« PreviousContinue »
identity of confidential sources and reveal confidential information supplied by these sources.
(iii) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4)(I) requires the publication of the categories of sources of records in each system of records. The application of this provision could disclose sufficient information to disclose the identity of a confidential source and cause sources to refrain from giving such information because of fear of reprisal, or fear of breach of promises of anonymity and confidentiality. This would compromise the ability to conduct background suitability investigations.
(iv) 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(1) requires each agency to maintain in its records only such information about an individual that is relevant and necessary to accomplish a purpose of the agency required by statute or Executive order. This system of records is exempt from the foregoing provision because:
(A) It is not possible to detect relevance and necessity of specific information from a confidential source in the early stages of an investigation.
(B) Relevance and necessity are questions of judgment and timing. What appears relevant and necessary when collected may ultimately be determined to be unnecessary. It is only after the information is evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be established regarding suitability for VA approval as a fee appraiser or compliance inspector.
(C) In interviewing persons or obtaining other forms of evidence during an investigation for suitability for VA approval, information may be supplied to the investigator which relates to matters incidental to the main purpose of the investigation but which is appropriate in a thorough investigation. Oftentimes, such information cannot readily be segregated and disclosure might jeopardize the identity of a confidential source.
(d) Exemption of Police and Security Records. VA provides limited access to one Security and Law Enforcement System of Records, Police and Security Records—VA (103VA07B).
(1) The investigations records and reports contained in this System of Records are exempted (pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2) of the Privacy Act of
1974] from Privacy Act subsections (c)(3) and (c)(4); (d); (e)(1) through (e)(3), (e)(4)(G) through (e)(4)(I), (e) 5 and (e)(8); (f); and (g); in addition, they are exempted (pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2) of the Privacy Act of 1974 from Privacy Act subsections (CX3L (d); (e)(1), (e)(4)(G) through (e)(4)(I); and (f).
(2) These records contained in the Po lice and Security Records_VA (103VA076B) are exempted for the following reasons:
(i) The application of Privacy Act subsection (c)(3) would alert subjects to the existence of the investigation and reveal that they are subjects of that investigation. Providing subjects with information concerning the nature of the investigation could result in alteration or destruction of evidence which is obtained from third parties, improper influencing of witnesses, and other activities that could impede or compromise the investigation.
(ii) The application of Privacy Ac: subsections (c)(4); (d); (e)(4)(G) and (e)(4)(H); (f); and (g) could interfere with investigative and enforcement proceedings, threaten the safety of individuals who have cooperated with authorities, constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of others. disclose the identity of confidential sources, reveal confidential information supplied by these sources, and disclose investigative techniques and procedures.
(iii) The application of Privacy Act subsection (e)(4)(I) could disclose investigative techniques and procedures and cause sources to refrain from giving such information because of fear of reprisal, or fear of breach of promises of anonymity and confidentiality. This could compromise the ability to conduct investigations and to identify, detect and apprehend violators. Even though the agency has claimed an exemption from this particular requirement, it still plans to generally identify the categories of records and the sources of these records in this system. However, for the reason stated in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, this exemption is still being cited in the event an individual wants to know a specific source of information.
(iv) These records contained in the Police and Security Records—VA (103V A076B) are exempt from Privacy Act subsection (e)(1) because it is not possible to detect the relevance or necessity of specific information in the early stages of a criminal or other investigation. Relevance and necessity are questions of judgment and timing. What appears relevant and necessary may ultimately be determined to be unnecessary. It is only after the information is evaluated that the relevance and necessity of such information can be established. In any investigation, the Office of Security and Law Enforcement may obtain information concerning violations of laws other than those within the scope of its jurisdiction. In the interest of effective law enforcement, the Office of Security and Law Enforcement should retain this information as it may aid in establishing patterns of criminal activity and provide leads for those law enforcement agencies charged with enforcing other segments of civil or criminal law.
(v) The application of Privacy Act subsection (e)(2) would impair investigations of illegal acts, violations of the rules of conduct, merit system and any other misconduct for the following reasons:
(A) In order to successfully verify a complaint, most information about a complainant or an individual under investigation must be obtained from third parties such as witnesses and informers. It is not feasible to rely upon the subject of the investigation as a source for information regarding his/ her activities because of the subject's rights against self-incrimination and because of the inherent unreliability of the suspect's statements. Similarly, it is not always feasible to rely upon the complainant as a source of information regarding his/her involvement in an investigation.
(B) The subject of an investigation will be alerted to the existence of an investigation if an attempt is made to obtain information from the subject. This would afford the individual the opportunity to conceal any criminal activities to avoid apprehension.
(vi) The reasons for exempting these records in the Police and Security
Records—VA (103VA07B) from Privacy Act subsection (e)(3) are as follows:
(A) The disclosure to the subject of the purposes of the investigation would provide the subject with substantial information relating to the nature of the investigation and could impede or compromise the investigation.
(B) Informing the complainant or the subject of the information required by this provision could seriously interfere with undercover activities, jeopardize the identities of undercover agents and impair their safety, and impair the successful conclusion of the investigation.
