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<DOC>
[2001 Privacy Act]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access]


[Page 36614]



   #.SPECIAL COUNSEL OFFICE


   #..OSC/GOVT-1

   #....System name: 

       OSC/GOVT-1, OSC Complaint, Litigation and Political Activity 
   Files.
     System location: 
       Human and Administrative Resources Management Branch, U.S. Office 
   of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 201, Washington, DC 
   20036-4505.
     Categories of individuals covered by the system: 
       The principal categories of individuals covered by the system are 
   persons filing allegations of prohibited personnel practices, 
   improper political activity, or other prohibited activities; persons 
   identified as engaging or participating in such practices or 
   activities; persons filing disclosures of alleged wrongdoing by 
   federal agencies, and persons identified as engaging or participating 
   in such wrongdoing; persons requesting advisory opinions on political 
   activity; persons charged by OSC in disciplinary action complaints 
   filed by OSC with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB); and 
   plaintiffs seeking remedies against OSC in litigation related to the 
   performance of its official functions.
     Categories of records in the system: 
       Correspondence with persons (or their representatives) filing 
   allegations of prohibited personnel practices, improper political 
   activity, or other prohibited activities; correspondence with other 
   agencies, entities, or individuals referring matters to OSC for 
   review and/or investigation; exhibits and other documentation from 
   complainants, governmental entities or other third parties; interview 
   records, including notes, summaries, or transcripts; affidavits; 
   reports or other summaries of investigation; factual and legal 
   summaries and analyses; administrative determinations; referrals to 
   other agencies for appropriate action; records created or compiled in 
   connection with litigation by or against OSC, or pertinent to OSC 
   operations; requests and decisions under the Freedom of Information 
   and/or Privacy Acts; and other correspondence and documents arising 
   out of the performance of official OSC functions under 5 U.S.C. 1211-
   1221, 1501-1508, and 7321-7326; 38 U.S.C. 4324, and other applicable 
   law or regulation.
     Authority for maintenance of the system: 
       5 U.S.C. 552, 552a, 1211-1221, 1501-1508, and 7321-7326; and 38 
   U.S.C. 4324.
     Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including 
   categories of users and the purposes of such uses: 
       a. To disclose the fact that an allegation of prohibited 
   personnel practices or other prohibited activity has been filed;
       b. To disclose information to the Office of Personnel Management 
   (OPM) pursuant to Civil Service Rule 5.4 (5 CFR 5.4), or to obtain an 
   advisory opinion concerning the application or effect of civil 
   service laws, rules, regulations or OPM guidelines in particular 
   situations;
       c. To disclose to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or 
   any other agency or office concerned with the enforcement of the 
   anti-discrimination laws, information concerning any allegation or 
   complaint of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, 
   national origin, age, or handicapping condition;
       d. To disclose information to the MSPB or the President upon the 
   filing or referral of a disciplinary action complaint against an 
   employee on the basis of an OSC investigation;
       e. To disclose information to an agency, the MSPB, OPM, and the 
   President reporting, under 5 U.S.C. 1214, the results of 
   investigations which disclose reasonable grounds to believe a 
   prohibited personnel practice has occurred, exists, or is to be 
   taken;
       f. To disclose information to Congress in connection with the 
   submission of an annual report on activities of the Special Counsel;
       g. To disclose information to any agency or person regarding 
   allegations of prohibited personnel practices or other prohibited 
   activity or prohibited political activity filed against an agency or 
   any employee thereof, for the purposes of conducting an 
   investigation, in transmitting information to an agency under 5 
   U.S.C. 1213(c)(1) and the OSC procedures established thereunder; or 
   to give notice of the status or outcome of the investigation;
       h. To disclose information to any source from which additional 
   information is requested (to the extent necessary to identify the 
   individual, inform the source of the purpose(s) of the request, and 
   to identify the type of information requested), where necessary to 
   obtain information relevant to an agency decision concerning the 
   hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security 
   clearance, the conducting of a security or suitability investigation 
   of an individual, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a 
   license, grant, or other benefit;
       i. To disclose information to the Office of Management and Budget 
   (OMB) at any stage in the legislative coordination and clearance 
   process in connection with private relief legislation, as set forth 
   in OMB Circular No. A-19;
       j. To provide information to a congressional office from the 
   record of an individual in response to an inquiry from that 
   congressional office (made at the request of that individual);
       k. To furnish information to the National Archives and Records 
   Administration (NARA) in records management inspections conducted 
   under authority of 44 U.S.C. 2904 and 2906;
       l. To produce summary descriptive statistics and analytical 
   studies in support of the function for which the records are 
