SSA issues proposed rule, notice of new system of records regarding Security and Suitability Files
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

SSA issues proposed rule, notice of new system of records regarding Security and Suitability Files

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

The SSA has issued a proposed rulemaking to remove two systems of records listed in its exemptions from the Privacy Act, which do not actually exist, and replace them with a new exemption, separately published in the November 15, 2018, Federal Register, in a notice of a new system of records, entitled Security and Suitability Files. Comments are due by December 17, 2018.

The SSA is establishing the Security and Suitability Files to govern the information it generates in conducting personnel security and suitability background investigations. With limited exceptions, persons appointed to, and under consideration for, federal service or contract employment are required to submit to a suitability background investigation. The Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources, Office of Personnel, Center for Suitability and Personnel Security (CSPS) oversees and is responsible for adjudicating these investigations. Information collected as part of the agency's suitability and background investigations process that is sent to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is covered by OPM/Central-9, Personnel Investigations Records. The Security and Suitability Files the SSA is creating cover any additional security- and suitability-related information generated by the SSA that is not sent to the OPM. The SSA will use the information it collects to conduct background investigations to establish that individuals employed by the SSA, working for the SSA under contract, or otherwise granted access to agency facilities and records are suitable for such employment or access.

Due to the investigatory nature of information that will be maintained in this system of records, this rule would add the Security and Suitability Files to the list of SSA systems that are exempt from specific provisions of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5)(83 Fed. Reg. 57520, November 15, 2018).

For additional information, contact Jasson Seiden, Government Information Specialist, Privacy Implementation Division, Office of Privacy and Disclosure, Office of the General Counsel, SSA, Room G-401 West High Rise, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401, telephone: (410) 597-4307, email: [email protected] (83 Fed. Reg. 57366, November 15, 2018).

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