US (United States) Code. Title 38. Chapter 57: Records and investigations

Codificación normativa de EEUU (Estados Unidos) Legislación Federal estadounidense # Veterans Benefits. General Administrative Provisions

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-CITE-

38 USC CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

-HEAD-

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

-MISC1-

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

Sec.

5701. Confidential nature of claims.

5702. Furnishing of records.

5703. Certification of records of District of Columbia.

5704. Transcript of trial records.

5705. Confidentiality of medical quality-assurance records.

SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS

5711. Authority to issue subpoenas.

5712. Validity of affidavits.

5713. Disobedience to subpoena.

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(5)(B), (6)(C), June 13, 1991,

105 Stat. 286, amended table of sections at beginning of chapter as

in effect immediately before the enactment of Pub. L. 102-40 by

substituting "subpoenas" for "subpenas" in item 3311 and "subpoena"

for "subpena" in item 3313.

Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(c)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat.

239, renumbered items 3301 to 3313 as 5701 to 5713, respectively.

1980 - Pub. L. 96-385, title V, Sec. 505(b), Oct. 7, 1980, 94

Stat. 1537, added item 3305.

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-HEAD-

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5701 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5701. Confidential nature of claims

-STATUTE-

(a) All files, records, reports, and other papers and documents

pertaining to any claim under any of the laws administered by the

Secretary and the names and addresses of present or former members

of the Armed Forces, and their dependents, in the possession of the

Department shall be confidential and privileged, and no disclosure

thereof shall be made except as provided in this section.

(b) The Secretary shall make disclosure of such files, records,

reports, and other papers and documents as are described in

subsection (a) of this section as follows:

(1) To a claimant or duly authorized agent or representative of

a claimant as to matters concerning the claimant alone when, in

the judgment of the Secretary, such disclosure would not be

injurious to the physical or mental health of the claimant and to

an independent medical expert or experts for an advisory opinion

pursuant to section 5109 or 7109 of this title.

(2) When required by process of a United States court to be

produced in any suit or proceeding therein pending.

(3) When required by any department or other agency of the

United States Government.

(4) In all proceedings in the nature of an inquest into the

mental competency of a claimant.

(5) In any suit or other judicial proceeding when in the

judgment of the Secretary such disclosure is deemed necessary and

proper.

(6) In connection with any proceeding for the collection of an

amount owed to the United States by virtue of a person's

participation in any benefit program administered by the

Secretary when in the judgment of the Secretary such disclosure

is deemed necessary and proper.

(c)(1) The amount of any payment made by the Secretary to any

person receiving benefits under a program administered by the

Secretary shall be made known to any person who applies for such

information.

(2) Any appraisal report or certificate of reasonable value

submitted to or prepared by the Secretary in connection with any

loan guaranteed, insured, or made under chapter 37 of this title

shall be made available to any person who applies for such report

or certificate.

(3) Subject to the approval of the President, the Secretary may

publish at any time and in any manner any or all information of

record pertaining to any claim filed with the Secretary if the

Secretary determines that the public interest warrants or requires

such publication.

(d) The Secretary as a matter of discretion may authorize an

inspection of Department records by duly authorized representatives

of recognized organizations.

(e) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section

with respect to certain information, the Secretary may release

information, statistics, or reports to individuals or organizations

when in the Secretary's judgment such release would serve a useful

purpose.

(f) The Secretary may, pursuant to regulations the Secretary

shall prescribe, release the name or address, or both, of any

present or former member of the Armed Forces, or a dependent of a

present or former member of the Armed Forces, (1) to any nonprofit

organization if the release is directly connected with the conduct

of programs and the utilization of benefits under this title, or

(2) to any criminal or civil law enforcement governmental agency or

instrumentality charged under applicable law with the protection of

the public health or safety if a qualified representative of such

agency or instrumentality has made a written request that such name

or address be provided for a purpose authorized by law. Any

organization or member thereof or other person who, knowing that

the use of any name or address released by the Secretary pursuant

to the preceding sentence is limited to the purpose specified in

such sentence, willfully uses such name or address for a purpose

other than those so specified, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and

be fined not more than $5,000 in the case of a first offense and

not more than $20,000 in the case of any subsequent offense.

