[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 141 (Wednesday, July 23, 1997)]
[Pages 39604-39605]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-19402]



Internal Revenue Service

Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; System of Records

AGENCY: Internal Revenue Service, Treasury

ACTION: Notice of a proposed new Privacy Act system of records.


SUMMARY: The Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, gives 
notice of a proposed new system of records entitled ``Customer Feedback 
System--Treasury/IRS 00.003,'' which is subject to the Privacy Act of 
1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as amended.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than August 22, 1997. The 
notice will be effective September 2, 1997, unless comments are 
received which result in a contrary determination.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Office of Governmental 
Liaison and Disclosure, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution 
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20224. Comments will be made available for 
inspection and copying in the Freedom of Information Reading Room upon 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Tiffany, Office of the Taxpayer 
Advocate, National Office, Internal Revenue Service, at (202) 622-6100.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Internal Revenue Service is proposing a 
new system of records to implement the provisions of the recently 
enacted Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 (TBOR 2). TBOR 2 requires that IRS 
annually report to Congress, beginning June 1, 1997, on the amount and 
type of taxpayer complaints against IRS employees in a given year, and 
their resolution. For purposes of this system of records, IRS employees 
include Chief Counsel employees. The records include internally 
identified cases, as well as taxpayer or third-party initiated 
complaints, either written or received in person or by telephone 
through management channels. The report would identify by IRS region 
and primary activity involved, (e.g., collection, examination), the 
nature of the misconduct or complaint, the number of cases received by 
category and the disposition of those cases. Additionally, although not 
required by statute, the IRS is tracking all compliments received from 
the private sector as a part of this database. IRS employee identifiers 
have been left in the system in order to relate the case with its 
    The definition of complaint is built on the TBOR 2 legislation and 
the related definition used by GAO. IRS has defined it as ``an 
allegation by a taxpayer or their representative that (1) an IRS 
employee violated a law, regulation, or standard of conduct; (2) an IRS 
employee used inappropriate behavior in the treatment of taxpayers in 
the conduct of their business; i.e., rudeness, overzealousness, 
excessive aggressiveness, discriminatory treatment, intimidation and 
the like; or (3) a system of the IRS failed to function properly or 
within prescribed time frames.''
    In order to facilitate the Service's compliance with the 
legislation, the Service is creating a new Customer Feedback system of 
records to track the feedback. In addition to maintaining records of 
complaints or compliments described above, other information maintained 
in this system will be derived from records of the following databases: 
(1) Treasury/IRS 60.011--Internal Security Management Information 
System (ISMIS)(published on November 9, 1995 at 60 FR 56842), and (2) 
the Automated Labor Employee Relations Tracking System (ALERTS), which 
is a subset of Treasury/IRS 36.001--Appeals, Grievances, and Complaint 
Records; and Treasury/IRS 36.003--General Personnel and Payroll 
    ISMIS provides the technical ability for other components within 
IRS to analyze trends in integrity matters on an organization, 
geographic and violation basis. ALERTS is a Servicewide automated data 
management and control system, containing information about 
disciplinary cases, benefits and compensation cases, agency and 
negotiated grievances, Inspection cases, negotiation issues, special 
projects and activities, third-party appeals/adjudications, unfair 
labor charges/complaints, and centralized employee tax compliance 
cases. The inclusion of these records is necessary for preparing the 
statistics required under TBOR 2.
    The Customer Feedback System is maintained under section 6108 of 
the Internal Revenue Code and Section 1211 of Pub.L. 104-168, and 
unlike other IRS systems of records that do affect employees' rights, 
benefits, or entitlements this proposed system is prohibited from being 
used for any purpose involving the making of a determination about the 
individual to whom they pertain.
    Accordingly, the information in this system will be exempted from 
disclosure provisions of the Privacy Act under (k)(4), and a proposed 
rule is being published separately in the Federal Register. The (k)(4) 
exemption protects the customer's identity from the

[[Page 39605]]

employee and conceals from the customer the action(s) taken against the 
employee. The records are to be used solely for statistical purposes 
and not to track the number of complaints against a given employee, nor 
will they be used for the purpose of making a determination affecting 
the employee's employment status.
    The notice for the proposed new system of records is being 
published in its entirety below.

