Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records, 36664-36667 [2020-13002]

Download as PDF 36664 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 117 / Wednesday, June 17, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES The team found that ODOT has robust guidance for documentation expectations for CEs and specific resource areas. However, during the project file review, the team and ODOT both noted inconsistencies regarding the preparation of re-evaluations for EAs and EISs. While there is no required format for written re-evaluations, a written re-evaluation should briefly document any changes in the project, applicable laws or regulations, the project study area, and any resulting impacts (beneficial and/or adverse). The re-evaluation should succinctly acknowledge areas where there are few or no changes, and document any public or Agency consultation, if appropriate and undertaken. A conclusion or finding as to whether the previous NEPA document remains valid, should be plainly evident. During the audit, the team found one of the two EIS re-evaluations and three of the five EA re-evaluations had inconsistencies related to FHWA regulation, policy, and guidance on reevaluation requirements discussed above. During the onsite interviews, several ODOT staff members agreed that it could be beneficial to develop a written procedure to establish expectations and memorialize ODOT’s re-evaluation process in compliance with Federal requirements. The team also made note that in ODOT’s SelfAssessment, several ODOT Districts requested development of re-evaluation guidance. Based on these concerns, the team supports consideration of the development of written procedures and guidance for the re-evaluation of EAs and EISs to reduce risk to ODOT’s program. Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/ QC) Observation 4: Opportunities exist to improve QA/QC procedures relevant to c-listed CE documentation. The ODOT NEPA Quality Control and Quality Assurance Processes and Procedures, dated April 6, 2017, indicates d-listed CEs (D2 and D3 actions per ODOT’s CE guidance), EAs, and EISs will be peer reviewed by OES staff and c-listed and d-listed CEs (D1 actions per ODOT’s guidance) will be reviewed by District environmental staff prior to review and approval by the DEC. The team learned through all four audits that District staff have their own methods of conducting reviews which may lead to inconsistencies across the Districts in the review of c-listed projects. EnviroNet provides some programmed QA/QC. The system itself does not identify missing support documentation under the project file VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Jun 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 tab, or mistakes in data entry into the system, which comprise most of the errors found by both FHWA and ODOT’s Self-Assessment. A more robust QA/QC process for c-level projects could reduce risk and improve efficiency in ODOT’s program. In addition, there is no stand-alone QA/QC training to train ODOT personnel per ODOT’s expectations and guidance. Legal Sufficiency Review The ODOT did not have any documents that required legal sufficiency reviews during the Audit #4 timeframe; therefore, the team had no observations related to legal sufficiency. Performance Measures The MOU Section 10.2 requires the development of performance measures. The ODOT has refined its performance measures to provide a better overall indication of ODOT’s execution of its responsibilities as assigned by the MOU. The team found evidence that the results obtained through the performance measures are allowing ODOT to make appropriate changes as it manages its environmental program. The team had no observations related to performance measures. Training Program Previous audits noted that ODOT had a robust environmental training program and provided adequate budget and time for staff to access a variety of internal and external training. The ODOT continues to enhance its traditional training program and plan with the development of additional online courses. The ODOT currently offers 28 online trainings for free to ODOT staff, consultants, LPAs, partner agencies, and anyone else who desires to take them. The ODOT utilizes the Ohio’s Local Technical Assistance Program to manage the courses. This free online training makes training more accessible to a greater number of staff and consultants and allows consistent, selfpaced, and individualized training. Also, the previous audit noted ODOT’s training plan required environmental consultants to take the pre-qualification training courses and all ODOT environmental staff (both central and District offices) take all environmental courses. The team encourages ODOT to broaden its training program and training collaboration with other Federal agencies and environmental organizations. The team commends ODOT for its efforts in taking external ecological and cultural resource courses, but feels there is room for improvement exploring external human environment PO 00000 Frm 00138 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 training. During the interviews, ODOT staff noted they are reluctant to take National Highway Institute training courses because of their broad perspective; however, they did express interest in taking specialized FHWA training that focus on specific topics such as the recently offered FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Workshop. The ODOT also expressed interest in getting assistance from FHWA to develop training case studies that were relevant to its transportation program, which the audit team supports. The team had no observations related to training. Next Steps The FHWA provided a draft of this audit report to ODOT for a 14-day review and comment period and considered ODOT’s comments in developing this draft report. In addition, FHWA will consider comments on the draft report received from the public within the 30-day comment period after publication in the Federal Register, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327(g). No later than 60 days after the close of the comment period, FHWA will respond to all comments submitted, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327(g)(2)(B). Once finalized, FHWA will publish the final audit report in the Federal Register. [FR Doc. 2020–13006 Filed 6–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–22–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records Department of Veterans Affairs. Notice of amendment to system of records—Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System Commenter Information (VAFDMS—Commenter info)— (140VA00REG). AGENCY: ACTION: Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is amending the system of records currently entitled, ‘‘Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System (VAFDMS— Commenter info)—(140VA02REG)’’ as set forth in the Federal Register on August 1, 2017. VA is amending how the public can access comments received for VA rulemakings and notices and the methods in which a comment can be submitted. VA is republishing the system notice in its entirety. