[Federal Register: May 29, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 103)]
[Notices]               
[Page 37411-37414]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr29my02-57]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records

AGENCY: Office of Management, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of a new system of records.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (Privacy Act), 5 
United States Code (U.S.C.) 552a, the Department of Education 
(Department) publishes this notice of a new system of records entitled 
``Student Loan Repayment Benefits Case Files.'' The Department is 
implementing the Federal Government authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 
5379 to establish a program providing for repayment of federally made 
or insured student loans when necessary to attract or retain highly 
qualified individuals for employment. Subject to the requirements of 
law and regulation, the Department can make payments to Federal student 
loan holders (lenders) on behalf of an employee, thus reducing an 
employee's Federal student loan debt.

DATES: The Department seeks comments on this new system of records 
described in this notice, in accordance with the requirements of the 
Privacy Act. We must receive your comments on the proposed routine uses 
for this system of records included in this notice on or before June 
28, 2002.
    The Department filed a report describing the new system of records 
covered by this notice with the Chair of the Senate Committee on 
Governmental Affairs, the Chair of the House Committee on Government 
Reform, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on May 23, 
2002. This new system of records will become effective at the later 
date of: (1) The expiration of the 40-day period for OMB review on July 
2, 2002 or (2) June 28, 2002, unless the system of records needs to be 
changed as a result of public comment or OMB review.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments on the proposed routine uses of this 
system, and requests for information about this system, to Jeffrey 
Frank,Human Resources Group, Office of Management, U.S. Department of 
Education,400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Federal Office Building 6, room 
2E338, Washington,DC 20202-4573. If you prefer to send your comments 
through the Internet, use the following address: Comments@ed.gov.
    You must include the term ``Student Loan Repayment'' in the subject 
line of the electronic message.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all comments 
about this notice in room 2E300, Federal Office Building 6, 400 
Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. 
and 5 p.m.,

[[Page 37412]]

Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 
Record

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Frank. Telephone: (202) 401-
0539. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-
8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR 
FURTHERINFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)) requires the Department to 
publish in the Federal Register this notice of new or revised systems 
of records managed by the Department. The Department's regulations 
implementing the Act are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) in 34 CFR part 5b.
    The Privacy Act applies to a record about an individual that is 
maintained in a system of records from which information is retrieved 
by a unique identifier associated with each individual, such as a name 
or social security number. The information about each individual is 
called a ``record,'' and the system, whether manual or computer-driven, 
is called a ``system of records.'' The Privacy Act requires each agency 
to publish notices of systems of records in the Federal Register and to 
prepare reports to OMB whenever the agency publishes a new or 
``altered'' system of records.
    The Student Loan Repayment authority is one of several 
flexibilities made available to agencies when trying to attract 
individuals to the Federal service, or retain highly qualified 
personnel. It permits agencies to repay federally insured student loans 
when necessary to attract or retain highly qualified personnel. This 
system will document requests for repayment benefits, employees who are 
approved to receive benefits, and the benefit amounts and service 
agreements specific to each individual case. Information contained in 
this system will be used by the Department to compile annual reports 
for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on the Department's use of 
the student loan repayment authority.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the CFR is available on 
GPO Access at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html.


    Dated: May 23, 2002.
William J. Leidinger,
Assistant Secretary for Management.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Assistant Secretary 
for Management of the U.S. Department of Education publishes a notice 
of a new system of records to read as follows:
18-05-15

SYSTEM NAME:
    Student Loan Repayment Benefits Case Files.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:
    None.

SYSTEM LOCATION:
    Human Resources Group, Office of Management, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 2E300, FOB-6, Washington, DC 
20202-4573.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:
    This system contains records and related correspondence on 
individuals who are being considered for student loan repayment 
benefits under the Department of Education's Personnel Manual 
Instruction 537-1 entitled ``Repayment of Federal Student Loans,'' as 
well as individuals who have been approved for and are receiving such 
benefits.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
    This system contains correspondence and other documents related to 
requests made by selecting officials or supervisors to offer student 
loan repayment benefits to recruit or retain highly qualified 
employees. This system contains: (1) Request letters from selecting 
official or supervisor with supporting documentation; (2) employee's 
(or potential employee's) names, home and work addresses, social 
security numbers, student loan account numbers, loan balances, 
repayment schedule, repayment history, and repayment status; and (3) 
the loan holder's name, address and telephone number.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:
    The Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal 
Year 2001 (Public Law 106-398); 5 U.S.C. 5379, as amended, and 
regulations to be codified at 5 CFR part 537.

