Privacy Act: Computer matching programs,


[Federal Register: October 28, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 208)]


[Page 57745]

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Privacy Act of 1974; Computer Matching Program

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Notice of renewal--VA/IRS/SSA Match Program.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines on the Conduct on Matching programs, notice is hereby given of the conduct of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) computer match. Previous matches with the IRS verified the self-reported income data of nonservice- connected veterans. The proposed expanded match encompasses those categories of veterans who are zero percent service-connected (non- compensable) receiving treatment for their nonservice-connected condition. Expanded veterans records included to conform to Pub. L. 104-262, Veterans Health Care Amendments Act.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The notice will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, (November 27, 1998), unless comments dictate otherwise.

ADDRESSES: Comments or inquiries may be mailed to the Chief Information Office, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Janice E. Wheeler, Program Analyst, Health Eligibility Center Policy Division, Office of the Chief Information Officer, (202) 273-6276.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has a statutory obligation (see 38 U.S.C.) to collect income information from certain veterans applying for medical care and to utilize that income data to determine the appropriate eligibility category for the applicant's medical care. Pub. L. 104-262 (Veterans Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996) requires zero percent non-compensable, service-connected veterans seen for their nonservice-connected condition(s) complete a ``Means Test.'' The purpose of completing the Means Test is to determine if the veteran's income level allows VA to provide cost-free care for their nonservice-connected conditions. Pub. L. 101-508 (Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1990) authorizes VHA to verify income data reported by nonservice-connected medical care applicants.

The goal of these matches is to validate social security numbers and to obtain IRS/SSA earnings data needed for the income verification process. For the information of all concerned, a summary report of the VHA matching program describing the computer matches follows. The VA records involved in the match are patient medical records maintained in the ``Patient Medical Record, VA 24VA136.'' The IRS records are from the Wage and Information Returns (IRP) Master File, Privacy Act System TreasIRS 22.061. The SSA records are from the Earnings Recording and Self-Employment Income system, SSA/OSR 09-0-059. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(o)(2), copies of the computer matching report are being sent to both Houses of Congress. These matches are expected to commence no sooner than 30 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register, (November 27, 1998), or 40 days after copies of this notice and the agreement are submitted to Congress and the Office of Management and Budget.

This renewal of the original matching agreement expires on December 31, 1999. It may be extended by the involved Data Integrity Boards (DIB) for a twelve month period provided all agencies involved certify to the DIBs, within three months of the termination date of the original match, that the matching program will be conducted without change and the matching programs have been conducted in compliance with the original matching agreement. The matches will not continue past the legislative authorized date to obtain this information. Togo D. West, Jr., Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

[FR Doc. 98-28805Filed10-27-98; 8:45 am]