(g)(1) Subject to the provisions of this subsection, and under

regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, the Secretary may

release the name or address, or both, of any person who is a

present or former member of the Armed Forces, or who is a dependent

of a present or former member of the Armed Forces, to a consumer

reporting agency if the release of such information is necessary

for a purpose described in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(2) A release of information under paragraph (1) of this

subsection concerning a person described in such paragraph may be

made for the purpose of -

(A) locating such a person -

(i) who has been administratively determined to be indebted

to the United States by virtue of the person's participation in

a benefits program administered by the Secretary; or

(ii) if the Secretary has determined under such regulations

that (I) it is necessary to locate such person in order to

conduct a study pursuant to section 527 of this title or a

study required by any other provision of law, and (II) all

reasonable steps have been taken to assure that the release of

such information to such reporting agency will not have an

adverse effect on such person; or

(B) obtaining a consumer report in order to assess the ability

of a person described in subparagraph (A)(i) of this paragraph to

repay the indebtedness of such person to the United States, but

the Secretary may release the name or address of such person for

the purpose stated in this clause only if the Secretary

determines under such regulations that such person has failed to

respond appropriately to administrative efforts to collect such

indebtedness.

(3) The Secretary may also release to a consumer reporting

agency, for the purposes specified in subparagraph (A) or (B) of

paragraph (2) of this subsection, such other information as the

Secretary determines under such regulations is reasonably necessary

to identify a person described in such paragraph, except that the

Secretary may not release to a consumer reporting agency any

information which indicates any indebtedness on the part of such

person to the United States or any information which reflects

adversely on such person. Before releasing any information under

this paragraph, the Secretary shall, under such regulations, take

reasonable steps to provide for the protection of the personal

privacy of persons about whom information is proposed to be

released under this paragraph.

(4)(A) If the Secretary determines, under regulations which the

Secretary shall prescribe, that a person described in paragraph (1)

of this subsection has failed to respond appropriately to

reasonable administrative efforts to collect an indebtedness of

such person described in paragraph (2)(A)(i) of this subsection,

the Secretary may release information concerning the indebtedness,

including the name and address of such person, to a consumer

reporting agency for the purpose of making such information

available for inclusion in consumer reports regarding such person

and, if necessary, for the purpose of locating such person, if -

(i) the Secretary has (I) made reasonable efforts to notify

such person of such person's right to dispute through prescribed

administrative processes the existence or amount of such

indebtedness and of such person's right to request a waiver of

such indebtedness under section 5302 of this title, (II) afforded

such person a reasonable opportunity to exercise such rights, and

(III) made a determination with respect to any such dispute or

request; and

(ii) thirty calendar days have elapsed after the day on which

the Secretary has made a determination that reasonable efforts

have been made to notify such person (I) that the Secretary

intends to release such information for such purpose or purposes,

and (II) that, upon the request of such person, the Secretary

shall inform such person of whether such information has been so

released and of the name and address of each consumer reporting

agency to which such information was released by the Secretary

and of the specific information so released.

(B) After release of any information under subparagraph (A) of

this paragraph concerning the indebtedness of any person, the

Secretary shall promptly notify -

(i) each consumer reporting agency to which such information

has been released by the Secretary; and

(ii) each consumer reporting agency described in subsection

(i)(3)(B)(i) of this section to which such information has been

transmitted by the Secretary through a consumer reporting agency

described in subsection (i)(3)(B)(ii)(I) of this section,

of any substantial change in the status or amount of such

indebtedness and, upon the request of any such consumer reporting

agency for verification of any or all information so released,

promptly verify or correct, as appropriate, such information. The

Secretary shall also, after the release of such information, inform

such person, upon the request of such person, of the name and

address of each consumer reporting agency described in clause (i)

or (ii) of this subparagraph to which such information was released

or transmitted by the Secretary and of the specific information so

released or transmitted.