PURPOSE(S):
    These records are maintained to determine eligibility and benefits 
and to process requests to offer student loan repayment benefits to 
employees under authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 5379. The records are 
used by the Department to prepare its reports for OPM, as is required 
by 5 CFR 537.110. The Department will also refer information from this 
system to loan holders for collection activities in the case of any 
student loan default or delinquency that becomes known to the 
Department in the course of determining an employee's (or potential 
employee's) eligibility for student loan repayment benefits because of 
the Department's mission responsibilities for Federal student loan 
programs and its role in promoting their responsible use by student 
borrowers.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES 
OFUSERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES
    The Department may disclose information contained in a record in 
this system of records under the routine uses listed in this system of 
records without the consent of the individual if the disclosure is 
compatible with the purposes for which the record was collected. These 
disclosures may be made on a case-by-case basis or, if the Department 
has complied with the computer matching requirements of the Privacy 
Act, under a computer matching agreement.
    (1) Personnel Management Disclosure. The Department may disclose as 
a routine use to OPM any records or information in this system of 
records

[[Page 37413]]

that OPM requests or requires pursuant to OPM's oversight and 
regulatory functions.
    (2) Salary Offset or Debt Collection Disclosures. The Department 
may disclose records in this system to other Federal agencies, hearing 
or court officials, and present employers of an employee in order for 
the Department to obtain repayment, if an employee fails to complete 
the period of employment under a service agreement and fails to 
reimburse the Department the amount of any student loan repayment 
benefits the employee received from the Department.
    (3) Disclosure to other Federal agencies. The Department may 
disclose records in this system to its payroll processing provider in 
order to calculate tax withholdings and disburse payments of student 
loan repayment benefits to loan holders on behalf of employees approved 
to receive this benefit.
    (4) Disclosure to Student Lending Institutions or Loan Holders. The 
Department may disclose to student lending institutions or loan holders 
records from this system as a routine use disclosure in order to obtain 
information (such as the borrower's account number, original and 
current loan balance, repayment schedule, repayment history, and 
current repayment status) to allow the Department to determine an 
employee's or potential employee's initial and continuing eligibility 
for this program, to facilitate accurate payments to student loan 
holders on behalf of eligible employees, and to ensure the Department 
discontinues making student loan repayments to individuals who do not 
remain eligible for them during the period of the service agreement. 
The Department also may disclose to loan holders records from this 
system of records as a routine use disclosure in the event it becomes 
known to the Department during the course of its program eligibility 
determinations that an individual is past due, delinquent, or in 
default of a federally insured student loan so that the Department can 
facilitate the loan holder's collection of any past due, delinquent or 
defaulted student loans, because of the Department's mission 
responsibilities for Federal student loan programs and its role in 
promoting their responsible use by student borrowers.
    (5) Disclosure for Use by Other Law Enforcement Agencies. The 
Department may disclose information to any Federal, State, local, or 
foreign agency or other public authority responsible for enforcing, 
investigating, or prosecuting violations of administrative, civil, or 
criminal law or regulation if that information is relevant to any 
enforcement, regulatory, investigative, or prosecutorial responsibility 
within the receiving entity's jurisdiction.
    (6) Enforcement Disclosure. In the event that information in this 
system of records indicates, either on its face or in connection with 
other information, a violation or potential violation of any applicable 
statute, regulation, or order of a competent authority, the Department 
may disclose the relevant records to the appropriate agency, whether 
foreign, Federal, State, Tribal, or local, charged with the 
responsibility of investigating or prosecuting that violation or 
charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, executive order, 
rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.
    (7) Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) 
Disclosures.
    (a) Introduction. In the event that one of the parties listed below 
is involved in litigation or ADR, or has an interest in litigation or 
ADR, the Department may disclose certain records to the parties 
described in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this routine use under the 
conditions specified in those paragraphs:
    (i) The Department, or any component of the Department; or
    (ii) Any Department employee in his or her official capacity; or
    (iii) Any Department employee in his or her individual capacity if 
the Department of Justice (DOJ) has agreed to provide or arrange for 
representation for the employee;
    (iv) Any Department employee in his or her individual capacity 
where the Department requests representation for or has agreed to 
represent the employee; or
    (v) The United States where the Department determines that the 
litigation is likely to affect the Department or any of its components.
    (b) Disclosure to the DOJ. If the Department determines that 
disclosure of certain records to the DOJ is relevant and necessary to 
litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose those records as a 
routine use to the DOJ.
    (c) Administrative Disclosures. If the Department determines that 
disclosure of certain records to an adjudicative body before which the 
Department is authorized to appear, an individual or entity designated 
by the Department or otherwise empowered to resolve or mediate disputes 
is relevant and necessary to litigation or ADR, the Department may 
disclose those records as a routine use to the adjudicative body, 
individual, or entity.
    (d) Parties, counsels, representatives and witnesses. If the 
Department determines that disclosure of certain records to a party, 
counsel, representative or witness is relevant and necessary to 
litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose those records as a 
routine use to the party, counsel, representative or witness.
    (8) Employment, Benefit, and Contracting Disclosure.
    (a) For Decisions by the Department. The Department may disclose a 
record to a Federal, State, or local agency maintaining civil, 
criminal, or other relevant enforcement or other pertinent records, or 
to another public authority or professional organization, if necessary 
to obtain information relevant to a Department decision concerning the 
hiring or retention of an employee or other personnel action, the 
issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the 
issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit.
    (b) For Decisions by Other Public Agencies and Professional 
Organizations. The Department may disclose a record to a Federal, 
State, local, or foreign agency or other public authority or 
professional organization, in connection with the hiring or retention 
of an employee or other personnel action, the issuance of a security 
clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the 
letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other 
benefit, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the 
receiving entity's decision on the matter.
    (9) Employee Grievance, Complaint or Conduct Disclosure. The 
Department may disclose a record in this system of records to another 
agency of the Federal Government if the record is relevant to one of 
the following proceedings regarding a present or former employee of the 
Department: a complaint, a grievance, or a discipline or competence 
determination proceeding. The disclosure may only be made during the 
course of the proceeding.
    (10) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advice Disclosure. 
TheDepartment may disclose records to DOJ and OMB if the Department 
concludes that disclosure is desirable or necessary in determining 
whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the FOIA.
    (11) Disclosure to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Department 
may disclose records to the DOJ to the extent necessary for obtaining 
DOJ advice on any matter relevant to an audit, inspection, or other 
inquiry related to the program covered by this system.
    (12) Congressional Member Disclosure. The Department may disclose 
records to a member of Congress from the record of an

