SSA component(s) that plan to listen-in to or record telephone conversations under § 422.705(b) or (c) shall comply with the following procedures.
(a) Prepare a written certification of need to the Commissioner of Social Security or designee at least 30 days before the planned operational date. A certification as used in this section means a written justification signed by the Deputy Commissioner of the requesting SSA component or designee, that specifies general information on the following: the operational need for listening-in to or recording telephone conversations; the telephone lines and locations where monitoring is to be performed; the position titles (or a statement about the types) of SSA employees involved in the listening-in to or recording of telephone conversations; the general operating times and an expiration date for the monitoring. This certification of need must identify the telephone lines which will be subject to monitoring, e.g., SSA 800 number voice and text telephone lines, and include current copies of any documentation, analyses, determinations, policies and procedures supporting the application, and the name and telephone number of a contact person in the SSA component which is requesting authority to listen-in to or record telephone conversations.
(1) When the request involves listening-in to or recording telephone conversations for public safety purposes, the requesting component head or designee must identify the segment of the public needing protection and cite examples of the possible harm from which the public requires protection.
(2) When the request involves listening-in to or recording telephone conversations for public service monitoring purposes, the requesting component head or designee must provide a statement in writing why such monitoring is necessary for measuring or monitoring the performance in the delivery of SSA service to the public; or monitoring and improving the integrity, quality and utility of service provided to the public.
(b) At least every 5 years, SSA will review the need for each determination authorizing listening-in or recording activities in the agency. SSA components or authorized agents involved in conducting listening-in or recording activities must submit documentation as described in § 422.710(a) to the Commissioner of Social Security or a designee to continue or terminate telephone service observation activities.
(1) SSA will provide a message on SSA telephone lines subject to public service monitoring that will inform callers that calls on those lines may be monitored for quality assurance purposes. SSA will also continue to include information about telephone monitoring activities in SSA brochures and/or pamphlets as notification that some incoming and outgoing SSA telephone calls are monitored to ensure SSA's clients are receiving accurate and courteous service.
(2) SSA employees authorized to listen-in to or record telephone calls are permitted to annotate personal identifying information about the calls, such as a person's name, Social Security number, address and/or telephone number. When this information is obtained from public service monitoring as defined in § 422.705(c), it will be used for programmatic or policy purposes; e.g., recontacting individuals to correct or supplement information relating to benefits, for assessment of current/proposed policies and procedures, or to correct SSA records. Privacy Act requirements must be followed if data are retrievable by personal identifying information.
(3) SSA will take appropriate corrective action, when possible, if information obtained from monitoring indicates SSA may have taken an incorrect action which could affect the payment of or eligibility to SSA benefits.
(d) The recordings and records pertaining to the listening-in to or recording of any conversations covered by this subpart shall be used, safeguarded and destroyed in accordance with SSA records management program.