   collected and maintained or for related work force studies;
       m. To disclose records to the Department of Justice (DOJ) when:
       (1) The OSC, or
       (2) Any employee of the OSC in his or her official capacity, or
       (3) Any employee of the OSC in his or her individual capacity 
   where the DOJ has agreed to represent the employee, or
       (4) The United States, where the OSC determines that litigation 
   is likely to affect the OSC, is a party to litigation or has an 
   interest in such litigation, and the use of such records by the DOJ 
   is deemed by the OSC to be relevant and necessary to the litigation, 
   provided, however, that the OSC determines that disclosure of the 
   records to the DOJ is a use of the information contained in the 
   records that is compatible with the purpose for which the records 
   were collected;
       n. To disclose records maintained by the OSC in a proceeding 
   before a court or adjudicative body before which the OSC is 
   authorized to appear, when:
       (1) The OSC, or
       (2) Any employee of the OSC in his or her official capacity,
       (3) Any employee of the OSC in his or her individual capacity 
   where the OSC has agreed to represent the employee, or
       (4) The United States, where the OSC determines that litigation 
   is likely to affect the OSC, is a party to litigation or has an 
   interest in such litigation, and the OSC determines that use of such 
   records is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, 
   however, that the OSC determines that disclosure of the records is a 
   use of the information contained in the records that is compatible 
   with the purpose for which the records were collected;
       o. To disclose information to the MSPB to aid in the conduct of 
   special studies by the Board under 5 U.S.C. 1204(a)(3);
       p. To disclose information to the Office of Inspector General 
   (OIG) or comparable internal inspection, audit, or oversight office 
   of an agency for the purpose of facilitating the coordination and 
   conduct of investigations and review of allegations within the 
   purview of both the OSC and the agency OIG or comparable office;
       q. To disclose information to the news media and the public when 
   (1) the matter under investigation has become public knowledge, (2) 
   the Special Counsel determines that disclosure is necessary to 
   preserve confidence in the integrity of the OSC investigative process 
   or is necessary to demonstrate the accountability of OSC officers, 
   employees, or individuals covered by this system, or (3) the Special 
   Counsel determines that there exists a legitimate public interest 
   (e.g., to demonstrate that the law is being enforced, or to deter the 
   commission of prohibited personnel practices, prohibited political 
   activity, and other prohibited activity within the OSC's 
   jurisdiction), except to the extent that the Special Counsel 
   determines in any of these situations that disclosure of specific 
   information in the context of a particular case would constitute an 
   unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; and
       r. To disclose information to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 
   about OSC's referral of a complaint alleging a violation of veterans 
   preference requirements to DOL for further action under the Veterans' 
   Employment Opportunities Act of 1998; to disclose information to DOL 
   or any agency or person as needed to develop relevant information 
   about matters referred by DOL to OSC under 38 U.S.C. 4324 (the 
   Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994)the 
   Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994; to 
   disclose information to DOL or any agency or person as needed to 
   advise on the status or disposition of matters referred by DOL to OSC 
   for disciplinary action under 5 U.S.C. 1215, or litigation under 38 
   U.S.C. 4324.
     Policies and practices for storage, retrieving, accessing, 
   retaining and disposing of records in the system: 
     Storage: 
       These records are stored in a variety of media, primarily 
   consisting of file folders, and computer storage equipment.
     Retrievability: 
       Files in this system of records are retrievable by the names of 
   key individuals or agencies involved (e.g., complainants or 
   requesters; subjects identified in corrective action or disciplinary 
   proceedings, warning letters, or other determinations; legal, 
   congressional, or other representatives or points of contact; or key 
   witnesses), although files are generally retrieved by the name of: 
   (a) The complainant alleging a prohibited personnel practice, or 
   other prohibited activity; (b) the alleged subject of a complaint 
   about prohibited political activity; (c) the person filing an 
   allegation through the OSC whistleblower disclosure channel; (d) the 
   name of the person filing a request for an advisory opinion on 
   political activity; (e) the name of the person on whose behalf OSC 
   seeks corrective action, or the person against whom OSC seeks 
   disciplinary action, in litigation before the MSPB; and (f) the 
   plaintiff in litigation against OSC.
     Safeguards: 
       These records are located in lockable file cabinets or in secured 
   areas. The required use of computer password protection 
   identification features and other system protection methods also 
   restrict access. Access is limited to those agency personnel who have 
   an official need for access to perform their duties.
     Retention and disposal: 
       NARA keeps records about prohibited personnel practices and other 
   prohibited activity for three years after the matter or case is 
   closed, or for six years if the file has been the subject of a 
   Freedom of Information Act request.