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 117 / Wednesday, June 17, 2020 / Notices Comments on the amendment of this system of records must be received no later than July 17, 2020. If no public comment is received, the new system will become effective July 17, 2020. DATES: Written comments concerning the modified system of records may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or handdelivery to the Director, Regulations Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to the amendment of ‘‘Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System (VAFDMS)—(140VA00REG).’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection and may be viewed online www.Regulations.gov. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey M. Martin, Privacy Officer, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–4918. A Notice of Establishment of New System of Records was published in the Federal Register on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6315), and amended on March 25, 2008 (73 FR 15856), amended on March 3, 2015 (80 FR 11525), and further amended on August 1, 2017 (82 FR 35872). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Description of the System of Records The Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System (VAFDMS) serves as a central, electronic repository for VA rulemaking and non-rulemaking dockets including Federal Register rules, notices, supporting materials such as scientific and economic analyses, and public comments. The portion of VAFDMS information that comes under the Privacy Act is personal identifying information (name and contact address/ email address). This information permits VA to identify individuals who have submitted comments in response to VA rulemaking documents or notices so that communications or other actions, as appropriate and necessary, can be effected, such as clarification of the comment, direct response to a comment, and other activities associated with the rulemaking or notice process. Identification is possible only if the individual voluntarily provides identifying information when submitting a comment. If such information is not furnished, the submitted comments and/or supporting VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Jun 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 documentation cannot be linked to an individual. 00REG’s Management will review each incoming public submission and determine whether it is a public comment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) or a non-comment (which may include comments relating only to personal issues outside the scope of the rulemaking, comments from VA employees in accordance with the guidance below, and comments that were received by VA after the due date stated in the proposed rule (late comments). The Office of Regulation Policy and Management’s longstanding policy provides in part that it will not consider comments from VA employees as public comments unless they were submitted on their off-duty time in a private (vs employment) capacity. Thus, comments that include a VA email and/or mailing address as part of the contact information are not treated as public comments. In addition, comments that indicate that they are made in a VA employee’s official capacity are not treated as public comments. Even though these comments will not be treated as public comments, they will be provided to the VA program office for consideration. On the other hand, a comment from a VA employee that does not purport to be a comment given in an official VA capacity or to provide an official VA view, and that does not give a VA email or mailing address as part of the contact information, will be treated as a public comment, although it provides factual information relating to the commenter’s VA employment. VAFDMS permits members of the public to search posted public comments received by name of the individual submitting the comment on the www.Regulations.gov website. All the contents of posted comments are searchable. Unless the individual submits the comment anonymously, a name search will result in the comment being displayed for view. If the comment is submitted electronically using www.Regulations.gov, the viewed comment will not include the name of the submitter or any other identifying information about the individual except the information that the submitter has opted to include as part of his or her general comment. If a comment is submitted in writing, the information scanned and uploaded into VAFDMS will contain the submitter’s name, unless the individual submits the comment anonymously. All comments received will become a matter of public record and will be posted without change to www.Regulations.gov PO 00000 Frm 00139 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36665 including any personal information provided. Comments submitted on behalf of organizations in writing that have to be scanned and uploaded into VAFDMS will not be redacted. I. Amendment to Access of Public Submitted Comments VA is removing the ability for the public to visit the Office of Regulation Policy and Management office to view publicly submitted comments. All publicly submitted comments have been and will continue to remain available to the public anytime at www.Regulations.gov. II. Amendment to How Comments Can Be Submitted VA is amending how comments can be submitted to the following: Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov. This is the preferred and highly encouraged method. Alternatively, comments may also be submitted by mail or handdelivery to the Director, Regulations Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420. The notice of intent to publish an advance copy of the system notice has 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), as amended, and guidelines issued by OMB published at 65 FR 77677 on December 12, 2000. Signing Authority: The Senior Agency Official for