Social Security Administration

Notice of System of Records

Required by the Privacy Act of 1974; as Amended

 

System Number: 60-0219

 

System Name:  Representative Disqualification, Suspension and Non-Recognition Information File, Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel.

 

Security Classification:  None.

 

System Location: Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel, Office of General Law, 6401 Security Boulevard, Room 617 Altmeyer Building, Baltimore MD 21235, and Regional Chief Counsels Offices as follows:

OGC Boston

Room 625, JFK Federal Building

Boston, MA 02203

 

OGC New York

26 Federal Plaza, Room 3904

New York, NY 10278

 

OGC Philadelphia

300 Spring Garden Street, 6th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19123

 

OGC Atlanta

Atlanta Federal Center

61 Forsyth Street S.W., Suite 20T45

Atlanta, GA 30303

 

 

 

OGC Chicago

200 W. Adams Street, 30th Floor

Chicago, IL 60606

 

OGC Dallas

1301 Young Street, Room A-702

Dallas, TX 75202-5433

 

OGC Kansas City

601 East 12th Street

Room 965

Federal Office Building

Kansas City, MO 64106

 

OGC Denver

1961 Stout Street

Federal Office Building, 10th Floor

Denver, CO 80294

 

OGC San Francisco

333 Market Street

Suite 1500

San Francisco, CA 94105-2116

 

OGC Seattle

701 Fifth Avenue

Suite 2900 M/S 901

Seattle, WA 98104-7075

 

 

Categories of persons covered by the system:  This system covers persons who allegedly fail to meet our qualifications to serve as a claimant’s representative, as provided by the Social Security Act or regulations relating to representation of claimants and beneficiaries before us.  It includes representatives alleged to have violated the provisions of the Social Security Act or our regulations relating to representation of claimants and beneficiaries, representatives whom we have found to have committed such violations and have disqualified or suspended, and representatives we have investigated, but have not disqualified or suspended because we resolved the matter without an action to disqualify or suspend the representative or because we found that a violation did not occur.

 

Categories of records in the system:  As applicable, the system will contain information about persons seeking to represent our claimants as well as representatives who have represented claimants and beneficiaries before us.  For example, we collect name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), representative identification number, home or business address(es), telephone and facsimile (fax) numbers, email address, and type of representative (e.g., attorney, non-attorney, eligible direct pay non-attorney).

 

The system will also contain information about the representative’s legal standing and business affiliations.  For example, we collect status of the representative (e.g., suspended, disqualified), bar, court, and Federal program or agency admission information (e.g., year admitted, license number, present standing, and disciplinary history), copies of all documentation resulting from our investigation and actions taken due to violations of the Social Security Act and regulations relating to the representative, and employer identification number.  The system will also maintain relevant claimant and beneficiary information.

The following are examples of information covered by this system of records relating to the representation of claimants and beneficiaries:  documentation resulting from our investigation or actions taken due to violations of the Social Security Act or our regulations; documentation relating to any request for recognition or reinstatement that a non-recognized person or disqualified or suspended representative files with us; documentation pertaining to hearings on charges of alleged violations of the Social Security Act or our regulations; and representation attestations made and information provided on our paper and electronic forms. 

The system may also contain documentation pertaining to Appeals Council reviews of the decisions rendered in hearings on charges of violations of the Social Security Act or our regulations, or of requests for reinstatement to practice as a claimant’s representative before us; copies of notifications of a representative’s disqualification or suspension or a person’s non-recognition; documentation pertaining to any legal or administrative action that a disqualified or suspended representative, or non-recognized person brings against us; and documentation of any disclosures made pursuant to the routine uses in this system of records.

 

Authority for maintenance of the system: Sections 206(a) and 1631(d)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 406(a) and 1383(d)(2)).

