System name: Civil and Administrative Investigative Files of the Inspector General.
Security classification: None.
System location: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201.
Categories of individuals covered by the system: HHS employees and former employees; HHS grantees; contractors, sub-contractors and their employees; employees of state agencies and Medicare carriers and intermediaries; Medicare and Medicaid providers; recipients under programs administered or funded by the Department; and others doing business with the Department.
Categories of records in the system: Civil and administrative investigative records.
Authority for maintenance of the system: Pub. L. 94-505; sec. 1128A of the Social Security Act.
Purpose(s): Pursuant to Pub. L. 94-505, this system is maintained for the purpose of conducting and documenting civil and administrative investigations conducted by OIG or other investigative agencies regarding HHS programs and operations, documenting the results of OIG reviews of allegations and complaints received concerning HHS programs, HHS personnel or former personnel, aiding in administrative proceedings or civil suits brought against the subjects of OIG investigations, maintaining a record of the activities which were the subject of civil and administrative investigations, reporting the results of civil and administrative investigations to other departmental components for their use in evaluating their programs and in imposition of civil or administrative sanctions, and acting as a repository and source for information necessary to fulfill the reporting requirements of 42 U.S.C. 3524. This system is also maintained for the purpose of conducting and documenting the results of reviews, including computer matches, which identify individuals who are not entitled to benefits under programs financed by the Department, whether administered by federal, state or local government agencies, or who are delinquent on loan payments due under federally funded programs.
Routine uses of records maintained in the system including categories of users and the purposes of such uses: These records may be used as follows:
(1) In the event that this 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, 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, foreign, 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 where such responsibility rests outside of OIG.
(2) Disclosures may be made to federal, state, or local agencies where disclosure is necessary in order to obtain records relevant and necessary to a civil or administrative investigation of the Office of Inspector General.
(3) Disclosures may be made to a federal agency where records in this system of records pertain to an applicant for employment, or to a current employee of that agency where the records are relevant and necessary to an agency decision with regard to the hiring or retention of an employee or disciplinary or other administrative action concerning an employee. Disclosures may be made to a federal agency in response to its request in connection with the issuance of a security clearance, the award 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) Disclosures may be made to the Office of Personnel Management or the Merit Systems Protection Board (including the Office of the Special Council) of information relevant and necessary to carrying out their functions.
(5) Disclosures may be made to third party contacts where the party contacted may have information needed to establish or verify information relevant and necessary to a civil or administrative investigation by the OIG or in preparation for proceedings pursuant to section 1128A of the Social Security Act, and ``Civil Money Penalties''.
(6) Disclosures may be made to federal, state, or local agencies, or to other entities administrating federally funded programs where necessary to take action based on an OIG investigation or audit which identifies individuals not entitled to program benefits or individuals delinquent on loan payments under federally funded programs.
(7) Disclosures may be made when the Department contemplates that it will contract with private firms for the purpose of collating, analyzing, aggregating or otherwise refining records. Disclosures will also be made to independent auditors who by contract carry out audits on behalf of the Department. Such contractors will be required to maintain Privacy Act safeguards with respect to such records.
(8) 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.
(9) 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.
(10) In 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 necessary to the Department of Justice to enable that
Department to present an effective defense.
(11) 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.
(12) A record may be disclosed to any official charged with the responsibility to conduct qualitative assessment reviews of internal safeguards and management procedures employed in investigative operations. This disclosure category includes members of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency and officials and administrative staff within their investigative chain or command, as well as authorized officials of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(13) 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 records, which take the form of index cards, investigative reports, printed material, computer tape files, computer-generated printouts and other audit and investigative workpapers are stored in (1) secured areas, (2) locked rooms, and/or (3) locked cabinets.
Retrievability: Records are retrieved by manual or computer search of alphabetical or numerical indices or cross-indices.
Safeguards: Direct access is restricted to authorized staff members of the OIG; access within HHS is limited to the Secretary, Under Secretary, and other officials and employees on a need to know basis. All computer files are safeguards as described under Storage and in accordance with the provisions of the National Bureau of Standards
Federal Information Processing Standards 41, and HHS Information Processing Standards, HHS ADP Systems Manual, Part 6,``ADP Systems Security''. We protected all computer tapes by the use of passwords to prohibit unauthorized access.
Retention and disposal: Investigative files are retained for 6 years after completion of the investigation and/or actions based thereon. Index and cross reference cards are retained permanently. In instances of computer matching of files, only those records which meet predetermined criteria for investigation are maintained. All records which do not
meet these criteria are destroyed.
System manager(s) and address: Inspector General/Deputy Inspector General, Room 5250, North Building, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201.
Notification procedure: Exempt. However, consideration will be given requests addressed to the system manager. For general inquires, include the name and date of birth of the individual.
Record access procedures: Same as notification procedures. Requestors should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought.
Contesting record procedures: Exempt. However, consideration will be given requests addressed to the systems manager. Requests for correction should reasonably identify the record and specify the information to be contested, the
corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification.
Record source categories: Department and other federal, state, and local government records; interviews of witnesses; documents and other materials furnished by nongovernmental sources. Sources may include confidential sources.
Systems exempted from certain provisions of the act: Exempted from certain provisions of the Act under 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). Pursuant to 45 CFR 5b.11(b)(2)(ii)(D, this system is exempt from the following subsections of the Act: (c)(3), (d) (1)-(4), and (e)(4) (G) and (H).