Privacy, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. James P. Gfrerer, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and Chief Information Officer, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on June 11, 2020 for publication. Dated: June 12, 2020. Amy L. Rose, Program Analyst, VA Privacy Service, Department of Veterans Affairs. SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER: Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System Commenter Information (VAFDMS— Commenter Info) (140VA00REG). SYSTEM CLASSIFICATION: Unclassified. E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 36666 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 117 / Wednesday, June 17, 2020 / Notices SYSTEM LOCATION: Primary location: Electronic records are kept at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711–0001. SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESSES: Jeffrey M. Martin, Privacy Officer, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420; telephone (202) 461–4918. AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM: 44 U.S.C. 3501, Note; Sec. 206(d), Public Law 107–347; 5 U.S.C. 301, 552, 552a, and 553. PURPOSE: To permit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify individuals who have submitted comments in response to VA rulemaking documents or notices, so that communications or other actions, as appropriate and necessary, can be effected, such as to seek clarification of the comment, to directly respond to a comment, and for other activities associated with the rulemaking or notice process. CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM: Individuals who voluntarily provide personal contact information when submitting a public comment and/or supporting materials in response to a Department of Veterans Affairs rulemaking document or notice. CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: Full name, postal address, email address, phone and fax numbers of the individual submitting comments, the name of the organization or individual that the individual represents (if any), and the comments, as well as other supporting documentation, furnished by the individual. Comments may include personal information about the commenter. RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES: Individuals; public or private organizations. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PUROSES OF SUCH USES: 1. Congress: VA may disclose information from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual. VA must be able to provide information about individuals to adequately respond to inquiries from Members of Congress at the request of constituents who have sought their assistance. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Jun 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 2. Data breach response and remedial efforts: VA may disclose information from this system to appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) VA suspects or has confirmed that there has been a breach of the system of records; (2) VA has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed breach there is a risk of harm to individuals, VA (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with VA’s efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed breach or to prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm. 3. Data breach response and remedial efforts with another Federal agency: VA may disclose information from this system to another Federal agency or Federal entity, when VA determines that information from this system of records is reasonably necessary to assist the recipient agency or entity in (1) responding to a suspected or confirmed breach or (2) preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to individuals, the recipient agency or entity (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security, resulting from a suspected or confirmed breach. 4. Law Enforcement: VA may disclose 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. VA may also disclose the names and addresses of veterans and their dependents to a Federal 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. VA must be able to provide information that pertains to a violation of laws to law enforcement authorities in order for them to investigate and enforce those laws. Under 38 U.S.C. 5701(a) and (f), VA may disclose the names and addresses of veterans and their dependents to Federal entities with law enforcement responsibilities. PO 00000 Frm 00140 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 This is distinct from the authority to disclose records in response to a qualifying request from a law enforcement entity, as authorized by Privacy Act subsection 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(7). 5. Litigation: VA may disclose information from this system of records to the Department of Justice (DoJ), either on VA’s initiative or in response to DoJ’s request for the information, after either VA or DoJ determines that such information is relevant to DoJ’s representation of the United States or any of its components in legal proceedings before a court or adjudicative body, provided that, in each case, the agency also determines prior to disclosure that release of the records to the DoJ is limited to circumstances where relevant and necessary to the litigation. VA may disclose records in this system of records in legal proceedings before a court or administrative body after determining that release of the records to the DoJ is limited to circumstances where relevant and necessary to the litigation. To determine whether to disclose records under this routine use, VA will comply with the guidance promulgated by the Office of Management and Budget in a May 24, 1985, memorandum entitled ‘‘Privacy Act Guidance— Update,’’ currently posted at https:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/OMB/ inforeg/guidance1985.pdf. VA must be able to provide information to DoJ in litigation where the United States or any of its components is involved or has an interest. A determination would be made in each instance that under the circumstances involved, the purpose is compatible with the purpose for which VA collected the information. This routine use is distinct from the authority to disclose records in response to a court order under subsection (b)(11) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(11), or any other provision of subsection (b), in accordance with the court’s analysis in Doe v. DiGenova, 779 F.2d 74, 78–85 (D.C. Cir. 1985) and Doe v. Stephens, 851 F.2d 1457, 1465–67 (D.C. Cir. 1988). 