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09–40–0012

System name: 

Debt Management and Collection System, HHS/PSC/FMS.

Security classification: 

None.

System location: 

Division of Financial Operations, Financial Management Service, Program Support Center, Room 2B–40, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, 20857.

Division of Accounting, Food and Drug Administration, Room 11–41, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Division of State Legislation and Repatriation, Administration for Children and Families, Aerospace Building, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW, Washington, DC 20447.

Division of Health Professions Support, Indian Health Service, Twinbrook Metro Plaza Building, Suite 100, 12300 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, MD 20850.

Division of Financial Management, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Room 16C–05, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Division of Commissioned Personnel, Human Resources Service, Program Support Center, Room 4A–15, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Personnel and Pay Systems Division, Human Resources Service, Program Support Center, 8455 Colesville Road, Suite 700, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Division of Student Assistance, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Room 8–22, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Division of Scholarships and Loan Repayments, Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration, 10th Floor, East/West Towers, 4350 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Division of Accounting, Health Care Financing Administration, Room C3–09–17, 7500 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21244.

Division of Financial Management, National Institutes of Health, Building 31, Room B1B63, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Financial Management Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Room 3149, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333.

Washington National Records Center, 4205 Suitland Road, Washington, DC 20409.

Names and addresses of contractors given information under routine use 17 can be obtained from the System Manager at the location identified below.

Categories of individuals covered by the system: 

1. Individuals owing monies to HHS Operating Divisions or other Federal entities for which PSC provides debt collection services.

2. Individuals owing monies include, but are not limited to, students and health care professionals who have received student loans, scholarships, traineeships, or grant funds under Titles III, VII, and VIII of the Public Health Service Act, as amended, and who are delinquent in repaying either loans or funds owed in lieu of a service obligation under such programs.

3. Repatriates owing repayment of funds loaned to them by the United States.

4. Individuals owing repayment for services rendered such as Freedom of Information Act requests and queries associated with the National Practitioner Data Bank, and Health Care Integrity and Protection Data Bank queries.

5. Current and separated HHS employees who have incurred payroll debts.

Categories of records in the system: 

Categories of records in this system include records such as: Name; taxpayer identification number and/or Social Security Number; address; amount of debt; rate of interest; account and repayment history and status; discipline/specialty; lending institutions; and invoice number.

Authority for maintenance of the system: 

Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97–365), as amended; and Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–134), as amended.

Purpose(s): 

The purpose of the system is:

1. To reduce the amount of outstanding debts owed to the Federal Government.

2. To protect the programmatic and financial integrity of Federal funds paid or awarded to individuals.

3. To be used by other components within HHS to facilitate debt management activities.

4. To be used for developing both regulatory and ad hoc management reports relating to debt collection activities.

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

Records may be disclosed:

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

2. To authorized persons employed at educational institutions where the recipient received a loan, scholarship, or grant. The purpose of this disclosure is to assist institutions in identifying delinquent borrowers and to enforce the conditions and terms of such loans, scholarships and grants.

3. To the Department of Justice, or to 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 of 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.

4. To the General Accounting Office, the HHS Inspector General's Office, private auditing firms, and to the Office of Management and Budget for auditing financial obligations to determine compliance with programmatic, statutory, and regulatory provisions.

5. To a consumer reporting agency (credit bureau) to obtain a commercial credit report for the following purposes:

a. To establish creditworthiness of a loan/grant/scholarship/ traineeship applicant; and

b. To assess and verify the ability of a debtor to repay debts owed to the Federal Government.

Disclosures are limited to the individual's name, address, Social Security Number and other information necessary to identify him/her; the funding being sought or amount and status of the debt; and the program under which the application or claim is being processed.

6. To debt collection agents, other Federal agencies, and other third parties who are authorized to collect a Federal debt, information necessary to identify a delinquent debtor. Disclosure will be limited to the debtor's name, address, Social Security Number, and other information necessary to identify him/her; the amount, status, and history of the claim; and the agency or program under which the claim arose.

7. To any third party that may have information about a delinquent debtor's current address, such as a U.S. post office, a State motor vehicle administration, a professional organization, an alumni association, etc., for the purpose of obtaining the debtor's current address. This disclosure will be limited to information necessary to identify the individual.

