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1974, (Pub. L. 93-579), or, where required by another statute. (Pub. L. 97-365, sec. 4) (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 5101) [44 FR 22068, Apr. 13, 1979, as amended at 51 FR 21750, June 16, 1986; 56 FR 25044, June 3. 1991)

(b) VA shall require mandatory disclosure of a claimant's or beneficiary's social security number (including the social security number of a dependent of a claimant or beneficiary) on necessary forms as prescribed by the Secretary as a condition precedent to receipt or continuation of receipt of compensation or pension payable under the provisions of chapters 11, 13 and 15 of title 38, United States Code, provided, however, that a claimant shall not be required to furnish VA with a social security number for any person to whom a social security number has not been assigned. VA may also require mandatory disclosure of an applicant's social security number as a condition for receiving loan guaranty benefits and a social security number or other taxpayer identification number from existing direct and vendee loan borrowers and as a condition precedent to receipt of a VA-guaranteed loan, direct loan or vendee loan, under chapter 37 of title 38, United States Code. (Pub. L. 97–365, sec. 4)

(c) A person requested by VA to disclose a social security number shall be told, as prescribed by $ 1.578(c), whether disclosure is voluntary or mandatory. The person shall also be told that VA is requesting the social security number under the authority of title 38 U.S.C., or in the case of existing direct or vendee loan borrowers, under the authority of 26 U.S.C. 6109(a) in conjunction with sections 145 and 148 of Pub. L. 98–369, or in the case of loan applicants, under the authority of section 4 of Pub. L. 97–365. The person shall also be told that it will be used in the administration of veterans' benefits in the identification of veterans or persons claiming or receiving VA benefits and their records, that it may be used in making reports to the Internal Revenue Service where required by law, and to determine whether a loan guaranty applicant has been identified as a delinquent taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and that such taxpayers may have their loan applications rejected, and that it may be used to verify social security benefit entitlement (including amounts payable) with the Social Security Administration and, for other purposes where authorized by both title 38 U.S.C., and the Privacy Act of

$ 1.576 General policies, conditions of

disclosure, accounting of certain

disclosures, and definitions. (a) The Department of Veterans Alfairs will safeguard an individual against an invasion of personal privacy. Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation its officials and employees will:

(1) Permit an individual to determine what records pertaining to him or her will be collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

(2) Permit an individual to prevent records pertaining to him or her, obtained by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a particular purpose, from being used or made available for another purpose without his or her consent.

(3) Permit an individual to gain access to information pertaining to him or her in Department of Veterans Affairs records, to have a copy made of all or any portion thereof, and to correct or amend such records.

(4) Collect, maintain, use, or disseminate any record of identifiable personal information in a manner that assures that such action is for a necessary and lawful purpose, that the information is correct and accurate for its intended use, and that adequate safeguards are provided to prevent misuse of such information.

(5) Permit exemptions from records requirements provided in 5 U.S.C. 552a only where an important public policy need for such exemption has been determined pursuant to specific statutory authority.

(b) The Department of Veterans Affairs will not disclose any record contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person or any other agency except by written request of or prior written consent of the individual to whom the record pertains unless such disclosure is:

(1) To those officers and employees of the agency which maintains the record and who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties;

(2) Required under 5 U.S.C. 552;

(3) For a routine use of the record compatible with the purpose for which it was collected;

(4) To the Bureau of the Census for purposes of planning or carrying out a census or survey or related activity pursuant to title 13 U.S.C.;

(5) To a recipient who has provided the Department of Veterans Affairs with advance adequate written assurance that the record will be used solely as a statistical research or reporting record, and the record is to be transferred in a form that is not individually identifiable;

(6) To the National Archives of the United States as a record which has sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the U.S. Government, or for evaluation by the Administrator of General Services or designee to determine whether the record has such value;

(7) To another agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States for a civil or criminal law enforcement activity if the activity is authorized by law, and if the head of the agency or instrumentality has made a written request to the Department of Veterans Affairs specifying the particular portion desired and the law enforcement activity for which the record is sought;