[[Page 37414]]

individual in response to an inquiry from the member made at the 
written request of that individual. The member's right to the 
information is no greater than the right of the individual who 
requested it.
    (13) Contract Disclosure. If the Department contracts with an 
entity for the purposes of performing any function that requires 
disclosure of records in this system to employees of the contractor, 
the Department may disclose the records to those employees. Before 
entering into such a contract, the Department shall require the 
contractor to maintain PrivacyAct safeguards as required under 5 U.S.C. 
552a(m) with respect to the records in the system.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:
    Disclosures pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12): The Department may 
disclose to a consumer reporting agency information regarding a claim 
by the Department which is determined to be valid and overdue as 
follows: (1)The name, address, taxpayer identification number and other 
information necessary to establish the identity of the individual 
responsible for the claim; (2) the amount, status, and history of the 
claim; and (3) the program under which the claim arose. The Department 
may disclose the information specified in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 
552a(b)(12) and the procedures contained in subsection 31 U.S.C. 
3711(e). A consumer reporting agency to which these disclosures may be 
made is defined at 31 U.S.C.3701(a)(3).

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING 
ANDDISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:
STORAGE:
    Records are maintained in hard copy and may be retained in 
electronic form accessible with office automation software on a 
Department personal computer in offices of the Human Resources Group.

RETRIEVABILITY:
    Records are retrieved by the name of the individual. SAFEGUARDS:
    Hard copy records are stored in a locked metal filing cabinet, with 
access limited to personnel whose duties require access. Electronic 
records are stored on computer diskette that is secured in a locked 
metal filing cabinet, with access limited to personnel whose duties 
require access. Personal computers used to view the electronic media 
are password protected; passwords are changed periodically throughout 
the year. All physical access to the building where this system of 
records is maintained is controlled and monitored by security personnel 
who check each individual entering the building for an employee or 
visitor badge.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:
    Service agreements between the Department and an employee and 
related supporting documents resulting in approval for program benefits 
will be retained for a period of three years after the employee 
satisfies the terms and conditions of the agreement. All other 
documents will be retained in accordance with the National Archives and 
Records Administration GeneralRecords Schedules (GRS) 1.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:
    Director, Human Resources Group, U.S. Department of Education, 
400Maryland Avenue, SW, room 2E300, FOB-6, Washington, DC 20202-4573.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:
    If you wish to inquire whether a record exists regarding you in 
this system, you should contact the system manager at the address 
listed above. You must provide your name, name of organization, and 
subject matter. Your request must meet the requirements of the 
Department's Privacy Act regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of 
identity.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES:
    If you wish to request access to your records, you should contact 
the system manager at the address listed above. You must comply with 
the Department's Privacy Act regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including 
proof of identity.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:
    If you wish to request an amendment to your records, you should 
contact the system manager at the address listed above. Your request 
must meet the requirements of the Department's Privacy Act regulations 
at 34CFR 5b.7.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:
    Information in this system of records is obtained from the 
individual to whom the information applies, lending institutions 
holding student loans for the individual to whom the information 
applies, officials of the Department, and official Department 
documents.

SYSTEM EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:
    None.

[FR Doc. 02-13312 Filed 5-28-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P