8. To the Defense Manpower Data Center, Department of Defense, to conduct matching programs for the purpose of identifying and locating individuals who are receiving Federal salaries or certain benefit payments resulting from Federal employment and are delinquent in their repayment of debts owed to the U.S. Government. The PSC will disclose this information in an effort to collect the debts by administrative or salary offset under the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.

9. To the United States Postal Service to conduct matching programs for the purpose of identifying and locating individuals who are receiving Federal salaries or certain benefit payments resulting from Federal employment and are delinquent in their repayment of debts owed to the U.S. Government. The PSC will disclose this information in an effort to collect the debts by administrative or salary offset, under the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996.

10. To the following entities to help collect a debt owed:

a. To the Treasury Department or another Federal agency in order to effect an administrative offset under common law or under 31 U.S.C. 3716 (withholding from money payable to or held on behalf of the individual); and

b. To debt collection agents or contractors under 31 U.S.C. 3718 or under common law to help collect a past due amount or locate or recover debtors' assets.

11. The PSC will disclose from this system of records a delinquent debtor's name, address, Social Security Number, and other information necessary to identify him/her; the amount, status, and history of the claim; and the agency or program under which the claim arose, as follows:

a. To another Federal agency so that agency can effect a salary offset for debts owed by Federal employees; if the claim arose under the Social Security Act, the employee must have agreed in writing to the salary offset;

b. To another Federal agency so that agency can effect an authorized administrative offset; i.e., withhold money payable to or held on behalf of debtors other than Federal employees; and

c. To the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service to request a debtor's current mailing address to locate him/her for purposes of either collecting or compromising a debt, or to have a commercial credit report prepared.

12. In the event that a system of records maintained by this agency to carry out its functions 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 to the appropriate agency, whether Federal, State or local, charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, or order.

13. To the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, as taxable income, the written-off amount of a debt owed by an individual to the Federal Government when a debt becomes partly or wholly uncollectible—either because the time period for collection under the statute of limitations has expired, or because the Government agrees to forgive or compromise the debt.

14. To the Treasury Department or to an agency operating a Debt Collection Center designated by the Treasury Department in order to collect past due amounts.

15. If PSC or an agency to which PSC provides debt collection services decides to sell a debt pursuant to 31 U.S.C. section 3711(I), a record from the system may be disclosed to purchasers, potential purchasers, and contractors engaged to assist in the sale or to obtain information necessary for potential purchasers to formulate bids and information necessary for purchasers to pursue collection remedies.

16. Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. Section 3720E, or specific program regulations, PSC may publish or otherwise publicly disseminate information regarding the identity of a delinquent debtor and the existence of the debt.

17. When the Department contemplates contracting with a private firm for the purpose of collating, analyzing, aggregating, or otherwise refining records in this system, relevant records will be disclosed to such a contractor. The contractor shall be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records. These safeguards are explained in the section entitled "Safeguards."

18. If HHS decides to administratively garnish wages of a delinquent debtor under the wage garnishment provision in 31 U.S.C. 3720D, a record from the system may be disclosed to the debtor’s employer. This disclosure will take the form of a wage garnishment order directing that the employer pay a portion of the employee/debtor’s wages to the federal government. Disclosure of records is limited to the debtor’s name, alias name, and Social Security Number, creditor agency name and contact information, and debt amount due as of a certain date.

Disclosure to consumer reporting agencies: 

Disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(12): Disclosures may be made from this system to "consumer reporting agencies" as defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 158a(f) or the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3)) and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–134). The purposes of these disclosures are: (1) To provide an incentive for debtors to repay delinquent Federal Government debts by making these debts part of their credit records, and (2) to enable HHS to improve the quality of loan and scholarship decisions by taking into account the financial reliability of applicants. Disclosure of records will be limited to the individual's name, Social Security Number, and other information necessary to establish the identity of the individual, the amount, status, and history of the claim, and the agency or program under which the claim arose.

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

Storage: 

Records are maintained in file folders, ledgers, magnetic tapes, electronic media and diskettes.