(h)(1) Under regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe, the

Secretary may release the name or address, or both, of any person

who is a present or former member of the Armed Forces, or who is a

dependent of a present or former member of the Armed Forces (and

other information relating to the identity of such person), to any

person in a category of persons described in such regulations and

specified in such regulations as a category of persons to whom such

information may be released, if the release of such information is

necessary for a purpose described in paragraph (2) of this

subsection.

(2) A release of information under paragraph (1) of this

subsection may be made for the purpose of -

(A) determining the creditworthiness, credit capacity, income,

or financial resources of a person who has (i) applied for any

benefit under chapter 37 of this title, or (ii) submitted an

offer to the Secretary for the purchase of property acquired by

the Secretary under section 3720(a)(5) of this title;

(B) verifying, either before or after the Secretary has

approved a person's application for assistance in the form of a

loan guaranty or loan insurance under chapter 37 of this title,

information submitted by a lender to the Secretary regarding the

creditworthiness, credit capacity, income, or financial resources

of such person;

(C) offering for sale or other disposition by the Secretary,

pursuant to section 3720 of this title, any loan or installment

sale contract owned or held by the Secretary; or

(D) providing assistance to any applicant for benefits under

chapter 37 of this title or administering such benefits if the

Secretary promptly records the fact of such release in

appropriate records pertaining to the person concerning whom such

release was made.

(i)(1) No contract entered into for any of the purposes of

subsection (g) or (h) of this section, and no action taken pursuant

to any such contract or either such subsection, shall result in the

application of section 552a of title 5 to any consumer reporting

agency or any employee of a consumer reporting agency.

(2) The Secretary shall take reasonable steps to provide for the

protection of the personal privacy of persons about whom

information is disclosed under subsection (g) or (h) of this

section.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection and of subsection (g) of

this section -

(A) The term "consumer report" has the meaning provided such

term in subsection (d) of section 603 of the Fair Credit

Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(d)).

(B) The term "consumer reporting agency" means -

(i) a consumer reporting agency as such term is defined in

subsection (f) of section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

(15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)), or

(ii) any person who, for monetary fees, dues, or on a

cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in

part in the practice of (I) obtaining credit or other

information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing such

information to consumer reporting agencies (as defined in

clause (i) of this paragraph), or (II) serving as a marketing

agent under arrangements enabling third parties to obtain such

information from such reporting agencies.

(j) Except as provided in subsection (i)(1) of this section, any

disclosure made pursuant to this section shall be made in

accordance with the provisions of section 552a of title 5.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1236, Sec. 3301; Pub. L.

87-671, Sec. 2, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 557; Pub. L. 91-24, Sec.

11, June 11, 1969, 83 Stat. 34; Pub. L. 92-540, title IV, Sec. 412,

Oct. 24, 1972, 86 Stat. 1093; Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a), June 29,

1976, 90 Stat. 713; Pub. L. 94-581, title II, Sec. 210(b), Oct. 21,

1976, 90 Stat. 2863; Pub. L. 96-466, title VI, Sec. 606, Oct. 17,

1980, 94 Stat. 2212; Pub. L. 101-94, title III, Sec. 302(a), Aug.

16, 1989, 103 Stat. 628; renumbered Sec. 5701 and amended Pub. L.

102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(b)(1), (d)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat.

238, 239; Pub. L. 102-83, Secs. 2(c)(6), 4(a)(1), (2)(A)(xi), (3),

(4), (b)(1), (2)(E), 5(c)(1), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 402-406; Pub.

L. 107-14, Sec. 8(a)(13), June 5, 2001, 115 Stat. 35.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

2001 - Subsec. (g)(2)(B). Pub. L. 107-14 substituted

"subparagraph (A)(i)" for "clause (A)(i)".

Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 107-14 substituted "subparagraph (A) or

(B)" for "clause (A) or (B)".

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 402(b)(1), renumbered section 3301 of

this title as this section.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted

"Department" for "Veterans' Administration".

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(1), substituted "administered by the

Secretary" for "administered by the Veterans' Administration".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator" in introductory provisions and in

pars. (1), (5), and (6).

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(1), substituted "administered by the

Secretary" for "administered by the Veterans' Administration" in

par. (6).

Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 402(d)(1), substituted "5109" and "7109" for

"3009" and "4009", respectively, in par. (1).

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(A)(xi), substituted

"Secretary" for first reference to "Veterans' Administration".

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(1), substituted "administered by the

Secretary" for "administered by the Veterans' Administration".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(A)(xi), substituted

"Secretary" for "Veterans' Administration".

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator" in two places.

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(A)(xi), substituted "Secretary" for

"Veterans' Administration" after "with the".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator".

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted "Department" for

"Veterans' Administration".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator" and "Secretary's" for

"Administrator's".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator" in two places.

Subsec. (g)(2)(A)(i). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(1), substituted

"administered by the Secretary" for "administered by the Veterans'

Administration".

Subsec. (g)(2)(A)(ii). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E),

substituted "Secretary" for "Administrator".

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 2(c)(6), substituted "section 527" for

"section 219".

Subsec. (g)(2)(B), (3), (4). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1),

(2)(E), substituted "Secretary" for "Administrator" wherever

appearing.

Subsec. (g)(4)(A)(i). Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 402(d)(1), substituted

"5302" for "3102".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 5(c)(1), substituted

"3720(a)(5)" for "1820(a)(5)" in par. (2)(A) and "3720" for "1820"

in par. (2)(C).

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted "Secretary" for

"Administrator" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (i)(2). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator".

1989 - Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101-94 substituted "section 3009

or 4009" for "section 4009".

1980 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96-466, Sec. 606(a), substituted

"members of the Armed Forces" for "personnel of the armed

services".

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 96-466, Sec. 606(b), added par. (6).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96-466, Sec. 606(c), designated existing

provisions as pars. (1) and (3) with minor changes in language, and

in par. (1) as so designated, substituted reference to the amount

of any payment made by the Veterans' Administration to any person

receiving benefits under a program administered by the Veterans'

Administration for reference to the amount of pension,

compensation, or dependency and indemnity compensation of any

beneficiary, and added par. (2).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 96-466, Sec. 606(d), substituted "name or

address, or both, of any present or former member of the Armed

Forces, or a dependent of a present or former member of the Armed

Forces" for "names or addresses, or both, of any present or former

members of the Armed Forces, and/or their dependents" and "written

request that such name or address" for "written request that such

names or addresses".

Subsecs. (g) to (i). Pub. L. 96-466, Sec. 606(e), added subsecs.

(g) to (i). Former subsec. (g) redesignated (j).

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 96-466, Sec. 606(e), (f), redesignated

former subsec. (g) as (j) and substituted "Except as provided in

subsection (i)(1) of this section, any" for "Any".

1976 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(1), (2), designated

introductory par. as subsec. (a) and as so designated, substituted

"provided in this section." for "follows:".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(2), added subsec. (b).

Pars. (1) to (5), formerly set out following introductory par.,

became part of such subsec. (b).

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 94-581, Sec. 210(b)(1), substituted

"claimant or duly authorized agent or representative of a claimant

as to matters concerning the claimant alone" for "claimant or his

duly authorized agent or representative as to matters concerning

himself alone".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(3), redesignated par. (6)

as subsec. (c).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94-581, Sec. 210(b)(2), substituted "as a

matter of discretion" for "in his discretion".

Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(3), redesignated par. (7) as subsec.

(d).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 94-581, Sec. 210(b)(3), substituted "in the

Administrator's judgment" for "in his judgment".

Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(3), (4), redesignated par. (8) as

subsec. (e) and substituted "Except as otherwise specifically

provided in this section with respect to certain information, the"

for "The".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(3), (5), redesignated par.

(9) as subsec. (f) and inserted provision relating to the release

of information pursuant to this subsection to criminal or civil law

enforcement governmental agencies and increased the penalty for

misuse of such information to the status of a misdemeanor, with a

fine of not more than $5,000 for the first offense and not more

than $20,000 for any subsequent offense.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 94-321, Sec. 1(a)(5), added subsec. (g).

1972 - Pub. L. 92-540 in introductory provision inserted

reference to the names and addresses of present or former personnel

of the armed forces, and their dependents, in the possession of the

Veterans' Administration, and added par. (9).

1969 - Par. (1). Pub. L. 91-24 substituted "the claimant and to

an independent" for "the claimant. And to an independent".

1962 - Par. (1). Pub. L. 87-671 inserted provisions authorizing

disclosure to an independent medical expert or experts for an

advisory opinion pursuant to section 4009 of this title.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1989 AMENDMENT

Section 302(c) of Pub. L. 101-94 provided that: "The amendments

made by subsections (a) and (b) [amending this section and section

4092 [now 7292] of this title] shall take effect as if included in

the Veterans' Judicial Review Act [div. A of Pub. L. 100-687]."

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1980 AMENDMENT

Amendment by Pub. L. 96-466 effective Oct. 1, 1980, except as

otherwise specifically provided, see section 802(f) of Pub. L.

96-466, set out as an Effective Date note under section 5314 of

this title.

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1976 AMENDMENTS

Amendment by Pub. L. 94-581 effective Oct. 21, 1976, see section

211 of Pub. L. 94-581, set out as a note under section 111 of this

title.

Section 1(b) of Pub. L. 94-321 provided that: "The amendments

made by subsection (a) of this section with respect to subsection

(f) (as redesignated by subsection (a)(3) of this section) of

section 3301 [now 5701] of title 38, United States Code (except for

the increase in criminal penalties for a violation of the second

sentence of such subsection (f)), shall be effective with respect

to names or addresses released on and after October 24, 1972."

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1962 AMENDMENT

Section 4 of Pub. L. 87-671 provided that: "The amendments made

by this Act [enacting section 4009 [now 7109] of this title and

amending this section] shall be effective January 1, 1963."

-SECREF-

SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS

This section is referred to in sections 1729, 5702, 7105, 7332,

7464 of this title.

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5702 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5702. Furnishing of records

-STATUTE-

(a) Any person desiring a copy of any record, paper, and so

forth, in the custody of the Secretary that may be disclosed under

section 5701 of this title must submit to the Secretary an

application in writing for such copy. The application shall state

specifically -

(1) the particular record, paper, and so forth, a copy of which

is desired and whether certified or uncertified; and

(2) the purpose for which such copy is desired to be used.

(b) The Secretary may establish a schedule of fees for copies and

certification of such records.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1236, Sec. 3302;

renumbered Sec. 5702 and amended Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec.

402(b)(1), (d)(1), May 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238, 239; Pub. L. 102-83,

Sec. 4(a)(2)(A)(xii), (b)(1), (2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat.

403-405; Pub. L. 103-446, title XII, Sec. 1201(e)(16), Nov. 2,

1994, 108 Stat. 4686.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1994 - Pub. L. 103-446, Sec. 1201(e)(16)(A), (B), inserted "(a)"

before "Any person desiring" and substituted "custody of the

Secretary that may be disclosed under section 5701 of this title

must submit to the Secretary an application in writing for such

copy. The application shall state" for "custody of the Secretary,

which may be disclosed under section 5701 of this title, must make

written application therefor to the Secretary, stating".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103-446, Sec. 1201(e)(16)(C), which directed

amendment of subsec. (c) by substituting "may establish" for "is

authorized to fix", was executed to subsec. (b) to reflect the

probable intent of Congress, because the language sought to be

amended appears in subsec. (b) and this section does not contain a

subsec. (c).

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 402(b)(1), renumbered section 3302 of

this title as this section.

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(A)(xii), which directed amendment of

subsec. (a) of this section by substituting "Secretary" for

"Veterans' Administration" in two places, was executed to the

undesignated first par., to reflect the probable intent of

Congress.

Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 402(d)(1), substituted "5701" for "3301" in

undesignated first par.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator".

