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SORN 09-90-0058

System name: Freedom of Information Case Files and Correspondence Control Log, HHS/OS/ASPA/FOIA.

Security classification:   None.

System location:   Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Division, Room 645F Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201 (see Appendix I, following, for additional locations).

Categories of individuals covered by the system:   Individuals or organizations requesting access to inspect and/or copy records of the Department under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of records in the system:   Name, address, and other individually identifying information about the requester, the request, and records reflecting processing of the request.

Authority for maintenance of the system:   Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

Purpose(s):

Records are used by the Freedom of Information staff involved in FOIA correspondence and processing, as well as by appeals officials and members of the Office of General Counsel.

Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:

Records may be disclosed from this system for routine uses to:

1. The Department of Justice for the purpose of obtaining advice as to whether or not the records should be disclosed.

2. A contractor for the purpose of collating, aggregating, analyzing, or otherwise refining records in this system. The contractor shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards in working with such records.

3. A congressional office from the record of an individual in response to a verified inquiry from the congressional office made at the written request of that individual.

4. The Department of Justice, or to a court or other tribunal or to another party before such tribunal, when (a) HHS, or any component of HHS; or (b) any HHS employee in his or her official capacity; or (c) any HHS employee in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice (or HHS, where it is authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or (d) the United States or any agency thereof, where HHS determines that the litigation is likely to affect HHS or any of its components, is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and HHS determines that the use of such records by the Department of Justice, the court, the tribunal, or other party is relevant and necessary to the litigation and would help in the effective representation of the governmental party, provided, however, that in each case HHS determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

5. Records may be disclosed to student volunteers, individuals working under a personal services contract, and other individuals performing functions for the Department but technically not having the status of agency employees, if they need access to the records in order to perform their assigned agency functions.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:

Storage:  The original, or a copy, of the incoming request and the written response are maintained in case file folders and stored in metal file cabinets.  Cross-reference data is maintained in a correspondence control log stored in a personal computer and printed as hard copy on paper as needed.

Retrievability:  Records are almost always retrieved by the name of the individual who made the FOIA request during a given calendar year. In addition, each request is assigned a case file number that identifies the year in which the request was made and the number of the request. For example,

89-432. Records also can be retrieved by this case file number.

Safeguards:

1.      Authorized Users: Access is limited to involved program officials, FOIA staff, appeals officials, and members of the Office of General Counsel who are involved in the processing of FOIA requests and appeals.

2.      Physical Safeguards: The case file folders are stored in file cabinets in secure areas that are either occupied by staff personnel involved in processing FOIA requests and appeals or locked up during non-working hours, or whenever staff is not present in these areas.  In addition, entrance to the buildings where case files are maintained is controlled by security guards.

3.      Procedural Safeguards: Access to records is limited to those staff members who are familiar with both the FOIA and the Privacy Act.  System Managers are held responsible for safeguarding the records under their control.

Retention and disposal:  The National Archives and Records Administration issues General Records Schedules that provide disposition authorization for records common to several or all agencies of the Federal Government. Schedule 14 (June 1988) sets forth detailed disposition requirements for FOIA records.

   1.  Case files are retained for two years and then destroyed when access to all requested records                    is granted.                  

   2.  Case files are destroyed after six years when access to all or part of the records is denied.

   3.  In the event of an appeal, the files are destroyed six years after final determination by the         

        Department, or three years after final adjudication by the courts, or six years after the time at        which a requester could file suit, whichever is later.

4.  Correspondence control logs are destroyed six years after the date of last entry.

System manager(s) and address:  Director, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Division, 645F Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201 (See Appendix I, following, for additional system managers.)

Notification procedure:  System managers. Addresses same as above.

Record access procedures:  A person may request access to these records in writing, in person, or by telephone to the system managers listed above and in Appendix I. The managers may require proof of identity whenever they are in doubt about the identity of the person making the request.

Contesting record procedures:  A person may contest information in these records by contacting the system managers listed above and in Appendix I, and by identifying the information contested; the corrective action sought; and reasons for requesting the correction, along with supporting information to show how the record is inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, or irrelevant.

Record source categories:  Individuals and organizations making requests under the FOIA, and components of the Department and other agencies that search for and provide the records and related correspondence that are maintained in the case files.

Systems exempted from certain provisions of the act:  None.

Appendix I

HHS Freedom of Information Officer, Room 645F Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201. Tel: (202) 472-7453.

SSA Freedom of Information Officer, Room 4-H-8 Annex Building, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235. Tel: (301) 965-3962.

HCFA Freedom of Information Officer, Room 100 Professional Building, Office of Public Affairs, 6660 Security Blvd, Baltimore, Maryland 21207. Tel: (301) 966-5352.

PHS Freedom of Information Officer, Room 13-C-24 Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Tel: (301) 443-5252.

FDA Freedom of Information Officer, HFW-35, Room 12A16 Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Tel: (301) 443-1813.

NIH Freedom of Information Officer, National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room 2B39, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892. Tel: (301) 496-5633.

CDC Freedom of Information Officer, Centers for Disease Control, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333. Tel: (404) 639-2388.

HRSA Freedom of Information Officer, Room 1443 Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Tel: (301) 443-2086.

ADAMHA Freedom of Information Officer, Room 12-C-15, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Tel: (301) 443-3783.

IHS Freedom of Information Officer, Room 5-A-39 Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Tel: (301) 443-3593.