(8) To a person pursuant to a showing of compelling circumstances affecting the health or safety of an individual if upon such disclosure notification is transmitted to the last known address of such individual;

(9) To either House of Congress, or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, any committee or subcommittee thereof, any joint committee of Congress or subcommittee of any such joint committee;

(10) To the Comptroller General, or any authorized representatives, in the course of the performance of the duties of the General Accounting Office; or

(11) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) With respect to each system of records (i.e., a group of records from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual) under Department of Veterans Affairs control, the Department of Veterans Affairs will (except for disclosures made under paragraph (b)(1) or (2) of this section) keep an accurate accounting as follows:

(1) For each disclosure of a record to any person or to another agency made under paragraph (b) of this section, maintain information consisting of the date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure, and the name and address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure is made;

(2) Retain the accounting made under paragraph (c)(1) of this section for at least 5 years or the life of the record, whichever is longer, after the disclosure for which the accounting is made;

(3) Except for disclosures made under paragraph (b)(7) of this section, make the accounting under paragraph (c)(1) of this section available to the individual named in the record at his or her request; and

(4) Inform any person or other agency about any correction or notation of dispute made by the agency in accordance with $1.579 of any record that has been disclosed to the person or agency if an accounting of the disclosure was made.

(d) For the purposes of $81.575 through 1.584, the parent of any minor, or the legal guardian of any individual who has been declared incompetent due to physical or mental incapacity or age by a court of competent jurisdiction, may act on behalf of the individual.

(e) Section 552a(i), title 5 U.S.C., provides that:

(1) Any officer or employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs, who by virtue of his or her employment or official position, has possession of, or access to, Department of Veterans Affairs records which contain individually identifiable information the disclosure of which is prohibited by 5 U.S.C. 552a or by $1.575 series established thereunder, and who knowing that disclosure of the specific material is so prohibited, willfully discloses the material

in any manner to any person or agency mination about an identifiable indinot entitled to receive it, shall be vidual except as provided by section & guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not of title 13 U.S.C. more than $5,000.

(7) The term routine use means, with (2) Any officer or employee of the De respect to the disclosure of a record partment of Veterans Affairs who will the use of such record for a purpose fully maintains a system of records which is compatible with the purpose without meeting the notice require- for which it was collected. ments of 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) (see (g) When the Department of Veterans $1.578(d)) shall be guilty of a mis Affairs provides by a contract for the demeanor and fined not more than operation by or on behalf of the De$5,000.

partment of Veterans Affairs of a sys. (3) Any person who knowingly and tem of records to accomplish a Departwillfully requests or obtains any record ment of Veterans Affairs function, the concerning an individual from the De- Department of Veterans Affairs will. partment of Veterans Affairs under consistent with its authority, caus false pretenses shall be guilty of a mis the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a (as redemeanor and fined not more than quired by subsection (m)) and those of $5,000.

the $1.575 series to be applied to such (f) For purposes of $ 1.575 series the system. For the purposes of 5 U.S.C. following definitions apply:

552a(i) and $1.576(e) any such con(1) The term agency includes any ex tractor and any employee of such corecutive department, military depart tractor, if such contract is agreed to on ment, Government corporation, GOV or after September 27, 1975, will be conernment controlled corporation, or sidered to be an employee of the De other establishment in the executive partment of Veterans Affairs. branch of the government (including (h) The Department of Veterans Althe Executive Office of the President), fairs will, for the purposes of 5 U.S.C. or any independent regulatory agency. 552a, consider that it maintains any

(2) The term individual means a cit agency record which it deposits with izen of the United States or an alien the Administrator of General Services lawfully admitted for permanent resi- for storage, processing, and servicing dence.

in accordance with section 3103 of title (3) The term maintain includes main- 44 U.S.C. Any such record will be contain, collect, use, or disseminate.

