Skip to page content
Office of the Solicitor
Bookmark and Share

Privacy Act Systems - DOL/OIG-6

DOL/OIG-6

SYSTEM NAME:

Hotline and Complaints Analysis Files.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

Unclassified but sensitive information used for law enforcement purposes.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

Complainants, federal and other public employees, contractors and subcontractors, grantees and sub-grantees, benefits claimants, alleged violators of federal, state, and local laws, regulations and policies, union officers, trustees of benefit plans, and employers.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

The system contains records of complaints and allegations of waste, fraud, abuse, and violations of laws, regulations, and policies; complaint letters; referrals to federal, state, and local agencies; tracking information regarding referrals; summary information for indexing and cross referencing; reports and associated materials filed with the Department of Labor (DOL) or other government agencies from medical providers, grantees, contractors, employers, insurance companies, and other sources; other evidence and background material relating to complaints existing in any form.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 3.

PURPOSE(S):

This system is established and maintained to fulfill the purposes of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, and to fulfill the responsibilities assigned by that Act concerning receipt of complaints and other information from which audits, investigations, inspections, and evaluations may develop. The OIG initiates investigations, audits, inspections, and evaluations of individuals, entities and programs. This system is the repository of complaint information documented and reviewed for investigative merit, referral for investigation, referral for auditing, referral to DOL program agencies or other public agencies, or no action.

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

a. Referral to federal, state, local and foreign investigative and/or prosecutive authorities. A record from a system of records, which indicates either by itself or in combination with other information within the agency's possession, a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or administrative, and whether arising from general statute or particular program statute, or by regulation, rule or order issued pursuant thereto, may be disclosed as a routine use, to the appropriate federal, foreign, state, or local agency or professional organization, charged with responsibility for investigating or prosecuting such violation or charged with enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation, or order.

b. Introduction to a grand jury. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a grand jury agent pursuant to either to a federal or state grand jury subpoena or to a prosecution request that such record be released for the purpose of its introduction to a grand jury.

c. Referral to federal, state, local or professional licensing boards. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to any governmental, professional, or licensing authority when such record relates to qualifications, including moral, educational or vocational qualifications, of an individual seeking to be licensed or to maintain a license.

d. Disclosure to a contractor, grantee, or other direct or indirect recipient of federal funds. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to any direct or indirect recipient of federal funds where such record reflects inadequacies with respect to a recipient's activities, organization, or personnel, and disclosure of the record is made to permit the recipient to take corrective action beneficial to the Government.

e. Disclosure to any source, either private or governmental, to the extent necessary to solicit information relevant to any investigation or other matters related to the responsibilities of the Office of Inspector General (OIG). A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to any source, either private or governmental, to the extent necessary to secure from such source information relevant to and sought in furtherance of an investigation or other matters related to the responsibilities of the OIG.

f. Disclosure for personnel or other action. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a federal, state, local, foreign, or international agency, for their use in connection with the assignment, hiring, or retention of an individual, issuance of a security clearance, letting of a contract, or issuance of a license, grant or other benefit, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to such agency's decision on the matter, or to solicit information from the federal, state, local, foreign, or international agency, for the OIG's use in connection with the assignment, hiring, or retention of an individual, issuance of a security clearance, letting of a contract, or issuance of a license, grant or other benefit.

g. Disclosure to an entity hearing a contract protest or dispute. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to the United States Government Accountability Office, a Board of Contract Appeals, the Court of Federal Claims, or other court or tribunal, in connection with bid protest cases or contract dispute cases.

h. Disclosure to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act advice. Information from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to OMB or DOJ in order to obtain advice regarding statutory and other requirements under the FOIA or Privacy Act.

i. Disclosure to the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and DOJ in pursuance of an ex parte court order to obtain taxpayer information from the IRS. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to Treasury and DOJ when the OIG seeks an ex parte court order to obtain taxpayer information from the Internal Revenue Service.

j. Disclosure to a consumer reporting agency in order to obtain relevant investigatory information. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to a "consumer reporting agency" as that term is defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f) and the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3)), for the purposes of obtaining information in the course of an investigation, or other matters related to the responsibilities of the OIG.

k. Disclosure in accordance with computer matching laws, regulations, and/or guidelines. A record may be disclosed to a federal, state, or local agency for use in computer matching programs to prevent and detect fraud and abuse in benefit programs administered by those agencies, to support civil and criminal law enforcement activities of those agencies and their components, and to collect debts and overpayments owed to the agencies and their components. This routine use does not provide unrestricted access to records for such law enforcement and related anti-fraud activities; each request for disclosure will be considered in light of the applicable legal and administrative requirements of a computer matching program or procedure.

l. Disclosure to any law enforcement agency for inclusion in a database, system, or process. A record from a system of records may be disclosed, as a routine use, to any law enforcement agency for inclusion in a database, system, or process designed to generate investigative leads and information to be used for law enforcement purposes. This routine use also permits the disclosure of such records to any law enforcement agency with responsibility for investigating any investigative leads or information generated by the database, system, or other process in which the records were included.

