26 CFR § 301.6109-2 - Authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to collect employer identification numbers for purposes of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.

§ 301.6109-2 Authority of the Secretary of Agriculture to collect employer identification numbers for purposes of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.

(a)In general. The Secretary of Agriculture may require each applicant retail food store or wholesale food concern to furnish its employer identification number in connection with the administration of section 9 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2018) (relating to the determination of the qualifications of applicants under the Food Stamp Act).

(b)Limited purpose. The Secretary of Agriculture may have access to the employer identification numbers obtained pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, but only for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a list of the names and employer identification numbers of the stores and concerns for use in determining those applicants who have been previously sanctioned or convicted under section 12 or 15 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2021 or 2024). The Secretary of Agriculture may use this determination of sanctions and convictions in administering section 9 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.

(c)Sharing of information -

(1)Sharing permitted with certain United States agencies and instrumentalities. The Secretary of Agriculture may share the information contained in the list described in paragraph (b) of this section with any other agency or instrumentality of the United States that otherwise has access to employer identification numbers, but only to the extent the Secretary of Agriculture determines sharing such information will assist in verifying and matching that information against information maintained by the other agency or instrumentality.

(2)Restrictions on the use of shared information. The information shared by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to this section may be used by any other agency or instrumentality of the United States only for the purpose of effective administration and enforcement of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 or for the purpose of investigation of violations of other Federal laws or enforcement of those laws.

(d)Safeguards -

(1)Restrictions on access to employer identification numbers by individuals -

(i)Numbers maintained by the Secretary of Agriculture. The individuals who are permitted access to employer identification numbers obtained pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section and maintained by the Secretary of Agriculture are officers and employees of the United States whose duties or responsibilities require access to such employer identification numbers for the purpose of effective administration or enforcement of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 or for the purpose of sharing the information in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(ii)Numbers maintained by any other agency or instrumentality. The individuals who are permitted access to employer identification numbers obtained pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section and maintained by any agency or instrumentality of the United States other than the Department of Agriculture are officers and employees of the United States whose duties or responsibilities require access to such employer identification numbers for the purpose of effective administration and enforcement of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 or for the purpose of investigation of violations of other Federal laws or enforcement of those laws.

(2)Other safeguards. The Secretary of Agriculture, and the head of any other agency or instrumentality referred to in paragraph (c) of this section, must provide for any additional safeguards that the Secretary of the Treasury determines to be necessary or appropriate to protect the confidentiality of the employer identification numbers. The Secretary of Agriculture, and the head of any other agency or instrumentality referred to in paragraph (c) of this section, may also provide for any additional safeguards to protect the confidentiality of employer identification numbers, provided these safeguards are consistent with safeguards determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to be necessary or appropriate.

(e)Confidentiality and disclosure of employer identification numbers. Employer identification numbers obtained pursuant to paragraph (a) or (c) of this section are confidential. No officer or employee of the United States who has or had access to any such employer identification number may disclose that number in any manner to an individual not described in paragraph (d) of this section. For purposes of this paragraph (e), officer or employee includes a former officer or employee.

(f)Sanctions -

(1)Unauthorized, willful disclosure of employer identification numbers. Sections 7213(a) (1), (2), and (3) apply with respect to the unauthorized, willful disclosure to any person of employer identification numbers that are maintained pursuant to this section by the Secretary of Agriculture, or any other agency or instrumentality with which information is shared pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, in the same manner and to the same extent as sections 7213(a) (1), (2), and (3) apply with respect to unauthorized disclosures of returns and return information described in those sections.

(2)Willful solicitation of employer identification numbers. Section 7213(a)(4) applies with respect to the willful offer of any item of material value in exchange for any employer identification number maintained pursuant to this section by the Secretary of Agriculture, or any other agency or instrumentality with which information is shared pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, in the same manner and to the same extent as section 7213(a)(4) applies with respect to offers (in exchange for any return or return information) described in that section.

(g)Delegation. All references in this section to the Secretary of Agriculture are references to the Secretary of Agriculture or his or her delegate.

(h)Effective date. Except as provided in the following sentence, this section is effective on February 1, 1992. Any provisions relating to the sharing of information by the Secretary of Agriculture with any other agency or instrumentality of the United States are effective on August 15, 1994.

[T.D. 8369, 56 FR 49685, Oct. 1, 1991, as amended by T.D. 8621, 60 FR 51725, Oct. 3, 1995; 61 FR 1035, Jan. 11, 1996]