6. Contractors: VA may disclose information from this system of records to individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, or other entities or individuals with whom VA has a contract or agreement to perform such services as VA may deem practicable for the purposes of laws administered by VA, in order for the contractor, subcontractor, public or private agency, or other entity or individual with whom VA has a contract or agreement to E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 117 / Wednesday, June 17, 2020 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES perform services under the contract or agreement. This routine use includes disclosures by an individual or entity performing services for VA to any secondary entity or individual to perform an activity that is necessary for individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, or other entities or individuals with whom VA has a contract or agreement to provide the service to VA. This routine use, which also applies to agreements that do not qualify as contracts defined by Federal procurement laws and regulations, is consistent with OMB guidance in OMB Circular A–130, App. I, paragraph 5a(1)(b) that agencies promulgate routine uses to address disclosure of Privacy Act-protected information to contractors in order to perform the services contracts for the agency. 7. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): VA may disclose information from this system to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) when requested in connection with investigations of alleged or possible discriminatory practices, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, or other functions of the Commission as authorized by law or regulation. VA must be able to provide information to EEOC to assist it in fulfilling its duties to protect employees’ rights, as required by statute and regulation. 8. Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA): VA may disclose information from this system to the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), including its General Counsel, information related to the establishment of jurisdiction, investigation, and resolution of allegations of unfair labor practices, or in connection with the resolution of exceptions to arbitration awards when a question of material fact is raised; for it to address matters properly before the Federal Service Impasses Panel, investigate representation petitions, and conduct or supervise representation elections. VA must be able to provide information to FLRA to comply with the statutory mandate under which it operates. 9. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB): VA may disclose information VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Jun 16, 2020 Jkt 250001 from this system to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), or the Office of the Special Counsel, when requested in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other functions promulgated in 5 U.S.C. 1205 and 1206, or as authorized by law. VA must be able to provide information to MSPB to assist it in fulfilling its duties as required by statute and regulation. 10. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and General Services Administration (GSA): VA may disclose information from this system to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and General Services Administration (GSA) in records management inspections conducted under title 44, U.S.C. NARA is responsible for archiving old records which are no longer actively used but may be appropriate for preservation, and for the physical maintenance of the Federal government’s records. VA must be able to provide the records to NARA in order to determine the proper disposition of such records. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORAGE OF RECORDS: Records are maintained electronically. See System Location. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVABILITY OF RECORDS: Records are retrieved by various data elements and key word searches, among which are by: Name, Agency, Docket Type, Docket Sub-Type, Agency Docket ID, Docket Title, Docket Category, Document Type, CFR Part, Date Comment Received, and Federal Register Published Date. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS: Records will be maintained and disposed of, in accordance with records disposition authority, approved by the Archivist of the United States. PHYSICAL, PROCEDURAL, AND ADMINISTRATIVE SAFEGUARDS: Electronic records are maintained in a secure, password protected, electronic PO 00000 Frm 00141 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 36667 system that utilizes security hardware and software to include: multiple firewalls, active intruder detection, and role-based access controls. Access to electronic records is limited to those officials who require the records to perform their official duties consistent with the purpose for which the information was collected. All personnel whose official duties require access to the information are trained in the proper safeguarding and use of the information. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE: Individuals seeking to access or contest the contents of records, about themselves, contained in this System of Records should address a written request, including full name, address and telephone number to the Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURE: (See Record Access Procedure above.) NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES: Individuals seeking to determine whether this System of Records contains information about them should address written inquiries to the Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420. Requests should contain the full name, address and telephone number of the individual making the inquiry. EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM: There are no exemptions being claimed for this system. HISTORY: A Notice of Establishment of New System of Records was published in the Federal Register on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6315), amended on March 25, 2008 (73 FR 15856), amended on March 3, 2015 (80 FR 11525), and further amended on August 1, 2017 (82 FR 35872). [FR Doc. 2020–13002 Filed 6–16–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P E:\FR\FM\17JNN1.SGM 17JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 117 (Wednesday, June 17, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36664-36667]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-13002]