 

Purpose(s):  The Representative Disqualification, Suspension, and Non-Recognition Information File system of records provides us real-time access to information key to decisionmaking in the disqualified or suspended representative business process.  For example, the records provide timely access to information we need to make decisions about whether persons meet our qualifications to serve as a claimant’s representative and whether violations of the provisions of the Social Security Act or regulations relating to representation have previously occurred. 

 

The records also enable us to more efficiently investigate alleged administrative or criminal violations; take action against representatives; respond to the Appeals Council when a representative has requested reinstatement; provide detailed notice of, and information on, cases in which we have disqualified or suspended a representative; and assist the Department of Justice in Federal court litigation, including that which relates to our decision to disqualify or suspend a representative or not recognize a person as a claimant’s representative.

 

Routine uses of records covered by the Representative Disqualification, Suspension, and Non-Recognition Information File system of records system, including categories of users and the purposes of such uses:  Routine use disclosures are indicated below; however, we will not disclose any information defined as “return or return information” under 26 U.S.C. § 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) unless authorized by the IRC, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), or IRS regulations.

1.      To applicants for benefits or payments, claimants, and beneficiaries to inform them that we have disqualified or suspended the representative from further representation before us or that the person was not recognized as a representative, and the basis for our action.

2.      To a Federal court, State court, administrative tribunal, or bar disciplinary authority in the Federal jurisdiction(s) or State(s) in which an attorney is admitted to practice that we have disqualified or suspended the attorney from representing claimants or beneficiaries before us and the basis for our action.

3.      To an official or employee of a Federal, State, or local agency that we have disqualified or suspended a claimant’s representative from representing claimants and beneficiaries before us, and the basis for our action in order to permit that agency to perform its official duties related to representation of parties before that agency.

4.      To any person or entity from which we need information to pursue the investigation or litigation of any action against a representative, to the extent necessary to identify the representative about whom the record is maintained, inform the person or entity of the purpose(s) of the request, and identify the type of information needed.

5.      To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court, other tribunal, or another party before such court or tribunal when: 

a)  SSA or any of our components;

b)  any SSA employee in his or her official capacity;

c)  any SSA employee in his or her individual capacity when DOJ (or SSA when we are  authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or

d)  the United States, or any agency thereof when we determine that the litigation is likely to affect the operations of SSA or any of its components,

is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and we determine that the use of such records by DOJ, the court, other tribunal, or another party before such court or tribunal is relevant and necessary to the litigation.  In each case, however, we must determine that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which we collected the records.

6.      To DOJ, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Offices of United States Attorneys, and other Federal law enforcement agencies, for investigation and potential prosecution of violations of the Social Security Act.

7.      To a congressional office in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of the record or a third party on that person’s behalf.

8.      To the public via our Internet web site located at http://www.socialsecurity.gov that we have disqualified or suspended a representative from representation before us, or not recognized a person as a claimant’s representative.

9.      To persons, groups, organizations, or government entities that routinely refer potential claimants or beneficiaries to attorneys or persons other than attorneys for the purpose of putting such persons, groups, organizations or government entities on notice that we have disqualified or suspended a representative from representation before us, or not recognized a person as a claimant’s representative.

10.     To any person or entity with whom the representative is affiliated or has indicated that he or she wants to be affiliated in representing claimants before us, notice that we have disqualified or suspended the affiliated or potentially affiliated representative from representation before us, or not recognized that person as a claimant’s representative.

11.     To the General Services Administration and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. §§ 2904 and  2906, as amended by the NARA Act, information that is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law for their use in conducting records management studies.

12.     To the appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, entities, and persons when: 1) we suspect or confirm that the security or confidentiality of information in this system of records has been compromised; 2) we determine that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, risk of identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs that rely upon the compromised information; and 3) we determine that disclosing the information to such agencies, entities, and persons is necessary to assist in our efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.  We will use this routine use to respond only to those incidents involving an unintentional release of our records.

13.     To the Office of the President in response to an inquiry made at the request of the   subject of the record or a third party on that person’s behalf.