    Dated: July 10, 1997.

Alex Rodriguez,
Deputy Assistant Secretary (Administration).
Treasury/IRS 00.003

System Name:
     Customer Feedback System--Treasury/IRS 00.003.

System Location:
    Internal Revenue Service Centers, National Office, Regional and 
District Offices, including National Office Chief Counsel Offices, 
Regional Counsel Offices, and District Counsel Offices, the Martinsburg 
Computing Center, the Detroit Computing Center, and the Tennessee 
Computing Center, and Area Distribution Centers.
    Area Distribution Center addresses are as follows: the Eastern 
Distribution Center, 4300 Carolina Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222, the 
Central Area Distribution Center, 2402 East Empire, Bloomington, IL 
61799, and the Western Area Distribution Center, 3041 Sunrise 
Boulevard, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742. (See IRS Appendix A for other 

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:
     This system consists of records relating to: (1) Individuals 
(customers) who make complaints and compliments about Internal Revenue 
Service employees; and, (2) Internal Revenue Service employees who have 
had complaints and compliments made about them.

Categories of Records in the System:
    A variety of documents and/or reports reflecting customer feedback 
on current and former IRS employees and the resolution of that 

Authority for Maintenance of the System:
    Sec. 1211 of PL. 104 168, TBOR 2, Reports on Misconduct of IRS 

    This system will capture customer feedback, including complaints 
and compliments. The capture of this data will provide a means to 
analyze trends to identify and take corrective action on systemic 
problems. The data will not be used to affect any rights or benefits of 
individuals in the records system.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories 
of Users and the Purposes of Such Uses:
    These records and information in the records may be disclosed to 
the tax writing Congressional committees. The purpose is to fulfill the 
requirements of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 (TBOR 2).

Policies and Procedures for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, 
and Disposing of Records in the System:
    Paper files and magnetic media.

    Documents are stored and retrieved by control numbers and by 
taxpayer name, taxpayer identification number or person to contact. The 
control number can be determined by reference to the entries for the 
individual to whom they relate.

    Access is limited to authorized personnel who have a direct need to 
know. Access controls will not be less than those provided for by the 
Manager's Security Handbook, IRM 1(16)12 and the Automated Information 
System Security Handbook, IRM (2)(10)00. This includes the use of 
passwords and access codes.

Retention and Disposal:
    Records are maintained in accordance with Records Control Schedule 
206 for Service Centers, IRM 1(15)59.26 and Records Control Schedule 
301--General Records Schedules, IRM 1(15)59.31.

System Manager(s) and Address:
    Official prescribing policies and practices--Deputy Commissioner. 
Officials maintaining the system--Directors of Internal Revenue Service 
Centers; National, Regional, District Office, Regional Counsels, 
District Counsels, Associate Chief Counsels, and Area Distribution 
Center Directors. (See ``System Location'' above for addresses.)

Notification Procedure:
    This system of records may not be accessed for the purpose of 
determining if the system contains a record pertaining to a particular 

Record Access Procedures:
    This system of records may not be accessed for purposes of 
inspection or for contest of content of records.

Contesting Record Procedures:
    See ``Records access procedures'' above.

Record Source Categories:
    Information originates from IRS employees and customer feedback.

Exemptions Claimed for the System:
    This system has been designated as exempt from 5 U.S.C. 552a(c)(3); 
(d) (1), (2), (3) and (4), (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I); and (f) of 
the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(4).

[FR Doc. 97-19402 Filed 7-22-97; 8:45am]
Billing Code: 4830-01-F