sidered subject to the provisions of (4) The term record means any item, $1.575 series implementing 5 U.S.C. 5522 collection, or grouping of information and any other applicable Department about an individual that is maintained of Veterans Affairs regulations. The by an agency, including, but not lim Administrator of General Services is ited to, his or her education, financial not authorized to disclose such a transactions, medical history, and record except to the Department of criminal or employment history and Veterans Affairs, or under regulations that contains his or her name, or the established by the Department of Vetidentifying number, symbol, or other erans Affairs which are not inconidentifying particular assigned to the sistent with 5 U.S.C. 552a. individual, such as a finger or voice (i) The Department of Veterans Afprint or a photograph.

fairs will, for the purposes of 5 U.S.C. (5) The term system of records means a 552a, consider that a record is maingroup of any records under the control tained by the National Archives of the of any agency from which information United States if it pertains to an idenis retrieved by the name of the indi- tifiable individual and was transferred vidual or by some identifying number, to the National Archives prior to Sepsymbol, or other identifying particular tember 27, 1975, as a record which has assigned to the individual.

sufficient historical or other value to (6) The term statistical record means a warrant its continued preservation by record in a system of records main the United States Government. Such tained for statistical research or re- records are not subject to the proviporting purposes only and not used in sions of 5 U.S.C. 552a except that a whole or in part in making any deter- statement generally describing such

records (modeled after the require- system or systems of records pursuant ments relating to records subject to to $1.578(d). The request should be subsections (e)(4)(A) through (G) of 5 made to the office concerned (having U.S.C. 552a) will be published in the jurisdiction over the system or systems FEDERAL REGISTER

of records involved) or, if not known, (j) The Department of Veterans Af- to the Director or Department of Vetfairs will also, for the purposes of 5 erans Affairs Officer in the nearest DeU.S.C. 552a, consider that a record is partment of Veterans Affairs regional maintained by the National Archives of office, or to the Department of Vetthe United States if it pertains to an erans Affairs Central Office, 810 identifiable individual and is trans- Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC ferred to the National Archives on or 20420. Personal contact should norafter September 27, 1975, as a record mally be made during the regular duty which has sufficient historical or other hours of the office concerned, which value to warrant its continued preser are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday vation by the United States Govern through Friday for Department of Vetment. Such records are exempt from erans Affairs Central Office and most the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552a ex field facilities. Identification of the incept subsections (e)(4) (A) through (G)

dividual requesting the information and (e)(9) thereof.

will be required and will consist of the (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)

requester's name, signature, address,

and claim, insurance or other identi(40 FR 33944, Aug. 12, 1975, as amended at 40

fying file number, if any, as a minFR 58644, Dec. 18, 1975; 47 FR 16323, Apr. 16, 1982]

imum. Additional identifying data or

documents may be required in specified $ 1.577 Access to records.

categories as determined by operating (a) Except as otherwise provided by

requirements and established and publaw or regulation any individual upon

licized by the promulgation of Departrequest may gain access to his or her

ment of Veterans Affairs regulations. record or to any information per

(5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(1)) taining to him or her which is con

(c) The department or staff office tained in any system of records main

having jurisdiction over the records intained by the Department of Veterans

volved will establish appropriate disAffairs. The individual will be per

closure procedures and will notify the mitted, and upon his or her request, a

individual requesting disclosure of his person of his or her own choosing per

or her record or information pertaining mitted to accompany him or her, to re

to him or her of the time, place and view the record and have a copy made

conditions under which the Departof all or any portion thereof in a form

ment of Veterans Affairs will comply comprehensible to him or her. The De to the extent permitted by law and Department of Veterans Affairs will re

partment of Veterans Affairs regulaquire, however, a written statement

tion. (5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(2) from the individual authorizing discus (d) Access to sensitive material in sion of that individual's record in the records, including medical and psychoaccompanying person's presence.