14.     To student volunteers, persons working under a personal services contract, and others who are not technically Federal employees, when they are performing work for us as authorized by law, and they need access to information in our records in order to perform their assigned duties.

15.     To Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors as appropriate, information as necessary:

a)    to enable them to assure the safety of our employees and customers, and the security of our workplace, and the operation of our facilities; or

b)       to assist investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that affect such safety and security or activities that disrupt the operation of our facilities.

16.  To contractors and other Federal agencies, as necessary, for the purpose of assisting us in the efficient administration of our programs.  We will disclose information under the routine use only in situations in which we may enter into a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing an agency function relating to this system of records.

 

 

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

 

Storage:  We will store records in this system in paper and electronic form.

 

Retrievability:  We will retrieve records by SSN, representative identification number, or alphabetically by the representative’s name.

 

Safeguards:  We retain paper and electronic files with personal identifiers in secure storage areas accessible only to our authorized employees and contractors.  We limit access to data with personal identifiers from this system to only authorized personnel who have a need for the information in the performance of their official duties.  We annually provide all of our employees and contractors with appropriate security awareness training that includes reminders about the need to protect personally identifiable information and the criminal penalties that apply to unauthorized access to, or disclosure of, personally identifiable information.  See 5 U.S.C. § 552a(i)(l).  Employees and contractors with access to databases maintaining personally identifiable information must sign a sanction document annually, acknowledging their accountability for inappropriately accessing or disclosing such information.

 

Retention and disposal:  For purposes of records management dispositions authority, we follow the NARA and Department of Defense (DOD) 5015.2 regulations (DOD Design Criteria Standard for Electronic Records Management Software Applications).  We will retain for 25 years records about the non-recognition of a person, the disqualification or suspension of a representative, and the investigation of representatives that we did not suspend or disqualify because we were able to resolve the matter without a disqualification or suspension.  We will maintain for 2 years from the date of closure those records that indicate we investigated a representative, but did not disqualify or suspend the representative because we found that a violation did not occur.  We will erase or destroy records in electronic form and shred records in paper form.

 

System manager(s) and address(es):  Associate General Counsel for General Law, Office of the General Counsel, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235.  Regional Chief Counsels (see addresses in the System Location section of this notice).

 

Notification procedures:  Persons can determine if this system contains a record about them by writing to the system manager at the above address and providing their name, SSN, or other information in this system of records that will identify them.  Persons requesting notification by mail must include a notarized statement to us to verify their identity or they must certify in the request that they are the person they claim to be and understand that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another person under false pretenses is a criminal offense.

  

Persons requesting notification of records in person should provide the same information, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver's license.  Persons lacking identification documents sufficient to establish their identity must certify in writing that they are the person they claim to be and that they understand that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another person under false pretenses is a criminal offense. 

Persons requesting notification by telephone must verify their identity by providing identifying information that parallels the information in the record to which notification is being requested. If we determine that the identifying information the person provides by telephone is insufficient, the person will be required to submit a request in writing or in person.  If a person requests information by telephone on behalf of another person, the subject person must be on the telephone with the requesting person and us in the same telephone call.  We will establish the subject person’s identity (his or her name, SSN, address, date of birth, and place of birth, along with one other piece of information, such as mother's maiden name) and ask for his or her consent to provide information to the requesting person.  These procedures are in accordance with our regulations (20 C.F.R. §§ 401.40 and 401.45).

 

Record access procedures:  Same as notification procedures.  Requesters also should reasonably specify the record contents they are seeking.  These procedures are in accordance with our regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.40(c)).  

 

Contesting record procedures:  Same as notification procedures.  Requesters also should reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting, and state the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification showing how the record is incomplete, untimely, inaccurate, or irrelevant.  These procedures are in accordance with our regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.65(a)).

 

Record source categories:  We obtain information covered by this system of records from existing records we maintain (e.g., the Claims Folder System, 60-0089), which contain information relating to the representation of claimants before us.

 

Exemptions claimed for the system:  None.