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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--Department of 
Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System Commenter Information 
(VAFDMS--Commenter info)--(140VA00REG).

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

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, notice 
is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is 
amending the system of records currently entitled, ``Department of 
Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System (VAFDMS--Commenter 
info)--(140VA02REG)'' as set forth in the Federal Register on August 1, 
2017. VA is amending how the public can access comments received for VA 
rulemakings and notices and the methods in which a comment can be 
submitted. VA is republishing the system notice in its entirety.

[[Page 36665]]


DATES: Comments on the amendment of this system of records must be 
received no later than July 17, 2020. If no public comment is received, 
the new system will become effective July 17, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Written comments concerning the modified system of records 
may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery 
to the Director, Regulations Management (00REG), Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420. 
Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to the 
amendment of ``Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management 
System (VAFDMS)--(140VA00REG).'' Copies of comments received will be 
available for public inspection and may be viewed online 
www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey M. Martin, Privacy Officer, 
Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Office of the 
General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-4918.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Notice of Establishment of New System of 
Records was published in the Federal Register on February 9, 2007 (72 
FR 6315), and amended on March 25, 2008 (73 FR 15856), amended on March 
3, 2015 (80 FR 11525), and further amended on August 1, 2017 (82 FR 
35872).

I. Description of the System of Records

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System 
(VAFDMS) serves as a central, electronic repository for VA rulemaking 
and non-rulemaking dockets including Federal Register rules, notices, 
supporting materials such as scientific and economic analyses, and 
public comments. The portion of VAFDMS information that comes under the 
Privacy Act is personal identifying information (name and contact 
address/email address). This information permits VA to identify 
individuals who have submitted comments in response to VA rulemaking 
documents or notices so that communications or other actions, as 
appropriate and necessary, can be effected, such as clarification of 
the comment, direct response to a comment, and other activities 
associated with the rulemaking or notice process. Identification is 
possible only if the individual voluntarily provides identifying 
information when submitting a comment. If such information is not 
furnished, the submitted comments and/or supporting documentation 
cannot be linked to an individual.
    00REG's Management will review each incoming public submission and 
determine whether it is a public comment under the Administrative 
Procedure Act (APA) or a non-comment (which may include comments 
relating only to personal issues outside the scope of the rulemaking, 
comments from VA employees in accordance with the guidance below, and 
comments that were received by VA after the due date stated in the 
proposed rule (late comments).
    The Office of Regulation Policy and Management's longstanding 
policy provides in part that it will not consider comments from VA 
employees as public comments unless they were submitted on their off-
duty time in a private (vs employment) capacity. Thus, comments that 
include a VA email and/or mailing address as part of the contact 
information are not treated as public comments. In addition, comments 