(C) Individuals may be contacted during preliminary information gathering in investigations before any individual is identified as the subject of an investigation. Informing the individual of the matters required by this provision would hinder or adversely affect any present or subsequent investigations.
(vii) Since the Privacy Act defines "maintain” to include the collection of information, complying with subsection (e)(5) would prevent the collection of any data not shown to be accurate, relevant, timely, and complete at the moment of its collection. In gathering information during the course of an investigation, it is not always possible to make this determination prior to collecting the information. Facts are first gathered and then placed into a logical order which objectively proves or disproves criminal behavior on the part of the suspect. Material that may seem unrelated, irrelevant, incomplete, untimely, etc., may take on added meaning as an investigation progresses. The restrictions in this provision could interfere with the preparation of a complete investigative report.
(viii) The notice requirement of Privacy Act subsection (e)(8) could prematurely reveal an ongoing criminal investigation to the subject of the investigation. (Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a (j) and (k); 38 U.S.C. 501) [48 FR 29847, June 29, 1983, as amended at 68 FR 35298, June 13, 2003]
INVENTIONS BY EMPLOYEES OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
(b) Ownership in and to inventions arising under Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) pursuant to 15 USC 3710a shall be governed by the provisions of the pertinent CRADA, as authorized by the Federal Technology Transfer Act. (Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3710a; 37 CFR part 501) [61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996)
AUTHORITY: Sections 1.650 to 1.666 issued under sect. 1, 66 Stat. 811, 72 Stat. 1114; 35 U.S.C. 266; 15 U.S.C. 3710a; 38 U.S.C. 501; E.O. 10096, E.O. 10930, 15 FR 389; 3 CFR 1949–1953 Comp.
$ 1.650 Purpose.
The purpose of these regulations is to prescribe the procedure to be followed in determining and protecting the respective rights of the United States Government and of Department of Veterans Affairs employees who make inventions. [21 FR 10377, Dec. 28, 1956, as amended at 61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996)
$ 1.653 Delegation of authority.
The General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel or Assistant General Counsel for Professional Staff Group IV is authorized to act for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs in matters concerning patents and inventions, unless otherwise required by law. The determination of rights to an invention as between the Government and the employee where there is no cooperative research and development agreement shall be made by the General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel or the Assistant General Counsel for Professional Staff Group IV, in accordance with 37 CFR part 500. [62 FR 14822, Mar. 28, 1997)
$ 1.651 Definitions.
The terms as used in the regulations concerning inventions by employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs are defined as follows:
(a) The term invention includes any art, machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be pat entable under the patent laws of the United States.
(b) The term employee or Government employee means any officer or employee, civilian or military, of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Parttime, without compensation (WOC) employees and part-time consultants are included.
(c) The term Secretary of Commerce means the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology. [21 FR 10377, Dec. 28, 1956, as amended at 31 FR 5291, Apr. 2, 1966; 61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996)
$1.654 Patenting of inventions.
Any invention owned by the Government under the criteria as set forth in 37 CFR 501.6 should be protected by an application for a domestic patent and other necessary documents executed by the employee inventor prepared by or through the General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel or Assistant General Counsel for Professional Staff Group IV, unless some other agency has primary interest or it is decided to dedicate the invention to the public. Such dedication requires approval of the Secretary of Commerce. Applications on behalf of the Government for foreign patents may be made if determined to be in the public interest. The payment of necessary expenses in connection with any application filed or patent obtained under this section by the Department of Veterans Affairs is authorized. (31 FR 5291, Apr. 2, 1966, as amended at 54 FR 26027, June 21, 1989; 61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996; 62 FR 14822, Mar. 28, 1997]
8 1.652 Criteria for determining rights
to employee inventions. (a) The criteria to be applied in determining the respective rights of the Government and of the employee-inventor in and to any invention subject to these provisions shall be in accordance with the Uniform Patent Policy regulations found at 37 CFR 501.6 and 501.7.
$1.655 Government license in inven- date of the invention; when and where tion of employee.
it was conceived, constructed and testIf an invention is made by an em
ed; whether it was made entirely durployee and it is determined that the
ing working hours; whether, and to employee inventor is entitled to full what extent there was a contribution ownership under 37 CFR 501.6, subject by the Government of any of the folto a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty- lowing: Facilities; equipment; matefree license in the Government with rials or supplies; funds; information; power to grant sublicenses for all Gov- time or services of other Government ernmental purposes, it shall be the employees on duty. When the invention duty of the employee inventor to no- is disclosed through publication, or in tify the Office of General Counsel of consultation with a manufacturer or the status of the patent application, in attorney, simultaneous notification of cluding the patent application number, the publication shall be given to the so that the Department may protect Office of General Counsel. A copy of the interests reserved to the Govern
the article will accompany the notifi
cation. [61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996)
(b) The inventor's immediate supe
rior shall promptly review the state$ 1.656 Information to be submitted by ment of the employee inventor for inventor.
