Questions and Answers Concerning S. 1518 To Permit the Veterans Administration To Disclose Information Concerning Individuals Indebted to VA for Debt Collection Purposes

B-114859: Published: Sep 27, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 1979.

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Questions were raised concerning S. 1518, a bill that would enable VA to enter into contracts with consumer reporting agencies to disclose information such as names and addresses to such agencies in order to locate debtors and obtain credit reports. However, VA would not require the consumer reporting agency to operate a system of records on behalf of VA as required by privacy legislation. Rather, VA would contract to provide information and to receive information from a system of records previously established by the contractor for its own purposes. The Federal Claims Collection Act provides GAO with a legal basis for using information on VA debtors in conjuction with consumer reporting agencies. Use of VA information for these purposes is designed to test the feasibility of certain debt collection practices, and therefore, represents an application of statutory audit authority.

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