that indicate that they are made in a VA employee's official capacity 
are not treated as public comments. Even though these comments will not 
be treated as public comments, they will be provided to the VA program 
office for consideration.
    On the other hand, a comment from a VA employee that does not 
purport to be a comment given in an official VA capacity or to provide 
an official VA view, and that does not give a VA email or mailing 
address as part of the contact information, will be treated as a public 
comment, although it provides factual information relating to the 
commenter's VA employment.
    VAFDMS permits members of the public to search posted public 
comments received by name of the individual submitting the comment on 
the www.Regulations.gov website. All the contents of posted comments 
are searchable. Unless the individual submits the comment anonymously, 
a name search will result in the comment being displayed for view. If 
the comment is submitted electronically using www.Regulations.gov, the 
viewed comment will not include the name of the submitter or any other 
identifying information about the individual except the information 
that the submitter has opted to include as part of his or her general 
comment. If a comment is submitted in writing, the information scanned 
and uploaded into VAFDMS will contain the submitter's name, unless the 
individual submits the comment anonymously. All comments received will 
become a matter of public record and will be posted without change to 
www.Regulations.gov including any personal information provided. 
Comments submitted on behalf of organizations in writing that have to 
be scanned and uploaded into VAFDMS will not be redacted.

I. Amendment to Access of Public Submitted Comments

    VA is removing the ability for the public to visit the Office of 
Regulation Policy and Management office to view publicly submitted 
comments. All publicly submitted comments have been and will continue 
to remain available to the public anytime at www.Regulations.gov.

II. Amendment to How Comments Can Be Submitted

    VA is amending how comments can be submitted to the following: 
Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov. This is 
the preferred and highly encouraged method. Alternatively, comments may 
also be submitted by mail or hand-delivery to the Director, Regulations 
Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue 
NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420.
    The notice of intent to publish an advance copy of the system 
notice has 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), as amended, and guidelines issued by 
OMB published at 65 FR 77677 on December 12, 2000.
    Signing Authority: The Senior Agency Official for Privacy, or 
designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign 
and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for 
publication electronically as an official document of the Department of 
Veterans Affairs. James P. Gfrerer, Assistant Secretary for Information 
and Technology and Chief Information Officer, Department of Veterans 
Affairs, approved this document on June 11, 2020 for publication.

    Dated: June 12, 2020.
Amy L. Rose,
Program Analyst, VA Privacy Service, Department of Veterans Affairs.

SYSTEM NAME AND NUMBER:
    Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Docket Management System 
Commenter Information (VAFDMS--Commenter Info) (140VA00REG).

SYSTEM CLASSIFICATION:
    Unclassified.

[[Page 36666]]

SYSTEM LOCATION:
    Primary location: Electronic records are kept at the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711-0001.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESSES:
    Jeffrey M. Martin, Privacy Officer, Office of Regulation Policy and 
Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. 
NW, Washington, DC 20420; telephone (202) 461-4918.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:
    44 U.S.C. 3501, Note; Sec. 206(d), Public Law 107-347; 5 U.S.C. 
301, 552, 552a, and 553.