completeness and accuracy, and shall (a) In the case of an invention or be certify that the employee's statement lieved invention, the inventor will pre of circumstances attending the invenpare a statement for submission to his tion is or is not correct, giving reasons or her immediate superior. It will be if pertinent. The file should then be submitted regardless of where the own
submitted through the facility head (or ership is believed to exist. The state
administration heads or top staff offiment will consist of two parts:
cials in the case of Central Office em(1) One part of the statement will be
ployees) to the General Counsel toa disclosure of the invention sufficient
gether with any comments or recto permit the preparation of a patent
ommendations. applicant. It shall consist of a description, including where applicable, of the (61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996) parts or components of the invention as shown on the drawings or blueprints, $ 1.657 Determination of rights. accompanied further by a description The General Counsel, Deputy General
the construction and operation of Counsel or Assistant General Counsel the invention. Photographs of the in
for Professional Staff Group IV will vention may be included. The inventor
make a determination of rights subject should state pertinent prior art known
to review where required by the Secto him or her, and set forth in detail as
retary of Commerce. The determinaclearly as possible the respects which
tion will be in accordance with 37 CFR his or her invention differs.
501.7. (2) The other part of the statement will set forth the circumstances at- [61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996, as amended at 62 tending the making of the invention. It FR 14822, Mar. 28, 1997) will include the full name and address
his or her position; whether full time or part time; his or her duties at the time the invention was made; the facts pertinent to a determination whether the invention bore a direct relation to or was made in consequence of such official duties; whether there was, and if so, the terms of any special agreement or understanding with respect to use or manufacture of his or her invention;
In accordance with 37 CFR 501.8, the employee has a right of appeal to the Secretary of Commerce within 30 days of receipt of the Department's determination of ownership rights. The decision reached by the Secretary of Commerce will be communicated to the employee. (61 FR 29658, June 12, 1996)
$ 1.659 Relationship to incentive shall be a condition of employment of awards program.
all employees. Procedures set out in the regulations (21 FR 10378, Dec. 28, 1956. Redesignated at 61 concerning inventions by employees of FR 29659, June 12, 1996) the Department of Veterans Affairs are not affected by the submission or pro- $1.663 Licensing of Governmentposed submission of an employee sug owned inventions. gestion or idea on an item which may
(a) The licensing of Governmentbe patentable. Consideration of an item
owned inventions under VA control and for a determination of ownership rights
custody will be conducted pursuant to and also for an incentive award will
the regulations on the licensing of Govproceed simultaneously, usually on
ernment-owned inventions contained in separate correspondence. An employee
37 CFR part 404, and 15 U.S.C. 3710a, as suggestion or copies and extracts of the file may be forwarded to the General
appropriate. Counsel by the reviewing or awarding
(b) Any person whose application for authority, or by the facility head, for a license in an invention under VA conan ownership determination where the trol and custody has been denied, employee idea or suggestion involves whose license in such an invention has an invention. The employee shall be di- been modified or terminated, in whole rected to submit a disclosure of inven or in part; or who timely filed a writtion in accordance with these regula ten objection in response to a proposal tions if such has not been previously to grant an exclusive or partially exsubmitted.
clusive license in an invention under (31 FR 5291, Apr. 2, 1966, as amended at 61 FR
VA control or custody, may, if dam29659, June 12, 1996)
aged, appeal any decision or deter
mination concerning the grant, denial, $ 1.660 Expeditious handling.
interpretation, modification, or termiNo patent may be granted where the
nation of a license to the Secretary of
Veterans Affairs. Such appeal shall be invention has been in public use or publicly disclosed for more than one
in writing; shall set forth with speciyear before filing of a patent applica
ficity the basis of the appeal; and shall tion. Hence, submissions involving in
be postmarked not later than 60 days ventions should be made as promptly
after the action being appealed. Upon as possible in order to avoid delay request of the appellant, such appeal which might jeopardize title to the in may be considered by one to three pervention or impair the rights of the in sons appointed on a case-by-case basis ventor or the Government.
by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. [61 FR 29659, June 12, 1996)
Such a request will be granted only if
it accompanies the written appeal. Ap8 1.661 Information to be kept con
pellant may appear and be represented fidential.
by counsel before such a panel, which
will sit in Washington, DC. If the apAll information pertaining to inventions and pending patent applications
peal challenges a decision to grant an is confidential, and employees having
exclusive or partially exclusive license
in an invention under VA control or access to such information are forbidden to disclose or reveal the same ex
custody, the licensee shall be furnished cept as required in the performance of
a copy of the appeal, shall be given the their official duties.
opportunity to respond in writing, may
appear and be represented by counsel [21 FR 10378, Dec. 28, 1956. Redesignated at 61
at any hearing requested by appellant, FR 29659, June 12, 1996]
and may request a hearing if appellant $ 1.662 Provisions of regulations made
has not, under the same terms and cona condition of employment.
ditions, at which the appellant may
also appear and be represented by The provisions of the regulations concerning inventions by employees of
counsel. the Department of Veterans Affairs (61 FR 29659, June 12, 1996]