A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Postsecondary Education Participants System (PEPS).
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Postsecondary Education Participants System (PEPS).
System location:Computer Sciences Corporation
71 Deerfield Lane
Meriden, CT 06450.
Categories of individuals covered by the system:
The PEPS contains records about owners (individuals, either solely or as partners, and corporate entities), officials, and authorized agents of postsecondary institutions; members of boards of directors or trustees of such institutions; employees of foreign entities that evaluate the quality of education; third-party servicers, including contact persons.
Categories of records in the system:
The PEPS contains information regarding the eligibility, administrative capability, and financial responsibility of postsecondary schools that participate in the student financial aid programs, including the names, taxpayer identification numbers (Social Security numbers), business addresses, phone numbers of the individuals with substantial ownership interests in, or control over, those institutions, and personal identification numbers assigned by the Department.
Authority for maintenance of the system:
Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, as amended, (20 U.S.C. 1088, 1094, 1099c); the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7701).
The information contained in the PEPS is used for the purposes of determining initial and continuing eligibility, administrative capability and financial responsibility of postsecondary schools that participate in the student financial assistance programs, tracking school changes and maintaining history of this information regarding schools that have ever applied to participate or participated in these programs and documenting any need for any protective or corrective action against a school or individual associated with the school.
Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:
The Department of Education (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 Act, under a computer matching agreement.
- Program Purposes. The Department may disclose information contained in the PEPS to appropriate guaranty agencies, educational and financial institutions, accrediting agencies, State agencies, and appropriate Federal, State, or local agencies, in order to verify and assist with the determination of eligibility, administrative capability, and financial responsibility of postsecondary institutions that have applied to participate in the student financial assistance programs.
- 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 in the PEPS, as a routine use, to the appropriate agency, whether foreign, Federal, State, Tribal, or local, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, or executive order or rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant thereto.
- Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Disclosure.
- Introduction. In the event that one of the parties listed below is involved in litigation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), or has an interest in litigation or ADR, the Department may disclose PEPS records to the parties described in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this routine use under the conditions specified in those paragraphs:
- The Department of Education, or any component of the Department; or
- Any Department employee in his or her official capacity; or
- Any employee of the Department in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice has agreed to provide or arrange for representation for the employee; or
- Any employee of the Department in his or her individual capacity where the agency has agreed to represent the employee; or
- The United States, where the Department determines that the litigation is likely to affect the Department or any of its components.
- Disclosure to the Department of Justice. If the Department determines that disclosure of certain records to the Department of Justice is relevant and necessary to litigation, the Department may disclose those records as a routine use to the Department of Justice.
- Administrative Disclosures. If the Department determines that disclosure of certain records to an adjudicative body before which the Department is authorized to appear, or to an individual or entity designated by the Department or otherwise empowered to resolve or mediate disputes, is relevant and necessary to the administrative litigation, the Department may disclose those records as a routine use to that adjudicative body, entity or individual.
- Opposing counsels, representatives and witnesses. If the Department determines that disclosure of certain records to an opposing counsel, representative or witness in an administrative proceeding is relevant and necessary to the litigation, the Department may disclose those records as a routine use to the counsel, representative or witness.
- Employment, Benefit and Contracting Disclosure.
- For decisions by the Department. The Department may disclose records 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.
- For decisions by Other Public Agencies and Professional Organizations. The Department may disclose records 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 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.
- Employee Grievance, Complaint or Conduct Disclosure. The Department may disclose a record in PEPS to another agency of the Federal government if the record is relevant to a complaint, grievance, discipline or competence determination proceeding regarding a present or former employee of the Department. The disclosure may only be made during the course of the proceeding.
- Labor Organization Disclosure. The Department may disclose records to a labor organization if a contract between the Department and a labor organization recognized under Title V of the United States Code, Chapter 71, provides that the Department will disclose personal records relevant to the organization's mission. The disclosures will be made only as authorized by law.
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advice Disclosure. The Department may disclose records to the Department of Justice and the Office of Management and Budget if the Department concludes that disclosure is desirable or necessary in determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the FOIA.
- Disclosure to the Department of Justice. 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 programs covered by this system.
- Contract Disclosure. If the Department contracts with an entity for the purpose 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 Privacy Act safeguards as required under 5 U.S.C. 552a(m) with respect to the records in the system.
- Research Disclosure. The Department may disclose records to a researcher if an appropriate official of the Department determines that the individual or organization to which the disclosure would be made is qualified to carry out specific research related to functions or purposes of this system of records. The official may disclose records from this system of records to that researcher solely for the purpose of carrying out that research related to the functions or purposes of this system of records. The researcher shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to the disclosed records.
- Congressional Member Disclosure. The Department may disclose records to a member of Congress from the record of an 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.
- Disclosure to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Credit Reform Act (CRA) Support. The Department may disclose records to OMB as necessary to fulfill CRA requirements.
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: (a) The name, address, taxpayer identification number and other information necessary to establish the identity of the individual responsible for the claim; (b) the amount, status, and history of the claim; and (c) 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, and disposing of records in the system:
The records are maintained on electronic data files on a server.
The records are indexed by the name of the institution or organization, and may be retrieved by the OPEID of school, EIN (Entity Identification Number) of the school or entity; or the name or TIN (Tax Identification Number or social security number) of the individual.
All physical access to the Department of Education site, and the sites of Department contractors where this system of records is maintained, is controlled and monitored by security personnel who check each individual entering the building for his or her employee or visitor badge. The computer system employed by the Department of Education offers a high degree of resistance to tampering and circumvention. This security system limits data access to staff of the Department of Education, guarantors, accrediting agencies, State agencies, and Department contractors on a "need-to-know" basis, and controls individual users' ability to access and alter records within the system. All users of this system of records are given a unique user ID with personal identifiers. All interactions by individual users with the system are recorded.
Retention and disposal:
History records are kept in PEPS indefinitely, or archived. Records are maintained and destroyed in accordance with the Department of Education Records Disposition Schedules (ED/RDS).
System manager(s) and address:Director
Postsecondary Education Participants System
Office of Student Financial Assistance Programs
U.S. Department of Education
Seventh and D Streets, SW, Room 4629, ROB-3
Washington, DC 20202.
If you wish to determine whether a record exists regarding you in the PEPS, provide the system manager with your name and social security number. Your request must meet the requirements of the regulations at 34 CFR 5b.5, including proof of identity. You may address your request, or present that request in person, to the system manager at the address above.
Record access procedures:
You may gain access to any record in the PEPS that pertain to you by contacting the system manager and following the procedures for notification listed above and must meet the requirements of 34 CFR 5b.5.
Contesting record procedures:
You may contest the content of a record in PEPS pertaining to you by presenting to the system manager, either in writing or in person, a request to amend or correct that information. The request to amend, or for an appointment to present an oral request, must be made in writing mailed to the system manager at the address provided above. The request must identify the particular record within the PEPS that you wish to have changed, state whether you wish to have the record amended, corrected or deleted, and explain the reasons why you wish to have the record changed.
Record source categories:
Information is obtained from applications submitted by institutions and entities that seek to participate in the student financial assistance programs and from components of the Department, from other Federal, State and non-governmental agencies and organizations that acquire information relevant to the purposes of the PEPS.
System exempted from certain provisions of the act: