Identification Number:
CJB 07-08
Intended Audience:All ODAR Hearing Level Employees
Originating Office:ODAR Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge
Title:Securing Paper Claim Folders and Hearing CDs for Travel Dockets
Type:Chief Judge Bulletins
Program:All Programs
Link To Reference:
Retention Date: Indefinite

This bulletin provides guidance regarding acceptable methods of securing paper claim files and CDs containing electronic claim files or digital recordings for travel dockets at remote hearing sites. All employees must make every reasonable effort to secure and lock PII during transit and while outside secure SSA space.

Where paper files still exist, SSA employees must transport them to the remote sites. With electronic claim files the physical transferring of materials containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is reduced due to the connectivity to the SSA’s data network at some Permanent Remote Sites; however, at Temporary Remote Sites where there is no connectivity to the SSA network SSA employees must transport the electronic file CDs and the hearings record CDs to and from the site. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) specified requirements for safeguarding all materials in his message dated March 5, 2007, entitled “Procedures for Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII) While in Transit or Outside of Secure SSA Space.”

    While the CIO’s message provides the general requirements for safeguarding materials containing PII, employees have raised specific concerns regarding transporting paper and electronic claim files, as well as hearing CDs to the remote hearing sites. While not every eventuality can be addressed and all employees are responsible for safeguarding PII, as outlined by the CIO, guidance is provided below to all judges and staff.
      A. Securing PII When Transporting Files to a Remote Hearing Site:
      1. Paper files
        1. ALJs may transport paper files in boxes and crates. The boxes or crates must have lids that close to conceal PII and should be sealed with tape and initialed in such a manner that tampering would be evident. If transporting by vehicle, the sealed boxes or crates must be secured in the locked trunk or out of view in the locked vehicle.
        2. ALJs and staff may ship paper files by US Mail so long as USPS tracking is employed.
        3. ALJs and staff may ship paper files by Fed Ex only in accordance with AIMS guidelines. See
        4. ALJs may entrust sealed boxes of paper files to a Verbatim Hearing Recording contractor (VHR) for shipment or mailing to the Hearing Office.
        5. ALJs may not leave files with hotel personnel for pick up by Fed Ex, UPS or the USPS for return to the Hearing Office. However, as stated in d. the VHR may take the files to the U.S. Post Office.
      2. CDs of Electronic files
      • ALJs