System name: Complaints and Inquiries Records--Miscellaneous, HHS/OS/ASPER.
Security classification: None.
System location: Personnel offices shown in Applicants for Employment Records, HHS System 09-90-0006, Appendix 1 and offices of operating officials in organizational units serviced by those personnel offices.
Categories of individuals covered by the system: Current and former employees of the Department.
Categories of records in the system: This system consists of records relating to an individual's employment status or conduct while employed by the Department.
Examples of these records include: Correspondence from employees, Members of Congress, and members of the public alleging misconduct by an employee of the Department, miscellaneous complaints not covered by the Department's formal or informal grievance procedure, informal complaints handled by labor union officials, and miscellaneous debt correspondence received from creditors.
Authority for maintenance of the system: Executive Orders 11222, 10561 and 11491.
Records in this system are maintained to initiate, investigate and resolve various complaints and inquiries made by or against Department employees. See also ``Retrievability'' below. Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses: Information in these records may be used:
(1) In the event that this system of records indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use, to the appropriate agency, whether federal, or foreign, charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, or rule, regulation or order issued pursuant thereto.
(2) In the event the Department deems it desirable or necessary, in determining whether particular records are required to be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, disclosure may be made to the Department of Justice for the purpose of obtaining its advice.
(3) A record from this system of records may be disclosed as a "routine use" to a federal, state or local agency maintaining civil, criminal or other relevant enforcement records or other pertinent records, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain a record relevant to an agency decision concerning the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit. A record from this system of records may be disclosed to a federal agency, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, 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 by the requesting agency, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.
(4) In the event that this system of records indicates a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, and whether arising by general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, the relevant records in the system of records may be referred, as a routine use to the appropriate agency, whether state or local charged with the responsibility of investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, or rule, regulation or order issued pursuant thereto.
(5) Where federal agencies having the power to subpoena other federal agencies' records, such as the Internal Revenue Service or the Civil Rights Commission, issue a subpoena to the Department for records in this system of records, the Department will make such records available.
(6) Where a contract between a component of the Department and a labor organization recognized under E.O. 11491 or 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71 provides that the agency will disclose personal records relevant to the organization's mission, records in this system of records may be disclosed to such organization.
(7) Office of Personnel Management, Merit Systems Protection Board (including its Office of the Special Counsel), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (including the General Counsel of the Authority and the Federal Service Impasses Panel) the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and to an arbitrator, in carrying out their functions.
(8) To respond to Members of Congress and members of the public with regard to complaints or inquiries presented by them.
(9) Disclosure may be made to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the request of that individual.
(10) In the event of litigation where the defendant is (a) the Department, any component of the Department, or any employee of the Department in his or her official capacity; (b) the United States where the Department determines that the claim, if successful, is likely to directly affect the operations of the Department or any of its components; or (c) any Department employee in his or her individual capacity where the Justice Department has agreed to represent such employee, the Department may disclose such records as it deems desirable or necessary to the Department of Justice to enable that Department to present an effective defense, provided such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.
(11) 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: Filed in folders and index cards.
Retrievability: Records are filed by name. Records are used to produce summary descriptive statistics and analytical studies in support of the functions for which the records are collected and maintained and for related personnel management functions or pay studies; and for other purposes compatible with the intent for which the records system was created.
Safeguards: Access to and use of these records are limited to those persons whose official duties require such access.
Retention and disposal: Records are retained until there is no further administrative need for them, the individual leaves the Department, or one year has elapsed, and are then destroyed. (See HHS Personnel Instruction 293-1, Exhibit X293-1-2, item 7.)
System manager(s) and address: Personnel Officers shown in Appendix 1 to Applicants for Employment Records. HHS System 09-90-0006, who service organizational units in which individuals are employed.
Notification procedure: Operating officials in organizational unit in which employee is employed or personnel officers shown as systems managers in Appendix 1 Applicants for Employment Records, HHS System 09-90-0006. Individuals should provide name, organization in which employed, and date of birth.
Record access procedures: Same as notification procedures. Requesters should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. (These access procedures are in accordance with Department Regulations (45 CFR 5b.5(a)(2)), Federal Register, October 8, 1975, page 47410.)
Contesting record procedures: Contact the official at the address specified under notification procedures above, and reasonably identify the record and specify the information to be contested, and state the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction. (These procedures are in accordance with Department Regulations (45 CFR 5b.7), Federal Register, October 8, 1975, page 47411.)
Record source categories: Information in this system of records is obtained: (1) Directly from the individual, or (2) derived from information supplied by the individual, or (3) from information supplied by members of the public, other employees, Members of Congress, Department management officials, or (4) from police and court records relevant to the complaint about the employee.