logical records, is subject to the fol(b) Any individual will be notified, lowing special procedures. When an inupon request, if any Department of dividual requests access to his or her Veterans Affairs system of records records, the Department of Veterans named contains a record pertaining to Affairs official responsible for adminhim or her. Such request must be in istering those records will review them writing, over the signature of the re- and identify the presence of any senquester. The request must contain a sitive records. Sensitive records are reasonable description of the Depart- those that contain information which ment of Veterans Affairs system or may have a serious adverse effect on systems of records involved, as de- the individual's mental or physical scribed at least annually by notice pub- health if they are disclosed to him or lished in the FEDERAL REGISTER de- her. If, on review of the records, the scribing the existence and character of Department of Veterans Affairs official the Department of Veterans Affairs concludes that there are sensitive records involved, the official will referered harmful in the record has beer the records to a Department of Vet- made by a Department of Veterans Aferans Affairs physician, other than a fairs physician and where it is still the rating board physician, for further re- physician's professional medical opinview. If the physician who reviews the ion that physical access to the inforrecords believes that disclosure of the mation could be physically or mentally information directly to the individual harmful to the patient, physical access could have an adverse effect on the may be denied. Such a denial situation physical or mental health of the indi- should be an unusual, very infrequent vidual, the responsible Department of occurrence. When denial of a request Veterans Affairs official will then ad- for direct physical access is made, the vise the requesting individual: (1) That responsible Department of Veterans Afthe Department of Veterans Affairs fairs official will: (1) Promptly advise will disclose the sensitive records to a the individual making the request of physician or other professional person the denial; (2) state the reasons for the selected by the requesting individual denial of the request (e.g., 5 U.S.C for such redisclosure as the profes- 552a(f)(3), 38 U.S.C. 5701(b)(1)); and (3 sional person may believe is indicated, advise the requester that the deniai and (2) in indicated cases, that the De may be appealed to the General Counpartment of Veterans Affairs will ar- sel and of the procedure for such an aprange for the individual to report to a peal.(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(3)) Department of Veterans Affairs facility (e) Nothing in 5 U.S.C. 552a, however, for a discussion of his or her records allows an individual access to any inwith a designated Department of Vet- formation compiled in reasonable anerans Affairs physician and for an ex- ticipation of civil action or proceeding planation of what is included in the (5 U.S.C. 552a(d)(5)) records. Following such discussion, the (f) Fees to be charged, if any, to any records should be disclosed to the indi individual for making copies of his or vidual; however, in those extraordinary her record shall not include the cost of cases where a careful and conscientious any search for and review of the record, explanation of the information consid- and will be as follows:

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(1) Duplication of documents by any type of reproduction process to produce plain one-sided $0.15 per page after first 100 paper copies of a standard size (8/2" x 11"; 81/2" x 14"; 11"x14").

one-sided pages. (2) Duplication of non-paper records, such as microforms, audiovisual materials (motion pic- Actual direct cost to the Agency

tures, slides, laser optical disks, video tapes, audio tapes, etc.), computer tapes and disks, as defined in $ 1.555(a)(2) o diskettes for personal computers, and any other automated media output.

this part to the extent that pertains to the cost of duplica

tion. (3) Duplication of document by any type of reproduction process not covered by paragraphs Actual direct cost to the Agency (0)(1) or (2) of this section to produce a copy in a form reasonably usable by the requester. | as defined in $ 1.555(a)(2) of

this part to the extent that it pertains to the cost of duplica tion.

NOTE. Fees for any activities other than duplication by any type of reproducing process will be assessed under the provisions of $1.526(i) or (j) of this part of any other applicable law.)

(g) When VA benefit records, which are retrievable by name or individual identifier of a VA beneficiary or applicant for VA benefits, are requested by the individual to whom the record per

tains, the duplication fee for one complete set of such records will be waived. (Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a(f)(5)) (38 U.S.C. 5017 (40 FR 33944, Aug. 12, 1975, as amended at 47 FR 16323, Apr. 16, 1982; 53 FR 10380, Mar. 31, 1988; 55 FR 21546, May 25, 1990)



$1.579 Amendment of records.

(a) Any individual may request amendment of any Department of Veterans Affairs record pertaining to him

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