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09–40–0011

System name: 

Proceedings of the Board for Correction of PHS Commissioned Corps Records, HHS/PSC/HRS.

Security classification: 

None.

System location: 

Board for Correction of PHS Commissioned Corps Records, HHS/PSC/HRS, Room 17A–12, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857; and Washington National Records Center, 4205 Suitland Road, Suitland, Maryland 20409. Records also may be located at the contractor site. The names and addresses of contractors used by the Board for Correction can be obtained from the System Manager.

Categories of individuals covered by the system: 

Commissioned Officers of the PHS Commissioned Corps who appeal to the Board for Correction, former officers, their spouses and heirs.

Categories of records in the system: 

Commissioned Officer case files consisting of requests for correction of alleged errors or injustices; administrative reports; case summaries; findings; conclusions; recommendations; Board for Correction decisions and related documents, including copies of records from other systems of records as specified under Record Source Categories below.

Authority for maintenance of the system: 

10 U.S.C. 1552 "Correction of Military Records"; Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 213a(a)(12); Executive Order 9397, "Numbering System for Federal Accounts Relating to Individual Persons."

Purpose(s): 

This system of records is used:

1. To process appeals from current or former Commissioned Officers, their spouses and heirs to determine the existence of alleged errors or injustices resulting from the administration of laws and regulations.

2. To review and adjudicate these appeals.

3. To disclose the decisions of the Board for Correction to the Division of Commissioned Personnel (DCP) for appropriate action. The DCP is not authorized to release copies of original Board for Correction records without approval by the System Manager.

4. To document all actions and activities of the Board for Correction.

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

These records may be used to disclose information:

1. To a congressional office from the record of any individual in response to an inquiry from the congressional office made at the written request of that individual.

2. To the Department of Justice, a court or other tribunal, when: (a) HHS, or any component thereof; 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 or other tribunal 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 are collected.

3. To appropriate Federal, State, or local agencies; international agencies; or foreign governments responsible for investigating, prosecuting, enforcing, or implementing statutes, rules, regulations, or orders, when HHS becomes aware of evidence of a potential violation of civil or criminal law.

4. To private contractors who record and transcribe tapes of Board for Correction meetings. Contractors are required to comply with Privacy Act safeguards and the HHS Privacy Act Regulations with respect to such records. These safeguards are explained in the section entitled "Safeguards."

5. To properly identified attorneys of subject individuals or their personally designated representatives, to court-appointed representatives of mentally incompetent or otherwise legally handicapped subject individuals and to guardians to the extent necessary to assure attainment of rights or payment of benefits to which such individuals would be entitled.

6. To Federal, State or local government agencies (such as those concerned with disability compensation, health and human services, hospitals, and legal affairs) or to public interest organizations (such as the American Red Cross, the American Civil Liberties Union, Disabled American Veterans, and the Legal Aid Society) when the subject individual's request for correction will affect the individual's entitlement to rights or benefits, and when such agencies may have information which will assist the Board for Correction in clarifying that entitlement.

7. To authorized experts or consultants in a Federal agency or in the private sector if the Board for Correction has determined that it needs such opinions to arrive at an equitable decision concerning the subject individual's request; or to authorized officials in a Federal agency if required to facilitate equitable handling of a case, e.g., to an EEO official when a complaint is initiated by a PHS commissioned officer, to ensure that the same complaint has not already been decided through the Board for Correction process. All consultants, experts and Federal officials are required to comply with Privacy Act safeguards and the HHS Privacy Act Regulations with respect to such records.

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

Storage: 

File folders, computerized records, disks and microfiche.

Retrievability: 

Last name and case number.

Safeguards: 

1. Authorized Users: The System Manager and/or the Executive Secretary of the Board for Correction will control access to the data. Additional authorized personnel having access to the data are: (1) The Executive Director of the Board for Correction; (2) Designated clerical support staff in the offices of the System Manager and the Executive Secretary; (3) Board for Correction members on a need-to-know basis; and (4) Experts, consultants or private contractors when approved by the System Manager.

2. Physical Safeguards: Automated records. Automated records are stored on personal computers which require passwords for access, or on disks, and are located in offices with locks. During nonwork hours, all cabinets, storage facilities and offices are locked and the premises are patrolled regularly by building security forces. Nonautomated records. When records are not in use they are stored in filing cabinets with locks located in an inner office occupied during working hours and locked at all other times.

3. Procedural Safeguards: Authorized personnel are trained to comply with provisions of the Privacy Act and the HHS Privacy Act Regulations. Records are transmitted in sealed envelopes and are identified as confidential material. When copying records for authorized purposes, care is taken to ensure that no imperfect or extra pages are left in the copier room. These pages are disposed of by shredding.

