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Privacy Act System of Records: External Compliance Program Discrimination Complaint Files, System EPA-21

[excerpted from: Federal Register: January 4, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 2)]

System Name: External Compliance Program Discrimination Complaint Files.

System Location: Office of Civil Rights, Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System: Individuals who have filed, or had filed on their behalf, discrimination complaints against recipients of Federal financial assistance.

Categories of Records in the System: Letters or other documents initiating discrimination complaints, correspondence, internal memoranda and notes pertaining to the complaints; investigative reports and findings on the complaints; and related information concerning the complaints and investigations. A computerized case index includes cases by number, complainant (but not all complainants are identified because there are sometimes multiple complainants in a single case), and recipient.

Authority for Maintenance of the System (Includes any Revisions or Amendments): Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794; Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Pub. L. 92-500, section 13), 33 U.S.C. 1251 note; Title III of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.); Title VIII of the Federal Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601); Executive Orders 11246 (Sept. 24, 1965), 12250 (Nov. 2, 1980) and 12892 (Jan. 17, 1994); 40 CFR part 7.

Purpose(s): This file system is maintained to support and further the discrimination complaint process, including the investigation and resolution of complaints, and to assure compliance with the nondiscrimination laws by recipients of Federal financial assistance.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users, and the Purposes of Such Uses: General Routine Uses A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and K apply to this system. Records may also be disclosed:

  1. To the Department of Justice or other Federal and State agencies when necessary to complete an investigation, enforce the nondiscrimination statutes set forth in the Authority section of this Notice, or assure proper coordination between Federal agencies.
  2. To persons named as alleged discriminating officials to allow such persons the opportunity to respond to the allegations of discrimination made against them during the course of the discrimination complaint process.
  3. To any potential source of information when necessary to obtain information relevant to an OCR investigation of a discrimination complaint, but only to the extent necessary to inform the source of the Purpose(s) of the request and to identify the type of information requested.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System:

  • Storage: File folders. An index of cases is maintained on a computer database.

  • Retrievability: By name, case file number, or other characteristic.

  • Safeguards: Computer records are maintained in a secure, password protected computer system. Paper records are maintained in lockable file cabinets. All records are maintained in secure, access-controlled areas or buildings.

  • Retention and Disposal: The record schedule for these records is currently under review and will be submitted to the National Archives and Records Administration. Proposed retention: Files are retained in the office for one year after the final decision is written, sent to the Federal Records Center for nine years, then destroyed.

System Manager(s) and Address: Associate Director, Complaints Resolution and External Compliance Staff, Office of Civil Rights, Environmental Protection Agency, FOIA Office (MC-2822 T) Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.

Notification Procedures: Any individual who wants to know whether this system of records contains a record about him or her, who wants access to his or her record, or who wants to contest the contents of a record, should make a written request to the Freedom of Information Office.

Access Procedure: To the extent permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), this system has been exempted from the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 that permit access and correction. However, EPA may, in its discretion, fully grant individual requests for access and correction if it determines that the exercise of these rights will not interfere with an interest that the exemption is intended to protect. The exemption from access is limited in some instances by law to information that would reveal the identity of a confidential source. Requesters will be required to provide adequate identification, such as a driver's license, employee identification card, or other identifying document. Additional identification procedures may be required in some instances.

Contesting Procedure: Requests for correction or amendment must identify the record to be changed and the corrective action sought. Complete EPA Privacy Act procedures are set out in 40 CFR Part 16.

Record Source Categories: Complainants, recipients, witnesses, EPA investigators and/or contract investigators, other EPA personnel, and other persons with information relevant to the case.

Systems Exempted From Certain Provisions of the Act: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), this system is exempt from the following provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, subject to the limitations set forth in that subsection: 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3), (d), and (e)(1).

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