Retrievability: 

Records are retrieved by name, Social Security Number, taxpayer identification number and account number.

Safeguards: 

1. Authorized Users: Employees and officials directly responsible for programmatic or fiscal activity, including administrative and staff personnel, financial management personnel, computer personnel, and managers who have responsibilities for implementing programs funded by Operating Divisions or agencies served by PSC.

2. Physical Safeguards: File folders, reports and other forms of data, and electronic diskettes are stored in areas where fire and life safety codes are strictly enforced. All documents and diskettes are protected during lunch hours and nonduty hours in locked file cabinets or locked storage areas. Magnetic tapes and computer matching tapes are locked in a computer room and tape vault.

3. Procedural Safeguards: All authorized users protect information from public view and from unauthorized personnel entering an office.

4. Technical Safeguards: PSC conducts regular reviews of computer access to the automated system by reviewing listings of employees who have access to the system via terminal entry. All personal computers having forte boards with modems are protected. Access is limited by use of IDs and passwords. PSC utilizes a Resource Access Control Facility program product which provides systems security, resource access control, auditability and accountability and administrative control.

Contractor Guidelines: A contractor who is given records under routine use 17 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 any unauthorized persons from gaining access to the records, and return the records to the System Manager immediately upon completion of the work specified in the contract. Contractor compliance is assured through inclusion of Privacy Act requirements in contract clauses, and through monitoring by contract and project officers. Contractors who maintain records are instructed to make no disclosure of the records except as authorized by the System Manager and stated in the contract.

Retention and disposal: 

Records are retained by the responsible organizations listed under "System Location" until completion of the repayment of the debt. The records are then sent to the Federal Records Center for a retention period of six years and three months, and are subsequently disposed of in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration standard disposal practices.

System manager(s) and address: 

Chief, Debt Management Branch, Division of Financial Operations, Financial Management Service, Program Support Center, Parklawn Building, Room 2B40, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

Notification procedure: 

To find out if the system contains records about you, contact the System Manager at the above address.

Requests in person: A subject individual, or parent, or legal guardian of an incompetent individual, who appears in person at a specific location seeking access to or disclosure of records relating to him/her shall provide his/her name, current address, and at least one piece of tangible identification such as driver's license, passport, voter registration card, or union card. Identification papers with current photographs are preferred but not required. If a subject individual has no identification but is personally known to an agency employee, such employee shall make a written record verifying the subject individual's identity. Where the subject individual has no identification papers, the responsible agency official shall require that the subject individual certify in writing that he/she is the individual who he/she claims to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request or acquisition of a record concerning an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense subject to a fine. In addition, the following information is needed: (1) The name of the assistance program that he/she participated in, (2) dates of enrollment in the program, and (3) school(s) of attendance.

Requests by mail: Written requests must be addressed to the System Manager and must contain the name and address of the requester, his/her date of birth, and either his/her notarized signature to verify his/her identity, or a written certification that the requester is who he/she claims to be and understands that the known and willful request or acquisition of records concerning an individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense subject to a fine. In addition, the following information is needed: The name of the assistance program that he/she participated in and, for student assistance programs, dates of enrollment in the program, and school(s) of attendance.

In addition, be informed that provision of the Social Security Number may assist in the verification of your identity as well as the identification of your record. Providing your Social Security Number is voluntary and you will not be refused access to your record for failure to disclose your Social Security Number.

Requests by telephone: Since positive identification of the caller cannot be established, telephone requests are not honored.

Record access procedures: 

Same as notification procedures. Requesters should provide a reasonable description of the record being sought. Requesters may also request an accounting of disclosures that have been made of their records, if any.

Contesting record procedures: 

Contact the System Manager, provide a reasonable description of the record, specify the information being contested, the corrective action sought, and the reasons for requesting the correction, along with supporting information to show how the record is inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, or irrelevant.

Record source categories: 

Individuals whose records are contained in the system; Federal agencies, including but not limited to all Operating Divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury; credit reporting agencies; lending institutions; professional associations; schools of higher education; and Federal and State courts.

System exempted from certain provision of the Act: 

None.

Content created by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Division
Content last reviewed on December 3, 2015