PURPOSE:
    To permit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify 
individuals who have submitted comments in response to VA rulemaking 
documents or notices, so that communications or other actions, as 
appropriate and necessary, can be effected, such as to seek 
clarification of the comment, to directly respond to a comment, and for 
other activities associated with the rulemaking or notice process.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:
    Individuals who voluntarily provide personal contact information 
when submitting a public comment and/or supporting materials in 
response to a Department of Veterans Affairs rulemaking document or 
notice.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
    Full name, postal address, email address, phone and fax numbers of 
the individual submitting comments, the name of the organization or 
individual that the individual represents (if any), and the comments, 
as well as other supporting documentation, furnished by the individual. 
Comments may include personal information about the commenter.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:
    Individuals; public or private organizations.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES 
OF USERS AND THE PUROSES OF SUCH USES:
    1. Congress: VA may disclose information from the record of an 
individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made 
at the request of that individual.
    VA must be able to provide information about individuals to 
adequately respond to inquiries from Members of Congress at the request 
of constituents who have sought their assistance.
    2. Data breach response and remedial efforts: VA may disclose 
information from this system to appropriate agencies, entities, and 
persons when (1) VA suspects or has confirmed that there has been a 
breach of the system of records; (2) VA has determined that as a result 
of the suspected or confirmed breach there is a risk of harm to 
individuals, VA (including its information systems, programs, and 
operations), the Federal Government, or national security; and (3) the 
disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably 
necessary to assist in connection with VA's efforts to respond to the 
suspected or confirmed breach or to prevent, minimize, or remedy such 
harm.
    3. Data breach response and remedial efforts with another Federal 
agency: VA may disclose information from this system to another Federal 
agency or Federal entity, when VA determines that information from this 
system of records is reasonably necessary to assist the recipient 
agency or entity in (1) responding to a suspected or confirmed breach 
or (2) preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to 
individuals, the recipient agency or entity (including its information 
systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national 
security, resulting from a suspected or confirmed breach.
    4. Law Enforcement: VA may disclose 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. VA may also disclose the names and addresses 
of veterans and their dependents to a Federal 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.
    VA must be able to provide information that pertains to a violation 
of laws to law enforcement authorities in order for them to investigate 
and enforce those laws. Under 38 U.S.C. 5701(a) and (f), VA may 
disclose the names and addresses of veterans and their dependents to 
Federal entities with law enforcement responsibilities. This is 
distinct from the authority to disclose records in response to a 
qualifying request from a law enforcement entity, as authorized by 
Privacy Act subsection 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(7).
    5. Litigation: VA may disclose information from this system of 
records to the Department of Justice (DoJ), either on VA's initiative 
or in response to DoJ's request for the information, after either VA or 
DoJ determines that such information is relevant to DoJ's 
representation of the United States or any of its components in legal 
proceedings before a court or adjudicative body, provided that, in each 
case, the agency also determines prior to disclosure that release of 
the records to the DoJ is limited to circumstances where relevant and 
necessary to the litigation. VA may disclose records in this system of 
records in legal proceedings before a court or administrative body 
after determining that release of the records to the DoJ is limited to 
circumstances where relevant and necessary to the litigation.
    To determine whether to disclose records under this routine use, VA 
will comply with the guidance promulgated by the Office of Management 
and Budget in a May 24, 1985, memorandum entitled ``Privacy Act 
Guidance--Update,'' currently posted at https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/assets/OMB/inforeg/guidance1985.pdf.
    VA must be able to provide information to DoJ in litigation where 
the United States or any of its components is involved or has an 
interest. A determination would be made in each instance that under the 
circumstances involved, the purpose is compatible with the purpose for 
which VA collected the information. This routine use is distinct from 
the authority to disclose records in response to a court order under 
subsection (b)(11) of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(11), or any 
other provision of subsection (b), in accordance with the court's 
analysis in Doe v. DiGenova, 779 F.2d 74, 78-85 (D.C. Cir. 1985) and 
Doe v. Stephens, 851 F.2d 1457, 1465-67 (D.C. Cir. 1988).
    6. Contractors: VA may disclose information from this system of 
records to individuals, organizations, private or public agencies, or 
other entities or individuals with whom VA has a contract or agreement 
to perform such services as VA may deem practicable for the purposes of 
laws administered by VA, in order for the contractor, subcontractor, 
public or private agency, or other entity or individual with whom VA 
has a contract or agreement to