m. Disclosure to any inspector general, receiver, trustee, or other overseer of any entity with respect to matters within the investigative jurisdiction of DOL or the DOL OIG. A record from this system of records may be disclosed to any individual or entity with responsibility for oversight or management of any entity with respect to matters within the investigative jurisdiction of DOL or the DOL OIG. This would include, but not be limited to, any receiver, trustee, or established inspector general, whether court appointed or otherwise, that has been duly granted authority for oversight of an entity with respect to matters within the investigative authority of DOL or the DOL OIG.

n. Information may be disclosed to complainants and victims to the extent necessary to provide them with information concerning the process or results of the investigation or case arising from the matter about which they complained or were the victim.

o. Information may be disclosed to other Federal Offices of Inspector General and/or to the President's Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency for purposes of conducting the external review process required by the Homeland Security Act.

p. Disclosure to appropriate agencies, entities and persons when: 1.) it is suspected or confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised; 2.) it has been determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by the Department or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information, and; 3.) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with DOL's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy any harm.

DISCLOSURE TO CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES:

Records from this system are not disclosed to consumer reporting agencies for credit rating or related purposes.

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OR RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

Files are stored electronically and/or on paper.

RETRIEVABILITY:

Paper files are retrieved by case number. Electronic files are retrieved by case number, case name, subject, cross referenced item, or batch retrieval applications.

SAFEGUARDS:

Access by authorized personnel only. Computer security safeguards are used for electronically stored data and locked locations for paper files.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

Records are retained and disposed of in accordance with the schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

Counsel to the Inspector General, Office of Legal Services, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

Inquiries should be mailed to the System Manager.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:

A request for access should be mailed to the System Manager.

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

A petition for amendment should be mailed o the System Manager.

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

Information contained in this system is obtained from individual complainants and other individuals possessing relevant information, Federal, state and local government records, individual and company records, court records, publicly available articles, websites, financial data, corporate information, and other sources that may arise.

SYSTEMS EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

The Secretary of Labor has promulgated regulations which exempt information contained in this system of records from various provisions of the Privacy Act depending upon the purpose for which the information was gathered and for which it will be used. The various law enforcement purposes and the reasons for the exemptions are as follows:

a. Criminal Law Enforcement: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), information compiled for this purpose is exempt from all of the provisions of the Privacy Act except the following sections: (b), (c)(1) and (2), (e) (4)(A) through (F), (e)(6), (7),(9),(10), and (11), and (i). This material is exempt because the disclosure and other requirements of the Privacy Act would substantially compromise the efficacy and integrity of OIG operations in a number of ways. The disclosure of even the existence of these files would be problematic. Disclosure could enable suspects to take action to prevent detection of criminal activities, conceal evidence, or escape prosecution. Required disclosure of information contained in this system could lead to the intimidation of, or harm to, informants, witnesses and their respective families or OIG personnel and their families. Disclosure could invade the privacy of individuals other than subjects and disclose their identity when confidentially was promised or impliedly promised to them. Disclosure could interfere with the integrity of information which would otherwise be privileged (see, e.g., 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5)), and which could interfere with the integrity of other important law enforcement concerns: (see, e.g., 5 U.S.C.552 (b)(7)).

The requirement that only relevant and necessary information be included in a criminal investigative file is contrary to investigative practice which requires a full and complete inquiry and exhaustion of all potential sources of information. See, 5 U.S.C. 552 a(e)(1).

Similarly, maintaining only those records which are accurate, relevant, timely and complete and which assure fairness in a determination is contrary to established investigative techniques. See, 5 U.S.C. 552 a (e) (5). Requiring investigators to obtain information to the greatest extent practicable directly from the subject individual also would be counter-productive to the thorough performance of clandestine criminal investigations. See, 5 U.S.C. 552 a(e) (2). Finally, providing notice to an individual interviewed of the authority of the interviewer, the purpose which the information provided may be used, the routine uses of that information, and the effect upon the individual should he/she choose not to provide the information sought, could discourage the free flow of information in a criminal law enforcement inquiry. 5 U.S.C. 552 a(e)(3).

b. Other law enforcement: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552 a(k)(2), investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes (to the extent it is not already exempted by 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2)), is exempted from the following provisions of the Privacy Act: (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H) and (I), and (f). This material is exempt because the disclosure and other requirements of the Act could substantially compromise the efficacy and integrity of OIG operations. Disclosure could invade the privacy of other individuals and disclose their identity when they were expressly promised confidentiality. Disclosure could interfere with the integrity of information which would otherwise be subject to privileges, see e.g., 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5) and which could interfere with other important law enforcement concerns. See, e.g., 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7).

c. Contract Investigations: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5), investigatory material compiled solely for the purpose of determining integrity, suitability, eligibility, qualifications, or employment under a DOL contract is exempt from the following sections of the Privacy Act: (c)(3), (d),(e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), (I) and (f). This exemption was obtained in order to protect from disclosure the identity of confidential sources when an express promise of confidentiality has been given in order to obtain information from sources that would otherwise be unwilling to provide necessary information.