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5703 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5703. Certification of records of District of Columbia

-STATUTE-

When a copy of any public record of the District of Columbia is

required by the Secretary to be used in determining the eligibility

of any person for benefits under laws administered by the

Secretary, the official custodian of such public record shall

without charge provide the applicant for such benefits or any

person (including any veterans' organization) acting on the

veteran's behalf or the authorized representative of the Secretary

with a certified copy of such record.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1237, Sec. 3303; Pub. L.

99-576, title VII, Sec. 701(78), Oct. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 3298;

renumbered Sec. 5703, Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(b)(1), May

7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(1), (2)(A)(xiii),

Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 403.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40 renumbered section 3303 of this title as

this section.

Pub. L. 102-83 substituted "Secretary" for "Veterans'

Administration" in two places and "administered by the Secretary"

for "administered by the Veterans' Administration".

1986 - Pub. L. 99-576 substituted "the veteran's" for "his".

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5704 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5704. Transcript of trial records

-STATUTE-

The Secretary may purchase transcripts of the record, including

all evidence, of trial of litigated cases.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1237, Sec. 3304;

renumbered Sec. 5704, Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(b)(1), May

7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), Aug.

6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40 renumbered section 3304 of this title as

this section.

Pub. L. 102-83 substituted "Secretary" for "Administrator".

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5705 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER I - RECORDS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5705. Confidentiality of medical quality-assurance records

-STATUTE-

(a) Records and documents created by the Department as part of a

medical quality-assurance program (other than reports submitted

pursuant to section 7311(g) (!1) of this title) are confidential

and privileged and may not be disclosed to any person or entity

except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

(b)(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, a record or

document described in subsection (a) of this section shall, upon

request, be disclosed as follows:

(A) To a Federal agency or private organization, if such record

or document is needed by such agency or organization to perform

licensing or accreditation functions related to Department

health-care facilities or to perform monitoring, required by

statute, of Department health-care facilities.

(B) To a Federal executive agency or provider of health-care

services, if such record or document is required by such agency

or provider for participation by the Department in a health-care

program with such agency or provider.

(C) To a criminal or civil law enforcement governmental agency

or instrumentality charged under applicable law with the

protection of the public health or safety, if a qualified

representative of such agency or instrumentality makes a written

request that such record or document be provided for a purpose

authorized by law.

(D) To health-care personnel, to the extent necessary to meet a

medical emergency affecting the health or safety of any

individual.

(2) The name of and other identifying information regarding any

individual patient or employee of the Department, or any other

individual associated with the Department for purposes of a medical

quality-assurance program, contained in a record or document

described in subsection (a) of this section shall be deleted from

any record or document before any disclosure made under this

subsection if disclosure of such name and identifying information

would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal

privacy.

(3) No person or entity to whom a record or document has been

disclosed under this subsection shall make further disclosure of

such record or document except for a purpose provided in this

subsection.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authority to

withhold any record or document from a committee of either House of

Congress or any joint committee of Congress, if such record or

document pertains to any matter within the jurisdiction of such

committee or joint committee.

(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the

use of records and documents described in subsection (a) of this

section within the Department (including contractors and

consultants of the Department).

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing or

requiring withholding from any person or entity the disclosure of

statistical information regarding Department health-care programs

(including such information as aggregate morbidity and mortality

rates associated with specific activities at individual Department

health-care facilities) that does not implicitly or explicitly

identify individual patients or employees of the Department, or

individuals who participated in the conduct of a medical

quality-assurance review.

(c) For the purpose of this section, the term "medical

quality-assurance program" means -

(1) with respect to any activity carried out before October 7,

1980, a Department systematic health-care review activity carried

out by or for the Department for the purpose of improving the

quality of medical care or improving the utilization of

health-care resources in Department health-care facilities; and

(2) with respect to any activity carried out on or after

October 7, 1980, a Department systematic health-care review

activity designated by the Secretary to be carried out by or for

the Department for either such purpose.

