Service Observation Database

Social Security Administration

Notice of System of Records

Required by the Privacy Act of 1974, As Amended

System number: 60-0364

System name:  Service Observation Database

Security classification:  None.

System location:  Denver Regional Office, Regional Communications Office,
Social Security Administration, 1961 Stout Street, Room 1052, Denver, Colorado 80294.

Categories of individuals covered by the system:  Service Observers or monitors who conduct service observations of, or listen to, National 800 Number calls.

Categories of records in the system:  The system of records will store the service observer’s evaluative data for accumulating management information about the type of call and the accuracy of the information we provide to callers.  The accumulated management information in the system of records will be available at the unit, branch, section, division, and site levels.  No personal information about the agent or the caller will be stored.  The service observer completes and prints the automated Service Observation Report Form.  The service observer sanitizes all information about the caller on the paper Service Observation Report Form and discusses the performance with the employee.  After this discussion, the observer files the form in the employee’s SF-7b personnel extension file. 

Authority for maintenance of the system:  Sections 205(a) and 702(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 405(a) and 902(a)(5)). 

Purpose(s):  This system of records provides immediate management information about the quality of agent responses and services provided by the N8NN.  SSA management will use the database reports for the following purposes:

·      to determine office and unit performance and service efficiency for specified periods of 


·      to assess caller behavior such as the reasons members of the public call SSA;

·      to determine the quality of services provided by employees answering N8NN calls; and 

·      to determine training needs at all levels.

Routine uses of records maintained in the systems of records, including categories of users and the purposes of such use:  Routine uses disclosures are as indicated below:

1.   To the Office of the President for the purpose of responding to an individual pursuant to

     an inquiry received from that individual or from a third party on his/her behalf.

2.   To a congressional office in response to an inquiry from that office made at the request of the subject of a record.

3.   To the Department of Justice (DOJ), a court or other tribunal, or another party before such tribunal when:

a)  SSA or any component thereof; or

b)  any SSA employee in his/her official capacity; or

c)  any SSA employee in his/her individual capacity when DOJ (or SSA when it is   

     authorized to do so) has agreed to represent the employee; or

d)  the United States or any agency thereof when SSA determines that the litigation is     

      likely to affect the operations of SSA or any of its components,

is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and SSA determines that the use of such records by DOJ, a court or other tribunal, or another party before such tribunal, is relevant and necessary to the litigation, provided, however, that in each case, SSA determines that such disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the records were collected.

4.      To SSA contractors and other Federal agencies, disclosure may be unrestricted as necessary, for assisting SSA in the efficient administration of its programs.  We will disclose information under this routine use only in situations in which SSA may enter into a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing an agency function relating to this system of records.

5.      To student volunteers, individuals working under a personal services contract, and other workers who technically do not have the status of Federal employees, when they are performing work for SSA as authorized by law, and they need access to personally identifiable information in SSA records in order to perform their assigned Agency functions. 

6.      To Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and private security contractors as appropriate, information necessary:

a)    to enable them to protect the safety of SSA employees and the public, the security of the SSA workplace, and the operation of SSA facilities; or

b)   to assist investigations or prosecutions with respect to activities that affects such

safety and security or activities that disrupt the operation of SSA facilities.

7.      To the General Services Administration and the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) under 44 U.S.C. § 2904 and § 2906, as amended by the NARA Act of 1984, information which is not restricted from disclosure by Federal law for the use by those agencies in conducting records management studies. 

8.      To the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when requested in connection with investigations into alleged or possible discriminatory practices in the Federal sector, examination of Federal affirmative employment programs, compliance by Federal agencies with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, or other functions vested in the Commission.

9.      To the Merit Systems Protection Board or the Office of Special Counsel in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of rules and regulations, investigation of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and other such functions promulgated in 5 U.S.C. Chapter 12, or as may be authorized by law. 

