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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
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Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC)

Resumption of Data Sharing with USPS

The Department of Labor (DOL)'s Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) is pleased to announce that its dispute with the United States Postal Service (USPS) concerning ownership and appropriate use of Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) records has been resolved. Both agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and other documents necessary to re-instate the electronic exchange of information and to resume transfer of FECA information and documents to USPS. We are pleased that we have reached an amicable resolution of this dispute and intend to proceed in a spirit of cooperation with USPS moving forward. As such, we look forward to continuing to work with USPS to improve the administration of FECA and deliver to its employees the benefits intended by the Act for work-related injury or illness.

BACKGROUND:

The Department of Labor (DOL)'s Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) is required to gather information on individuals in order to fulfill its mission of administering the workers' compensation program for federal employees. This includes collection of personal and medical information under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). The FECA, which is administered by the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) within OWCP, provides a variety of benefits to federal civilian employees who sustain workplace injury or illness. As the administrator of the FECA, OWCP has the exclusive authority to control access to and disclosure of FECA records, including those in the possession of the federal agencies who employ our injured workers.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) disputed OWCPs ownership of FECA records and the proper use of them under the Privacy Act. As a result, OWCP suspended USPSs access to FECA data and records on July 1, 2013. Specifically, OWCP suspended the electronic transfer of FECA information and documents to USPS, USPS access to the Agency Query System, and access to specific case documents through electronic kiosks in DFEC District Offices. In addition, we limited access to copies of correspondence sent to a claimant. We took this step in order to protect the privacy of our injured workers but remained committed to minimizing the impact of this decision on USPS employees.