[[Page 36614]]

   NARA is responsible for disposal of OSC records pursuant to law and 
   regulation.
     System manager(s) and address: 
       The official responsible for records management functions 
   associated with OSC program and administrative files, including those 
   in the OSC/GOVT-1 system of records, is the Records Management 
   Officer, Human and Administrative Resources Management Branch, U.S. 
   Office of Special Counsel, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 201, Washington, 
   DC 20036-4505.
     Notification procedure: 
       Individuals who wish to inquire whether this system contains 
   information about them should contact the system manager. To assist 
   in the process of locating and identifying records, individuals 
   should furnish the following:
       a. Name and address;
       b. Date and place of birth;
       c. Social Security number;
       d. A description of the circumstances under which records may 
   have been included in the system.
     Record access procedures: 
       Same as notification procedure, above.
     Contesting record procedures: 
       Individuals who wish to contest records about them should contact 
   the system manager, identify any information they believe should be 
   corrected, and furnish a statement of the basis for the requested 
   correction along with all available supporting documents and 
   materials.
     Record source categories: 
       Information in this system of records is obtained from a variety 
   of sources, consisting of complainants or others on whose behalf 
   allegations, or requests for information, have been submitted or 
   referred to OSC; legal, congressional, or other representatives or 
   points of contact; other government bodies; witnesses and subjects in 
   matters under review; principals involved in litigation matters, 
   including parties and their representatives; and other persons or 
   entities furnishing information pertinent to the discharge of 
   functions for which OSC is responsible.
     Exemptions claimed for the system:
       a. Complaint, Litigation and Political Activity files containing 
   investigatory material compiled by OSC for law enforcement purposes 
   are exempt to the extent allowed under subsections (k)(2) and (5) of 
   the Privacy Act. This exemption is necessary to protect confidential 
   sources and facilitate the voluntary cooperation of witnesses during 
   inquiries into allegations of prohibited personnel practices or other 
   prohibited activities.
       b. Testing or examination material compiled by OSC solely to 
   determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in 
   the Federal service is exempt to the extent allowed under subsection 
   (k)(6) of the Privacy Act. This exemption is necessary to prevent the 
   disclosure of information that would potentially give an individual 
   an unfair competitive advantage or diminish the utility of 
   established examination procedures.
       c. OSC reserves the right to assert exemptions for records 
   received from another agency that could be properly claimed by that 
   agency in responding to a request, and OSC may refuse access to 
   information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or 
   proceeding, pursuant to subsection (d)(5) of the Privacy Act.

   #.SPECIAL COUNSEL OFFICE


SPECIAL COUNSEL OFFICE

5 CFR PART 1830--PRIVACY

Sec.

1830.1  Access to records and identification.
1830.2  Medical records.
1830.3  Requests for amendment of records.
1830.4  Appeals.
1830.5  Exemptions.

  Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552a(f), 1212(g).
  Source: 54 FR 47344, Nov. 14, 1989.


   Sec. 1830.1  Access to records and identification.

  (a) Individuals may request access to records pertaining to them that 
are maintained as described in the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, by 
addressing an inquiry to the Office of Special Counsel either by mail or 
by appearing in person at the Office of Special Counsel at 1120 Vermont 
Avenue, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005, during business hours on a 
regular business day. Requests in writing should be clearly and 
prominently marked ``Privacy Act Request.'' Requests for copies of 
records shall be subject to duplication fees set forth in Sec. 1820.6 of 
this chapter.
  (b) Individuals making a request in person shall be required to 
present satisfactory proof of identity, preferably a document bearing 
the individual's photograph. Requests by mail or submitted other than in 
person should contain sufficient information to enable the Office of 
Special Counsel to determine that the requester and the subject of the 
record are one and the same. To assist in this process, individuals 
should submit their names and addresses, dates and places of birth, 
social security number, and any other known identifying information such 
as an agency file number or identification number and a description of 
the circumstances under which the records were compiled.

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