(d)(1) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to carry out

this section. In prescribing such regulations, the Secretary shall

specify those activities carried out before October 7, 1980, which

the Secretary determines meet the definition of medical

quality-assurance program in subsection (c)(1) of this section and

those activities which the Secretary has designated under

subsection (c)(2) of this section. The Secretary shall, to the

extent appropriate, incorporate into such regulations the

provisions of the administrative guidelines and procedures

governing such programs in existence on October 7, 1980.

(2) An activity may not be considered as having been designated

as a medical quality-assurance program for the purposes of

subsection (c)(2) of this section unless the designation has been

specified in such regulations.

(e) Any person who, knowing that a document or record is a

document or record described in subsection (a) of this section,

willfully discloses such record or document except as provided for

in subsection (b) of this section shall be fined not more than

$5,000 in the case of a first offense and not more than $20,000 in

the case of a subsequent offense.

-SOURCE-

(Added Pub. L. 96-385, title V, Sec. 505(a), Oct. 7, 1980, 94 Stat.

1535, Sec. 3305; amended Pub. L. 99-166, title II, Sec. 201, Dec.

3, 1985, 99 Stat. 949; renumbered Sec. 5705 and amended Pub. L.

102-40, title IV, Secs. 402(b)(1), 403(b)(2), May 7, 1991, 105

Stat. 238, 239; Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(4), June 13, 1991, 105

Stat. 285; Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(F), (3), (4), (b)(1),

(2)(E), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 404, 405.)

-REFTEXT-

REFERENCES IN TEXT

Section 7311(g) of this title, referred to in subsec. (a), was

repealed by Pub. L. 103-446, title XII, Sec. 1201(g)(5), Nov. 2,

1994, 108 Stat. 4687.

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 402(b)(1), renumbered section 3305 of

this title as this section.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted

"Department" for "Veterans' Administration".

Pub. L. 102-40, Sec. 403(b)(2), substituted "section 7311(g)" for

"section 4152(b)".

Subsec. (b)(1)(A), (B). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4),

substituted "Department" for "Veterans' Administration" wherever

appearing.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted

"Department" for "Veterans' Administration".

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(F)(i), substituted "patient or

employee of the Department" for "Veterans' Administration patient

or employee".

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted

"Department" for "Veterans' Administration" in two places.

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted

"Department" for "Veterans' Administration" in two places.

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(2)(F)(ii), substituted "patients or

employees of the Department," for "Veterans' Administration

patients or employees".

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted

"Department" for "Veterans' Administration" wherever appearing.

Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(4)(A), amended subsec. (c)(1) as in

effect immediately before the enactment of Pub. L. 102-40 by

substituting "October 7, 1980" for "the date of the enactment of

this section".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator".

Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), substituted "Department" for

"Veterans' Administration" in two places.

Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(4)(A), amended subsec. (c)(2) as in

effect immediately before the enactment of Pub. L. 102-40 by

substituting "October 7, 1980" for "the date of the enactment of

this section".

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(b)(1), (2)(E), substituted

"Secretary" for "Administrator" wherever appearing.

Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(4)(B)(i)-(iii), amended subsec. (d)(1)

as in effect immediately before the enactment of Pub. L. 102-40 by

substituting "The" for "Not later than 180 days after the date of

the enactment of this section, the" in first sentence, substituting

"October 7, 1980," for "such enactment date" in second sentence,

and striking out "existing" after "provisions of the" and inserting

"in existence on October 7, 1980" after "such programs" in last

sentence.

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(4)(B)(iv), amended

subsec. (d)(2) as in effect immediately before the enactment of

Pub. L. 102-40 by substituting "An activity may not be considered"

for "After the date on which such regulations are first prescribed,

no activity shall be considered".

1985 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99-166, Sec. 201(1), inserted "(other

than reports submitted pursuant to section 4152(b) of this title)"

after "program".

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 99-166, Sec. 201(2), added par. (6).

EFFECTIVE DATE

Section effective Oct. 7, 1980, see section 601(d) of Pub. L.

