[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 235 (Wednesday, December 9, 2009)]
[Pages 65172-65173]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29383]



Privacy Act of 1974, Data Comparison Program--Postal Service and 
Public Sex Offender Registries

AGENCY: Postal ServiceTM.

ACTION: Notice of Data Comparison Program--Postal Service and public 
sex offender registries via the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public 
Web site maintained by the Department of Justice.


SUMMARY: The United States Postal Service[supreg] (Postal Service) 
plans to conduct an ongoing data comparison program to identify any 
current Postal Service employees who are required by law to register on 
a public registry of sex offenders. These registries contain 
information about individuals who are statutorily required to register, 
having committed offenses of sexual violence against adults or 
children, certain other crimes against victims who are minors, or other 
comparable offenses. Under the guidelines created by the Adam Walsh 
Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Walsh Act), the Dru Sjodin 
National Sex Offender Public Web site (NSOPW) was created and 
coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a cooperative 
effort between the agencies hosting public sexual offender registries 
and the Federal government. The NSOPW is a search tool allowing a user 
to submit a single national query to obtain information about sex 
offenders through a number of search options. The Postal Service has 
procured software that enables it to conduct multiple simultaneous 
queries of the NSOPW via a secure line to the DOJ NSOPW. The software 
queries the public registries for each employee and returns a match, if 
found, to a secured database. No Postal Service employee information is 
ever shared with the DOJ or stored outside of the Postal Service's 
control. The Postal Service will compare its payroll database of 
current employees against public records using the NSOPW search tool. 
The Postal Service is undertaking this initiative to ascertain the 
suitability of individuals for certain positions or employment and to 
protect the integrity of its brand.

DATES: The comparison program will become effective no sooner than 30 
days after notice of the comparison program is published in the Federal 
Register and sent to the DOJ, Congress, and the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB). The comparison program will be ongoing.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on this proposal should be mailed or 
delivered to the Records Office, Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, 
SW., Room 5846, Washington, DC 20260-5353. Copies of all written 
comments will be available at the above address for public inspection 
and photocopying between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Postal Service seeks to provide the 
public with accurate and efficient mail delivery to the more than 144 
million businesses and residences in this country. Given the public 
nature of the Postal Service, published standards of conduct for Postal 
Service employees prohibit any employee from engaging in criminal, 
dishonest, or similar prejudicial conduct. The Postal Service plans to 
extract records for each current employee (first and last name, city of 
residence, state, and ZIPTM Code) from its Privacy Act 
System of Records (USPS 100.400), Personnel Compensation and Payroll 
Records, and will compare the records with public sex offender records 
using the NSOPW search tool maintained by the DOJ under the authority 
of the Walsh Act. The NSOPW search tool accesses databases of public 
information about individuals who have been required as a matter of law 
to register on a sexual offender public registry. This comparison 
program does not constitute a computer matching program, subject to the 
provisions of the Privacy Act, because the Postal Service is comparing 
data in its own Privacy Act Systems of Records with publicly available 
records. Records will not be disclosed to any other agency for purposes 
of this comparison. Nevertheless, the Postal Service is providing 
public notice of the proposed program and will conduct the program in 
the manner described below to ensure that the interests of postal 
employees are fully protected.
    After extensively verifying the accuracy of the information, the 
Postal Service will use the data to determine whether the reported 
offenses may impact an individual's suitability for certain positions 
or employment and to protect the integrity of the Postal Service's 
brand. The Postal Service will analyze each occurrence on a case-by-
case basis to determine the appropriate action to take, if any. In this 
regard, the Postal Service will consider the seriousness of the 
offense, the date of the offense, the nature of the employee's position 
with the Postal Service, and any other factors that may be relevant to 
the individual case.
    The Postal Service will make extensive efforts to ensure that the 
data is accurate. Postal Inspectors will review the match report in 
order to verify that the person identified via the NSOPW is in fact a 
Postal Service employee. A postal inspector will then determine whether 
the person is properly included on the public registry by reviewing the 
relevant facts about the offense from information furnished by relevant 
law enforcement agencies, such as the arresting agency. The postal 
inspector will refer instances where the employee failed to provide any 
required notice of the offense to Postal Service management, or other 
instances considered employee misconduct, to the Office of Inspector 
General (OIG). The inspector or OIG special agent will prepare an 
investigative memorandum or report of investigation, respectively, 
which will be sent to the individual employee's installation head. The 
installation head will ensure that a case-by-case analysis is conducted 
regarding the appropriate action to be taken. The Postal Service will 
provide at least 30 days advance notice prior to the initiation of any 
adverse action against

[[Page 65173]]

a matched individual (unless the Postal Service determines that public 
health or safety may be affected or threatened pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
    The privacy of employees will be safeguarded and protected. The 
Postal Service will manage all data in strict accordance with the 
Privacy Act of 1974. Data extracted from the relevant Postal Service 
System of Records (USPS 100.400) for comparison will not be shared with 
the DOJ, state agencies, territories, Indian Nations, or any other 
person or organization, except as authorized by the Privacy Act or 
required by the Freedom of Information Act. Any verified data that is 
maintained will be managed within the parameters of the Privacy Act 
System of Records USPS 700.000, Inspection Service Investigative File 
System (last published April 29, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 82)); and, for 
cases referred to the OIG, data that is maintained will also be managed 
within the parameters of Privacy Act System of Records USPS 700.300, 
Inspector General Investigative Records (last published June 14, 2006 
(Volume 71, Number 114)).
    Key privacy features of the data comparison program include the 
     Requiring that the identity of matched individuals be 
verified and that the relevant facts of the offense be confirmed;
     Requiring appropriate security controls for the 
     Providing protections for employees who appear as an 
initial match but who are not subsequently verified as belonging on the 
state registry of offenders; and
     Requiring the Postal Service to complete the verification 
and provide at least 30 days advance notice prior to the initiation of 
any adverse action against a matched individual (unless the Postal 
Service determines that public health and safety may be affected or 
threatened pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(p)(3), or as otherwise provided by 
5 U.S.C. 7513(b), relevant collective bargaining provisions, and Postal 
Service regulations).

Neva Watson,
Attorney, Legislative.
[FR Doc. E9-29383 Filed 12-8-09; 8:45 am]