4. Contractor Guidelines: Contractor compliance is assured through inclusion of privacy requirements in contract clauses, and through monitoring by contract and project officers. A contractor who is given records must maintain the records in a secured area, allow only those individuals immediately involved in the processing of the records to have access to them, prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to the records, caution employees about the confidentiality of the records, and return the records to the System Manager immediately upon completion of the work specified in the contract. Contractors are instructed to make no disclosure of the records except as authorized by the System Manager.

Retention and disposal: 

Original records are retained at the System Location either for one year after the Board for Correction's recommendation for favorable decision is upheld by the approving official, or for three years after the approval of the Board for Correction's recommendation for denial of an appeal, whichever applies to the final disposition of a case. The records are then transferred to the Washington National Records Center (WNRC) and are destroyed by the WNRC after 20 years.

System manager(s) and address: 

Executive Director of the Board for Correction of PHS Commissioned Corps Records, Room 17–21, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857.

Notification procedures: 

Same as Access Procedures. The requester is required to specify reasonably the contents of the records being sought.

Record access procedures: 

To determine whether information about themselves is contained in this system, the subject individual should contact the System Manager at the above address.

A subject individual who appears in person is required to provide his/her name and at least one piece of tangible identification (e.g., PHS Commissioned Corps Identification Card, driver's license, Social Security card, or discharge or separation papers).

An individual making a written inquiry is required to sign the request mailed to the System Manager. The signature given is compared with the signature on file prior to release of the material requested.

If the subject individual is represented by an attorney, other than the one shown on the application to the Board for Correction, it is necessary to have in the case file a dated letter signed by the subject individual giving the name of the attorney and stating that he/she has been authorized access to the case file. If the subject individual is represented by another person, it is necessary to have in the case file a dated letter signed by the individual giving the name of the representative and stating that he/she has been authorized access to the case file. In both instances, the person representing the subject individual would be required to present documentation identifying him/herself as being the person mentioned in the application or in a letter on file with the Board for Correction.

If the subject individual is judged to be mentally incompetent to handle his/her personal affairs, a court order should be issued to that effect. The person identifying him/herself as representing the subject individual in this circumstance is required to present a copy of the court order and to personally identify him/herself as being the person identified in the order.

If the subject individual is physically incapacitated, a medical statement certifying to the physical disability is required, signed and dated by a licensed physician. The person presenting this statement is required to personally identify him/herself and provide documentation of his/her relationship to the subject individual (e.g., marriage license, birth certificate, etc.).

If the subject individual is deceased, proof of death is required, signed and dated by the appropriate certifying agency of the Federal Government. The person presenting this document is required to personally identify him/herself and provide documentation of his/her relationship to the deceased (e.g., marriage license, birth certificate, etc.).

If a determination is made that the material sought contains medical information that is likely to have an adverse effect on either the subject individual or the determination of his/her request, the requester (whether the subject individual, his/her personal representative, an attorney other than the one shown on the application to the Board for Correction, a court appointed representative, or a guardian) shall be asked to designate in writing a physician or other health professional who is willing to review the material and inform the requester of its contents, at the discretion of the health professional. The person designated to evaluate the medical information must provide proof that he/she is duly authorized by the requester to review the material.

An individual who is the subject of the records maintained in this records system may request an accounting of disclosures that have been made of his/her records, if any.

Contesting record procedures: 

If access has been granted, the requester shall contact the System Manager above, reasonably identify the records, specify the information being contested, and state the corrective action sought, with supporting documentation, to show how the record is inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, or irrelevant.

Record source categories: 

Records are obtained from applicants; reports of findings and recommendations made by Board for Correction members; Board for Correction decisions; supervisors; private and Government physicians; hospitals and clinics rendering treatment; investigative reports; death certificates and reports of death; survivors and executors of estates; private and Government agency reports of service delivery, compensation, disability and legal opinions; and records contained in systems 09–40–0001, Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps General Personnel Records, HHS/PSC/HRS; 09–40–0002, Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Officer Medical Records, HHS/PSC/HRS; 09–40–0003, Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps Board Proceedings, HHS/PSC/HRS; 09–40–0004, Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps Grievance, Investigatory and Disciplinary Files, HHS/PSC/HRS; 09–40–0005, Public Health Service (PHS) Beneficiary-Contract Medical/Health Care Records, HHS/PSC/HRS; and 09–40–0006, Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps Payroll Records, HHS/PSC/HRS.

System exempted from certain provisions of the Act: 

None.

Content created by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Division