[[Page 36667]]

perform services under the contract or agreement.
    This routine use includes disclosures by an individual or entity 
performing services for VA to any secondary entity or individual to 
perform an activity that is necessary for individuals, organizations, 
private or public agencies, or other entities or individuals with whom 
VA has a contract or agreement to provide the service to VA.
    This routine use, which also applies to agreements that do not 
qualify as contracts defined by Federal procurement laws and 
regulations, is consistent with OMB guidance in OMB Circular A-130, 
App. I, paragraph 5a(1)(b) that agencies promulgate routine uses to 
address disclosure of Privacy Act-protected information to contractors 
in order to perform the services contracts for the agency.
    7. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): VA may disclose 
information from this system to the Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission (EEOC) when requested in connection with investigations of 
alleged or possible discriminatory practices, examination of Federal 
affirmative employment programs, or other functions of the Commission 
as authorized by law or regulation.
    VA must be able to provide information to EEOC to assist it in 
fulfilling its duties to protect employees' rights, as required by 
statute and regulation.
    8. Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA): VA may disclose 
information from this system to the Federal Labor Relations Authority 
(FLRA), including its General Counsel, information related to the 
establishment of jurisdiction, investigation, and resolution of 
allegations of unfair labor practices, or in connection with the 
resolution of exceptions to arbitration awards when a question of 
material fact is raised; for it to address matters properly before the 
Federal Service Impasses Panel, investigate representation petitions, 
and conduct or supervise representation elections.
    VA must be able to provide information to FLRA to comply with the 
statutory mandate under which it operates.
    9. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB): VA may disclose 
information from this system to the Merit Systems Protection Board 
(MSPB), or the Office of the Special Counsel, when requested in 
connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other 
merit systems, review of rules and regulations, investigation of 
alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other 
functions promulgated in 5 U.S.C. 1205 and 1206, or as authorized by 
law.
    VA must be able to provide information to MSPB to assist it in 
fulfilling its duties as required by statute and regulation.
    10. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and General 
Services Administration (GSA): VA may disclose information from this 
system to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and 
General Services Administration (GSA) in records management inspections 
conducted under title 44, U.S.C.
    NARA is responsible for archiving old records which are no longer 
actively used but may be appropriate for preservation, and for the 
physical maintenance of the Federal government's records. VA must be 
able to provide the records to NARA in order to determine the proper 
disposition of such records.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORAGE OF RECORDS:
    Records are maintained electronically. See System Location.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVABILITY OF RECORDS:
    Records are retrieved by various data elements and key word 
searches, among which are by: Name, Agency, Docket Type, Docket Sub-
Type, Agency Docket ID, Docket Title, Docket Category, Document Type, 
CFR Part, Date Comment Received, and Federal Register Published Date.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS:
    Records will be maintained and disposed of, in accordance with 
records disposition authority, approved by the Archivist of the United 
States.

PHYSICAL, PROCEDURAL, AND ADMINISTRATIVE SAFEGUARDS:
    Electronic records are maintained in a secure, password protected, 
electronic system that utilizes security hardware and software to 
include: multiple firewalls, active intruder detection, and role-based 
access controls. Access to electronic records is limited to those 
officials who require the records to perform their official duties 
consistent with the purpose for which the information was collected. 
All personnel whose official duties require access to the information 
are trained in the proper safeguarding and use of the information.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:
    Individuals seeking to access or contest the contents of records, 
about themselves, contained in this System of Records should address a 
written request, including full name, address and telephone number to 
the Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of 
Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURE:
    (See Record Access Procedure above.)

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES:
    Individuals seeking to determine whether this System of Records 
contains information about them should address written inquiries to the 
Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of 
Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420. Requests 
should contain the full name, address and telephone number of the 
individual making the inquiry.

EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM:
    There are no exemptions being claimed for this system.

HISTORY:
    A Notice of Establishment of New System of Records was published in 
the Federal Register on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6315), amended on March 
25, 2008 (73 FR 15856), amended on March 3, 2015 (80 FR 11525), and 
further amended on August 1, 2017 (82 FR 35872).

[FR Doc. 2020-13002 Filed 6-16-20; 8:45 am]
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