 
other systems or programs (whether maintained by VA or another agency 
or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and the 
disclosure is made to such agencies, entities, and persons who are 
reasonably necessary to assist in connection with VA'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:
    Records and information are stored electronically in the VA OIG's 
MCI (Master Case Index) databases and servers at the OIG's headquarters 
office at 801 I Street, NW., Washington, DC 20420, in the OIG's 
Information Technology Division. Backup records are stored on magnetic 
disc, tape and CD-ROM and may also be retained in hard copy format in 
secure file folders. Office of Investigations personnel are responsible 
for electronically inputting records and information into the MCI 
database. Hard copies of records and information are discussed in the 
storage section below. Access to electronic records is limited to 
Office of Investigations personnel and certain other OIG employees with 
an official need to know the information in the course of their 
official duties.

STORAGE:
    Hard copies of documents and information are maintained by the OIG 
Office of Investigations office that conducts the investigation. The 
office that conducts the investigation will maintain all documents, 
evidence, and work papers compiled or collected in the course of the 
investigation. Hard copies of reports and attachments and certain 
administrative documents are also maintained at OIG headquarters. 
Records and documents are also maintained electronically in the MCI 
database.

RETRIEVABILITY:
    Information and records are retrieved by MCI case number and the 
name of the subject of the investigation. Scanned documents, reports 
and other uploaded information that are made part of the electronic 
file cannot be searched or retrieved from the MCI database as part of a 
general search.

SAFEGUARDS:
    Information in the system is protected from unauthorized access 
through administrative, physical, and technical safeguards. Access to 
the hard copy and computerized information is restricted to authorized 
OIG personnel on a need-to-know basis. Hard copy records are maintained 
in offices that are restricted during work hours, or are locked after 
duty hours. The headquarters building is protected by security guards 
and access is restricted during non-duty hours. Access to the 
computerized information is limited to VA OIG employees by means of 
passwords and authorized user identification codes. Computer system 
documentation is maintained in a secure environment in the OIG, VA 
Central Office.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:
    Records will be maintained and disposed of in accordance with a 
records disposition authority approved by the Archivist of the United 
States.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:
    Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (51), Department of 
Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., 
Washington, DC 20420.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:
    An individual who wishes to determine whether a record is being 
maintained by the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations under 
his or her name in this system or wishes to determine the contents of 
such records

[[Page 46717]]

should submit a written request to the Assistant Inspector General for 
Investigations (51), at the address listed in the preceding paragraph. 
However, a majority of records in this system are exempt from the 
notification requirement under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and (k). To the extent 
that records in this system of records are not subject to exemption, 
they are subject to notification. A determination as to whether an 
exemption applies shall be made at the time a request for notification 
is received.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:
    An individual who seeks access to or wishes to contest records 
maintained under his or her name in this system must submit a written 
request to the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations (51). 
However, a majority of records in this system are exempt from the 
record access and contesting requirements under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j) and 
(k). To the extent that records in this system of records are not 
subject to exemption, they are subject to access and contest. A 
determination as to whether an exemption applies shall be made at the 
time a request for access or contest is received.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:
    (See record access procedures above.)

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:
    Information is obtained from VA employees, veterans, private 
citizens, VA records, private entities, and congressional, Federal, 
state, and local offices or agencies.

SYSTEMS EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:
    Under 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), the head of any agency may exempt any 
system of records within the agency from certain provisions of the 
Privacy Act, if the agency or component that maintains the system 
performs as its principal function any activities pertaining to the 
enforcement of criminal laws. The Inspector General Act of 1978, Public 
Law 95-452, (IG Act) mandates the Inspector General to recommend 
policies for, and to conduct, supervise and coordinate activities in 
the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and between VA and other 
Federal, state, and local governmental agencies with respect to all 
matters relating to the prevention and detection of fraud in programs 
and operations administered or financed by VA and the identification 
and prosecution of participants in such fraud. Under the IG Act, 
whenever the Inspector General has reasonable grounds to believe there 
has been a violation of Federal criminal law, the Inspector General 
must report the matter expeditiously to the Attorney General. This 
system of records has been created in major part to support the 
criminal law-related activities assigned by the Inspector General to 
the Office of Investigations. These activities constitute the principal 
function of this staff. In addition to principal functions pertaining 
to the enforcement of criminal laws, the Inspector General may receive 
and investigate complaints or information from various sources 
concerning the possible existence of activities constituting 
noncriminal violations of law, rules or regulations, or mismanagement, 
gross waste of funds, abuses of authority or substantial and specific 
danger to the public and safety. This system of records also exists to 
support inquiries by the Assistant Inspector General for Investigations 
into these noncriminal violation types of activities. Based upon the 
foregoing, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exempted this system 
of records, to the extent that it encompasses information pertaining to 
criminal law-related activities, from the following provisions of the 
Privacy Act of 1974, as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2):
    5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3) and (4);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(d);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1), (2) and (3);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G), (H) and (I);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(5) and (8);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(f);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(g).
    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs has exempted this system of 
records, to the extent that it does not encompass information 
pertaining to criminal law-related activities under 5 U.S.C. 
552a(j)(2), from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, 
as permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2):
    5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(d);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(G), (H) and (I);
    5 U.S.C. 552a(f).

REASONS FOR EXEMPTIONS:
    The exemption of information and material in this system of records 
is necessary in order to accomplish the law enforcement functions of 
the Office of Inspector General, to prevent subjects of investigations 
from frustrating the investigatory process, to prevent the disclosure 
of investigative techniques, to fulfill commitments made to protect the 
confidentiality of sources, to maintain access to sources of 
information, and to avoid endangering these sources and law enforcement 
personnel.

 [FR Doc. E8-18518 Filed 8-8-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P