96-385, set out as an Effective Date of 1980 Amendment note under

section 1114 of this title.

-FOOTNOTE-

(!1) See References in Text note below.

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS

-HEAD-

SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5711 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5711. Authority to issue subpoenas

-STATUTE-

(a) For the purposes of the laws administered by the Secretary,

the Secretary, and those employees to whom the Secretary may

delegate such authority, to the extent of the authority so

delegated, shall have the power to -

(1) issue subpoenas for and compel the attendance of witnesses

within a radius of 100 miles from the place of hearing;

(2) require the production of books, papers, documents, and

other evidence;

(3) take affidavits and administer oaths and affirmations;

(4) aid claimants in the preparation and presentation of

claims; and

(5) make investigations and examine witnesses upon any matter

within the jurisdiction of the Department.

(b) Any person required by such subpoena to attend as a witness

shall be allowed and paid the same fees and mileage as are paid

witnesses in the district courts of the United States.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1237, Sec. 3311;

renumbered Sec. 5711, Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(b)(1), May

7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(5)(A), June 13,

1991, 105 Stat. 286.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40 renumbered section 3311 of this title as

this section.

Pub. L. 102-54 amended section as in effect immediately before

the enactment of Pub. L. 102-40 by substituting "subpoenas" for

"subpenas" in section catchline and amending text generally. Prior

to amendment, text read as follows: "For the purposes of the laws

administered by the Veterans' Administration, the Administrator,

and those employees to whom the Administrator may delegate such

authority, to the extent of the authority so delegated, shall have

the power to issue subpenas for and compel the attendance of

witnesses within a radius of one hundred miles from the place of

hearing, to require the production of books, papers, documents, and

other evidence, to take affidavits, to administer oaths and

affirmations, to aid claimants in the preparation and presentation

of claims, and to make investigations and examine witnesses upon

any matter within the jurisdiction of the Veterans' Administration.

Any person required by such subpena to attend as a witness shall be

allowed and paid the same fees and mileage as are paid witnesses in

the district courts of the United States."

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5712 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5712. Validity of affidavits

-STATUTE-

Any such oath, affirmation, affidavit, or examination, when

certified under the hand of any such employee by whom it was

administered or taken and authenticated by the seal of the

Department, may be offered or used in any court of the United

States and without further proof of the identity or authority of

such employee shall have like force and effect as if administered

or taken before a clerk of such court.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1237, Sec. 3312;

renumbered Sec. 5712, Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(b)(1), May

7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102-83, Sec. 4(a)(3), (4), Aug. 6,

1991, 105 Stat. 404.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40 renumbered section 3312 of this title as

this section.

Pub. L. 102-83 substituted "Department" for "Veterans'

Administration".

-End-

-CITE-

38 USC Sec. 5713 01/06/03

-EXPCITE-

TITLE 38 - VETERANS' BENEFITS

PART IV - GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

CHAPTER 57 - RECORDS AND INVESTIGATIONS

SUBCHAPTER II - INVESTIGATIONS

-HEAD-

Sec. 5713. Disobedience to subpoena

-STATUTE-

In case of disobedience to any such subpoena, the aid of any

district court of the United States may be invoked in requiring the

attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of

documentary evidence, and such court within the jurisdiction of

which the inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or

refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any officer, agent, or

employee of any corporation or to any other person, issue an order

requiring such corporation or other person to appear or to give

evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey

such order of the court may be punished by such court as a contempt

thereof.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 85-857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1237, Sec. 3313;

renumbered Sec. 5713, Pub. L. 102-40, title IV, Sec. 402(b)(1), May

7, 1991, 105 Stat. 238; Pub. L. 102-54, Sec. 14(d)(6)(A), (B), June

13, 1991, 105 Stat. 286.)

-MISC1-

AMENDMENTS

1991 - Pub. L. 102-40 renumbered section 3313 of this title as

this section.

Pub. L. 102-54 amended section as in effect immediately before

the enactment of Pub. L. 102-40 by substituting "subpoena" for

"subpena" in section catchline and in two places in text.

-End-