10.  To the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Office of the Special Counsel, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the Federal Service Impasses Panel, or an arbitrator requesting information in connection with the investigations of allegations of unfair practices, matters before an arbitrator or the Federal Service Impasses Panel.

11.  To the Department of Justice for:

a)      investigating and prosecuting violations of the Social Security Act to which criminal  

    penalties attach;

b)      representing the Commissioner; or

c)      investigating issues of fraud or violation of civil rights by agency officers or  


12.   To appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies, entities, and persons when (1) we suspect or confirm that the security or confidentiality of information in this system of records has been compromised; (2) we determine that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs of SSA that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) we determine that disclosing the information to such agencies, entities, and persons is necessary to assist in  our efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.  SSA will use this routine use to respond only to those incidents involving an unintentional release of its records.

Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining and disposing of records in the system of records:

Storage:  Records are maintained in both electronic and paper form.

Retrievability:  Managers retrieve database management information by the service observer name, region, site, division, branch, unit of monitored employee, date of call, and type of call.

Safeguards:  Limited access to SSA electronic records protects the Service Observation Database system of records files.  The PIN and password process safeguards information by limiting access to only those employees with a need to know.  Only management personnel with authorized security profiles in SSA’s systems can access the records.

Established safeguards for automated records are in accordance with the Systems Security Handbook.  For computerized records electronically transmitted between SSA’s central office and field office locations (including organizations administering SSA programs under contractual agreements), safeguards include a lock/unlock password system, exclusive use of leased telephone lines, a terminal-oriented transaction matrix, and an audit trail.  Access for additional information regarding the safeguards SSA employs to protect its paper and automated records.

Retention and disposal:  The Agency retains the management information contained in this system of records file for 3 years.  A Request for Records Disposition Authority is available.  See General Records Schedule 20, Transmittal No. 7, Section 4 approved by the National Archives and Records Administration.

System of records manager(s) and address: 

Deputy Commissioner for Budget, Finance, and Management

Social Security Administration

6401 Security Boulevard, 800 Altmeyer Building

Baltimore, Maryland 21235

Notification procedure(s):  An individual can determine if one of these systems of records contains a record about him or her by writing to the system of records manager(s) at the above address and providing his or her name, work telephone number, or other information that may be in the system of records that will identify him or her.  An individual requesting notification of records in person should provide the same information, as well as provide an identity document, preferably with a photograph, such as a driver’s license or some other means of identification.  If an individual does not have any identification documents sufficient to establish his or her identity, the individual must certify in writing that he or she is the person that he or she claims to be and that he or she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.

If notification is requested by telephone, an individual must verify his or her identity by providing identifying information that parallels information in the record to which notification is being requested.  If it is determined that the identifying information provided by telephone is insufficient, the individual will be required to submit a request in writing or in person.  If an individual is requesting information by telephone on behalf of another individual, the subject individual must be connected with SSA and the requesting individual in the same phone call.  SSA will establish the subject individual’s identity (his or her name, Social Security Number, address, date of birth and place of birth along with one other piece of information such as mother’s maiden name) and ask for his or her consent in providing information to the requesting individual.

If a request for notification is submitted by mail, an individual must include a notarized statement to SSA to verify his or her identity or must certify in the request that he or she is the person claimed to be and that he/she understands that the knowing and willful request for, or acquisition of, a record pertaining to another individual under false pretenses is a criminal offense.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.40(c)).

Record access procedures:  Same as Notification procedures.  Requesters should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA Regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.40(c)).

Contesting record procedure(s):  Same as Notification procedures.  Requesters also should reasonably identify the record, specify the information they are contesting, and state the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification showing how the record is untimely, incomplete, inaccurate, or irrelevant.  These procedures are in accordance with SSA regulations (20 C.F.R. § 401.65(a)).

Record source categories:  The Service Observation Database is a conglomeration of service observation evaluations completed by service observers using the Service Observation Report Form.

System of records exempted from certain provisions of the Privacy Act:  None.